Blast Stormtroopers and Smash the Empire in Star Wars: Battlefront
Originally released in November 2015 for Windows, Xbox One and PS4, Star Wars: Battlefront set a new bar for Star Wars action games, with its frenetic multiplayer maps and exciting one player and cooperative option. Featuring gorgeous graphics on the (then) new PlayStation 4 and the latest Xbox systems, it's still a thrilling companion to later Star Wars games, as well continuing to deliver multiplayer action to players across the world.
If you're just getting into the Battlefront series of Star Wars titles, this buyer's guide is the place to start. We'll explain how the game works and try to find the best way to experience EA's popular game at the lowest possible price.
A Look at the Series
Although it sounds like the start of a new series, Star Wars: Battlefront for the Playstation 4 was actually the third instalment in the Battlefront series (and the latest in a long line of Star Wars games). The earlier titles still offer rewarding action, if you can get hold of them, so let's introduce them in a bit more detail:
Star Wars: Battlefront (2004) – Confusingly sharing the same name as the 2015 release, the first Battlefront game debuted in 2004 for the original Xbox, PlayStation 2 and Windows users. The first Battlefront title established the series' main theme: allowing characters to pursue their dreams of interstellar conquest, where as an Imperial strategist or at the helm of the Rebel Alliance. In layman's terms, it was essentially a sophisticated version of “Capture the Flag”, and it sold in huge numbers.
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2005) – Unsurprisingly, the first Battlefront title was quickly followed by a sequel which added a host of new features such as Jedis with complex battlefield abilities, battles in space and a more narrative based single player mode. Like the second Star Wars movie (“The Empire Strikes Back”) this title saw an Imperial resurgence, as players followed the fortunes of a crack stormtrooper unit. But people obviously didn't mind playing the villain as, again, it sold extremely well for PS2, Xbox, Windows and the PlayStation Portable.
While rumours constantly surfaced about a third Battlefront game, nothing happened for over a decade. The original developers Pandemic Studios and the publisher LucasArts couldn't deliver a sequel, so the franchise was effectively handed over to Electronic Arts, who set to work on 2015's Battlefront reboot.
Since that game landed, EA have come up with a second title in their own Battlefront series Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2017) – which is a fantastic companion piece to their first title, so bear that in mind when thinking about your buying options.
Anyway, let's get back to the ice planet Hoth and the deserts of Tatooine to discover what the first EA title has to offer.
How Does the Single Player Gameplay Work in Star Wars: Battlefront (2015)?
Star Wars: Battlefront is at heart a very simple action shooter. The action is either viewed over the player's shoulder (so you can see your character at all times) or in a first person perspective, and it ranges over five planets that should be familiar to Star Wars fans: Hoth, Tatooine, Endor, Jakku and Sullust.
As usual, the action revolves around conquering worlds and keeping them out of the hands of the opposing side and, as usual, there's a choice between Imperial allegiance and fighting for the rebels. But players won't be acting out their Skywalker or Darth Vader fantasies. In Battlefront, you'll take control of a humble rebel soldier or a rank and file stormtrooper as they fight their own small battles in the intergalactic war.
There are two modes to choose. In single player mode, you'll have to complete missions, taking control of authentic Star Wars vehicles (yes, speederbikes are part of the fun) and accumulating ever more powerful weapons and armour as you go. This mode can also be played in a cooperative offline format, possibly making it easier to complete.
Single player also features Survival Mode, which is one of the more unique aspects of Battlefront's design. In this mode, you (and a friend if you need assistance) have to deal with waves of enemies, whose abilities vary each time, creating a dynamic challenge which hones your skills like nothing else.
The other game mode in this edition of Battlefront is multiplayer, which we'll look at in more detail later.
What Was the Critical Reaction to Star Wars: Battlefront?
When EA announced that they would be rebooting the Battlefront series, the gaming world was overwhelmingly positive. The time seemed right for a new batch of Star Wars titles, and not just because the Last Jedi was about to be released. With consoles having moved on and much more powerful systems available, the path seemed open to create the most immersive Star Wars gaming experience yet.
By and large, EA seem to have delivered, but with some reservations. For example, IGN were positive about the new title, handing it 8 out of 10 and calling it “almost exactly the Star Wars multiplayer shooter I’ve always wanted.” They loved the maps and most of the multiplayer modes, while criticising the characters in single player mode, as well as the clunky musical score. So it wasn't perfect, but it was a worthy addition to the Star Wars canon.
The Guardian review also praised the visuals, but they weren't crazy about single player mode, which offered limited depth, while the amount of character customisation was limited. PC Gamer had similar issues, noting that the first person combat was a little lightweight, and the flying vehicles felt like a minor addition, not a key gameplay element.
Then again, even these lukewarm reviews gave the game a relatively high score, which is reflected in the Metacritic rating of 73%. Basically, the game scored highly for its graphics and multiplayer action, while falling down a little in terms of storyline and game mechanics. As some fans noted, with the Star Wars franchise at its back, the storyline should have been more involving. But if you can throw those problems aside, there's plenty of stormtrooper blasting fun to be had here.
Ways to Buy Star Wars: Battlefront
Because Star Wars: Battlefront came out in November 2015, it may well be possible to pick up a hard or downloadable copy for very little. In any case, here are the main buying options you'll encounter:
Standard Edition – Generally consists of the game itself and nothing more, and often comes in the form of a download code. It's the cheapest option by far, and a great way to sample the game if you want to save your cash for Battlefront 2.
Ultimate Edition – Released in 2016, the Ultimate Edition collected together everything that came with the Standard Edition as well as much of the downloadable content which EA dropped following the game's release (see below). It also comes with a Season Pass as standard, a big bonus for people who want to jump straight into the multiplayer mode.
Season Pass – To enjoy Battlefront's multiplayer servers, you'll need to have a Season Pass. This applies to Xbox, Windows and PlayStation users, but the good news is that finding Season Pass bargains isn't usually hard. For one thing, they tend to be bundled in with the game – so make sure you get one when you make a purchase. For another, with the 2nd Battlefront title arriving, passes are regularly discounted to build the game's multiplayer base.
Battle of Jakku Gameplay Trailer
Recommended Specifications for Star Wars: Battlefront
Battlefront came out in 2015, so there's a good chance that your computer is equipped to handle its demands, but it's always worth double checking that your system measures up, so here are the publisher's recommended minimum specs:
Processor: Intel Core i3-6300T or similar
Operating System: Windows 7 and above
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 7850 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
Disk space: 40GB
And the recommended specs:
Processor: Intel Core i5-6600 or similar
Operating System: Windows 10
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon R9 290 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
Disk space: 40GB
Does Battlefront Have a Multiplayer Mode?
As we mentioned earlier, multiplayer is where Star Wars: Battlefront really shines, so it's definitely important to find out a little more about it. For starters, there are numerous multiplayer modes, and each offers a slightly different challenge:
Fighter Squadron – A total outlier among Star Wars multiplayer modes, Fighter Squadron sees players take control of X-Wings and TIE Fighters. The player with the most kills is the winner.
Supremacy – In a scenario that most FPS fans will find familiar, Supremacy sees two teams battling to conquer 5 “control points” that are scattered across the map. The team which holds the most after 15 minutes is declared the winner.
Cargo – A variant of Capture the Flag, Cargo involves two teams of 6 (one Imperial, one rebel), who must fight to capture their enemy's valuable cargo and take it to their home base.
Droid Run – In this version, two teams of 6 fight it out across a map to control a series of droids who are wandering across the action. It's a mode where slick communication and teamwork are absolutely essential.
Walker Assault – Inspired by the Empire Strikes back, Walker Assault sees players assuming the role of a besieged garrison of rebel soldiers as three formidable AT-AT walkers close in. Sub-battles for “uplinks” which call in assistance add extra spice to a tense battle scenario.
Blast – In Blast, two 10 player teams face up to each other and a full-on orgy of violence ensues. The first team to 100 kills is announced the winner.
Drop Zone – In a frantic defensive battle, two teams of 8 players must take control of several pods that have been airlifted onto an alien planet. The more pods you control at the end of the game, the better.
Heroes vs Villains – One of the most popular versions of the game, Heroes vs Villains involves teams of 6, all of whom are made up of iconic characters from the Star Wars universe. The catch is that when a hero is killed, their player respawns as a boring old trooper. The more heroes you keep alive at the end of the game, the more likely you are to win.
Hero Hunt – Another treat for Star Wars fanatics, in Hero Hunt the odds are stacked against a single hero, who has to fight against 7 regular troopers. If the hero stays alive, they win, but it's a tough task against a squad of skilled human controlled stormtroopers.
Extraction – Only available with the Outer Rim expansion pack, Extraction sees 8 rebels trying to protect a moving cargo as it traverse 3 checkpoints, and 8 Imperial fighters trying to destroy it.
These various multiplayer modes offer a huge amount of variety, and you can still count on finding thousands of players online at any one time. Players can join the fray via Season Passes and EA's Origin gaming network, but be sure to use the offline training modes first: there are some pretty tough gamers out there.
Is There Any DLC for Star Wars: Battlefront?
Since Battlefront arrived in 2015, EA (and the developers DICE) have introduced plenty of additional content. Here's a quick rundown of the most important additions:
Battle of Jakku – The first downloadable content for Battlefront was released in December 2015 and featured the battlefield seen in the movie the Force Awakens. More importantly for gamers, it delivered two new maps and a new multiplayer mode called Turning Point where raiders have to capture a series of control points in a race against the clock.
Outer Rim – Outer Rim sees players journey to the planet of Sullust as well as Jabba the Hutt's hideout on Tatooine. Gredo arrived as a new playable character, as did the Extraction mode, adding extra depth to your multiplayer options.
Bespin – Based around the “cloud city” of Bespin, this new DLC pack added 5 huge new maps for players to explore, as well as introducing a new Lando Calrissian character, the X-8 sniper rifle, the cloud car vehicle and accessories like shock grenades and scout binoculars.
Death Star – As the name suggests, this pack brings the famous Death Star into the Battlefront action, providing an amazing backdrop for multiplayer battles. 5 more maps are added to the fun, as well as Chewbacca as a playable hero, while the Battle Station mode features high speed dogfights around the Death Star itself.
Rogue One – Released in conjunction with the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One features the jungle planet of Scarif, as well as a Jynn Erso character and the weapons scientist Orson Krennic. More fighters, guns and missions are also part of the package – and all of them are themed around the action in Rogue One (so it might help to watch the movie if you haven't already).
So the original Battlefront (2015) game has been expanded again and again by EA and DICE, providing plenty of different settings and modes, characters and weapons. The best way to experience them all is by purchasing a Season Pass, which lets players access every pack via EA's Origin gaming platform.
Tips on Buying Star Wars: Battlefront
Star Wars: Battlefront was a lot more than a high-profile franchise reboot to coincide with the relaunch of a beloved movie series. It's also still one of the finest multiplayer action games around. So how can you dive into the Star Wars universe for a slice of the glory?
Firstly, check the PC specs to make sure your system has what it takes. And think about upgrading to the newest Xbox or PlayStation 4 if you still rely on a PS3 or Xbox 360 for your gaming. After that, it's all about hunting down the right deals.
For the cheapest deals, be sure to search for pre-owned copies, as there should be plenty around. Or go for the Standard Edition download. But remember that you'll probably feel the need for a Season Pass. When you add a Standard Edition and Season Pass together, the cost can exceed the Ultimate Edition, so there may be a case for buying the more expensive version if the deals make sense.
It may also be a good idea to hunt down Star Wars: Battlefront console deals. If you want both Battlefront games and don't yet have an Xbox One, buying all three together can be a great way to save money.
And think about timing your purchase as well. Big discounts tend to appear around Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November, as well as retail events like Amazon Prime Day. So keep your eyes open and pounce when a discount arises. The force is with you – we guarantee it.
The Fate of the Galaxy is in Your Hands with the Battlefront Offers from HotUKDeals
One of the hottest action titles of 2015, Star Wars: Battlefront continues to command a huge online fanbase and attracts plenty of wannabe Jedis and Sith masters to its multiplayer servers. Anyone who wants to take their Star Wars fandom to another level can do so for the best possible price with a Star Wars: Battlefront purchase from the merchants at HotUKDeals.