Review: Star Wars Battlefront II (2005)

Review: Star Wars Battlefront II (2005)

It’s time to look at one of the greatest Star Wars games of all-time! That’s right-  of all-time!

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Year: 2005

Played on: PS2

Also on: Xbox, PSP, PC

Developer: Pandemic Studios

Publisher: LucasArts

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EA’s Flanking us!

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Date posted: December 14, 2017

Battlefront2

PREMISE

First things first, I am going to tell you about my experience with the first Battlefront- the one not a lot of people talk about (Probably because II blows it out of the water). I vividly remember going over to my friends house and sitting there for a good three hours straight playing though every planet. It was a blast- getting into vehicles and and just annihilating anything that moved, or going on killstreaks- seeing how long I could survive. It was excellent- I had no idea how it could get any better.

And then they did it.

To coincide with Episode III- The Revenge of the Sith’s DVD release, Star Wars: Battlefront II (aka the good Battlefront II or Battlefront II classic) was released into the public, and in opinion, in to the very halls of “Best Star Wars games” hall, if such a hall even existed.

Battlefront II recreates many of the battles seen not only in the original trilogy, but the prequels as well. Now, don’t go dissin the prequel maps just yet- some are actually very good! In fact, Battlefront II made me realize how much I loved the clones and the entire Clone Wars- something the movies really didn’t really delve too much into (well, they kinda of did, but I think we can all agree that Gennedy Tartakovsky did it better.)

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Every battle from Naboo to Endor has been faitfully recreated. You can almost smell the tauntauns and ewoks !

Anyway, BF II’s battles take place on various planets and locales ripped straight from the influential movie series- from episode 1 all the way to episode 6, Return of the Jedi. There are two teams- usually the rebels vs. the empire, but in the prequels case, the clone army vs. the separatists. Each team has a pool of lives, it going down each time someone dies. There are also command posts that must be captured- if one team captures all of them and holds them for a specific amount of time, then they win! You can also win by decreasing your opponents lives to zero.

Now that you know what it’s about, now I can actually talk about what makes it great!

PROS

The amount of content here is incredible! By the numbers, you have 18 land maps and 6 maps set in space for a total of 24 maps. You have 8 classes for each of the four factions, meaning you have 32 different troops to command, and when it comes to heroes and villains, you have over 20 of them, including some variants. Add to these the plethora of different weapons and vehicles, and you have enough content here to last a while!

Let’s talk about the variety of different battlefields herein- you have Hoth, of course, which is roaming with AT ATs, the friggin Death Star which is a myriad of different hallways and hangar areas, and even Jabba’s Palace- complete with Rancor pit! You have the wookie homeworld of Kashyyyk, the city of Naboo, and the cloning facility on Kamino on the prequel side. These are just a few of many locations you can visit! The rebels base on Yavin 4! The ewok infested forests of Endor! The place where Anakin killed all those kids in Revenge of the Sith! All of these locations and more are here, and they are not only lovingly recreated by the devs, but also well designed for combat as well- each command post placement always calls for a unique strategy to be conquered it seems!

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All the environments are lovingly crafted after their source material. Yes, even the prequel ones!

The gameplay, of course, is fantastic! There are so many weapons and classes to choose from! Do you want to play as a sniper, or gun everything down as an assault trooper? Maybe you want to go head to head against vehicles using the explosive power of a Heavy trooper? BF II gives you the variety you want, whether it be a wookie or even a Bothan spy, this game has you covered!

Don’t want to play as a solider? Well, score enough points and you can play as a hero- or a villain! Everyone you’d want to play as is here- Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Darth Vader, Boba Fett- and that’s just the original trilogy! You also have Obi Wan Kenobi (both young and old), General Grievous, Count Dooku, and Sheev himself for the prequel side. So yeah, there many classic characters to choose from!

You also have every vehicle you could possibly imagine- AT ATs and AT STs. Various Droids for the Separatists. Speeder bikes. Hell, they even put tauntauns in the game! Hell they even have AATs and Spider Droids. If you ever wanted to control it, it’s here!

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Tauntaun’s are in! Don’t worry- the game won’t make you slice one open to stay warm!

Heading out into space is where the real fun begins! You have tie fighters and x wings dog fights, and all those prequel ships that no one cares about. The best part about space battles is the ability to infiltrate the enemy’s ship, sneak into onboard, and destroy it from the end side out. Its one of the few games that lets you do this, and easily in the top 10 things I like to do in a video game ever!

Not only do you have a lengthy campaign, but you also have one of the best modes ever created for a video game, Galactic Conquest, where each player (or a computer player) takes turn both defending or attacking various planets to rule the galaxy! It really adds a layer of depth and strategy to the game, and is worth the price of admission alone!

This game supposedly had a great online multiplayer- I don’t know, as personally, I have never tried it. All I know is that this game is still a blast to play with friends and family, either cooperatively or versus each other. Some good news about online as well- apparently servers have just been created a month or two ago for the PC version! This is great, as it ensures that BattleFront II will live on!

CONS

Well, the graphics can be a bit muddy on some maps, mostly the more open-ended ones- on the PS2 version at least. Yeah, PC version is actually is the best way to experience the game now and days, with it’s online capabilities being restored. There is still plenty of game here for singleplayer (a campaign, galactic conquest, fights against bot, etc.) and the console versions have local splitscreen.

In fact, speaking of bots, sometimes the AI acts like total idiots, sometimes standing around, dumbfounded on what to do. This is most apparent when you fly into an enemy spaceship, and all the AI does is go to there ships like your not even there, only shooting at you occasionally.

Other then that, there’s really not a lot of bad things to be said about BF II!

FINAL VERDICT

No joke, I could probably write an entire essay on why I think Star Wars Battlefront II is not only one of the best Star Wars games ever made, but one of my favorite games of all time, truthfully. If you want to experience this gem for yourself, then your in luck- GOG and Steam both have the PC version for not much- it also goes on sale all the time! In fact, it’s on sale right now! Like I said, Online is back for the PC version as well, and seeing how you can most likely mod it, the PC version is the way to go. Plot Twist- This entire review was based on the PS2 version of Battlefront II. If I like it that much on PS2, think about how great it is on PC!

Why are you still here? Go and play it already!

6score

Agree? Disagree? Good! Leave a comment about how terrible my taste is in the comments below!

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