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Star Wars Battlefront: Classic Collection – Get Ready to Party Like It’s 2005

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All views are those of the author and are not influenced by any copies of games publishers provide for review purposes.

Article Written by: Milo

 

Writing a Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection review without nostalgia is hard. This was the game of my childhood; as I expect it was for a lot of Star Wars fans at school around the same time of the prequels. The 2005 game I sunk hours upon hours into its Galactic Conquest mode; with the sheer depth of content for the time period making it something that held endless Replayability value, and for a shooter, it was pretty good – able to combine the land and air battles to deliver a true authentic Star Wars combat experience. Multiple attempts since have tried to recapture that magic with the two modern versions EA gave us; but whilst they are now decent games, for all their turbulent launches, they are pretty much dead in the water.

The Classic Collection is two games for the price of barely half a game. It’s important to remember that this is not a remake but a remaster; with barely touched up graphics and massively online multiplayer capable of giving us 64-person chaos in any planet in the Star Wars universe from Tatooine to Coruscant, so to say this game is a good game by 2024 standards would be hard to judge it by. 

That said, 2024 is the year of Skull and Bones and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection is something of a return to the magic of the pre-loot boxes, pre-grind, all fun mode that really gives Star Wars fans something to treasure. The first game, which released in 2004, was pretty much perfect – and the second one only built on that. The games draw from Battlefield but give you a Star Wars skin – and the result is entertaining chaos. If you’ve ever wanted to fight on Kashyyk, Endor – defend Hoth from the Empire with your own snow speeders to take on giant AT-Ats, The Classic Collection has it all. The magic is there.

Yet the game gives us an experience of two halves, one drenched in single player excellence, the other with flawed but fun online gameplay – which for many, is the main draw of returning to this collection. After all, cheaper versions of the games have already been available for some time now on PC.

 Is it worth double-dipping for console gamers? PC certainly remains the best way to play the game – but if you’re a console gamer, Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection couldn’t have arrived at a sweeter time, warts and all.

 

The campaigns of the first games also feature the DLC that was absent from the original launches, and larger battles with AI NPCs help recapture the chaos of war in an offline mode. The all-heroes and villains mode pits Luke Skywalker against Darth Vader with all of Star Wars’ characters being able to fight in any ground map makes a welcome change as previously, the conflict was only limited to Tatooine. This gives Battlefront new life – and the hours of Galactic Conquest that allow you to play as either the Empire, the Rebels, the Clones or the Droids and unlock more units or gain power ups such as extra garrison or the ability to sabotage vehicles after you’ve conquered more planets makes each game fresh, and the difference between space battles and those on the ground gives a ton of variety, especially in the simple but engaging classes you can decide to utilise.

The classes in Battlefront II come between a heavy, a sniper, a regular trooper, and a powered unit such as a Wookie or a Droideka depending on the faction. Most of the classes are balanced and the game doesn’t lean too heavily on one side, but I have found it hard to win as the Empire on Endor – when the odds are against you, and the Rebels on Hoth for example is a challenge but achievable. The thrill of fighting against the odds makes Hoth one of my favourite maps to play in, but it’s impressive, whether you’re in Mustafar or in Jabba’s Palace, there’s rarely a bad map – each location feels like it captures the magic of the Star Wars Universe, dated 2005 graphics or not.

For those who haven’t played the campaign it’s a quick playthrough; but offers an alternative storyline from the perspective of the 501st legion. Each mission comes with an introduction voiced by Temuera Morrison, who fans will recognise as Boba Fett – and the introductions chronicle the rise of the Empire and the turning point of Order 66 where you get to play the Clones in iconic battles, including the assault on the Jedi Temple, which adds variety to the

Get to the online though, and it becomes an explosive assault of the senses. 

Gameplay battles are thick and fast and feel over as you’re just getting started. Much of the issues at launch with bugs seem to be resolved now rendering a smoother experience, but at launch I found it impossible to get into a game and the price-tag feels a bit expensive considering the lack of new content. What’s makes it worse is the game’s installation size, 72.58GB on PC, which is 10x the original – making the lack of optimisation apparent – but only 30GB on PlayStation 5. 

What’s worse is only three 64 player servers were available at launch, and whilst a few have been added since, supply doesn’t meet demand. The hype for Battlefront Classic Collection was huge it should’ve been such a slam dunk of a remaster, but Aspyr hasn’t quite given the game the opportunity to arrive out of the gates firing. More servers are on the way and now, a couple of weeks into release, it’s easy to find a game – but as always, the launch buzz feels overwhelming. 

Especially when you consider, as before – there was a perfectly fine collection on PC already.

Yet at the same time for console gamers, warts and all, Battlefront: The Classic Collection, which benefits from the arrival of new characters previously locked behind DLCs, Asajj Ventress and Kit Fisto, as well as an additional map, feels like it is a playable experience for a few hours that allows fans to capture the magic of the original. It’s hard to review the gameplay as a 2024 game because it is not a 2024 game; but then the liberation that comes with being able to play split screen, if only now limited two players, gives the freedom of being able to play locally which is an option that few big games have nowadays in a world of always online. 

 

The visuals for a classic game are almost unfair to judge. The ability to switch between first and third person changes the aesthetic of the game, but for the most part the soldiers are nondescript Rebel troops or clones from the Clone Wars. Heroes have the most distinction but it’s important to remember; this is a game from 2005 – it does a very good job at recreating its era. The ship that Anakin flew in Revenge of the Sith’s hectic opening feels nimble and it’s space battles where the visuals really pop – the chaotic nature of the combat, the support ships and the gigantic capital ships give you clear targets to aim for. It’s hard to pick a favourite mode but primarily because of how cool the visuals for the X-Wing look to this day, it’s hard not to be drawn to space combat.

There is a few graphics upgrades but nothing significant. It’s smoother and more polished than its original launch title but don’t go in expecting even a game that could rival those released on the PS3 or Xbox 360. This is nostalgia at its core, and that comes with a sacrifice but its own positive charm. 

 

Much has been talked about the buggy performance already – the game runs fine offline and whilst most of the bugs are now fixed, the main critique of this game was that it was needless because a version already existed for PC. Not so here; as console gamers finally have a chance to delve into the world of Star Wars Battlefront as it was in the mid 2000s. The connection issues on the PS5 after the disastrous launch are mostly okay and the actual multiplayer, which lacks cross play between platforms, also falls short when it comes to spawning as players will frequently spawn only to be gunned down immediately. Gunplay is fast and snappy and ruthless, and the load times are quicker than ever. It’s a gaming experience that feels like a real joy to play. 

 

One thing that feels like the game could have improved upon is its accessibility which is outdated. The UI is a throwback to the game’s original console release but the invert aim option has been removed, so it comes as a cost – and on top of that, there is no cross platform appeal which may mean the game will struggle to fulfil the demands of a 64 player base. Ultimately it’s a lot more accessible for those who cannot afford a new PC and doesn’t need extra work to figure out what tools you need. Online play is entirely optional so you don’t even need connection to play once it is installed, and the local multiplayer gives you the chance to play with 1-2 players. Screen languages give you access to the game in Chinese (simplified), English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish.

 

The Replayability is what makes Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection really strong. Yes, the nostalgia appeal does plenty of the heavy lifting, but with four galactic conquest variations to play through as each of the main factions of the original Star Wars Saga and the prequels, plus the campaign, and the Instant Action modes, offline is a treasure in just Star Wars Battlefront II and that’s before you get to Star Wars Battlefront I, which although is more dated, contains a treasure trove of maps and battles. The online provides plenty of fun entertainment – and you could easily sink many, many hours into this game if you wanted to. 

 

 Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection is a dated game that shows its age but maintains its fun appeal and as a nostalgic overload provides plenty of charms. Whilst older players of the original will find themselves right at home it is accessible to newcomer Star Wars fans – and a few patches later, there will be a polished game there ripe for console players to delve headfirst into. Yes the PC version remains the best way to play the game but for those without a high-demand PC or those who just would prefer playing splitscreen on a console or just want something that is easy to pickup and play, Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection achieves this feat in spades, warts and all.

Gameplay: 7/10 

Visuals: 6/10 

Sound: 6/10 

Performance: 6/10 

Replayability: 8/10 

Overall: 74/100


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