Star Wars Battlefront: Review Star Wars Battlefront is the most accurate depiction of a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away outside of being on the set of the next blockbuster installment but it somehow misses the franchise’s penchant for fun. Endor, Tatooine, Hoth (nerd alert – which is actually a system, not a planet) and free DLC Jakku are movie-replica versions of the environments fan would expect to see on a Hollywood set. The snow swirls just like it did when Han searched for Luke, the trees look exactly the same as when Leia zoomed on a speeder bike and the sarlacc pit is as menacing as you remember. If you can’t close your eyes and recall these scenes…then Battlefront probably isn’t the game for you. EA promoted the fact DICE was able to visit Skywalker Ranch and see the models used in the original (i.e. good) trilogy and it shows. This game is a love letter to fans, from fans of the Star Wars saga. Not too be outdone by the visual fidelity, the sound is impeccable. The zoom of an X-wing, the ricochet of a blaster, the woosh (that’s a technical term) of a lightsaber and the constant background noise of battle make the player feel like they are in the Star Wars universe. The signature Star Wars visuals and sounds meld together perfectly across all nine competitive modes and the cooperative offerings. Players can jump into a 40-player skirmish, smaller objective based matches or an asynchronous battle where one side controls a hero character (Han, Luke, Leia or Darth Vader, Boba Fett, the Emperor) against the standard rag-tag soldiers. On the surface there is a lot of variety, but in reality all the game modes play out the same. Battle strategy is pretty much a ‘who shot first’ as blasters tear through enemies quicker than anyone can react and even when there is an objective, turning the battle into a team deathmatch is still a viable option for victory. This feeling of sameness is present when selecting a side to choose in the conflict. Besides differing vehicles or hero powerups (which also feel similar to one another) the difference between Imperial and Rebel is only a palette swap – all characters can access the same guns, items and equipment. There are a couple loadout variances that unlock as you progress, especially the shield or jetpack, which can change how you approach certain situations in battle, but your weapon is never one of them. Each gun seems perfectly capable of sniping across the map and will suffer from overheating if fired continuously. The starter pistol is just as capable as the last weapon you unlock, making leveling up a non-event. The heroes do change the flow of battle, as the player shifts from first person to third and becomes an overpowered tank on the battlefield, but these moments are typically short lived. You will be fighting your allies for the chance to control Luke or jump into an AT-ST as often as you will battle the enemy because these enhancements are limited on the battlefield (unintentional pun). If you really want to play a hero or pilot an X-wing you are better off going into a mode dedicated to these offerings. Outside of the online multiplayer modes, there is a horde cooperative match available on the different locals or a 1-v-1 that can be played offline or split-screen. The split-screen offerings are good and capture the feeling of couch-co-op that is missing from modern gaming design but the limited choices make it feel more like a novelty than full game mode. Star Wars Battlefront is a well designed, beautiful and meticulously crafted game that any fan of the franchise will be thrilled to play with…for a few hours. The lack of variety and repetitive nature of battles make this an easy rental, but a difficult game to recommend for purchase. If you aren’t a fan of Star Wars (which based off The Force Awakens box office, everyone is a fan of Star Wars) then this game won’t hold your interest – there are more competent shooters on the market available. DICE created an amazing engine and it makes me excited for the next installment of Battlefront to see what they can build without the time pressure of tying into a movie release, but more than anything the game I am looking for will contain a robust single player campaign, which is severely missed in this installment. Level Up, Friends!