Even though now all of the episodes of Star Wars have been complete, there are still a number of Star Wars games being released and have been having very good responses. One of the more surprising series to come under the Star Wars license was actually a shooter under the name of Battlefront, which really took the series to a new area where the series has never been able to do. Well now a year later, Pandemic Studios has come back with the second game in the series, which tries to take the series further then it has been. Did they accomplish this? Read our full review to find out!
So let’s talk a bit about Star Wars Battlefront, which was released last year and really was a very impressive game. You see, this was a game that I called the Battlefield series (aka: Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 1942 games) meet the Star War universe, and the two mixed pretty well. The game was not perfect, but it was a very capable shooter that really left a lot of Star Wars fans craving for more, especially in the multiplayer side of things. So can Battlefront II continue what the original game started?
The game’s single player modes are broken into two categories, which includes the Rise to the Empire mode and Galactic Conquest. Start with the more exciting Rise to the Empire mode - it is in this mode that you will be going through the missions of Darth Vader’s Storm Troopers. Although is not what I would call overly deep, but it is still an interesting mode that has an interesting story idea. Along side this mode of course is the Galactic Conquest mode, where you go from world to world doing exactly what the title states, trying to conquering worlds and achieving absolute domination.
Both single player modes are good, but they are not great. Both of these modes are worth trying out, but in my case I just kind of felt like the developers could have focused more of their attention collectively into one great mode instead of two mediocre ones. With that being said however, there are some neat additions that you will find to the game, like the ability to jump into space and begin having some space fights. This was really unexpected to see in a game such as this, which although not overly deep, they were a lot of fun and gave a great departure from the constant shooter style gameplay.
I hate to just continually rattle off new features, but there is one more that I should discuss. This is the ability to play as some of the great Star Wars heroes, like Yoda and Luke. You basically have to fill up a set meter bar, that if filled in particular levels, you will be able to take the role of these heroes. I have to say that although the idea is really neat, the execution is not as exciting. Playing as these characters is actually kind of bland. Although it is fun to run around with light sabers, it just isn’t as overwhelming of a feeling as I had hoped for.
Of course the main draw for Battlefront, which is the Xbox Live feature continues to be the main draw. On Xbox Live you can have up to thirty-two people playing online, in what I found to be a pretty smooth playing game. The game comes with most of the typical battle types, with capture the flag, conquest, and even a new mode called hunt. The multiplayer is by far the best thing the game has going for it. But I have to admit the actual feel of the multiplayer isn’t a huge leap forward from last year’s game.
In the end, Start Wars Battlefront II has improved in a lot of ways, with more classes to play as, the addition of the space fighting, and just a much smoother feel to the game. I can’t say that the game is perfect, as the single player still needs work and the multiplayer is good but not spectacular. Fans of the previous game will welcome the new additions to the game, but probably won’t find this next step all that big of one.
Visually Star Wars Battlefront II is actually pretty comparable to what we saw back in the original game, with a few exceptions. First off, the game does have much better animation than in the previous game, which had some frame rate issues. Battlefront II also seems to have improved their environments a notch or so, with some extra detail and a bigger variety to choose from. In the end I can’t say that the visuals are bad in Battlefront II, but it still feels like the original game, in that things look good but you know they could have looked a lot better.
I feel as though with Star Wars Battlefront II fans are either going to be really excited about some of the new ideas, or really disappointed that this is what the developers did in the last year. In my personal opinion, I liked a lot of the things the developers did with Battlefront II. I really enjoyed the ability to go up in space and have some space battles. I also liked the idea behind using the heroes, and could see that really pay off for future Battlefront games. In the end, Battlefront II is still a very fun game. It may have some minor problems, but it is still just a lot of fun to play, especially online.
I know what some might be saying, "Joel you gave Battlefront II the same exact score as the original Battlefront". And what I would say to you is you’re right, I did. And I did this because I truly believe that the developers did a nice job of upgrading the game in many areas. But on the same token, I don’t think they upgraded everything enough to take it to the next level. Should Battlefront fans go run out and buy this game? My answer is try this game as a rental first and see if you like the changes. If you do, you will have yourself a game that you will probably playing for months on in.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.