Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection Review (PS5)


When highly regarded games see a remaster, the quality tends to fluctuate between two extremes. You have the disastrous launches akin to Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition, or you get the lovingly crafted, impressive remasters like we saw with Quake and Quake 2. Aspyr has been working its way through the back catalog of classic Star Wars titles from the IP’s gaming golden age, and the Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection is the latest of such releases. And unfortunately, this re-release is more GTA than Quake.

You’ve no doubt seen a litany of articles at this point decrying the deplorable state this collection released in. Regrettably, we can report that there’s not a lot of hyperbole to be found in them.

The Battlefront collection gathers each of the titles developed by Pandemic Studios, alongside some smaller expected changes like a resolution bump. Not everything is insignificant, as previous Xbox exclusive DLC is available across all versions, including a handful of maps, as well as playable heroes Kit Fisto and Asajj Ventress.

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The actual offering of content on the surface is truly impressive. Battlefront 1 provides 17 maps alongside Galactic Conquest and two campaigns, while Battlefront 2, including the restored DLC, has nearly 40 maps, though some are space maps locked to the still-incredible Rise of the Empire campaign. Battlefront 2 of course also has Galactic Conquest, as well as the ever-popular Hero Assault, which sees all your favourite notable characters from the movies squaring off. This mode features all 19 heroes, though in the past it was only playable on the Tatooine ground map. With the new collection, Hero Assault is now playable across all of Battlefront 2’s ground maps, a most welcome inclusion.

Additionally, the collection retains 64 player online — if you can find a match. Servers were wholly inaccessible at launch, and while things have gotten better – it’s actually possible to find a game now — there is an almost innumerable number of problems with the title. Indeed, if you do find a match there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to finish it, as crashes and odd bugs permeate every facet of the experience. Some are purely cosmetic, like for instance, on the tactical map, where the camera is spinning rapidly underneath the overlay.

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Less forgivable are problems that impact the gameplay itself, such as aiming. We’re not sure what happened here but aiming feels dreadful across both titles. The campaigns and offline modes don’t feel too bad, as the aim assist feels more or less the way it did when the games originally launched. But the online side of things seems to have aim assist disabled, making the act of lining up a shot on someone a truly herculean task. Forget about a one-on-one gunfight, as you can exploit this lack of aim assist by diving around like mad.

This makes a showdown not just irksome, but barely worth the time to even attempt. You’re better off focusing on people whose attention is elsewhere. This could be mitigated somewhat by the presence of friends, but again the collection fumbles this: there isn’t a party-up system. Instead of being able to invite your friends to a lobby and search for a map, you have to just pick the same server at the same time and hope everything works out. It’s still possible to play together, sure, but all these extra steps are things the gaming industry solved years ago. Why the regression?

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While things sound pretty dire, there are a number of positives, though virtually everything good we have to say applies to the titles when they released around the millennium. Outside of a handful of maps, the levels are generally excellent, combining quality design with the opportunity to walk through and experience many of the famed locales from the franchise.

The campaigns — especially the one from Battlefront 2 following the 501st Legion — are pretty excellent, capturing much of the original magic that they did all those years ago. And the voiceover work is phenomenal, be it in-game banter or Temuera Morrison’s great narration for the Battlefront 2 campaign.

But, yet again technical issues rear their ugly head. Cutscenes occasionally won’t trigger, or sputter off right after they begin. Recycled film footage runs at a distractingly low frame rate, and there are some sound issues as well, that we only experienced in the offline modes for whatever reason. Some are minor nitpicks, like slightly altering the map loading audio cues, whereas others had a fundamental impact on how we played the game.

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One especially bad audio bug made using headphones impossible, as at random intervals in combat, deafening bleats of audio would assault our ears, akin to a jump scare. It was outrageously loud, and so clearly unintentional that we just had to stick with TV audio whenever we could. It would still happen, but the general decibel level was more palatable.


Aspyr has done a serviceable, even admirable job with its porting of Star Wars titles up to this point, but the Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection represents a monumental misstep and a much-deserved blemish on its reputation. These are two beloved games representing some of the very best experiences the Star Wars IP has ever offered. To release these remasters in this state is deeply concerning. Our only solace is the fact that, eventually, most of the problems should be fixable.

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