In the wide universe of licensed Star Wars merchandise, George
Lucas has always treated LucasArts videogames with the utmost care.
While previous “Star Wars” videogames have been hit or
miss, “Star Wars Battlefront” may be the most
impressive release yet.

Placing the gamer in charge of leading infantry in one of four
armies, “Battlefront” allows the run-and-gun chaos of
“Halo” to be engulfed by the environments of the
“Star Wars” collection.

“Battlefront” is one of the most visually impressive
“Star Wars” games. Cinematic cut scenes and finely
rendered landscapes, such as Tatooine or Naboo, add to the
movie-like experience. There are numerous levels to challenge
players at commanding their military in group battle. Unit types
range from the sniper to the bazooka-toting heavy-hitters, who roam
with destructive power but limited ammunition.

Similar to recently successful action games (“Halo,”
Grand Theft Auto”), “Battlefront” gives players
free reign over the environment. Every vehicle seen on the screen
can be used as players race through the levels on anything from
speeder bikes to the monstrous AT-AT’s.

The online features for “Battlefront” are both its
most brilliant and disappointing features, with the option of
playing up to 24 other people. Being killed merely results in
becoming a reinforcement, and thus forced to run back to the action
from one of your team’s checkpoints. At its best, online play
beats out any other game on the market, of any genre. At its worst,
horrific lag results in players spinning in circles, as the game
hitches and fights to return to normal.

Integrating a compelling single-player mode with gorgeous
graphics, cinematic realism and cutthroat multiplayer action,
“Battlefront” deserves much more attention than it is
receiving.

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

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