HomeReviews3/5 ReviewStar Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection Review

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection Review

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You will not be surprised to hear this: I, as a self-proclaimed geek, am a big Star Wars fan. 

And, back in 2004, the original Star Wars: Battlefront launched, promising a smorgasbord of characters, factions and gameplay for fans. It was like a Star Wars greatest hits, and proved successful enough to spawn a sequel a year later. It genuinely felt revolutionary at the time, allowing us fans to replay iconic battles from the franchise, or tweak them and allow us to play as our favourite characters. I eagerly awaited my copies of both under the Christmas tree, and I was not disappointed.

Now, the original games have been re-released by Aspyr; having recently done a very good job on the Tomb Raider I-III Remastered Starring Lara Croft release. But unlike the original Tomb Raider games, the Battlefront games released a console generation later. So, by that theory, Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection should require less work to bring it to modern consoles. In theory, at least.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection review 1
Blast off with Battlefront again

The original Star Wars Battlefront contains elements from the original trilogy (Episodes IV to VI) and two of the prequels: Episode III Revenge of the Sith had not yet released when this game did. Apologies if that dates some of you.

There are a couple of campaigns for you to take on. That of the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War. Interspersed within these missions are clips from the films, but the gameplay itself is largely formulaic.

Each map has a number of control points, with the two warring factions given a finite number of units with which to try and control the map. Players can utilise a variety of enemy classes, along with several vehicle types. Also, each faction has a unique Hero character that can spawn for a limited time. In the first game, these are not playable, but were added as playable characters in the second game.

Special mention must go to the droidekas also included. Their shield is apparently more powerful than star destroyer ship shields, impenetrable from any form of firearms. They were annoying in the first release, and my patience is clearly not what it used to be. If I run into a droideka now, I will head in another direction instead of wasting my bullets against their shields.

Whilst these original releases don’t quite match up with the modern versions in terms of splicing different time periods together from the Star Wars annals, it is still an impressive feat. For Star Wars fans twenty years ago, this unparalleled freedom was akin to a fever dream.

Both games also feature a Galactic Conquest mode, which adds an element of the board game Risk to proceedings. A star map is laid out in front of you and opposing factions travel around, conquering one planet at a time. When the rivals arrive at the same planet, the action focusses to a traditional Battlefront map where the overall winner then claims that planet.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection review 2
A joy for Star Wars fans

The second Battlefront game also introduces a couple of new modes, the standout one being Space Assault. In this, the Battlefront takes to space with battles involving the many starfighters from the franchise. It is no Star Wars: Squadrons in terms of controlling these ships, but it is some good arcade-style dogfighting nonetheless.

The campaign in Battlefront II covers some of the same ground from the previous game’s Clone War entries, but expands on a lot of the Episode III stuff that was missing from the first game. It then expands into episodes IV and V with some maps directly from those films, but the focus is largely on the Clone Wars once again.

Of course, for many players, myself included, this will be the first time that we have the opportunity to take the Battlefront battle online. No bulky peripherals or even a lack of wireless broadband can stand in our way now. However, these have been replaced by dodgy servers, empty lobbies and a whole host of other issues. That’s if the game doesn’t stop crashing, sending you back to the dashboard.

What is interesting is that the original games allowed up to 64 players, depending on where you were playing. The PS2 and Xbox versions allowed for 16 and 32 players respectively, but it was 64 on PC. This appears to be the case here in Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection, but is 24 more than the far more recent version of Star Wars Battlefront II will permit. But if you can get anywhere near the maximum allotment of 64 then you’ve done pretty well.

Bots will fill up the majority of other slots online, but the difficulty of them varies wildly. Chances are they will either one shot you from a seemingly impossible location, or run straight past you as though you weren’t there. And there is no middle ground where they actually put up a decent fight. This is apparently an issue from the first time these games were released, and it doesn’t appear to have been changed in any way for the remaster.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection review 3
There are some issues with the Classic Collection

And then we need to talk about that file size. Considering the originals shipped on two DVD-ROMs that would have been far less in terms of file size, I am struggling to understand how Star Wars Battlefront: Classic Collection is taking up over 55GB of space. Yes there are touched up visuals everywhere, but the sound is still poor by today’s standard and doesn’t feel like an improvement. It just feels poorly condensed.

If you are gunning for all the achievements in Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection, then there are a couple of things to note down. Firstly, there is an Xbox achievement for collecting all other achievements. You know, the ones that mirror the PlayStation platinum trophy that rarely ever unlock on Xbox. Well then, you guessed it, the same issue is here, and it is a hefty 200G too. Secondly, most achievements are tied to Star Wars Battlefront 2 and the progression system within, so you will want to focus your attention there for an easier time. Whilst it would have been nice to see that progression feature tied across both games, that sadly is not the case here.

The two games featured in the Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection were big deals when first released. Playing them again now, it is clear to see why. Whilst relics of the past, they still hold up quite well today. Sure, there are several issues including poor servers, frequent crashes and more, but the gameplay is still a lot of fun and goes someway to trumping the issues. For the patient ones out there, it may still be recommended to wait for a few more updates to see if things get properly smoothed out.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Online is easier to get into than first time around
  • Fun gameplay
  • Variety of modes across both games
Cons:
  • Few crashes and major bugs
  • AI opponents are inconsistent
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Aspyr
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 14 March 2024 | £29.24
Richard Dobson
Richard Dobson
Avid gamer since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Grew up with the PS1 and PS2 but changed allegiances in 2007 with the release of Halo 3.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Online is easier to get into than first time around</li> <li>Fun gameplay</li> <li>Variety of modes across both games</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Few crashes and major bugs</li> <li>AI opponents are inconsistent</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Aspyr</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 14 March 2024 | £29.24</li> </ul>Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection Review
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