Entertainment

Can you feel the force? the an­swer is yes and no…

T3 - - Contents -

There’s plenty to keep you oc­cu­pied this month, in­clud­ing kick­ing back with TheMar­tian on Blu-ray, lis­ten­ing to Suede’s new al­bum, and killing bad­dies

in Star Wars: Bat­tle­front

The noise, the look, the feel – Bat­tle­front is with­out a doubt the most bril­liantly recre­ated Star Wars game ever re­leased. Its authen­tic­ity is breath­tak­ing – ev­ery ve­hi­cle, char­ac­ter, blaster and planet is a spit­ting im­age of its equiv­a­lent from the orig­i­nal Star Wars tril­ogy (there’s noth­ing from the pre­quels here). But while con­sid­er­able ef­fort has been made by EA DICE to pass thor­ough scru­tiny from ded­i­cated Star Wars fans, there’s a down­side – in their ef­forts to cash in by mak­ing the game as ac­ces­si­ble as pos­si­ble (and this is un­doubt­edly an en­ter­tain­ing first-per­son shooter), the de­vel­op­ers have made Bat­tle­front a some­what lim­it­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that’s un­likely to sat­isfy hard­core gam­ing en­thu­si­asts.

For ex­am­ple, the shoot­ing is in­cred­i­bly stripped-back and un­de­mand­ing. You point, you shoot. It doesn’t matter if you’re run­ning and hip-shoot­ing – your blaster ac­cu­racy re­mains the same as that of some­one who’s sta­tion­ary and aim­ing down their sights at you. There are no re­vives, no spe­cial abil­i­ties (out­side of hero char­ac­ters), no dou­ble-jumps, even. This is a game de­signed to make play­ers move, ex­pe­ri­ence ev­ery­thing on of­fer and not set­tle for a spe­cific class or role. It’s in­cred­i­bly re­fresh­ing, but any­one who’s spent 1,000 hours grind­ing a char­ac­ter in Des­tiny, or who loves to tin­ker end­lessly with their load­out in Call Of Duty, will find it overly sim­ple and painfully... fair. Bat­tle­front is specif­i­cally de­signed to wel­come play­ers of all ca­pa­bil­i­ties with open arms, and it gives them the tools to score just as many points as the hard­core play­ers.

The se­lec­tion of blasters, for ex­am­ple, is hugely lim­ited, and very few weapons feel par­tic­u­larly dif­fer­ent to the rest. They all have 100 per cent au­then­tic names, too, like the E-11 ri­fle – hardly a ti­tle you’ll form a great at­tach­ment to, even if the gun looks and sounds spot-on. Star Cards, which are the pre­set power-ups you’ll take into bat­tle, are rather ba­sic and pre­cisely cre­ated to feel like part of the Star Wars uni­verse. The net re­sult is there’s no sin­gle load­out that’ll give you an ad­van­tage over your op­po­nents, and no com­bi­na­tion of ar­ma­ments that feels out of place on a ga­lac­tic bat­tle­field.

There are 13 maps in the game, split across four plan­ets: Hoth, En­dor, Ta­tooine and Sul­lust. Each is per­fectly suited to the spe­cific modes they fea­ture in – and, yes, they’re all de­light­fully ac­cu­rate, con­tain­ing some neat lit­tle Easter eggs for fans to hunt down, like the Wampa lair on Hoth and the Jawa

this pic and bot­tom The level of de­tail in the ma­chines and char­ac­ters is stag­ger­ing – if only the game­play were a bit more meaty

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