NERD ALERT! NERD ALERT! NERD ALERT!
Hopefully it comes to no surprise that I am a nerd, not really a specialized nerd as I tend to enjoy a multitude of random things (as I do with most things in life, you can call me the Swiss Army Knife of Interests or SAKI for short). As mentioned in previous posts, I do love Star Wars, but I’m not a super Star Wars nerd. I don’t know much of the backstories apart from the movies, and honestly I didn’t understand the difference between canon or non-canon for the longest time; luckily I have far nerdier friends than myself for that. In the end I probably got hooked on Star Wars because: A. My friends were interested in it, and/or B. Hasbro/Kenner had the coolest toys, and Micro Machines were the bomb diggity. Like Sheldon Cooper said:
“The tinier the train, the more concentrated the fun”
In the end I had played Star Wars Battlefront 1 & 2 for various consoles and enjoyed them for the most part. They weren’t my favorite games since at that time I was more involved with Lord of the Rings: The Battle For Middle Earth; but they were well made games nonetheless. I was fortunate enough to be one of the first players to mess around with the Alpha/Beta for EA’s rendition of STAR WARS Battlefront, and apparently it made enough of an imprint that I ended up purchasing it. So here is my non-expert, fairly unbiased review of the game.
Origin… that’s all that needs to be said.
To be fair, Origin isn’t a terrible service. They just aren’t Steam. For all of you who don’t know what Origin is; it’s essentially a free digital service that runs on your PC and when you buy a new EA game (physical/digital), you activate it through the Origin service and then can download it, etc. My problem with Origin is that it’s bulky, slow to adopt features (seriously, voice chat was just added?) and their library is lacking (for obvious reasons). But, I have and always will support EA, I mean it’s no Steam but at least we can all agree it’s better than UBISOFT’s Uplay. In the end, I was able to snag a cheap key online for STAR WARS Battlefront, not from Origin’s store. Download was fairly quick in the end (approx 27.4GB) and installation followed smoothly. Overall it was an easy experience, I just sometimes wished Origin and Steam would do the complete impossible and join libraries, I know… I’m dreaming.
Battlefront runs smooth on my PC, I don’t have this remarkable powerhouse; in fact the big thing I have going for me is my triple monitor setup. The graphic card and processor are average/slightly above, and everything else works just fine for pretty much any game out there. I was happy to see that the game ran on all three monitors from the get-go and looked great. The white background was a little much, but seeing R2-D2 and C-3PO chase after each other across all three monitors was entertaining. Default settings were High/Ultra for most settings and I never experienced any lag. I was kind of surprised by this actually, because for anyone who has seen anything about this game, they will quickly notice that this game is BEAUTIFUL! Most people complain that there isn’t enough features, maps, etc. My theory is that EA spent the majority of their time working on the technical features, and I think it paid off remarkably. Don’t believe me? Below is a 3 minute video where users used SweetFX to convert the game to 4K; I suggest pausing the movie (wait to buffer), make it full-screen, and click on 4K resolution when viewing it (internet permitting). Oh and grab popcorn.
The game works. The controls are average and the maps all seem familiar; but, that’s it. Controlling heroes is fun (especially Boba Fett), but I do agree with the reviews that the game is empty. It’s almost missing something, whether that is a new John William’s score or perhaps the obvious Campaign Mode (there is zero, zip, zada storyline). I bought this game for only a few reasons (and I suggest the same):
- The chance to play as Boba Fett. This was fun while it lasted, but I suggest if you have a PS4, go onto EBay and purchase the limited edition code that came with the Star Wars Edition PS4 consoles and play Star Wars Bounty Hunter.
- The graphics. There are a lot of new games out there and a lot of them all shine in various regards; this game shines with graphics. They give you hope for the future of games. Sure the gameplay was eh at best, but combine those graphics with something memorable and we’re onto something. Maybe a new Star Wars Republic Commando… that’d be worthwhile (I know, never happening).
- Show off factor. This one goes hand-in-hand with graphics, for all of you with a fun PC rig and Star Wars fanboy friends, pick up this game (when on sale), push the graphic limits, and show it off. Mod around with it (safely) and show off the true power of your PC.
This review is a little shorter, but there’s not a lot to talk about with this game. EA did a fine job capturing Episodes 4 – 6 and a little of 7. But, if you liked anything from the prequels you won’t find it here. In end it was probably smart of EA to do it that way. With the new Star Wars Episode 7 being released around the same time period, it’s best to avoid the black sheep in the room, until it has become successful enough where you can begin mentioning them again. Let’s face it, every Star Wars fan needed a new tale to wash the taste of the prequels out of their mouths. Alas, this is not a film review. In regards to Battlefront, it is a technical marvel that I feel is a suitable benchmark for future PC games, there are memorable moments but it’s similar to the comedy movie trailers that give away all of the punchlines before the movie is released. After the hundreds of beta videos that were released, we all knew what we were getting ourselves into.
Rent or Buy? For PC I would suggest buying this when it goes on sale. A $40 -$50 price tag is still a little high. Wait and see what future DLC is going to come out then make your decision. For console gamers I suggest renting it, playing it online a little, then going back to your regular shooters.
Alternatives: If you want Star Wars games, then I suggest Star Wars Republic Commando, Star Wars Bounty Hunter or the previous Battlefronts. If you just want a competitive shooter, then check out any Battlefield, Call of Duty or Counter Strike.