Image: IGDB/Pandemic Studios

What happened to: ‘Star Wars Battlefront’?

Star Wars Battlefront? Didn’t that come out a few years ago?

While Disney’s latest Star Wars titles certainly made a huge impact on the games industry upon release (both positive and negative), for many gamers it’s the original Battlefront games that represent Star Wars gaming perfectly.

This article boils down when I got my PS2 out again and decided to play some classic Battlefront from 2004. While I must admit the graphics of the newer two Battlefront games are so many times better, there was something almost natural about playing this again.

The voiceovers (of which the robotic CIS droid one is the best) updating you on the command posts and the beeping loading screen theme never fails to impress me, and I found myself singing along to the beeps. 

From a Star Wars viewpoint, it’s refreshing to see how continuity was maintained. Episode III had not been released at the time, the Clone Wars campaign ended with the Battle of Kashyyyk, and super battle droids are not seen until the third mission (well, that was until Disney ruined everything). Having a campaign at all was a positive. DICE’s first Battlefront, released in 2015, had no campaign at all (I will come to their second one later). However, it was irritating how you would see (and inevitably be struck down by) heroes, but not be able to play as them, putting a damper on a solid title.

Seeing Star Wars Episode I-V told from the perspective of a veteran member of Anakin Skywalker’s regiment, the 501st Legion, is still amazing to this day

This is why the best Battlefront is actually Battlefront II (2005). Not only does it address the hero issue to the point where you can actually do a full-on heroes-only battle in Mos Eisley, but the storyline was also the best.

Sure, DICE’s Battlefront II (2017) Inferno Squad storyline was decent, and filled in some pressing questions about the fall of the Empire shortly before The Last Jedi released, but I will always be an original trilogy kind-of-guy. Can you blame me?

Seeing Star Wars Episode I-V told from the perspective of a veteran member of Anakin Skywalker’s regiment, the 501st Legion, is still amazing to this day.  

Also, I get to be a Jedi. With a lightsaber and everything. Need I go on? 

I think the reason why I’m asking ‘What Happened To’ is because I miss what Star Wars used to be. With both technology and the franchise having come so far in recent years, I feel like they’re trying too hard. 

For example, look at Battlefront II (2017) – the introduction of Star Cards and a credit-based system feels to me like they were making it too complicated. Take me back to when they had a kill-based system that would allow you to unlock heroes – it gave you incentive to be warier so you could earn the Jedi or Sith you wanted to play as for that battle, whereas the perks and Star Cards of Battlefront II (2017) can arguably make you a bit lazy as a player in comparison, although some of these issues have since been resolved with solid updates to Battlefront II.

I would be all for a remake of something like the original Battlefront II. I’d love a game that takes the key, nostalgic elements of that game and combines it with the technological advances of today – the ability to play together or with strangers online, the graphics that allow for stunning landscapes and cinematic cutscenes, and so on. Something for those Star Wars purists, that brings back the good old (Disney-free) days. 


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