What is Star Wars Battlefront actually made of? The heavily hyped multiplayer game from the makers got an early release for EA Access subscribers on Xbox One. I dove in to see what the game is all about.
Battlefront is, not surprisingly, a multiplayer-centric game. Everyone figured that, given that that's pretty much all EA has talked about since the game was announced. But there is single-player, which is the first thing I looked at.
There isn't much to the solo stuff, though I wouldn't be surprised if they steadily tack on more.
There are five training levels:
There are six battles:
And there are four survival runs:
I sampled some of them. They feel like playing a multiplayer game against bots, which is basically what they are. You can co-op with a second person, though I wasn't able to try that. The thing is, the game looks really good. Battlefront can get away with some boring missions if they're going to look like this:
I raced through a few levels with a low-level character. The more you play this game, and the better you do, the more cards you unlock. Cards represent better weapons and gear. You can go into battle with a hand of three cards, even in most of the on-foot solo levels.
Here I am in an Endor "battle' mission with a very basic deck. The goal is to rack up 100 points. I'm playing against easy enemies. You can ratchet that up:
This is part of a Hoth "survival mission":
And here's a solo "hero" mission, with me as Boba Fett. When you play as a hero in the game — think Vader, Luke, etc — you play in third-person and have some nifty, unique powers:
I played all the single-player stuff in the clips above. I checked out the modes, tried out different cards, played as famous characters from the movies. I wasn't impressed. My initial impressions were that Battlefront is all sizzle. It looks great in screens and clips, but it just wasn't feeling fun.
It has a pretty in-game diorama:
It has the most diverse set of default multiplayer characters I've seen in a game:
It has good visual gags:
But I wasn't really feeling it.
Then I turned on multiplayer. There are nine modes to choose from:
I get trashed in normal on-the-ground multiplayer games, so I took to the skies for an all-fighter battle. That was a ton of fun. Here are two air battles, one with me as a Rebel and one as an Imperial:
I then dared try some on-ground combat in the big Supremacy mode. I had fun calling in vehicles and even got in a lucky grenade double-kill, but I know I'm no champ at this. For better or worse, it didn't matter. I think this game just might support casual multiplayer gamers like me. Or at least I say that now. I'll probably get slaughtered way faster as the player base grows.
What's this all add up to? My gut is that this is one to avoid if you only play solo, but that it's pretty fun in multiplayer. I can't tell if there's enough to the game, though, even for Star Wars superfans. There aren't a lot of maps, and that could wind up causing the game to quickly grow stale.
Star Wars Battlefront doesn't officially come out for purchase until Tuesday the 17th. We'll have a review some time beyond that — and from a better multiplayer gamer than me — once we've played the game with a larger pool of players.
Did I leave anything out?