Star Wars: Battlefront

Similar in concept to the popular World War II shooter Battlefield 1942, Star Wars: Battlefront lets you fight in the many battles you’ve seen in Star Wars movies. For example, you can become an Imperial Stormtrooper fighting the traitorous Rebel Alliance, or you can become a Rebel fighting the corrupt Empire. You can even go back in time to the prequel movies and fightin the Republic Clone Army or the Separatist Droid Army.

The game takes you to many of the locales you’ve seen in the movies, including the scorching deserts of Tatooine, the cloud city of Bespin, the lush planet Naboo,and the ice planet Hoth. With each new location, you’ll need to adapt your strategy to fit the specifics of the landscape.

The best part of the game, though, is being at the controls of various Star Wars vehicles – everything from an X-Wing to a TIE fighter to a two-legged AT-ST. You can even take control of a Republic gunship. While some of the more expansive maps lend themselves to joyrides, others clearly emphasize combat on foot.The cityscapes are especially claustrophobic. On those maps, hopping behind the controls of a speeder or gunship may actually be more of a liability than a help.

You can play on your own, following a single-player campaign system, or use a skirmish option that lets you square off against computer-controlled players. As fun as that is, though, the meat of a game like Star Wars: Battlefront should be its multiplayer capabilities – and in this respect, the game comes up short.The Mac release depends on GameRanger, a Mac-only game-finding service. That diminishes the number of online opponents you’re likely to find, and it may turn off gamers who were hoping to play against their PC-using friends.

The game looks and sounds terrific. It comes complete with the familiar John Williams movie scores and lots of intercom chatter. It also gives you plenty of options for adjusting the visual effects to match the capabilities of your hardware.As a result, the game’s system requirements are relatively modest for this genre:it calls for a 1GHz G4 with Mac OS X 10.3.6 and a 64MB video system or better.


Star Wars: Battlefront puts you in the middle of your favourite Star Wars moments – and does so with a great deal of style. The lack of cross-platform multiplayer support is the Achilles’ heel of this otherwise terrific Mac conversion.

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