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  1. #1
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    Star Wars Battlefront review

    With a brand new Star Wars movie arriving this year, the timing of Star Wars Battlefront couldn't be better - the interest in the franchise is sky-high, which means any game using the brand is sure to get plenty of attention. However, this offering doesn't focus on the new trilogy of movies, but instead stays with the "classic" films - a wise move, given that the prequels were dire and the new cinematic outings are, at the time of writing, an unknown quantity.

    Battlefront is an online-focused shooter which basically serves as a dream come true for any 30-something who grew up with the original films. It's Stormtrooper against rebel soldier, Luke against Darth, X-Wing against TIE fighter, all of which takes place across familiar environments from the series. While there's a single-player option which serves as a tutorial, the bulk of the game is played online against other people, with one team assuming the role of the Rebel Alliance while the other steps into the boots of the evil Galactic Empire.

    It's clear that developer DICE has done its homework when it comes to presentation, as all of the character models, weapons, craft and locations are suitably authentic. The familiar music helps to link the game with the movies even more, and in a neat twist, you get to "be" main characters such as Luke, Han, Leia, Darth and even Emperor Palpatine himself (although to be honest, he cuts such an amusing figure as he shambles across the battlefield - hunched over, arms outstretched - that he's hard to take seriously).

    Team-based battle modes replicate the kind of action you'd normally see in Call of Duty, but it's the inclusion of vehicle-based combat which really sets things off. You can take to the skies in an X-Wing or stomp some rebels in an AT-ST, and in some missions these craft are used in conjunction with on-foot combat, which gives the battles a tremendous sense of scale - fighting a massive AT-AT as it stalks through the forests of Endor is a real highlight.

    Progress allows you to level-up your rank and earn cash, which is used to unlock new weapons and visual customizations for your character. Arguably more important are the Star Cards, of which you can carry three of at any one time. These are special attacks or status effects which have a cool-time period once used, and can change the tide of a battle when used correctly. For example, one card is a booster pack which allows you to fly in the air - Boba Fett-style - while another calls an orbital strike.

    The sheer amount of fan service on offer means that Star Wars followers will be in heaven with this game, but there are issues to report. There aren't enough environments to keep things feeling fresh, and the Hero mode - while undeniably cool - ends up being a bit of a gimmick; you'll probably play it a few times and then choose one of the more conventional modes. The X-Wing and TIE Fighter dogfights also feel strangely unexciting, with controls which seem to be skewed towards accessibility rather than skill.

    Despite these shortcomings, Battlefront is unquestionably one of the most impressive uses of the licence since the legendary X-Wing / TIE Fighter series on the PC way back in the early '90s. If you're a Star Wars fan, it's absolutely essential - but if you're not, then some of the magic might be lost on you.

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  2. #2
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    Nice review. I believe Battlefront should get an award for both visuals and sound design. Games are immersive enough to make you feel like you are in a real war but this is the first time I've really felt like I was in a real star wars war.

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    Anyone looking forward to the Battlefront 2? I played a bit of the beta recently and it was fun. It's visually stunning as well but that's a given.

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