EA and DICE's highly-anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront is released this week, and we've been playing a whole lot of it. The game depicts the classic struggle between the Rebellion and the Empire across maps based on four planets (with a fifth to join in a free update next month) in nine game modes of varying scale.
Each mode offers something different, drawing on inspiration from classic first person shooter game types and DICE's own Battlefield series. Which modes are the best though? We've ranked them from best to worst to give you a good idea. Descriptions of what each mode entails are linked to in each heading.
It's hardly surprising that Star Wars Battlefront's best mode is also its showcase one, bringing all aspects of the game together with a unique set-up focusing on one of the series' most iconic vehicle types and recreating one of its most famous set-pieces.
The reason this works is because each side's role perfectly reflects theirs in the films. Rebels face seemingly insurmountable odds as one or two enormous AT-AT walkers descends upon them, while the Empire feels a sense of power either carried through to the end of a match or evaporated by Rebel heroics.
The only mode to feature all six heroes and villains fighting each other. This round-based mode delivers on spectacle and tension and affords the opportunity for an everyday soldier to claim the winning shot, downing an iconic character. If there's a problem, it's that it should be first to three rounds, not five.
Twenty X-Wings, A-Wings and TIE Fighters, plus AI teammates, whizzing above the surface of the game's four planets. Like Walker Assault this mode delivers on classic Star Wars visuals and combat superbly, and it certainly helps that each aerial vehicle handles simply but intuitively – making aerial combat more fun than the added bonus it is in Walker Assault and Supremacy. Plus, you can play as the Millennium Falcon, which really nullifies any minor complaints.
A more traditional mode which takes place on the same maps as Walker Assault, albeit with slightly different perspectives and start points. The tug of war aspect to capturing points on the map creates drama and some brilliant highs, but possibly focuses the action a little too much. A team with momentum can begin to steam-roll the opposition too easily thanks to spawn points a little too far away and counter-intuitive choke points on the map.
This is Battlefront's Team Deathmatch mode so there's not much to say about how it works, but the smaller maps it uses are very well designed.
Smaller teams battle for control of randomly-dropping escape pods that must be captured and then held for a specific amount of time. The best of the smaller modes available, this keeps the action moving around the maps well and offers players numerous ways to approach each point.
Battlefront's version of Capture The Flag, but rather than a flag there's ten pieces of cargo split equally at the start of each game. Capture one of the opposing side's pieces of cargo and the score will go to 6-4, and so on, until the time runs out or someone captures all ten. That structure adds a lot, creating some of the push and pull of Supremacy – but once the score reaches 7-3 it's pretty much game over, and you know it.
Similar to drop zone, but teams need to capture three droids constantly moving around the map. While not much different to it, I think Drop Zone is the better mode thanks to its more rigid structure.
The other mode focused on the iconic characters, this asymmetrical game type pits a lone Luke Skywalker, Han Solo or Princess Leia against seven Stormtroopers. Players become a hero by killing the active one, and kills only count toward the final score when playing as one of those heroes. The problem here is that each game is spent mostly chasing and dying, and a match runs on for far too long – making it a slog after just a few minutes.