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“Star Wars Battlefront 3” is a fun, intense hype machine for the franchise

May the hype be with you

starwar

Game: “Star Wars Battlefront”

Platform: Xbox One

Developer: EA Digital Illusions CE

Publisher: Electronic Arts (EA)

Released: Nov. 17

Grade: B+

The “Star Wars” hype is growing more and more each day and “Star Wars Battlefront” only adds to the vast interest in the upcoming movie. In this first-person shooter set in the “Star Wars” universe, players go from shooting storm troopers or rebels to piloting X-wings and TIE fighters in the skies above.

The “Battlefront”series dates back to an original 2004 release, made by Pandemic Studios. Rather than a sequel, this is a full reboot of the series with all new game modes unique to “Star Wars” and specialty weapons based on the original trilogy.

The best part of “Battlefront”has always been playing as the common foot soldier in a galactic war. While many other “Star Wars” games focus on playing as Jedi, bounty hunters or smugglers, “Battlefront”puts players right in the thick of it from the standpoint of a soldier.

All hype aside, the game can stand well on its playability. Previous entries in the series were mainly popular because they were quite simply “Star Wars” games. The new entry, however, goes well beyond that using new game modes that still incorporate the original “Star Wars” appeal.

In what is probably the “flagship” mode for the new “Battlefront,” “Walker Assault” is the most “Star Wars”-centric game mode created. Imperial players must escort one or two AT-ATs, massive 4-legged robotic behemoths, towards a Rebel base. Rebel players attempt to stop the Imperials by calling in bombers. With 20-versus-20 gameplay, it is one of the largest online battlefields in the game.

After playing the mode several times, it becomes apparent that it needs some balancing. Even though the Imperials have the giant AT-ATs and the more nimble AT-STs on their side, more often than not the Rebels win. On some maps, it is simply too hard for the Imperials to stop the Rebel attacks. This is the sort of thing that should have been worked out in beta testing, but with the new movie coming out, this game was destined to have a few rushed pieces in it.

The deadline to release it may explain the main problem with the game – lack of content. While there are plenty of online game modes, the game lacks a campaign and only features a handful of guns to choose from and a mere 4 planets.

EA promises several expansion packs will be released and a season pass can be purchased for $50 which is a shame. Players already pay $60 minimum for the game, so another $50 for more content in a game that is severely already lacking content seems like a greedy move from EA.

To their credit, a free downloadable content (DLC) is coming out in December that adds in Jakku, a planet that will feature in the new movie. But it seems a bit odd that the DLC would be ready two weeks after the game was released.

Why wasn’t it just included with the base game in the first place?

A smaller but important problem is the hero mechanic of the game.

Like in previous entries in the series, players can occasionally play as heroes if their rebels or villains if their storm troopers. Heroes include Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo while villains include Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and Boba Fett.

The problem with the mechanic is that it’s just boring playing as the most powerful characters in the game. A meeting between Luke and Darth Vader should be one of the most epic battles in the game. Instead, it becomes very hack-and-slash, more a battle of luck than an awe-inspiring showdown between good and evil.

In a way, this makes sense. “Battlefront”has always been a game celebrating the common man in “Star Wars.” The grunts on the frontlines are the real heroes in “Battlefront.”We don’t need anything more than them.

So, is “Battlefront”anything more than just a hype machine for the new movie?

Yes, but barely. More content and more balancing and this becomes another classic game. EA will probably fix it, but it should’ve been done a long, long time ago.

Overall, the pros are the unique game modes, the immersive, genuinely intense first-person shooter combat and the fact that it is a stellar follow-up to an already famous video game series, a potential classic in the series. On the other hand, the lacks of content and rushed development of the game detract from not only the hype, but the actual gameplay. If EA can figure out a way to smooth out the bugs in the game, as well as expand the in-game content, they have a game that will be as potentially entertaining in five years as it is now, just like “Battlefront 2.”

Dan McKeon is a contributing writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com.


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