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What We Need to See Fixed in Star Wars Battlefront

Star Wars Battlefront is here, and while we're mostly happy with the game, there are definitely some things about it that leave much to be desired. Here's our list of fixes that need to be made.

Well, Star Wars Battlefront is finally out, and while it’s a big, beautiful spectacle of blasters and lightsabers and everything that makes Star Wars wonderful, it’s not without its flaws. While Star Wars fans are (justifiably) pleased by the ability to return to their favorite set pieces from the films and play as their favorite characters from the franchise, once that Star Wars shine wears off, Battlefront leaves a lot to be desired. Here are the main things that we feel need changing: 

Customization and Unlocks

One of the biggest things that’s hurting Star Wars Battlefront is the way that DICE has approached customization and unlocks. While maybe not essential to every game, having unlockable cosmetics and features is an essential part of modern online multiplayer gaming and it’s important to get it right. Unfortunately, this aspect of Battlefront is really anemic; Imperial customization is simply Rebel customization tacked on by making helmets removable, and there are no customization options for heroes or fighter squadron, which seems like a severe oversight.

Similarly, the unlock system seems more like a way to buttress the game’s limited combat depth – rather than allowing players to acquire sidegrades, utility options, and cosmetics, DICE hides genuinely useful combat options and weapon upgrades like the jump pack and DL-44 behind progression, which is frustrating for new players and an unnecessary gating of content. 

Star Wars Battlefront would really benefit from a more robust unlock system with options rather than upgrades and better cosmetic choices for players on both sides. As it is, the whole customization system feels like an afterthought and the leveling system is unnecessarily punishing for what is supposed to be a casual game. 

Better Single Player Modes

Speaking of afterthoughts, one of the most disappointing parts of Battlefront’s release are the shallow, frustrating, and apparently incomplete single player game modes. Yes, Battlefront is a multiplayer game first and foremost, but repurposed maps with bots and uninspired gameplay aren’t even as much as what players get with Call of Duty

If DICE isn’t going to offer a single player campaign or a story mode, at the very least they can add some depth, variety, and reward to their current single-player offerings – like the ability to play fighter squadron. As it stands, Battlefront’s single player seems to exist only to be able to check a box on a features list.

Maps, Weapons, and Other Content

One of the bigger disappointments of the new Battlefront is the surprising lack of maps for its most important game modes – Supremacy and Walker Assault. Four maps is an extremely small number, especially when compared to previous offerings, and they can become stale very quickly. In the same vein, eleven different blasters is pretty unimpressive, especially given that Battlefront doesn’t have different classes to broaden gameplay variety.

It would be really easy to fix this by simply adding more maps, weapons, and other content, and it seems that DICE is planning to do exactly that – unfortunately, it looks like this content will be included in paid DLCs, and this might be exactly what was planned from the start. Some free content is coming in December, but it remains to be seen whether or not players will continue to get content without having to shell out extra for it. 

Gameplay

In addition to more rewarding content, there are some easy gameplay and quality of life tweaks that DICE could implement to make Battlefront more enjoyable. As it stands, spawning in Battlefront is a crap shoot, and you’re just as likely to spawn behind enemy lines or in the middle of a Stormtrooper death squad as you are to spawn somewhere sensible. Spawn protection and the ability to choose spawn points – something that is already in place in most similar games – would make the game, especially Supremacy and Walker Assault, a lot less frustrating.

By the same token, matchmaking and team balance could use some serious tweaks. The current matchmaking system seems completely haphazard, and could absolutely benefit from a more defined process that does a better job of approximating skill levels. DICE also desperately needs to implement team shuffling and rebalancing to stop one-sided matches and make finding a balanced game easier.

There’s a lot to be frustrated about in Battlefront, but none of it is enough to sink the game, which is beautiful, immersive, and fun – the biggest problem is that parts of the game feel rushed or incomplete. Hopefully after a few content updates it will start to have enough depth and replayability to maintain a healthy playerbase, which is essential for any multiplayer game.

Published Nov. 30th 2015

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