Poor DICE. One of the biggest criticisms thrown the way of its Star Wars-themed multiplayer shooter, and one of the biggest hurdles it’s faced since its announcement, is that it didn’t feel very much like Battlefront at all. Gone was the easy transition from on-foot combat to aerial dogfights, and every leaked piece of footage from Free Radical’s Battlefront 3 only serves to illustrate how far DICE’s take had fallen from the tree.
Classic Battlefront never feels far away from The Death Star DLC, the third big expansion and the penultimate before this December’s Rogue One inspired pack. It’s a step towards what perhaps people had originally envisioned of a modern day Battlefront, a three-part skirmish that takes place in the heavens before moving into the Death Star itself and climaxing in player’s attempts to stage – and thwart – the iconic trench run from A New Hope. If this was in Battlefront from the start, the perception of DICE’s game might have been very different indeed.
That’s in theory, anyway. In practice, Battle Station tends to end during the first stage as Rebel pilots struggle to get to grip with Battlefront’s aerial combat – always something of an acquired taste – while refusing to play the objective, the big Imperial Star Destroyers that must be brought down going frustratingly untouched. That’ll change over time – a little rebalancing here, and a little more acquaintance on the player’s behalf – but it’s a frustratingly stilted start for one of Battlefront’s most promising new additions.