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Star Wars Battlefront 2 Classic Critique

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Star Wars Battlefront 2 Classic Critique

By Joshua Rigsby, Editor

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Nowadays the video game industry seems plagued by controversies. Microtransactions, gambling, XP throttling, it never seems to end. It seems like most companies are focused of nickel and diming us, trying to pull one over us. The truth behind these allegations is a whole other animal and thus will not be discussed here. Today I want to reminisce about a better time in gaming. Of all the dumpster fires in the gaming industry in 2017, the biggest was EA’s mismanagement of the Star Wars Battlefront 2 reboot released in autumn of 2017. Its progression blockage and manipulative microtransaction practices brought this well beloved license to shame. But this wasn’t always the case. Today I’d like to give a critique of the classic Star Was Battlefront 2 from 2005. For the sake of simplicity, I will call it Battlefront Classic and the modern Battlefront will be called EA Battlefront.

Battlefront Classic has the incredible benefit of being mostly designed with a timeless quality. I should start with a bit of background. I first started playing Battlefront 2 in 2007 on an old Dell OptiPlex computer. Even though it performed like a golf cart at a Formula 1 race I found myself enthralled by it. It was simple, accessible and incredibly addicting. I found a strong part of its appeal is the control over the game. You can pick the amount of AI on each team, the length of each game, the era of the battles, planet, game mode, criteria for victory, and many more variables. Today games are scared of giving the player any kind of control over the framework of matches. It’s a liberating feeling to be able to sit down for 30 minutes and get in a short few rounds or settle in for a long marathon. Its modular style also has a tangible benefit for long term replayability. Battlefront Classic has one of the most diverse mod libraries I have ever seen, as expected for 13 years of mod development. They can do anything from add a few map or units to adding new modes and eras. This gives the game an infinite amount of gameplay. Bored? Slap some mods in there and get back in the fight!

It also nailed storytelling in this style of game. Battlefront Classic focuses on large scale warfare, boasting 32v32 battles. Instead of forcing an uninteresting narrative outside the events of the established movies, books, and TV shows like EA Battlefront, Battlefront Classic tells the story of the 501st legion of the clone army. It also helps that the narrator clone is voiced by Temuera Morrison, the voice of Jango Fett and all of the clone troopers in the Star Wars movies. His voice is instantly recognizable and adds a level of authenticity to Battlefront Classic. In addition to the story mode, 2 other main modes are shipped. These modes include instant action and galactic conquest. Instant action allows you to assemble any variety of maps and modes from a menu and play them for as long as you’d like. Galactic conquest puts you in the seat of a general of your desired faction and asks you to control all of the planets in the system. It appears budget cuts in the grand army must’ve taken effect because you are also expected to order supplies, rally the troops, do the fighting, and brush your teeth like a good boy. While galactic conquest can be quite fun just missing one of these duties can easily result in you shooting yourself in the foot for the remainder of your conquest.

The game still holds up visually with textures and environments still looking passable, although not mind-boggling. Not everything has aged gracefully however. The animations are notably dated. The most egregious example of this is the running animation. When your character runs you look like the monopoly man during tax season. The character and weapon models also are notably dated and flat. But like I said earlier mods can change the game. The Battlefront 2 2017 graphics mod is a SweetFX filter that normalizes colors and makes everything pop while Battlefront Evolved is a texture and model replacement making everything look nice on modern hardware although it should be noted that Battlefront evolved requires some unofficial patches to get running properly.

As for gameplay I really don’t have any gripes aside from the fact that heroes are broken beyond words. To put it in perspective, putting a normal infantryman up against a hero is the equivalent of putting pudding in a blender. The lightsaber attacks are so fast and deadly that there is no chance to counter them. But even this gripe holds little value because you have the option to turn off heroes entirely and just play infantry and mods can adjust how heroes work. The moment to moment gameplay is so simple that it gives it a timeless quality which in turn leads Battlefront classic to be a great purchase today.

 

Battlefront 2 Classic can be bought here:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/6060/Star_Wars_Battlefront_2_Classic_2005/

 

Mods for Battlefront 2 Classic can be found here:

http://www.moddb.com/games/star-wars-battlefront-ii/mods

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Star Wars Battlefront 2 Classic Critique