Sunday, November 15, 2015

Game Review (Star Wars Battlefront - PS4)

It's here and I've waited what I believe is now a decade for this game. I'd love to go into a bunch of ravishing details for you, but why waste your time with a long review when this can all be summed up in a few brief paragraphs?

Star Wars Battlefront is a disappointment, no matter how you look at it, in my opinion. Is it because of a lack of single player? Nope. I never once expected this game to have it, and it has no bearing on my thoughts on this game. If you played the beta, you may have likely gotten the same feeling out of it that I have now. The truth is, there's not a lot of depth to this game, and it gets old very, very quickly. There's no real urgency to keep ranking up and unlocking everything because it all just feels the same. This honestly makes me take a series like Call of Duty for granted, because even though I've avoided it the past two or three years, I always commended it for its certain je ne sais quoi that kept me coming back ... and no, it wasn't just the frustrating "NEXT MATCH WON'T BE AS LAGGY." thoughts.

As others have said all over the place online, Walker Assault is really all that this game amounts to. It's said a lot because, ultimately, it's very true. No other game mode captures what Walker Assault does, and while that's a fun mode, it only lasts so long before it feels very, "Been there, done that.", especially with the limited maps to play it on.

What I may find the most frustrating about this game and, again, has me appreciating more main-stream shooters, is that it makes me feel like it's running on auto-pilot when I'm playing. I say that because the controls are far too simple -- the game has a tendency to feel like it's playing itself. The vehicles controls (most notably when in the air) are much too easy to master, which is a shame, since DICE is known for Battlefield, which has air vehicles that take some time to really feel comfortable with. For gunplay, the aim-assist is stronger than I've seen in any online game, and it really detracts from the experience ... it's just too damn easy to dominate. Where's the challenge of learning how to aim? The only thing that may take some people time is guiding their shots when shooting from a distance, as there is an expected shot delay ... so that's nice to see.

Lastly, vehicle power-ups. I understand that this was likely done to get everyone a chance at using vehicles, but it's a fairly significant blow to the experience and a poor choice. I'm not sure this really needs an explanation as to why it's a disappointment, but in a way, it seems lazy of DICE to do this/to have made this decision.

Ultimately, Battlefront is just a lacking disappointment. It's no doubt fun -- the graphics and sound are absolutely unbelievable, but the game play just isn't quite there. Most frustrating, I think, is that as "naked" as the disc content of this game is, EA had the audacity to quickly announce a season pass for it. I can understand a season pass announcement before a game's release (sad that I'm willing to be okay with that now) IF the game itself feels "full."

Star Wars lovers will pick this game up regardless of what people say, but don't try to fight the feeling that it's just not the game you hoped it would be after you've put 6-8 hours into it. It's entertaining in bursts, but the lack of depth and the feeling that it strongly tries catering to non-gamers or "casuals", leaves me wanting more.


+ It's Star Wars!, beautiful graphics, phenomenal sound.
- Lack of depth, overly simplified gameplay mechanics.