Star Wars Battlefront – PS2 – Review

It’s a tough life being a
Storm Trooper fighting under the banner of the great Empire.  Not only do you
have to walk around in that very tight and constrictive armor but the pay is
lousy and your buddies are all clones just like you so you can just imagine what
ladies night at the local cantina is like on Saturdays.  Yet there are some
really excellent perks, one of them being that you get to crush Republic scum
and see some really interesting sights while you’re at it.  Yes, going into
battle against the Rebellion in an all-out war more than makes up for the cold
showers and vile food.  In Star Wars Battlefront, you’ll finally know
what it feels to play as the Empire and on this battlefield you can change the
course of history.  Is this the best online game to come along since Counter
?  Let’s see how strong the Force is in this one, shall we?


was designed with one idea in mind: to put you,
the gamer, into a battlefield inspired by various scenarios that occur in both
the old trilogy (the Galactic Civil War) and the new Star Wars films (the Clone
Wars).  The result is an online Star Wars game that can support up to sixteen
players via a Broadband connection as your side attempts to capture the color
coded bases of your opponent.  The scenarios themselves are all very familiar
and, depending on the era you choose, you’ll also recognize your opponents and
what they’re capable of doing. 


As a huge fan of the Star
Wars films, it’s a dream come true to finally dive into a Star Wars game that
puts you in scenarios that you’ve been dying to experience in video game form. 
Battlefront doesn’t skimp on the details nor does it neglect battles that
looked super cool on film.  At long last we can fly a snow speeder in the ice
world of Hoth as the Empire attempts to take down the shield generators like in
The Empire Strikes Back.  At long last we can fight side-by-side with the
Ewoks in Endor as the Republic makes its final stand on the lush green planet. 
And who didn’t want to take part in the Jedi rescue mission as a Clone Trooper
in the dust-covered planet of Geonosis like in Attack of the Clones
It’s all here like a historical retelling of the events that occurred during
these memorable battles.



The game’s basic premise
is simple, as are the few objectives expected of you.  Each immense map has a
number of Command Posts scattered throughout the environment.  The main
objective is to capture the enemy’s color coded Command Posts (yours are green
while your opponent’s are red) as well as neutral ones (white) and those
belonging to natives (yellow) like the Gungans, Wookies or Ewoks.  The tricky
part is that in order to take a Post you or your squad mates have to stand near
it until the highlighted color changes to your team’s color.  The best part
about all of this is that you can take the role of up to five different unit
types.  If you choose the Galactic Empire, for example, you’ll be able to play
as a Storm Trooper, Shock Trooper (uses heavy weapons), Imperial Pilot (pilots
starfighters), Dark Trooper (uses a special attack) or Scout Trooper (the


Each scenario has at least
one or two vehicle types and this is what makes Battlefront really come
to life.  At any point you can jump on to vehicles such as the speeder bikes
from Return of the Jedi or tanks, spider droids, gunships and, if you’re a
pilot, take command of fighters like the X-Wing, Y-Wing, Imperial Tie Fighter
and even an AT-ST.  There are gun turrets in many key locations so you can just
as easily jump behind one of them and fire at your enemy’s heavy transports.


As far as the mission
objectives are concerned, Battlefront has secondary objectives aside from
the main one.  These missions have you destroying shield generators or
dominating the area so your reinforcements can arrive.  You’ll also find some
missions that include notable key characters like Luke Skywalker, Mace Windu,
Count Dooku and even Darth Vader himself.  Luckily you can order nearby squad
mates Counter Strike-style so they can follow you as you cover said
character.  Speaking of the single player mode, it’s the weakest part of the
game.  You’ll be sorely disappointed by the computer-controlled opponents and
allies that aren’t smart enough to come up with strategies that actually pose a
threat to you.  As a result, you’ll easily defeat the enemy yourself since many
of your allies tend to do their own thing in battle . . . unfortunately their
is occasionally hanging out not far from your team’s Command Post as
if this was some kind of intergalactic party.  Then again they come to life and
you’ll find your allies tossing you health packs and extra ammo while your enemy
finds better ways of flanking you. 


All of this, of course, is
remedied online.  Using a Broadband connection, the game moves smoothly enough
but does suffer from a few slowdowns here and there.  Still it’s a small price
to pay for a game that supports up to sixteen players on the battlefield and
chat via a USB headset.  Having taken part in a colossal assault to take Naboo,
I’ve found myself surrounded by players who took their roles seriously and were
determined to beat the other side.  I’ve yet to enter a match with less than
fifteen players but when you do the remaining soldiers are computer-controlled



Control-wise, the game is
pure third-person shooter.  Occasionally a bit on the clunky side at first, the
controls become more comfortable the more you play.  You’ll jump, crouch and
strafe in no time and jumping onto vehicles is just as easy.  The majority of
the vehicles handle well enough as does the starfighters but online you’ll have
trouble finding enough vehicles for you to use.


is also a really stunning-looking game that’s jam-packed with hundreds of things
happening on the screen all at once.  The environments will all seem familiar
since they’re all featured prominently (with the exception of Yavin 4) and
they’re rendered beautifully to the point that you’ll stop for a split second to
admire the scenery.   The character models are also excellent and look good
during battle and watching them fly across the screen after a thermal detonator
goes off just doesn’t fail to put a smile on my face.  Still, this game doesn’t
fail to give the illusion that there are massive battles going on all around
you.  It’s impressive indeed.  The game is bathed in a soft glow for some reason
or another and key characters like Darth Vader look a bit odd, but overall this
is a PS2 game that looks really great.


What can be said about
composer John Williams that hasn’t already been said before?  He created an
amazing soundtrack for all five Star Wars films than never becomes tiresome to
listen to no matter how many games use it over and over again.  Battlefront
features a compilation of music from all the films and its great to hear.  But
it’s the sounds of battle that will hold your attention.  I’m talking laser
fire, explosions, vehicle noises, the familiar roar of a Tie Fighter overhead
and the menacing mechanical thumps of an AT-ST.  Your troops will communicate
throughout the intense battles and they all sound the way you’d expect them to
sound, especially the Storm Troopers and Battle Droids.  What doesn’t work are
the missions briefings that are done poorly.  The imitation of the Emperor is
awful and the Yoda’s voice just makes you want to laugh.


Star Wars Battlefront
is the game Star Wars fans have been
waiting for and it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to massive online battles. 
While its single player game is seriously lacking a large number of things that
could have made this game beyond spectacular, online is where you want to go
when you want to experience real competition.  Buy it if you’re a fan of the
Star Wars franchise or like a great online game with an abundance of maps and
scenarios straight from the films, you can’t go wrong with this one. 




Gameplay: 8.5
After getting use to the controls,
it’s easy to jump into each of the five main roles whether it be a pilot or a
sniper.  Accessing weapons and manning gun turrets is easy as pie so that leaves
you to concentrate on the battle at hand and the capturing of bases.  It’s also
super cool to be able to jump into vehicles like speeder bikes and an actual


Graphics: 8.2
In the words of Darth Vader:
Impressive . . . very impressive.  This is a great-looking game with some pretty
impressive graphical details that make the battlefields come to life and the
characters look so darn good.  You’ll be amazed by the number of things going on
at once and cheer at the sight of the ice planet Hoth during the Imperial


Sound: 9.0
When it comes to Star Wars games,
you’ve heard the soundtrack a million times and boy it never grows old.  This
one mixes the score from both the original trilogy and the new movies and it
sounds great, especially during the battles.  Speaking of battles, you’ll want
to pump up the volume because the sound effects come straight from the films. 
You’ll swear you’re watching the movies.  But the voice work found in the
mission briefings . . . not good.


Difficulty: Medium
As a single player game you won’t
find much of a challenge thanks to an opponent AI that excels in coming up with
some pretty boneheaded strategies.  Then again, your AI controlled troops aren’t
as smart either so you’ll find many of your fellow Storm Troopers or Republic
soldiers lounging around doing nothing.  Online is where you go if you want to
be challenged. 


Concept: 9.0
Somebody pinch me because this must
be a dream.  A nice dream where you imagine that you’re playing a Star Wars game
that’s swarming with over a dozen other players in an all-out war between the
Republic and the Empire.  A long, beautiful dream where Star Wars fans like
myself can fly a fighter during the battle for Hoth and bring an At-At down just
like in the Empire Strikes Back.  Oh, what’s that you say?  It’s not a


Multiplayer: 8.5
Now this is where the game really
shines.  Online the Broadband-only game becomes an actual battleground with up
to sixteen players taking up the role of various soldiers fighting under the
banner of the good and bad guys of both Star Wars eras.  It has its share of
slowdowns and hiccups but it doesn’t really take you out of the game.


Overall: 8.5
Thank you, LucasArts, for bringing
us Star Wars Battlefront, a game that truly deserves a spot in any fan’s
collection.  If you’re buying the game for its single player campaign, you’re
making a big mistake.  Battlefront falls apart when it comes to the
single player game but doesn’t fail in bringing the online multiplayer action
we’ve been dying for ever LucasArts started designing Star Wars games.