Star Wars: Battlefront was one of the most eagerly awaited games of the decade but sadly the title has failed to live up both to hype and expectations – players were quickly underwhelmed by the paltry amount of offline content and the absence of a campaign mode has come in for repeated and much deserved criticism.
Now numbers compiled by bf4central.com suggests that even online players are tiring of the game’s repetitive action – according to the site Battlefront attracts an average of just 80,000 active players per 24 hours, 50% lower than the number seen by Battlefield 4.
It’s easy to see why this might be, the biggest modes – Turning Point, Supremacy and Walker Assault – are all pretty similar and once played a few times quickly lose their appeal through sheer repetitiveness.
Meanwhile Fighter Squadron – the sole aerial battle mode – is a noisy free for all in which there’s little room for strategy or skill.
The game’s developers have palmed players off with some terribly mis-matched fighters – all vehicles get missiles alongside their lasers but the Rebel’s X-Wings and A-Wings also get rechargeable shields while TIE Fighters and Interceptors just get speed boosts.
This gives every Rebel player an inherent advantage over their opponents and makes the game lop-sided.
Possibly even more annoying, there’s only a single ‘hero’ vehicle available to each side so most players must watch on as one lucky team member gets to play as the Millennium Falcon or Slave 1 and boost their scores as they take advantage of their vehicle’s superior weapons.
There’s widespread belief that this game was rushed to meet its release date – a perception which is entirely understandable given that even accessing a Fighter Squadron game involves the player being prompted to select hand weapons and blasters which aren’t even used in this mode!
And forums, including EA’s official forums, are full of complaints about its many ‘quirks’ including some rather dubious damage rates which can see players killed with a single shot from what should be a relatively weak weapon.
Over the past few months EA has added some free extra modes and maps to the game and is promising some additional offline content, but it’s simultaneously pushing out charged-for DLC while major failings continue to spoil people’s games.
And while the extra maps, playable characters and weapons which come in the DLC are welcome, it’s hard not to think these should have been included in the free fixes and upgrades.
As it ships, the game simply isn’t worth the asking price and a lot of players are rightly going to balk at paying another £45 to bolster the limited content that’s available.
EA should be considering refunding those who’ve bought the season pass or first DLC pack, rolling its content out to all players and speeding up the release of the expected offline single player content.
Otherwise the poor reputation this title is developing will undermine their future plans for the Battlefront franchise and the wider Star Wars license.