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A galactic disappointment: ‘STAR WARS: Battlefront Classic Collection’ fails to live up to its legacy

The beloved franchise was re-released with fresh graphics and new content contained within a broken and disappointing product
Illustration+of+a+Sith+%28red%29+and+Jedi+%28blue%29+lightsaber+clashing.
Mackenzie Jardine
Illustration of a Sith (red) and Jedi (blue) lightsaber clashing.

With its foot barely out of the blast door, “STAR WARS: Battlefront Classic Collection” released on March 13 on consoles and PC to near-universal criticism for its broken and underwhelming state.

A mixed feeling of excitement and hesitance was expressed before its release due to varying reports by curators who received the product before its official release.

“Everything in this could have been in an update to everyone who bought these games already,” No Safe Spaces, a Steam curator said on Feb. 21. “Do I recommend the games, generally? Absolutely. Is this also a scam? Absolutely.”

With 2.3 stars on the XBOX store and overwhelmingly negative reviews on Steam, its release was worse than most had predicted.

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The game bundled “STAR WARS Battlefront,” originally released in 2004 and “STAR WARS Battlefront II,” originally released in 2005, with added content and features, AI-upscaled textures and optimization for newer PC and console systems.

“STAR WARS Battlefront” is a game set in the “STAR WARS” universe but allows the player to take on the perspective of infantry troops during various conflicts and battles throughout the first six movies such as clone troopers, battle droids, stormtroopers, gungans and rebel fighters.

The collection was published by Aspyr, a video game development and publishing subsidiary of Embracer Group who had laid off 900 employees in November and recently sold its subsidiary company Saber Interactive for 247 million dollars.

Both original versions of the game are still available for purchase, though this “definitive” collection adds in features once exclusive to console such as Asajj Ventress and Kit Fisto as playable heroes and access to iconic original Battlefront maps like Cloud City and Yavin 4: Arena in Battlefront II.

Other than this and the improved graphics, which aren’t particularly noticeable or significant, the original games are almost entirely untouched. No care was put into enhancing the audio, shading, correcting the awkward handling on certain characters, like the droideka, stiff animations or unintuitive user interface, and at times, it plays worse than the original.

Game-breaking bugs like constant random crashing, 300 ping servers and 30 frames-per-second locks make the game a regrettable purchase given all of these issues can and have been mitigated through modifications and community-hosted servers in the original games. Within the first five minutes of opening the game I was put into a 170 ping match and my game almost instantly crashed.

The issue with multiplayer not functioning effectively is its most pertinent, and if it is not fixed soon it may mean a swift demise for the game.

When a multiplayer game does function it is very enjoyable despite issues with the lack of team balancing. One of the main appeals to picking this up is less so the added features and improved textures but rather the ability to re-experience the game in an active state.

On Steam Charts, a service that tracks the number of players active in games on the PC game distribution platform Steam, the average player count for the original Battlefront and Battlefront II are 70 and 400. The new collection currently has an average of around 3,900 active players which ensures a more diverse selection of servers and game modes to be hosted that will be well populated.

If only the servers worked and there was care put into ironing out the bugs either ported in from the old games or introduced by this new edition, this would make it an easy sell despite the $35 dollar price tag for two games that can currently be bought together for only $20.

Aspyr responded to the complaints about the game on March 14 with an update post on their support page.

“At launch, we experienced critical errors with our network infrastructure,” Aspyr said. “Since launch, we’ve been working to address these issues and increase network stability, and we will continue our efforts until our network infrastructure is stabilized to prevent further outages.”

They requested that users experiencing bugs report them through a request form on their website.

For the content available, the campaigns are mostly untouched with the 501st journal from Battlefront II being the most memorable as it goes through the conflicts of the Clone Wars and Galactic Civil War as a clone, then stormtrooper. Galactic Conquest is also included, a turn-based strategy mode where the player battles an enemy faction throughout the galaxy, trying to eventually conquer the enemy’s home planet to win.

There is also instant action, which is a single-player custom playlist of maps and game modes, as well as the multiplayer mode.

The multiplayer game-loop for Battlefront is straightforward with various game modes which are very engaging:

  • Conquest, where two teams fight to capture command posts which act as group spawns and the goal is to capture all command posts or deplete the enemies’ tickets (lives);
  • Assault, similar to conquest but is set in space with both teams having access to Starfighters which they attempt to board onto enemy carriers;
  • Hero assault, a team-deathmatch style mode where people play as Jedi or Sith and fight until a team’s ticket count is depleted;
  • Capture-the-flag, where teams steal a flag and bring it to their base to score points;
  • Hunt, a fan-favorite, which lets players play as native species of particular planets and fight an enemy faction such as on Endor with Ewoks fighting Scout Troopers.

These features are all still available on the original version of Battlefront II, though for console players, they can now be played on new-generation systems and have access to the once PC-exclusive “XL” mode which allows for 64 players in one match.

This game was much anticipated and it is a great shame that care wasn’t put into ensuring a stable and worthwhile product would be released at launch.

The two original games are still available for purchase and provide a nearly identical, if not superior, experience for less money. The free modifications available for Battlefront II have also improved many of the same features, such as graphics, that the collection did.

This game is not worth the money. Its only redeeming qualities are making a classic game available for new consoles and adding Cloud City to Battlefront II on PC.

If it improves in the future and still has a decently sized player base, it would be worth purchasing, but as it stands now, there is hardly any reason to give it any attention.

⅖ stars

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Vincent Scrivens, Editor-In-Chief (+ News Editor)
Vincent started pursuing journalism because he found it to be a career that has had a significant impact on the modern world. The power to rattle even the most protected establishments and people is quite enthralling to him, and he hopes to gain knowledge and skills from La Voz that can help him do just that.
Mackenzie Jardine, Editor-In-Chief
Hi! My name is Mackenzie Jardine, and I am really excited to connect with people through journalism. I'm very excited to be La Voz's Editor-In-Chief this winter quarter! It's an honor to be in charge of this quarter's paper and work with the incredible, hard working and talented staff. Thank you for supporting La Voz!

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