Star Wars Battlefront collection revives a multiplayer classic

There was once a time of outstanding Star Wars computer games before Disney made a deal with publisher EA that led to a plethora of lukewarmly received multiplayer games-as-a-service and mobile titles. (And Jedi: Fallen Order, of course.) Now, a cornerstone of that era is set to be revived in the form of the Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection.

Announced this morning, the collection includes two beloved LucasArts-developed online multiplayer shooters from the 2000s: Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars Battlefront 2. Although it debuted during a Nintendo livestream, the collection won’t just be coming out on Nintendo Switch—it’s coming to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox, too.

The collection will include “restored online play for up to 64 players” of all the previous Galactic Conquest and Campaign mode content from both games on all platforms, including bonus maps and extras that were previously exclusive to specific consoles. Additionally, the Hero Assault mode will now be playable on all ground maps.

Assuming the porting job is good, and there’s no missing fine print here, that could make these the definitive editions of those games.

The porting jobs here will be handled by Aspyr Media, a company that first made its name porting PC games to the Mac and iOS but has more recently put a special focus on bringing remastered classics from Star Wars’ PC gaming golden age to PC and consoles.

For example, Aspyr remastered the underrated gem Star Wars Jedi Knight Jedi Academy. The company’s console remaster of that game felt a bit low-budget, but it was serviceable.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection trailer.

Battlefront was rebooted by EA in 2015, but the shooter that came out then bore little resemblance to the 2004 original. It received praise for its meticulous high-fidelity re-creation of battlegrounds from the movies, but the gameplay lacked the depth today’s online shooter players crave. A 2017 follow-up added more depth but was poorly received when it debuted due to its loot-crate-focused business model. Ask today’s players of the 2017 version of Star Wars: Battlefront 2, and they’ll probably say it’s much improved, though.

Still, there was nothing quite like the originals, which were PC games first and foremost, though they did receive console ports. There was a purity to those games that’s lost in the general, well, EA-ness of the reboots.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection will hit PC (via Steam) as well as Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S on March 14 and will cost $35. A blog post on also notes that it will support Steam Deck.

Listing image by Lucasfilm


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