E3 2015 Game Of The Show Nomination: Star Wars: Battlefront

BattlefrontThere has been a lot of criticism of Star Wars: Battlefront since it was outlined at Star Wars Celebration, following the announcement of fewer maps and fewer modes than the last in the series. (The greatest irony here being that we all know that this game may well end up being  one of the best selling this year.}

The truth is, I don't think what this franchise used to be really hangs with what DICE are doing with Battlefront. The core concept is the same, which is to say the games are about putting you in the middle of Star Wars battlefields and having you fight against a ton of other foot soldiers, making this about the fight and not the indiviual (Well, until you get the chance to play as Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader.) Most everything else is different though. There is a reason this isn't called Star Wars: Battlefront 3. This is a reboot of the franchise with completely different pillars.

To which, people say, "So it's just Battlefield with a Star Wars skin?!" I respond in kind, "Absolutely!" People proclaim that first question like it is a bad thing. It isn't. There are key gameplay differences, but yes this is a DICE game through and through. As a huge fan of the original Battlefront series, I understand it is hard to let go of what that game was. At the same time though, I think you have to let designers and artists make what they want to me. The core concept is the same too, so no, I don't think they should have just named it something else and left the Battlefront IP alone. If you go back to it, the key components of Battlefront 2 are quite dated, and after playing a match of EA's new Battlefront, I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised that I'm buying into this new version.

battlefront_3.0

The scale of this game is massive, when compared to the older counterpart. I played a Hoth battle where our team was trying to stop two AT-ATs charging into our base and wreaking havoc. This feels much grander than anything that Battlefront 2 came close to. I was somewhat going through the motions in the early stages of the game, until I was in the icy trenches of Hoth and an X-Wing came flying 10 feet over my head as some player smashed a shot into an oncoming enemy. I also gawked at a towering AT-AT as it walk over me, before I was unsurprisingly blown away. To top it off, I was the lucky one who got to jump into a Snowspeeder and rope the four legged walkers and win the match for our team (you're welcome).

These little moments add up to make a huge experience predicated on scale. This really felt like a chaotic initiative with objectives and defence points, you know, like an actual battle. It feels like one even more so than the older game's land grab centric staple. I wasn't completely enraptured by the experience, but this is a substantial move for the franchise and one that I am ready to buy into.

When you get down to it, there has just never been a Star Wars experience like this. Again, I hear your complaints that it should feel like and old Battlefront, but if you can put aside your assumptions about what this game should be, I have no doubt you will have a stellar time.

Disclaimer: I played hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours of Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and it's in my top 5 games of that generation. I don't want you thinking I'm flagrantly disregarding what this series used to be. I'm just open to change. I understand completely if you are not when it comes to this franchise and am sympathetic to your concerns.