Remakes are common in film, but not so much in gaming.
It's strange because gaming lends itself to remakes more easily than film because the technological advancements are more noticeable and relevant than, say, rehashing a story because it has a large fanbase. The two original Battlefront games were hugely popular with both Star Wars fans and casual gamers because it had an easily accessible style of controls that catered for all skill levels and the gameplay was infectious. You could spend hours on a campaign, working your way across planets / maps and the game could easily swing in momentum towards the player or enemy on the drop of a hat.
In short, Battlefront had a lot of goodwill. And maybe that's why the newest version is being enjoyed so much.
DICE have worked up a solid reputation for making chaotic, addictive multiplayer experiences that allow themselves to develop into a truly engrossing and immersive experience. With the Battlefield franchise, DICE has offered up a genuine alternative to Call of Duty's console-focused, linear experience that's often more rewarding than its competitor. With that in mind, they're the perfect choice to take on a new version of Battlefront - not just because they have experience with using vehicles and flight modes in a first-person environment, but because their multiplayer credentials are so strong.
That's exactly where Battlefront gets its strength from, not from a single-player campaign but its multiplayer experience. And, in a sense, that was the same with the first two games as well. The single-player campaign was essentially multiplayer with AI that had a thin story tacked on, so why would a single-player campaign work here?
The various game modes in Battlefront, for the most part, work. Of course, each map has its own advantages like the Empire / Rebels have their own advantage. Walker Assault, for example, is heavily weighted towards the Empire - especially on Hoth. However, Endor's map is far more favourable to Rebels. The skill, naturally, is in turning that advantage against the other side. The vehicles and powerups on each map vary and, once you learn the layout, can be used to devastating effect. Luke Skywalker, for example, can rip a hole through defences on Endor very, very quickly whereas Boba Fett can quickly clear out the map on Tatooine, thanks to his jetpack advantage.
Where the game begins to falter is the fact that the experience is, ultimately, repetitive. Once you've learned the maps, understand the strength and weaknesses of each Hero character, you're more or less playing off opponents online than enjoying it as a single-player experience. The inclusion of local multiplayer is a nice touch, one that you don't see all that often with first-person shooters anymore and the game has really captured the feel of Star Wars in both its soundtrack, sound effects and general look. That's something very few games have done effectively, perhaps owing to limitations with technology.
Overall, Battlefront is an enjoyable multiplayer experience that has enough variety to keep you entertained. If you're no fan of online multiplayer, it's best to keep away.
4 / 5