Star Wars Battlefront, or, When Licensing Goes Wrong


Enjoy the view, it’s exactly 1/4 of what you’re paying for.

Star Wars Battlefront is the proverbial bare minimum.

It’s the equivalent of telling your jackass son to “cut the grass” and then watching him clip a few blades with a pair of scissors before going back inside to snapchat. Star Wars Battlefront stares at you smugly from its air-conditioned basement layer, nose deep in a burrito it bought with your money, and says “you said cut the grass.”

It’s a shooter. It has online play. And it looks and sounds like Star Wars.

“You said you wanted an online Star Wars shooter.”

Different game modes and slightly larger and smaller variations of maps do nothing to change the fact that Battlefront is a $60 game that lets you run around on four different planets shooting people. That ain’t nothing, but it is all Battlefront has to offer.

It’s a particularly noticeable shortcoming given all that Battlefront II (don’t let the title fool you, it’s the new Battlefront’s predecessor by ten years) on PS2 and XBOX had to offer. It would have been lazy to have simply updated the graphics on the last Battlefront, kept all of its features intact and called it a new game, but developer EA DICE didn’t even push that far.

Battlefront disguises itself as a better game than it is by offering content that legitimately looks and sounds like Star Wars. The amount of that content, however, is insulting. It feels like the developer was taking bets on how little they could get away with actually offering consumers while still turning a profit.

EA DICE had the opportunity to make a Star Wars game at arguably the fever pitch of Star Wars fandom in popular culture and rather than use that opportunity as a springboard to make an exciting game worthy of the Star Wars license it used the opportunity as a coattail, brandishing a logo in exchange for offering less.

If you bought Star Wars Battlefront, as I did, you were taken advantage of whether you ultimately enjoyed the game or not, because you asked EA DICE to “cut the grass” and they took out a pair of scissors, knowing full well where the lawn mower was.