Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Star Wars Battlefront - 4 stars

We have a new setup: PS4 and a new 1080p projector.  It is 2016.

Like many other great couch co-op games, this game is lackluster in other formats.  Most people know Battlefront to have been rather disappointing, mostly because of the decision to make it massively multiplayer and the way weapons/equipment are doled out.  Its predecessor, the original Battlefront, was released in the epoch before widespread console multiplayer, put you in the shoes (boots) of a soldier fighting within a huge AI army.  In this one, you're fighting within a huge internet-multiplayer army, with some of the problem being that most of the items need to be unlocked by playing the game a lot, so everyone starts out with only basic gear and has a generally lackluster experience - but the other people who've been playing awhile all have more advanced cooler gear.  That kind of sucks.  Plus, playing in a real army of humans sounds like it should be great except human players are often morons, and unless you are playing with a clan of friends, they don't do what a nice set of AI-controlled bots will do.

But the couch co-op experience is very different.

First, all the items are unlocked right off the bat.  Secondly, it is just you and partner facing off against the AI.  And the game is beautiful.  It looks completely realistic, probably because they used the same art assets as the films do (since they're all CG), so much so that it becomes difficult to see enemies sometimes if they blend in against the background - there is no highlighting, you just need to see things using your eyes.  The survival and training missions would normally be mindnumbingly dull if you were doing them single-player, but as with Samurai/Dynasty Warriors, playing an otherwise-dull single-player game with a partner is way more exciting and fun.

Our only complaint is that the local co-op options aren't more expansive and don't include the full range of game missions and battles.  It's got enough of it so that you can have fun and see the real potential, but it could be so, so much more.

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