Star Wars Battlefront
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September 28, 2004
"Star Wars Battlefront" is the ultimate Star Wars game. It is, however, hard to explain. First of all, if you've played "Battlefield 1942" you'll know exactly what to expect. That being said, the goal of this game is to capture all of the enemy's command posts or kill off all of the enemy. There are 16 maps, each a perfect representation of a Star Wars battle field (Hoth, Naboo, Cloud City, Kashyyyk, Endor, etc.). Each map starts with various friendly command posts and various enemy command posts. It's your job to take the enemy command posts.
Depending on which of the four factions (Galactic Empire, Republic, Rebel Alliance, CIS) you choose to play, you'll be able to decide whether you'd like to be a Soldier, a Pilot (can heal and repair), a Sniper, a Heavy Armament Guy (rocket launchers), or a special character like a Dark Trooper or a Wookiee. You start each battle by "spawning" at one of the various friendly command posts. Each time you die, you simply respawn at the friendly command post of your choosing and you get to select which type of soldier you'd like to be. You can also kill yourself and quickly respawn if you see, for instance, that you're in need of a Heavy Armamnent guy.
Once you spawn it's time to start killing enemies and taking command posts in a frenetic laser-heavy battle. Most battles are about 200 vs. 200, plus or minus a few. Except for you, they are all computer controlled AI bots aka Non-Player Characters (NPCs). As you work your way to various command posts you can enter/exit any vehicle that you see, be it a ground based vehicle like a Speeder Bike, AAT, AT-ST, AT-AT, etc. or an air based vehicle like an X-Wing, A-Wing, Tie Fighter, etc. You can also enter/exit any gun turret.
Since there are no real "objectives" in any of these battles, other than winning, you are pretty much free to run/fly around and try out different tactics and explore the areas. In one battle you may find it best to stay put and take cover as a sniper while in another battle you may charge the enemy as a soldier. The posibilities are endless.
And that's what makes this game so fun. You are in the battle. Even if you take away the pure coolness that you're fighting on Hoth or in the Endor Forest, this would still be an amazing game. The sheer size of the maps and the fact that there so many enemies and friendlies on the map at once creates a sense of chaos...an addictive chaos.
These battles do take some strategy. And, even though you are only controlling yourself, you do have various Squad Commands like, "Follow Me," or "Hold Position," that do allow you to control NPCs within earshot. It's very exciting when you see a strategy of yours work well and watch as the enemy's numbers dwindle.
I hope that this review isn't too technical. I don't want to leave out the fact that there is some pure Star Wars magic in this game. Much like "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" brought back great Star Wars story telling, "Battlefront," is by far the best Star Wars action game ever created.
That's not to say that the game doesn't have few faults. The first and most obvious one is the flight controls for Starfighters. Having had a long history of creating great "Rogue Leader" flying games you'd think that this wouldn't be a problem. Well, it is. The controls are clunky and cumbersome. They are, however, managable and the ships do serve to get you from place to place quickly. The ground based vehicles don't have any such problems.
The second fault of this game is a confusing single-player experience. There are three single-player modes: Historical Campaign, Galactic Conquest, and Instant Action. Historical Campaign brings you through each of the 16 maps in historical order staring with the Clone Wars (Ep. I, II, III) and then going on to the Galactic Civil Wars (Ep. IV, V, VI). Galactic Conquest is a mode where you conquer each of the planets successively and by doing so, earn bonuses. If the enemy wins a battle, then they get to choose where to attack next. If you win, you get to choose. Instant Action is just that. You can choose which planet, faction, and solider for a quick battle. All of these single player experiences differ only slightly in the sense that sometimes you are the enemy and sometimes the good guys and vice versa. I wish there would have been a more linear single player quest, but I guess that's just what I'm used to and I should learn to shut up and just enjoy a great game.
I had so much fun playing single player that it took me a week to finally check out Xbox LIVE. Well, I shouldn't have waited. This is easily one of the best online experiences of any game. Online is just like offline, except you're fighting "real" people. That added sense of urgency truly completes the transformation from geek-in-apartment to Rebel Soldier, holding down the Ice Caves Command Post. It is enthralling.
"Star Wars Battlefront" is definitely one of the best games I've played in a while. Not only is it infinitely replayable offline but it is also so, online. This the first Star Wars game (other than KOTOR) where it just feels right. May the Force be with you!
The following is from http://www.lucasarts.com/games/swbattlefront/
Battlefront is an action/shooter game that gives fans and gamers the opportunity to re-live and participate in all of the classic Star Wars battles like never before. Players can select one of a number of different soldier types, jump into any vehicle, man any turret on the battlefront and conquer the galaxy planet-by-planet online with their friends or offline in a variety of single player modes. Single player modes include "Instant Action," "Galactic Conquest" and the story-based "Historical Campaigns" mode that lets gamers experience all of the epic Star Wars battles from Episodes I-VI, fighting from the perspective of each of the four factions within the game.First and third-person gameplay ? depending on player preference.
Three single player modes including "Instant Action," "Galactic Conquest" and the story-based "Historical Campaigns" mode.
Multiplayer for up to 16 players (plus AI units) online.
Split-screen mode for multiplayer 'offline' play.
Battle in more than 12 environments across 10 diverse planets from the classic Trilogy and Clone Wars eras including Hoth, Endor, Tatooine, Kamino and Geonosis.
20 different soldier types from 4 factions: Rebel Alliance, Galactic Empire, Republic Clone Army and Separatist Battle Droids. Soldier types include standard infantry, scouts, heavy weapons and pilots - each will have their own unique abilities.
More than 30 Star Wars weapons including blaster rifles, rocket launchers and thermal detonators, in addition to ground-based turret guns that can be manned and used to defend command posts.
More than 25 diverse ground and air vehicles including the AT-ST, X-Wing, and speeder bike, as well as the massive Republic Gunship that can hold up to five different soldiers.
Customizable controls on all systems.
Supports voice chat via compatible headsets (PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC).
Requires PlayStation 2 network adapter, Xbox Live kit and Internet PC for online multiplayer games.
Is Star Wars Battlefront playable only from a 3rd person perspective?
You can play in both 3rd and 1st-person perspectives and it is switchable in-game. We foresee situations (piloting vehicles, etc.) where sometimes it will be advantageous to switch perspectives back and forth so it's up to player preference.
What do I need to play Star Wars Battlefront online?
For the Xbox, you will need Xbox Live to play, and for the PlayStation 2, you will need a PlayStation 2 Network Adapter. For the PC, a broadband Internet connection is required along with an ISP. A broadband Internet connection is required for all platforms.
Will there be a charge to play Star Wars Battlefront online?
No, there's no additional charge to play the game online. However, players are still responsible for their own ISP and connection charges.
What is the maximum number of human players in an online game?
We plan to support at least 16 human players over the Internet for the PS2 and Xbox versions, possibly more with dedicated server support. For the PC, we plan to support at least 32 human players over the Internet. For LAN games, we plan to support 32 players for the PS2 and Xbox versions, and 64 for the PC version. Of course, the total number of players for any single game will vary with network conditions and hardware performance.
Will you have to use a gamepad for the PC version?
Absolutely not. PC players will be able to use the keyboard and mouse just like any other first-person shooter. All controls for the PC version of Star Wars Battlefront will be customizable.
Is there a single player component to Star Wars Battlefront?
Yes, single players can play Instant Action battles or play the Galactic Conquest mode. In Galactic Conquest, players can choose any of the four factions and try to take over the galaxy. Players will be able to give commands to their AI teammates in order to lead their side to victory.
Can players choose to play Jedi as a class?
No, but Jedi do appear in the game as NPC or AI characters. More info to come later.
Is Star Wars Battlefront using the same engine from an existing game?
No, the engine for Star Wars Battlefront is a brand new engine developed by Pandemic Studios.
Will there be voice chat for the PC version?
Yes, there will be voice chat for the PC version, as well as the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions. Of course, text chat will also be available in the PC version.