Taking Cues From Other Shooters To Craft A Better Star Wars Battlefront
Star Wars Battlefront wows fans with an unparalleled presentation that immerses players in George Lucas’ space opera like no other title. When you look beyond the amazing audio and faithful visuals, however, the game comes up short. To help chart a course of improvement, here are some of Battlefront's core weaknesses and how to improve them by incorporating features from similar titles.
Customization/Progression – Call of Duty: Battlefront’s progression is a shallow affair, with unlocks that don’t change much in terms of playstyle. One remedy would be implementing a system similar to Call of Duty’s Pick 10, which allows players to construct varied character loadouts based on a set number of different elements, like secondary weapons, perks, and gadgets. Doing this would add depth and excitement to unlocking new items and abilities and immerse players in the strategy of sculpting Rebels and Imperials that better fit their play-styles.
Modes – Star Wars Battlefront I & II/Evolve: The new Battlefront sports plenty of modes, but one of the original attractions, Galactic Conquest, didn’t make the cut. This mode tasked players with fighting strategic wars over control of planets, adding scope and weight to conflicts that would serve DICE’s Battlefront well. Galactic Conquest returning as it was would be sufficient, but let’s add another dimension to it by blending it with Evolve’s Evacuation mode, where individual matches still act as light, self-contained battles, but add rewards/consequences that carry over to subsequent matches. Maybe losing a Walker Assault as the Rebels makes it tougher to call in Y-Wings in the next bout. Since Battlefront lacks a narrative campaign, you could also use this mode has an opportunity to inject some story-based objectives that culminate in a dramatic ending based on the faction that performs best during the entire Conquest.
Battlelog – Battlefield: When DICE was revealed as the developer for Star Wars Battlefront, fans were worried they’d just be getting another Battlefield game under the guise of a Stormtrooper. We kind of wish that was more the case, at least when it comes to Battlelog. The handy service keeps track of players’ performance and stats, such as how many kills they’ve racked up with specific weapons or classes. We’d love to see how many rebel scum we force-choked as Darth Vader or how frequently we Psycho Crush Force Dash as Palpatine. Using the app, you can access Battlelog from anywhere, which is handy for swapping out gear and bragging about your insane kill/death ratio on the go.
Class System – Battlefield: Battlefield’s class system encourages teamwork with specific character unlocks unique to different classes. Each class has its own skill tree, creating replay value for those who wish to experience each unit type. That’s sorely needed in Battlefront, as there’s little reason to swap character types in Battlefront other than “just because.” Battlefront currently favors arcade-style action over Battlefield’s tight, cooperative tactics, and while that’s fine, we’d also like the ability to function as a well-oiled unit if need be.
Add-On Content – Splatoon: Battlefronts’ initial, barebones offerings is not unlike the debut of Nintendo’s breakout multiplayer title. Splatoon launched as a fun game without much to do, but has beefed up since with a steady diet of free, post-launch DLC. New maps, modes, weapons, and gear have been doled out on a near-monthly basis, giving players something to look forward to without opening their wallets (for now). It also means that purchasing Splatoon today immediately catches up newcomers with existing players in terms of content.
Battlefront’s $50 season pass offers a ton of new “locations” and playable heroes, but the fact that the asking price approaches the price of admission makes the shallow base experience a tougher pill to swallow. Selling maps also splits the player base, an issue that Splatoon, again, avoids entirely. However, there is hope in the upcoming free update that introduces planet Jakku and the new Turning Point mode. Keeping that trend going in the future would be a good step towards evaporating any hard feelings from consumers.