29 March, 2016

Review – Star Wars: Battlefront, Outer Rim

It may only be a short hop in the X-34 to reach the first Star Wars: Battlefront expansion, but you’ll probably want to polish up your Huttese; after all, ka cheesa crispa Greedo?

Review – Star Wars: Battlefront, Outer Rim banner greedo


Outer Rim


Think of Star Wars: Battlefront and you’ll likely think of large scale engagements; big maps, lots of players, and AT-ATs to boot. The Outer Rim expansion however, has a tighter focus and offers a combat experience a little different than that of the base game’s smaller maps and modes.

Outer Rim adds four new maps; two on Tatooine, and two on Sullust. Naturally, they are all visually impressive, stunning even in the case of one of the Sullust maps, in which a baleful red sun looms on the horizon, illuminating in-atmosphere Star Destroyers, hanging above the smoking caps of a volatile volcanoes.

Review – Star Wars: Battlefront, Outer Rim sullust platform

The Tatooine maps explore the opulent lounges of Jabba’s Palace, and it’s garage, complete with sailing barge. While the Sullust maps are set on and in industrial platforms; the riotous exterior above, as well as an interior refinery, where the air is filled with choking smoke and sprayed with searing particulates. These maps birth close quarters engagements, frantic shootouts through claustrophobic corridors, with more distant fights occurring around key killing-grounds. Littered with natural chokepoints, the maps of the Outer Rim monopolise the furious firefights found on the periphery of their larger cousins. This makes them the perfect venues for the new gamemode, Extraction.

Some supplies just can’t be slung over one’s shoulder, in Extraction the Rebels must activate a hover-sled laden with rather nebulous ‘supplies’, and escort it along a predetermined path, to an extraction point. There is only one slow moving sled, using controls on its rear and front panels, the Rebels and Imperials can start and stop its advance, respectively. Additionally, the sled is equipped with a bubble shield, which needs to recharge from time to time.

Review – Star Wars: Battlefront, Outer Rim tatooine jabbas palace

The sled cannot be destroyed, only halted, meaning the Imperials have to approach the sled if they wish to fully exploit the maps’ geometry; they can sit with E-Webs and snipe all they want, but if left unhindered, the sled will float right through their chokepoints and its Rebel escorts won’t be quite so easy targets up close. Heroes Vs Villains remains a fine time, but Extraction has easily become my favourite small-scale mode, in no small part due to the new maps it’s paired with.

Equally well-suited – or hellish if you’re on the receiving end – are the Dioxis grenades, one of the new items. Dioxis grenades fill the surrounding area with a poisonous smog, as deadly for its visual impairment as its toxic content, these are supremely useful for holding the aforementioned chokepoints.

The new weapons, two targeting rifles and two pistols, all pack a powerful punch. The DLT-19x rifle is the most unusual of them, effectively being a sniper rifle with extremely high damaging shots, but only one shot before overheating. Unlike the base game, these and the new Star Cards are unlocked through Hutt Contracts, challenges; kill X number of enemies with this weapon type, use this Star Card X number of times. Though not particularly complex, the contracts add a welcome element of involvement to the late-game progression and have had the pleasant effect of encouraging me to shake up my usually load outs to achieve the criteria.

It is worth noting however, that some of items and presumably their contracts, are free to all players. Similarly, the level cap has been raised to 60, with a couple of new alien faces in the ranks of the Rebels.

Review – Star Wars: Battlefront, Outer Rim sullust refinery

Greedo and Nien Nunb are the new heroes, not the most inspired choices, but valid given the settings of the maps – we obviously can’t have Lando until the Bespin expansion.  Greedo is interesting as he features a Call of Duty-style kill streak meter, which alters his grenade ability; if enough kills are made sufficiently quickly his Dioxis grenade will be replaced with a thermal detonator, and so on. Nunb’s ‘standout’ ability is an advanced turret that upgrades itself with each kill it makes. They’re fine, but that’s all they are.
Review – Star Wars: Battlefront, Outer Rim 4/5 good

Outer Rim is a robust offering, with standout news maps that deal in the most fraught of firefights, designed to best host the Extraction gamemode, which easily stands toe-to-toe with the bigger, asymmetric modes; Walker Assault and Turning Point. Greedo and Nien Nunb don’t do a lot for me, but the new weapons, and the Star Cards I’ve tried, certainly do.

1 comment:

  1. first ten minutes of the game for those that haven't tried it yet, you should!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deH9UWxxWYY


    ReplyDelete