Empire Strikes Back
Be it film, music or videogames, there is an infamous
curse that lurks over every project. It's the curse
of the sequel. We've heard bands put out horrible albums
the second time around and we've seen movie sequels
fall flat on their face.
artists, once again be it film, music or videogames,
try much too hard to out do their last effort. Nine
times out of ten we the consumers are left with a
big heaping pile of Bantha Poodoo. This time around
we've lucked out as we have both LucasArts and Pandemic
Studios on our side.
Master And An Apprentice
Battlefront II is clearly the master of its series.
gameplay nearly identical to its predecessor, Battlefront
II takes every aspect of the original Battlefront
and runs with it. Instead of the streamlined "Kill
Em All" campaigns of Battlefront, Battlefront
II offers up actual objectives in its campaign mode.
You'll be tasked with taking out shield generators,
gun turrets and more, giving you much more single
to say, the graphics have been amped up quite a bit.
Levels previously seen in the original Battlefront,
such as Endor, are much more detailed and very crisp
in this effort. The player models appear to be more
detailed as well, from the vents on the Stormtrooper
mask to the split hairs in Luke's horrible comb over.
No detail is left unturned.
Five, I'm Goin In!
Space battle is the newest addition to the Battlefront
series. I stand and applaud LucasArts and Pandemic
for pulling off the single greatest space flight simulation
game ever. Flying around in your brand new TIE Fighter
or X-Wing might be a little awkward at first, but
after the first few suicide runs you'll be unable
to avoid, you'll get the hang of the controls. Once
grasped, space flight will easily become the highlight
of the title.
fast and intense, with plenty of starfighters at your
gunning disposal. Careful getting close to the capital
ships such as Corvettes, Frigates and Star Destroyers
as they pack a powerful punch. Taking down the capital
ships is an incredibly fun experience on its own.
Starting off on your faction's capital ship, you can
choose to be not only a pilot, but also a mercenary.
You can then hop onto a boarding ship, fly to the
opposing capital ship and land in their shuttle bay.
This grants you access to the opposing capital ship's
inner workings such as life support systems, engine
coolant and more. If you can destroy all these as
a grunt, victory is yours!
Remember the Heroes in Battlefront? You were able
to get a Jedi to come into the game and wipe the floor
with the opposition. Battlefront II now gives you
control of the Heroes. There's
nothing quite like hopping around the map as Yoda
while cutting down droids or stormtroopers. My personal
favorite was floating around as the Emperor while
using my Force Lightning to bring a whole squad to
range from General Grievous to Han Solo, Darth Maul
to Boba Fett, all controlled by you. Each Hero comes
with their own special attacks that will help to even
the odds in any battle.
Weapons, Need Them, You Will Not
One of the absolute greatest aspects of this game:
the little things. I'm sure your girlfriend has harped
on you long enough about these "little things"
and if you've never understood what she's been talking
about, you will now. It's the little things like how
Bothans are now a playable character for the Rebel
Alliance. You no longer have to waste $15 a month
for Star Wars Galaxies to run around as a little furball
toting a blaster. It's the little things like playing
the Dagobah level, starting in the Dark Cave that
Luke had to venture into, and hearing Darth Vader
breath down your neck. And he's not even there! Spooky!
the little things like the not so little Rancor hanging
out underneath Jabba in his palace. And take care
not to get to close to the Rancor, as I hear his belly
I figure it would be nice to use my game testing experience
to point out some flaws in the game. This will hopefully
help you to avoid a crash or freeze during the game,
or it could even be something pretty damn funny that
the devs forgot to take out. First up, keep an eye
out for the Rancor when you're in Jabba's Palace.
When he reaches down and snatches someone up, then
tosses them into is mouth, the persons hands and legs
can be seen clipping through his mouth. Secondly,
after the Rancor has had his fill of the victim, the
player model will drop directly through the Rancor
(in his backside area) and fall through the floor.
It's nothing detrimental, but it does offer up a good
a bug that may be localized to just my machine, but
while playing the Rise of the Empire campaign, I experience
multiple "random" freezes during the very
first level. However, I'm able to play every other
aspect of the game flawlessly. A
bug? Why don't you help decide!
Battlefront II is most definitely a homerun for LucasArts
and Pandemic. With plenty of maps and intriguing campaign
missions, Battlefront II's replay value is already
pretty high. Tack on the addictive nature of Xbox
Live and we have a game that is worth every penny
you dropped for it.
was the best selling Star Wars game ever, meaning
Battlefront II will easily take that title.