One of the biggest selling games in 2015 was the highly anticipated Star Wars Battlefront. It’s estimated to have sold around the 13 million copy mark, and as our review early this year showed it’s not a half bad game as well and not just riding the coat tails of the Force Awakens hype train. So, just why is it so good and why did it make it on to the Midlife Gamer GotY list?
A game solely focused on multiplayer gameplay and only really having two options you can pick at the start screen may seem limited to some, but the missions section is where the most polish has be added. These single player missions show off the game at its best; both in terms of visuals and in hitting the nostalgia sweet spot.
The missions let you relive some of the standout out moments from the first trilogy, like racing speeder bikes though the forests of Endor or battling against an AT-AT on the snow planet of Hoth. These missions are very short but very enjoyable as the feel and look of them is spot on. There’s an overriding feeling you get from the game that DICE have put a lot of time and love into crafting it.
Other than the missions section the real main focus of the game is multiplayer, which sees you and your friends fighting it out over 12 maps with up to 40 other players in 9 different modes. This is where the most fun is to be found in the game; from standard style modes like Blast (effectively team deathmatch) and Drop Zone (a headquarters style mode) to the more Star Wars focused modes like Walker Assault which sees the Rebels having to fight off an attacking wave of AT-ATs, and Fighter Squadron where you go head to head with X-wings and Tie Fighters.
It’s in the multiplayer where the game really takes off. The scale of these battles and the laying of the conflicts on show are truly mind blowing; one minute you’re racing through the snow to captor a control point with a AT-ST backing you up with fire support and the next you’re climbing through the trees while Y-wings are flying past. DICE have taken their well-worked formula from the Battlefield series and built it around the Star Wars licence to full effect, and in doing so hit a sweet spot for fans of Star Wars and the Battlefield series alike, but also made the game very accessible to newcomers so they don’t feel swamped from the start as well, which is a huge balancing act for DICE to pull off.
There are, of course, downsides to the game as well. The very welcoming nature may put off seasoned shooter fans from spending a long time with it as they may find it a bit too easy at times, however that’s not to say they will not enjoy their time in the game. There are also a few exploits in the game such as the auto-aim and spawn points but all of these can be ironed out with a few updates to the game. Finally, there’s the “season pass” which comes in at £45 on top of the £45 you’ve already shelled out for the game itself. If you spend a lot of time with the game I think it would be a good investment, but if you only enjoy the odd blast then maybe best to hold off.
Overall, Star Wars Battlefront is an enjoyable game and a MUST for fans of Star Wars. It’s a more welcoming shooter than Battlefield or Call of Duty with its friendly-family themed backdrop, and for casual gamers and Star Wars fans alike they will find it a more than a welcoming environment. It’s well worth a look by everyone and that’s why it comes in at number 5 on this year GotY list.