Game Review: Star Wars: Battlefront II

by Nate Taylor

The Rumsfeld says:
"I find your lack of faith disturbing."
I have always wanted to be a Jedi Knight.

Since I was a child walking breathlessly out of Return of the Jedi, I have dreamt of inventing a lightsaber and uncovering the secrets to moving objects with my mind. Alas, it was not to be so. Then, 20 years later I was robbed of the vicarious chance to become a Jedi because of my absolute abhorrance of and unwillingness to submit to the X-box (Knights of the Old Republic).

That was then.

The high point of Battlefront II is undoubtedly the long-awaited right to play as a Jedi, Sith, and even a certain quad-lightsaber wielding cyborg (but without the confusing smoker's cough). The catch is, you must play through the various battles just as you did in the original Battlefront to earn enough points for your "Hero" to become available to play. If you are at all adept at aiming and shooting (in either 3rd or 1st-person views), then achieving this right will not be a problem. However, your Jedi comes with a limit. They not only have a life bar, but also a "usefullness" bar that diminishes when a Jedi is not killing the enemy. It's like this: Jedi kill = bar go up, Jedi run around and play with powers = bar go down. This will easily be remedied by a cheat code soon enough I'm sure, but for now, it's a little annoying.
In all fairness, this annoyance is FAR outweighed by how frickin' cool the game is! There are new soldier options to play with, you can switch soldier classes without killing yourself, they have space combat and ship-boarding for cryin' out loud! The Galactic Conquest games are much better, more like a strategy mini-game than the old Battlefront. One must earn points, purchase bonuses, build fleets, THEN conquer.

And it gets better.
Ever thought that maybe those cuddly widdle Ewoks didn't deserve to win the battle of Endor? Playing in the "Hunt" mode of Instant Action pits an army against the indigenous species of Hoth, Tatooine, Naboo, and even Endor. You can play the Empire and hunt those Ewoks to extinction, or play as the Ewoks and throw spears and rocks at the scout troopers to your heart's content.

With a truly vast array of battlefields and opponents, as well as near-endless playability, this is a game for which fans' anticipation has been building, and it doesn't dissapoint.