Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection Switch review – oh dear

Our Verdict

While the campaigns are nostalgic and fun to revisit, the Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection is largely disappointing. The multiplayer mess feels inexcusable, robbing players of the basic fundamentals of a Star Wars multiplayer game. Not being able to finish matches due to crashes, struggling to even get into a game, and a lack of servers make this one of the worst multiplayer experiences I’ve had for some time.

This one hurts. Upon its announcement, I simply couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Star Wars Battlefront Collection, it’s a true blast from the past, and Aspyr is quite adept at bringing old games back to us through ports for modern consoles, so I thought these gems were in safe hands. I was wrong, and it pains me to say that.

While it’s not all bad, and I’ll discuss the positives later, there’s one glaring issue with this game, and I think the discourse surrounding the Star Wars Battlefront Collection since its release gives it away – the multiplayer is atrocious. That’s a strong word, and it’s one I don’t want to use, but considering the game continues to kick me from more matches than I can count, and the ones I do finish feature very few players with bots running the show, it fits here.

I don’t play online to play against bots, but the sad truth is that players either can’t connect at all or get kicked within the opening 30 seconds. More often than not, regardless of the match type, the game crashes on me before I can even enter the battle. To put it bluntly, the multiplayer is a mess, and it’s evidently not an issue specific to the Nintendo Switch.

My biggest gripe, besides the crashes, is the lack of human players. If you’re in an online game against bots, you honestly might as well play the campaign, which, to be fair, is pretty decent across both games. But, while I admittedly wanted the collection for the single-player experiences, the multiplayer still needs to be fun and functioning, especially as it’s the main appeal of a Star Wars Battlefront game.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection screenshot showing Stormtroopers firing their guns in the hangar

Out of the two, Battlefront II struggles more; there are precious few servers, and it’s difficult to land a spot in a match that takes place on the ground, meaning it’s a struggle to play as a Sith or Jedi. You know, the main reason people play these games. I want to be a Jedi (well, actually, I want to be Darth Vader), but it simply isn’t an option most of the time, and that’s a crying shame.

Then, to top off the mess that is this multiplayer sundae, in Battlefront II, I can’t search for specific matches. No, this isn’t because there’s no option to do so. It’s because the game crashes every single time I try to use that feature. To play online in Battlefront II, I have no choice but to use the quick match feature to enter games, and that mainly leads me into space battles, something I really don’t care for.

The multiplayer across both games is a mess, but for those of you who are after the solo experience, there’s still an enjoyable experience here with those aforementioned campaigns. The Battlefront I story follows the narrative of both the prequel and original trilogies, staying within the events that are true to the movies. From playing in the droid army to battling alongside your brothers in the clone army and serving the Empire as Stormtroopers during the battle on Endor, this story takes you all over the place.

As for Battlefront II’s narrative, the campaign offers the chance to take part in Empire missions, leaning heavily into the 501st Legion perspective (Anakin’s army). You play as either Clones or Stormtroopers, fighting against the rebel insurgence. Admittedly, the story is shorter, but I find myself fully invested in it, and the chilling speech delivered on Coruscant to unleash Order 66 is immortal.

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Graphically speaking, the game is, unsurprisingly, reminiscent of the PlayStation 2 era, the generation in which Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars Battlefront II belong. It’s charming, though it most definitely shows its age, but I argue that only adds to the nostalgic feel. I wish I could say that the game is bug-free, but it’s not. Besides the issues with the multiplayer, glitches and bugs appear in the campaigns, be it through lines down the middle of the sky or turrets firing at you despite not being visible.

Even after writing this review, I’m in two minds about this collection, for I think revisiting the campaigns is a lot of fun, and I do believe that Aspyr will fix the issues through patches, with one releasing recently, but the state of the game at launch is inexcusable. My advice to Star Wars fans is to either wait until the game is on sale or give Aspyr a chance to smooth out the multiplayer experience before you part with your cash. There’s so much nostalgia to enjoy here, but the existing bugs and multiplayer woes mean I can’t recommend it at full price.

Luckily, there are plenty of great Star Wars games and a heap of amazing multiplayer games to tide you over until the next new Star Wars game. Hopefully, our next trip to a galaxy far, far away won’t be so disappointing