Star Wars fans rejoice, there is finally a Battlefront game on the DS.
Developed by n-Space and published by Lucasarts, Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron is the first Battlefront title to rear its head on the DS. But, as opposed to the usual multiplayer fun that one would expect from a Battlefront game, this one is more storyline based, focusing on the single player experience.
The player will take on the role of X2, the clone of a Jedi , and follow through his story as he joins the rebellion and the eventual confrontation with his clone brother, X1, who believes him to be a deserter. The player will travel to many well known Star Wars destinations and meet up with characters that everyone should know.
The gameplay takes the form of missions that have a nice, story driven feel to them. The game is played with a top down view of the action appearing in the top screen, whereas the bottom screen displays a helpful radar that will show the direction of objectives, enemies etc. X2 will be able to assume different roles throughout the game. Choosing the correct role will make it easier to accomplish your objectives.
Whilst emphasis is on the single player game, there ia a multiplayer mode available as well. Playable by up to four players, there is a choice of different ways to play. Most interesting is the free for all mode. This allows the player to participate in battles both on the ground and in space, making for an interesting combination of gameplay styles.
I actually really enjoyed the Battlefront games that I played in the past. There is something quite exciting about running around the Star Wars universe, participating in conflicts, whichever side you are on. I must admit to a certain degree of apprehension when I heard the series was coming to the DS. I did not feel that Nintendo’s handheld could deliver what makes the series so good.
The story that runs through this game is quite compelling and the game certainly delivers a fun experience. The gameplay has a few problems,though. Firstly the target lock on is a decidedly hit and miss affair, which is a real shame. Secondly, the game is actually far too easy. Given that the target audience for this game is, I would assume, quite young, this may have been intentional. But in reality, maybe some harder difficulty settings would have ensured this games appeal to all. Also, Once the single player game is finished, there is not a whole lot to make the player want to play through it all again.
Although the single player game is flawed, it is still rather fun and the story is certainly worth following. Sadly, the multiplayer experience really adds nothing to this. As if added in at the last minute to improve replayability, the multiplayer modes feel uninspiring and unfinished.
Graphically, the game does not look too bad. The sprites are small but easily recognisable and the cut scenes are good and certainly not out of place on the little handheld. The sound is simply perfect, with both the soundtrack and the effects sounding exactly how they should.
Fans of the Battlefront series may play this game expecting a multiplayer experience and will come away disappointed. Play the game for the compelling single player mode and you will have an enjoyable, if short lived experience. That being said, Star Wars fans will enjoy this game simply on the strength of the Star Wars universe.