Submit a news tip

[Rapid Review] Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection

Posted on March 23, 2024 by (@@Virtualboi92) in Reviews, Switch eShop

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection review

System: Switch
Release date: March 14, 2024
Developer: Aspyr
Publisher: Aspyr

Back in the early to mid 2000s, Star Wars games were everywhere. Opening your bedroom window was enough to illicit an invading swarm of new software set in a galaxy far far away. Despite the influx of combat adventure games, kart racers (Super Bombad Racing, anyone?) and film adaptations, it was Pandemic Software’s Battlefront series that rose above the rest for nostalgic old sods like myself. The opportunity to freely explore movie-accurate locations and do lots of shooting in them was novel, and the original two games in the series were evidently made with a whole lot of love. While Pandemic themselves (and the Battlefront series) may be a distant memory for most, Aspyr has packaged those original two titles into a single collection for Switch known as the Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection – and the resulting experience is a bit of a mixed bag.

Personally, I’ve had a fantastic time with Aspyr’s prior ports and remasters on Switch – Jedi Knight II being a particular high point. The big difference between Battlefront and all of the other games they’ve ported so far is that this new collection has a very specific focal point: online multiplayer. Cutting to the chase, I feel it’s fair to say that the online implementation Aspyr has been able to achieve with the Battlefront Classic Collection is absolutely not up to par. Random disconnects, intense rubber banding, and a whole host of visual issues all coalesce into a frankly miserable multiplayer experience. If you’re coming to Battlefront Classic Collection from a competitive angle, and you’re looking to be a Tattooine try-hard over the internet, then this compendium will sadly disappoint.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection review

Alongside the game’s online woes, there are also some questions being asked at present around Apsyr’s alleged unauthorized use of a number of modders’ work on the original Battlefront games. This particular reviewer won’t be passing judgement on the game based on this controversial sticking point, but its objectively an element of the discourse surrounding the title at the moment, and I would be remiss not to mention it. At this point you might expect me to deliver an early killer critical blow, glibly wrapped in some prequel-era quote. With that said, despite all of the aforementioned factors bogging the game down, I still find myself saying “Hello there!” far more frequently than I catch myself murmuring “Cho skrunee dopat, sleemo!” (Yes, I had to Google how to spell that.)

I’m not going to make trite excuses for Aspyr’s end product, but I can’t bring myself to dislike the Battlefront Classic Collection as a whole. It goes without saying that advertised features should just work out of the box – online included – but everything else on offer within this remaster is well worth a look, even if its a little rough around the edges. Both games are thankfully separated out as individual titles within the game’s frontend (I had feared that all of Battlefront 1’s maps would have just been plonked into Battlefront 2’s engine.) From the off, this funneled me into re-discovering the original Battlefront as a vastly different – and better – game than the one I remember in my head. Having both titles in their entirety means we also get to enjoy the what-if silliness of the series’ single-player campaigns, which are reason enough to hop in to this collection in my book. The opening mission of Battlefront 1’s Clone Wars campaign has you blasting Jar Jar Binks’ mates right off of the Naboo plains as a big meany Battle Droid – yes please? If you’re happy enough with spending the vast majority of your time offline, picking away at the wealth of content on offer with the Classic Collection, then these games will no doubt satisfy just as they did back in the mid 00s.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection review

The broad format of the Battlefront games sees two asymmetric teams of 32 players battle to capture control points around a vast map, with specific classes on each team dedicated to doing specific things. There’s your typically expected assault and medic fare, alongside more unique offerings like the Empire’s Dark Trooper – who is equipped with a killer jetpack and stun rifle combo. Superiority on the battlefield (or, er, battlefront) means that your available pool of respawns dwindles at a slower rate. Sound familiar? Right, it’s essentially DICE’s Battlefield series with a Star Wars flavor. One of the key draws to this particular collection has been seeing just how differently each game implements this base formula. The original Battlefront is slower, a little more tactical, and has very arcadey yet satisfying gunplay. The second game moves at a slightly faster clip, and includes space battles and playable hero characters. There’s enough variety in the two games to keep you hopping back and forward between them – even more so if you played these games back in the day.

Technically, I was initially quite pleasantly surprised with how these games perform on the Switch – then I was disappointed, before finally landing somewhere in the middle. Look, as previously mentioned online play is a bust – the game runs at a different frame rate depending on whether or not you’re hosting the game or not, on top of all the aforementioned glitches. Playing in single-player yields a mostly 60 FPS output, dipping whenever things get hectic. Textures are nicely upscaled for the most part and all of the original games’ graphical effects are in tow. I did notice the odd error with certain surfaces flickering or displaying incorrectly, but these instances were few and far between. It isn’t going to blow you away, but its an admirably decent representation of two twenty year old games.

The Verdict

Recommending Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection really comes down to personal circumstance, as I’ve alluded to in this review. On the whole, a fairly heavily advertised feature of the game simply does not work – this in turn prevents me from recommending it to you fully. If your intention is to take on the galaxy Han Solo? Then perhaps you should stop reading my awful puns and pick this one up.

Star Wars Battlefront: Classic Collection copy provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.

Leave a Reply

Manage Cookie Settings