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Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection Review (PS5) – The Chosen One, This is Not

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection Review (PS5) – Star Wars Battlefront has been synonymous with a good Star Wars shooter for two decades now.

Since then, there have been many attempts to recapture the magic that the original games had on the PlayStation 2, namely the rebooted Star Wars Battlefront games by EA in the 2010s.

After all of these efforts, Aspyr’s Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection seemed to be an easy slam dunk, as it took the original games that garnered all of the acclaim in the first place and bundled them together. At least it should’ve been an easy slam dunk.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection Review (PS5) – The Chosen One, This is Not


The Good

The original Star Wars Battlefront games were released in 2004 and 2005. They were shooter games set between The Phantom Menace and Return of the Jedi, spanning the full series of movies at the time.

The campaign of the first game took the player through the greatest hits of the battles from films, letting the player take control of droids, clones, stormtroopers, and rebels as they progress through.

The campaign of the second game was more focused, as it followed the 501st Legion of clones from the Clone Wars, through the fall of the Republic, and following Stormtroopers in the era of the Empire.

The focus, however, was always on the multiplayer. The original games featured split-screen play, as well as massive sixty-four-player online battles in XL Mode that saw players on the ground and players in the air simultaneously.

Through my early hours of playing the Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection, I fully immersed myself in it, reliving childhood memories.

After reacquainting myself with the controls in a few single-player matches, I dove straight into Galactic Conquest. Galactic Conquest was always the highlight of the games for me, and I can easily say that it is still the standout in this collection.

Strategically moving your fleet across the galaxy to take it over in a series of ground and space battles is just as much of an exciting challenge as it has always been. After spending some time with Battlefront, I moved over to Battlefront II to find that it was still a very fun game to play too.

Battlefront II added the Hero Assault mode, which allowed players to battle as the heroes and villains of the series. This mode still provides a lot of fun to be had, since it allows players to lock blades with multiple enemies at once and jump straight back into fight as a starring hero or villain as soon as they are slain.

The Bad

After a while of playing each of the games, the nostalgia that I felt slowly started to fade away, and what I found underneath was not as glamorous as I had hoped. It looks and feels exactly like it did on the PlayStation 2.

This is not to say that the game is not still fun to play. When it is held up against what is on offer to today’s players, though, there is not much to draw any new fans in for this collection. Aspyr did little to fix the issues that were present in the original games, and that shows.

The games are simply littered with issues that cause the otherwise fun experience to be hampered to the point of unplayability in some instances.

The first major issue that I noticed was when playing Hero Assault on the Death Star in Battlefront II. When I first selected my character, I spawned into the arena and the Mos Eisley Cantina music began playing.

This music looped one time, and then stopped, leaving me with a totally soundless experience until I died and it started all over again upon spawning back into the game. This happened to me six times, and after that point, there was no sound at all for the rest of the match.

While this is not a game breaking issue, it took me out of the experience entirely and left me feeling bored and frustrated after I got over the initial hilarity of the situation.

This was the most major issue that I encountered outside of the online mode, but there were other small issues that I noticed such as the auto aim function, which is on by default, stuttering horribly if any enemy is in a vehicle or doing a combat roll in Battlefront.

The Ugly

Unfortunately, the worst offender is also the main draw to these games for many people: the online multiplayer.

When attempting to start a quick match, I found that the games would never find any results for me, regardless of the time of day that I attempted it. This is aside from Battlefront II crashing entirely when I attempted to log into the online portion of the game on more than one occasion.

The only way I am able to play online is by selecting the join game option and skimming through until I find a game lobby that I want to join. While this is not a major issue for many people, it does hurt the ease of access that players have come to expect from online games.

Once in these game lobbies, the issues only get worse, as there has not been a single online game that I have played that did not have players lagging, jumping from place to place before my eyes, or that did not threaten to kick me from the game multiple times due to issues with the servers.

There were more than a few matches that I was unable to finish entirely due to either being kicked from the game or the game lobby ceasing to exist.

These are issues that I would expect give a pass to more if we were still playing online on the PlayStation 2. However, when the original releases of the games from 2004 and 2005 have more stable play than the version that has come to the PlayStation 5, perhaps it is better to dust off your old consoles to get your Battlefront fix.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection is now available on PS5 and PS4.

Review code generously provided by publisher.

Score

5

The Final Word

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection is a reminder of how great these games were at the time they released, but it ultimately fails to do anything better for the players than the original releases did. As much as it breaks my heart, I find it hard to recommend this game to anyone in its current state.