Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection Is Not The Nostalgia You’re Looking For

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Well friends, it’s time to return once more to the world of video games. It’s been a minute. And this is my first Star Wars review for the site as well! Today we’ll be looking at the Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection released by Aspyr for all consoles and PC, a collection of the two original Star Wars: Battlefront games from the sadly defunct Pandemic Studios in 2004 and 2005.

Alright, so, I’m going to be quite negative here, but before we get into this I do want to acknowledge that Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection is a game that is still being patched. Indeed, it just got a major update from Aspyr that aims to address some of the biggest problems with the collection, with a second update in the works. So this article may soon become outdated and this collection could possibly make a serious resurgence. That being said, this is a collection of two games that are twenty and nineteen years old respectively, both of which are already available on modern hardware so the fact that this level of patching was necessary, especially for the parts that aren’t the increased online multiplayer, is worth taking Aspyr to task over.

A Disappointing Return

First off, we should discuss what we even have here. The Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection is a bundle of the original two Star Wars: Battlefront games, with some new features and an increased online multiplayer size. What this mainly means is that certain maps that were exclusive to specific versions or as early DLC are now freely available and that the Hero Assault mode of Star Wars: Battlefront 2, which was originally exclusive to the Mos Eisley map, is now an option on a wider variety of maps. Multiplayer has now also doubled in size, from 32 players to 64. The graphics are likewise greatly improved…compared to the console version. PC players who were already running their games at 1080p with maxed graphics settings won’t notice as much of a difference, as the collection uses the PC version as the base. The lighting is better in Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection than in the original console versions as well, with crisper color and contrasts.

Battlefront Classic Collection Lighting

They’ve also upscaled all the textures to 4K…but they’re the same old textures, which has resulted in the collection coming in at just under sixty GB of storage. Meanwhile the individual, already available (and still available, fortunately) versions of these games both come in at less than five GB. Which is the first major strike against the collection. It should also be noted that using the PC version as a base means that the collection has assets popping into existence rather than gradually fading in as was the case on the original console versions, and that the upscaled textures have resulted in longer load times. There were also some minor graphical issues (lightsabers in Battlefront 2 have gotten a lot thicker for one) but these may be patched soon or even already by the time you read this, so I won’t harp on them too much.

One also needs to consider the price, as the Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection runs for $35, compared to $10 a piece for the games individually. Admittedly, this pricing is only a consideration for the Steam and Xbox users out there, as this is the only version of the games for the PlayStation and Nintendo Switch, but it is still something to keep in mind.

The PvP Pit

The final thing to address is multiplayer. The multiplayer is…bad. Crashes, bugs in mechanics and audio, and lag all abound. Servers are region locked (so no playing internationally) and there is no cross play (so you can only play with friends who have the Star Wars: Battlefront Collection on the same console as you, in the same region as you). In addition to that, the local multiplayer for Battlefront 2 can only do two player split-screen, when the original back in 2005 could do four player split-screen.

Battlefront 2 Hero Assault

So, with all of that said, it’s hard to recommend the Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection. For Steam and Xbox users you’ll have a better time buying the games individually on your respective stores. For PlayStation and Switch users there is a better argument, particularly if you’re mainly wanting to focus on the single-player experience of the games, but ultimately keep in mind the poor performance of the multiplayer and the massive storage demands. A sad tale in a battered series unfortunately.

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm and Aspyr

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