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Review: Star Wars Battlefront: Bespin

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Partner up

Star Wars Battlefront has earned a spot in my multiplayer rotation, but it's far from secure.

I become reinvested every time free updates and paid expansions bolster the game, but I can only stay engaged with the relatively straightforward gameplay for a few weeks, tops, before I'm burned out again. Then it's back to over to something else. That occurred shortly after Outer Rim dropped, and despite how much I like Bespin right now, it's likely going to happen with it, too.

All that said, thanks to this second expansion and a recent patch for all players that retooled the partner system, I'm enjoying Battlefront more than ever.

Star Wars Battlefront: Bespin review

Star Wars Battlefront: Bespin (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One)
Developer: DICE
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: June 21, 2016 (season pass) / July 4, 2016 (standalone purchase)
MSRP: $14.99 ($49.99 for four expansion packs)

The main draw of Bespin is its much-needed change of scenery and, for those of you who prefer them, a return to larger-scale skirmishes. Good lord is it nice to have another planet to play on.

There are five new maps set in or around Cloud City, with the titular location -- a battle spilled out onto the pristine city streets -- perhaps my favorite of the pack. It has wide-open spaces with clear visibility for big battles, as well as opportunities to duck into skyscrapers away from the incessant long-rage blaster fire. Compared to the rest of Battlefront, this particular map falls a bit flat visually, and can come across as plain-looking in spots, but the way it flows just fundamentally works for me. I can't get enough of it (which is for the best, considering how often it pops up in the Bespin playlist).

Bioniip Laboratories has a similar identity with circular buildings that have multiple points of entry, albeit on a smaller, tighter scale. It's intended for modes like Blast rather than Turning Point or Walker Assault, and it's a welcome addition. Just make sure to bring along a Jump Pack so you can easily get around the city's many staircases and overhangs; that equipment almost feels mandatory.

The new Fighter Squadron map isn't anything we haven't already seen before in other Star Wars games. It's pretty and all, but Cloud City is way off in the distance, so you're really just flying near some assorted floating platforms. It won't change your opinion of the mode one way or the other, and neither will the silly Cloud Car which, novelty aside, is hard to justify over the A-Wing or TIE Interceptor.

The other two maps make up for it, though. The tunnel-filled Carbon-Freezing Chamber is well-translated from The Empire Strikes Back (complete with a deadly Easter egg), and the high-up Administrator's Palace is a nice mix of interior choke points with exterior pathways.

The latter map is home to Bespin's new mode, Sabotage. Here, the Rebels try to arm and slowly, patiently blow up three Gas Generators while the Empire holds them off. If all three control points go up in flames, then it's on the Rebels to defend a lone extraction point from being captured until the timer runs out. It tends to devolve into an absolute meat grinder as the match carries on, and the balance seems heavily dependent on some crucial Hero or Villain plays to break up the stalemate, but I like the mode okay anyway. Part of that is due to a recent patch that greatly improved how Battlefront handles partner spawns. There's less time spent running to find the action, and thank goodness for that.

The three new Star Cards are non-lethal, but you'll still want to curse their names. Disruption instantly overheats nearby weaponry, the Shock Grenade stuns soldiers in place as they try to mash a button to quickly break free, and the Scout Binoculars temporarily tag enemy players for the whole team to see. Of these three choices, I think you can probably guess which card gets the most play time. As someone who is growing tired of lobbing various grenades and calling it a day, I like that these options emphasize  and encourage team coordination. The more variety in Battlefront, the better.

Star Wars Battlefront: Bespin review

While it makes perfect sense that DICE would choose Lando Calrissian as the Hero character for Bespin, I wasn't so sure about Dengar as the Villain pick. I wouldn't even have been able to tell you the bounty hunter's name prior to last week, but funny enough, he's the better of the two.

With a reasonably steady hand, Dengar's rapid rate of fire means he can just melt away opponents, including Hero characters. He's also got these goofy-as-hell running-charge moves -- a sticky grenade attack and a melee strike -- to help clean up. I've seen people refer to his "Hurricane Strike" as the Falcon Punch, and I'm inclined to agree. It is utterly ridiculous. I love it.

As for Lando, he looks dashing in Battlefront with that magnificent cape and mustache combo, but I've had rather bad luck using him. His X-8 Night Sniper is hard to wield accurately despite its neat night-vision scope, and his other moves -- a shocking decoy trap and a weapon/ability/Star Card disruption -- were never enough to make up for my missed shots. That same blaster pistol is unlockable in a Hutt Contract for regular soldiers, as is the wickedly fun burst-fire EE-4 rifle. Since they're both something of a pain to earn, I'd highly recommend going for the latter first. It's my new go-to.

At this point, I'm torn on whether or not the season pass is worth it for lapsed Battlefront players who are thinking of returning. The game is coming into its own, but if you've held off for this long, it's arguably better to continue waiting until more of these expansions are out and/or the pricing goes down. For folks still entertained by the base content, it's probably safe to upgrade with the assumption that the next two expansions will at least be decent. After Bespin, I'm fairly confident they will be.

[This review is based on the final build of the DLC provided by the developer.]

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Star Wars Battlefront: Bespin reviewed by Jordan Devore

7.5

GOOD

Solid and definitely has an audience. There could be some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.
How we score:  The Destructoid reviews guide

 
 
 

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Jordan Devore
Jordan DevoreCo-EIC   gamer profile

Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random. Disclosure: I backed Double Fine Adventure and Awesomenauts: Starstorm on Kickst... more + disclosures


 


 


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