Battlefront Is a Blast as Long as My Kids Play Too

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Over the holidays I came into a copy of Star Wars Battlefront for the Xbox One. Our family loves Star Wars, and my daughter were very anxious to play Battlefront as soon as I had installed it on the console. While the multiplayer is entertaining, the graphics impressive and the simple interface useful for playing with my kids, I have the most fun when I sit down and play a couple missions with them. After two weeks with the game, we are running out of new challenges to master.

EA recently disclosed that Battlefront was simplified so as to better appeal to younger gamers. I'm fine with this, though I resent their obvious marketing push to hardcore players who ended up disappointed in the lack of options offered in game. It would seem that EA feared Battlefront would suffer a fizzle in player activity after launch, similar to what happened with Titanfall.

For myself and many other players, Battlefront was a communal affair. You got a couple friends together and played split-screen or hosted a LAN party. You could play large battles with numerous bots on either side and work together or against one another. Now you're limited to a few bots in an arena like versus mode, repetitive waves of bots in the co-op survival missions, or the dumbed down foes of the training missions. With no split screen option for online play, the kids and I have reached the end of what we are able to play.

What Battlefront desperately needs is a way to change up the single player game, even a little. A local walker assault mode that filled the other 38 player slots with bots, or allow split-screen fighter squadron games. There are already a ton of bots in any given fighter squadron game, it shouldn't be hard to manage enough AI soldiers on either side to make an interesting fight.

Image Source: Co-Optimus

As it stands, Battlefront's $50 season pass is laughable. The new vehicles, weapons and heroes aren't enough to make it really worth it, especially considering that it doesn't appear to offer any new modes of play. Even the addition of new maps isn't enough to shore up the ridiculous cost. Now, if there were additional local play options like the ones listed above, I wouldn't hesitate. Developers need to realize that most players would prefer to play together than have a slightly prettier gaming experience. Honestly, if you're really concerned with fidelity, you play on PC, not consoles.

I will take any opportunity I can to play games with my family. If Battlefront can bring a few new options to the table, I can see it becoming one of the more popular games in the house. Until that day comes, I fear its play will wane quickly in favor of Minecraft and The Master Chief Collection.