You're a nerd, lets face it, you like Star Wars, why else would you click on this review, and fortunatley this game will cater to your nerdley needs.
The long awaited sequel, Battlefront 2 makes one hell of an impact for those not lucky enough to enjoy a full scale war game like Battlefield 2 due to a horrible computer. If you're one of those who fall under this category, this game is a must have in your online gaming library.
The games rules are simple, pick a class, go find the flag, or capture spawn points. Very basic, but it works, what makes the game are the classes though. You have to choose them wisley, on Mos Eisley a sniper is near useless, but on Endor, they reign supreme. each faction has pretty much the same classes, 4 regular (grunt, anti armour, sniper and engineer) and two special faction specific classes. The classes are balanced well, a anti armor fighter has 4 rockets, so don't expect them to be on the front lines causing havock, while a smugler has a shotgun, so you wont see them hanging in the back picking off people as you trot along.
While you're trotting, you'll notice how excellent the levels are designed, open and beautiful, you'll run any which way you want seeing people fight it out all the time, hide in a empty log waiting to ambush rebel approachers, Storm Troopers giving you trouble? Storm around the sides and flank them. Tactics however play a small roll in this game, especially online, where most people seem to run around like it's disney land, not knowing what to do. It's really a treat when you pick up four or five people who play well, one chooses anti armor, the rest go with a grunt, and maybe one picks up a sniper, teamwork reigns supreme, albeit a rare occurance.
Online gaming is simple and easy, finding a map is a breeze, and joining the fray has never been so simple, choose a spawn point and peopel your murderous rampage on anyone who lights up your crosshairs. The largest complaint I have about online gaming however is the mic, and the lack of a good system for talking. It's esentially open mic, talk when you want, no buttons needed, while that gives you ahassle free way to tell someone theres a oncomming AT-ST, it also allows anyone to essentially scream shut, and make prolonged noises (one instance someone was humming the star wars theme rather loudly throughout the entire game) with little consequence. What is avaliable to combat this is a vote kick system, however it's poorley implemented. You check whos making the noise by going to the player list, however, being in a large game, with open mic, more than one persons mic is always transmitting, meaning you can't pinpoint the person too easily. Many people have been accidentally removed by votekick while the problem persists.
What I would have liked to see is a system like socoms three, press and hold circle for a chat, and you have a limited amount of time to talk, one at a time. this would also cut down on the ammount of mic static which fills up your headphone from people who have their speakers on too loud or mic too close to their mouth.
Aside from that minor issue, the online play has nice addons, with medals being given to the better players of the game, increasing your rank in certain fields, keep getting headshots and you'll notice your marksman rating increases, allowing you to get bonuses, once you're a veteran the bonus stays for thirty seconds, once you're legendary the bonus stays until the end of the match. The bonuses are earned by getting a set number of kills or points under certain circumstances. Four headshots in one life will give you the marksman bonus, and six blaster pistol kills in one life gives you the percision pistol, it's a nice reason to keep playing,
A new addition are the space battles, and they are the highlight of this game. The modes are capure the flag and assault, assault being the superior by far. feel like blasting down some foes? Hope in a tie-fighter or an A-wing, and go away, or perhaps you just want to bomb their frigates and vital support systems and render them useless, giving you a nice advantage? Than you'll want to grab a Y-wing or TIE-bomber. A nice system is that you not only can bomb them from the outside, but the inside as well, take your fighter inside their base and destroy their shields, or life support from the inside (why do the droids need life support anyways?). if you can manage to land a slow moving troop transport into their hangar, it will act like a mobile spawn point, allowing you to send wave after wave of troops in to wreak havock. And the most pleasurable experience I've found online is stealing a enemy bomber, and destroying their own ship with it, adds that small little insult to injury.
Another addition are the heros, ranging from the almost invincible Anakin, to the relativley useless Chewbacca. These characters can be unlocked in normal play by being the best player, or just randomley, and can often give you that small extra push needed to take over command points. Or you can simply play a hero battle, although I advise against it, as it just becomes a force push, slash, force push and final slash, match up. The characters regain health by killing enemies, it's nice, meaning you wont see these guys spawn killing, or camping, but that also means when you're playing as one, capturing enemy command points puts a dent in you're health seeing as you have to wait around. It adds a nice touch of balance.
Visually this game is one of Sony's more visually and audio appealing games, during the heat of the battle, you'll hear a AT-ST's legs in the distance awkwardly walking towards you, all the while bright lasers fly past your heads, and sounds of thermal grenades go off with men screaming, accompanied by authentic Star Wars music, it's just fun to crouch beside a rock and watch the battle take place.
more onto the balance issue, tanks and speeders and the likes are all avaliable, and a huge presence on the battlefield, however the best part is hope is not lost for ground troops, each ground vehicle has a weak point, AT-AT slowly moving on you're position, a few well placed rockets to it's neck will render it useless, setting up those shots is what's difficult however.
Offline, GR was a little harsh on the game, the story mode is nice on the first run through, and while Galatic conquest is simple, it's a nice diversion, not the strongest part of the game, but still fun. Building a few fleets and slowly rolling over the opposition on ever planet is nice, added with the bonuses and units you can buy, gives it a strategic feel.
Overall, one of the better games I've played this year, giving me a great online game to play, and quenching my thirst for something like battlefield that wont require a $600 upgrade to a computer that otherwise runs fine. if not for a few overlooked problems, like the overly cheap hero fights, or the annoying mic problems, this game would in my Opinion be at A- mark