Star Wars: Battlefront
TomChick - :60 Reviews - Comments - 10/04/04

Star Wars: Battleground/front/field isn't a good game. It's derivative, under-designed, and Playstation lo-tech. The graphics have that soft console port blur that you can duplicate by playing a PC game with a thin coat of vaseline on your monitor. Characters move like they're in some old pre-polygonal first person shooter. Although it's one of those team-based wait-in-line-to-get-a-vehicle games, the really cool flying vehicles like X-Wings and Republic Gunships are next to useless because of awkward controls and cramped maps. And it has the most god-awful multiplayer matching since trying to get Kali working with the original Descent. As for the Xbox and Playstation 2 versions, the controls are a throwback to the days when first person shooters really didn't belong on console systems.

So why do I love it so much? Partly because it's the first game of its kind to finally include serviceable bots that will actually play the game, it's fine and dandy for single player. Maybe that's why LucasArts couldn't be bothered with a good multiplayer set up. And maybe that's why the campaign game has so many extra goodies, like additional units, varied set up options, and a nifty strategic shell. But I mainly love it so much because it finally realizes the battles of Hoth and Endor in all their fully licensed glory, as well as battles I couldn't care less about but that still look pretty cool (I don't know what's up with the granddaddy-long-legs walkers, the beetle tanks, and those silly hula-hoop-treaded things on Geonosis, but I'm happy to include them on the maplist between Mos Eisley and Yavin). This isn't about making sure vehicles aren't too powerful or getting the physics right or balancing the weapons for the different classes. It's about me jumping into Star Wars without having to save the galaxy from some Dark Jedi with an ancient artifact. I'm sick of that RPG stuff. Star Wars: Battlefield/front/ground lets me just wallow in familiar battles with the same glee a Civil War buff might feel at a re-enactment.

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