I had never played any of the Star Wars Battlefront games until the 2015 “soft reboot.”
I’ve been told by countless friends and acquaintances that it was a grand series; known by many for its fun campaigns, thrilling multiplayer environments and, most of all, its total immersion into the Star Wars universe.
As I booted up “Star Wars Battlefront” on my newly purchased Xbox One, I felt in every fiber of my being that the series’ critical acclaim was well warranted. The legendary theme trumpeted as the production credits flashed, and I felt a cooling mix of nostalgia and giddy anticipation surge through me as the game loaded.
That feelings soon proved toxic.
“Star Wars Battlefront”, on the surface, is a good game. It’s got great graphics, stunning sound design, and fairly fluid gameplay. Where it falls short is in the specifics; the details that separate good games from the great, and great games from the grand.
My first big gripe with Battlefront is over the lack of a real campaign mode. Sure, there are single player missions that require no online connection, but these are really just offline multiplayer modes. There’s absolutely no story outside of the context of the original Star Wars franchise and some generic battlefield scenarios. While the graphics, sound effects and musical score immerse a player in their match, the lack of any serious dramatization or exposition on any of the offline game modes makes the single player experience feel like less of a finely tuned feature and more of an afterthought.
Which is saying a lot, considering the multiplayer modes–where Battlefront should truly shine–are themselves uninspired and blandly straightforward.