Here at CoolSmartPhone Towers, most of us enjoy a spot of gaming, but as the mobile gaming arena is a bit dull at the moment and as remote gaming is becoming more popular, we are going to start looking at mainstream console and PC games that make an impact. We have also recently launched the Coolsmartphone Gamers United Facebook Page to help sharing gaming goodness.
The first game under our microscope is the long awaited and hugely anticipated Star Wars Battlefront (on the PS4).
A little disclaimer to start….I am a huge (HUGE) Star Wars fan. It was a big part of my childhood, and since I have previously enjoyed the earlier games in the series, I was very excited to hear that a next generation Battlefront game that used the Frostbite engine was in development.
A number of the very early reviews of Battlefront were not 100% enthusiastic, but the proof of the pudding is in eating and I’m a great believer that a game should be properly tested before reviewing. So I’ve spent quite a bit of time with the game and here are my considered thoughts.
In short… THIS GAME ROCKS…
and in a little more detail…
What is Star Wars Battlefront?
Star Wars Battlefront is a multiplayer first person shooter (FPS) which picks you up and drops you into the huge battles taking place in the Star Wars universe.
It isn’t big on narrative: there is no on-going complex story arc here, you are simply allocated a team which is either rebel or imperial and you take part in a self-contained battle. That’s not to say that the battles are without structure, as there are multiple different game types available for selection, from conquest where you need to capture a number of way points, to space battles in ships, to droid runs where you need to protect (or destroy) droids. There definitely is an immense amount of variety here.
Just how big are the battles?
At their largest, battles in Star Wars Battlefront accommodate 40 players. Although – as players respawn when they die, it often feels there are a lot more running around taking shots at you. Some games are more intimate and support only 8 players on their maps.
The battles themselves drive emotion and excitement. When you have a gang of storm troopers shooting at your head you get a sense of true adrenalin, when you win in a shoot out you get a buzz, the first time you see an ATAT walking towards you, you understand the awe inspiring scale of the game and when you die you feel frustration and the need for revenge. Which nicely brings us on to a major talking point. You will die… A lot…….. Especially early on.
In Star Wars Battlefront, you don’t just start as a kick arse trooper. You have to earn the right to level up through the ranks in order to be able to use better weapons and additional kit. As you get better at the game and start carrying more powerful weapons, you will start to notice that your kill-to-die ratio improves. It gives a sense of achievement, but you have to stick with it and earn the right to get there. This is where I believe a number of the early reviews provided the wrong message. Yes, it feels frustrating, but you can and will fix it with experience.
Battles don’t just happen on foot – all of your favourite vehicles and star fighters are here, as well as specific vehicle battle modes. If you collect the right power up in battle, you’ll get transported into a vehicle to assist in the struggle.
So you always wanted to be Bobba Fett?
Well this is your lucky day, as heros are playable in specific hero game modes or by collecting power ups in larger multiplayer modes.
There are 6 hero characters playable in the game. For the rebels you can play as Luke, Han & Leia, and for the imperials you can select Bobba Fett, Palpatine or Vader. Each have their own characteristics, and are generally very hard to beat with the ability to turn the momentum of a battle.
Is war beautiful?
Star Wars Battlefront looks incredible and absolutely gorgeous. The diverse environments are rich and the attention to detail is astonishing. Look up to the sky and you’ll see massive space battles taking place, look at an Ewok village and you’ll see Ewoks running to find cover. Look carefully on Tatooine and you’ll see the Great Pit of Carkoon. Still screenshots will not do the game justice. The detail in the image, the smoothness of the animation and the incredible soundtrack make this a wonderfully immersive experience.
Is Star Wars Battlefront multiplayer only?
No it’s not. Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, Battlefront does indeed include a number of single player modes, including smaller scale battles with AI bots and the option to play as hero characters, and also a survival mode where you have to face wave upon wave of ever increasingly difficult enemy squads.
So is it a replacement for a campaign? No and if you want a soap opera then you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Is it good for a fun quick blast? Yes without a doubt.
How does it play?
The PS4’s controller is pretty much ideal for first person shooters, so the in game controls work very well with responsive and very accurate movement and shooting. The fact that I’ve never noticed lag or dropped animation frames means that mistakes can never be blamed on the technology.
It’s fair say the game realistically similuates a Star Wars battle at scale. The look is right, the feel is right, sensible tactics work, and silly tactics don’t.
And on Remote Play? At CoolSmartPhone, we are mobile gamers so how the game performs on Remote Play is important to us. To be honest I was expecting the small screen on my PS Vita to be an issue but it wasn’t. The screen was fine, the biggest problem was that the less accurate controls whilst whilst fine for single player battles, are tricky for multiplayer games.
I would imagine that on an Android device running remote play with a hardware game pad, the results would be much better.
Star Wars Battlefront is a stunning experience. It’s an extremely polished, gorgeous and fun blaster that is soaked in Star Wars atmosphere. It’s as close to righting in the rebellion as you’ll ever get.
Don’t forget to check out the Coolsmartphone Gamers United Facebook Page