Star Wars Battlefront Outer Rim DLC Review
What’s your favorite Star Wars action scene? When the heroes escape the storm troopers at the last second on Tatooine in The Falcon? When Luke fires the torpedo into the exhaust port of the Death Star? The daring hostage rescue of Leia from the detention level? Or how about that part where the cargo was very slowly loaded onto a cargo frigate? No?
Of course not. There’s no tension inherent in slowly moving cargo containers. The denouement of an action scene cannot be a cargo container being slowly and carefully placed on a ship that then flies off at a leisurely pace. That’s not excitement. That’s not Star Wars.
And yet Outer Rim’s only new game mode (Extraction) offers all the thrills of slowly moving, ill-defined “cargo” being loaded onto a frigate. Sure, the other team is trying to stop you and the moment to moment combat is still Battlefront – still accessible, arcade-y blasting that looks and feels good – but why would anyone ever play this mode? Instead they could be defeating a massive AT-AT walker or facing off against a superstar team of the series best characters.
Think of the conclusion of a Counter Strike. The rush to disarm the bomb. The tension of the timer, the panic and the eventual boom. That’s a way to close out a level. Or, to chose a more recent example, the end of a Titanfall match. Win or lose, one team is rushing to escape on a dropship while the other tries to stop them. Leaping from rooftops attempting to escape into space. That’s Star Wars. But what do we have in The Outer Rim DLC. Cargo Containers.
The disappointment doesn’t end there. If there’s a single person in the world who wanted to play as Greedo or Nien Nunb in this game, I’d be shocked. Regardless of how well they might be designed in the game, they’re simply not good enough. Dice are being unreasonably stingy. They know who we want. Characters like Chewbacca and Obi Wan. If we’d gotten at least one decent character and one “filler” in this DLC release I think we might have been happy. I can only hope the caliber of characters increases in the rest of the season pass. As it stands, “Chubby blue cantina musician” and “Weird Jabba rat creature” would be a step up.
Perhaps “stingy” is the best way to describe the pack as a whole. While Extraction is the only new mode and the new characters are weirdly obscure, there’s no new singleplayer content, no new vehicles or space combat (or new ships) and only four new maps. The industrial factories of Sullust, Jabba’s throne room, and a sail barge garage on Tatooine are all cool locations, but they’re the smaller maps meant for lower player counts. At times weirdly reminiscent of Destiny’s multiplayer maps, each new location is well designed and fun to play, although I have to say I found in all of them weird dead ends and awkward spaces (I would repeatedly fall into) that I don’t remember cropping up in the base game. They also don’t seem to be designed well for the new game mode, with Extraction providing a network of frustrating bottlenecks and grenade-corridors to traverse.
Even the new weapons seemed ill-judged, with the poisonous Dioxis grenade slowing the pace of the game. Battlefront is at it’s best when it’s fast and loose, so why are Dice adding weapons that slow the game and force you to confront the fact that, minute-to-minute, inching slowly through corridors and square rooms makes the game far more boring than the Star Wars universe has any right to be?
Where are the massive, multi-level, open environments with Tie Fighters crashing and Jedi’s dueling? Where’s the space combat? Where’s the singleplayer mode? Where’s Chewie?
Worryingly, maybe none of these things are coming till Battlefront 2. If ever.
Not. Good. Enough.