Star Wars
Battlefront II

Format: Xbox
Lucas Arts

0 023272 328504
Age Restrictions: 12+
31 October 2005

Fight on the side of good or evil as you battle your way through the
Star Wars universe. Navigate a number of scenarios and locations taken from the latest Star Wars movie, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, or battle within the interior of the Death Star and visit Princess Leia's blockade runner, the Tantive IV, as seen at the beginning of Episode IV: A New Hope. In addition, players can engage in space combat and, during the same battle, board enemy ships to attack from within. Starting on foot inside a capital ship, players can enter the spacecraft of their choice and travel into space to dogfight with the rival faction. From there, they can dock within the enemy's capital ship, overtake the ship's command posts, man its turrets to disable its shields and destroy it from within. Or, you can stay inside your own capital ship and defend it from attacks and enemy fire...

Star Wars Battlefront II is a huge improvement on the first Battlefront game - mainly due to the fact that you can now take on the enemy in huge space battles. You can pilot just about every vehicle from all six movies and either engage in dog fights, or sneak troops into your enemies base (to take it down from the inside). Now you really can recreate (almost) every battle in the Star Wars universe, playing on which ever side you fancy.

In single player story mode, you get to step into the Star Wars universe and fight your way through first/third person shooter levels and epic space battles. This is really the best way to get up to speed with the controls before you venture online - otherwise you'll be slaughtered before you know what's hit you.

While the single player mode is pretty good, there are some slight problems with poor AI. You'll have a much better gaming experience (once you've had a bit of practice) if you go online, or battle against some friends via the split screen mode.

The space battles transported this 35-year-old reviewer back to being a kid again. The excitement of hearing those Tie-Fighters' screaming through the air is made even more sweet by the fact that it's you controlling them. Or how about piloting a Snow Speeder on Hoth? Either pilot the craft yourself, or let your friend (or if you are playing alone the computer) fly the ship while you handle the harpoon gun. Fire your weapon at the huge AT-AT vehicles of The Empire, and watch as you tangle the legs of your enemy's troop transporter. Then cheer as it comes tumbling down.

Another interesting edition is the ability to play as one of the movie's main characters during the game. Most levels have unlockable characters, that you can gain access to once you have scored enough points, but every now and then an on-screen prompt will ask if you want to play as Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, or some other powerful character that is relevant to the timeline that you are playing in.

Authentic sound effects, great background voice acting and John William's numerous Star Wars scores all add make this the next best thing to starring in your very own Star Wars movie. With so many new and classic characters and vehicles to choose from, this will appeal to both new and old fans alike.

It was a shame that the game's developers didn't recreated a playable version of the attack on the Death Star from the end of A New Hope. An online version of this would have been been the icing on the cake to what is an almost faultless game. All Star Wars fans should own this.

Darren Rea

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