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  • Writer's pictureAD Twindad

Review - Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection

Developer: Aspyr

Publisher: Aspyr

Available on: PC (Steam), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch

Review system: PC

May the Force be with you.

As a seasoned gamer with roots deep in the 90s gaming era, I am drawn to attempts to recapture that nostalgic magic. Star Wars, a titan of pop culture, has expanded into every nook and cranny of our lives, and fans expect nothing short of perfection from any attempt to revisit its legacy.

I vividly recall my time with the original Battlefront 1 & 2 on PlayStation 2 and later PC. Those sprawling battles, both on land and in space, were cutting-edge for their time. The story campaign, embellished with fantastic cutscenes, seamlessly transitioned into immense landscapes, letting players step into the shoes of their favorite Jedi amidst chaotic battlefields. Flying an X-wing or Tie fighter, then infiltrating a ship to sabotage a shield generator—these were peak gaming moments. Split-screen multiplayer with friends, engaging in all-night LAN parties fueled by Surge cola and pizza, encapsulated the quintessential 90s and early 00s gaming experience.

But why reboot such a classic?

In the realm of film and television, reboots and remasters can reignite passion among existing fans. As an example, who watched the newer version of Battlestar Galactica when it came out? When revisiting the classics it can remind us of the awe-inspiring graphics and characters we once admired or how far we have come since then. When sequels or spinoffs falter, a remaster can revitalize interest, acting as a bridge to future projects. So why not gaming?

However, for such a passionate fanbase like Star Wars, these ventures can also backfire when a developer seems to mail it in. I had hoped the new Battlefront would evoke those exhilarating memories of epic battles and nostalgia, but alas, it fell short of my expectations.

Let's leave the past where it belongs.

The new collection feels almost like a direct port from the original, with minimal upgrades to graphics. The campaign remains unchanged and after years of playing more complex titles, it feels overly simplistic. Multiplayer battles are still massive, with multiple classes to choose from and more to unlock—whether you're piloting an AT walker on Endor or zipping through the forest on a speeder bike.

My main gripe with the game overall is its lack of server support. While you can create your own online battles, there are no dedicated servers provided by the developer or a third party running 24/7. In my opinion, the game truly shines in multiplayer, facing off against other players rather than AI bots—which you can do via the instant action feature in single-player mode if you just want those battles. Furthermore, I encountered several graphical glitches like missing floors, audio sync issues, and limited keybinding options. Similar experiences were echoed by many other gamers on the community hub, confirming it wasn't an isolated issue with my system.

While we should expect a similar product to the original to provide a similar experience, a reboot should also improve upon pitfalls from the original. This doesn’t seem to be the case though. The AI logic is still a massive underperformer; teammates don’t stand close enough to capture a point, poor aiming (even for Stormtroopers,) and constantly bunching up induces friendly fire. Meanwhile, the opponent AI dances around nearly unhittable with a controller, and everyone else hits you from across the map. As much as I tried to even out the settings, I was still contributing to nearly every kill during instant action campaigns. If the multiplayer option is unavailable and all I must look forward to is single-player battles, finding balance is essential to a good gaming experience and replayability.

Final conclusions:

When I received the opportunity to review the Battlefront collection, I anticipated an easy home run for the developer. However, nostalgia alone couldn't compensate for a buggy, lackluster release. Numerous patches and hotfixes, coupled with the absence of dedicated server support, dashed any hopes of cultivating a new fanbase as passionate as I once was.

Since the original Battlefront, a modernized 2020 version has been released with updated graphics, mechanics, and robust server support. The original Battlefronts (2005) are still playable with active player servers. The steep price tag of $35 for marginally improved graphics and limited online support seems unjustified when you can snag the original games on Steam for $10 each. The 2020 version, usually priced at $40, frequently goes on sale (I purchased it for $5).

Sometimes, we must cherish memories as they are. Classics earn their title for a reason, and not everything benefits from a fresh coat of paint and a flashy trailer. Final verdict?

AVOID Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection.

This review was made possible by a publisher-provided code.

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