Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection Review - Screenshot 1 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection should have been a slam dunk. Take two of the most beloved Star Wars games ever made and their DLC, touch them up a bit, add modern multiplayer support, and release them. Easy money, right? You’d think so, but the reality is that Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection is a massive disappointment, largely thanks to a mountain of technical issues and server and connection problems when playing multiplayer.

First things first: Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection collects Pandemic Studios’ Star Wars: Battlefront (2004) and Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005), slaps them into a single package, and adds support for modern online multiplayer. It does exactly what it says on the box, but the problems with the Switch version start before you even launch it for the first time. These games, which ran on the PS2 and original Xbox and fit on DVDs that could only hold nine gigabytes of data, are now a whopping 33GB+, so you have to have a micro SD card to even download and play the game on a standard Switch or Switch Lite. From there, you’re taken to a launcher that lets you choose your Battlefront.

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection Review - Screenshot 2 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Star Wars: Battlefront II is where most players will spend most of their time, but we enjoyed the original Battlefront far more than we thought we would. It’s a simple game: there are campaigns for both the Clone Wars and Galactic Civil War era that feature certain lore-important battles like Naboo or Hoth, but other than showing scenes from the films between battles, there isn’t much different than a normal battle.

The original Battlefront only has one mode, Conquest, which asks both sides to capture the other’s command posts and deplete their resources. You can choose from one of five classes - infantry, heavy weapons, pilot, sniper, and one unique to each faction, like the Droideka for the CIS or the Wookie Smuggler for the Rebels. It’s a nice touch that makes each faction feel a little different.

There are also turrets and vehicles like the AT-ST or X-wing to pilot, depending on the map and the faction you’ve playing with, and you’re free to handle the whole 'wipe out the enemy team and take their command posts' however you want. The issue is that all of it feels very one-note very quickly. There’s very little depth in Battlefront, and while the immediate moment-to-moment action feels good enough, there’s just not much to it.

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection Review - Screenshot 3 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Galactic Conquest, which asks you to manage your faction’s forces over a campaign across a Galaxy Map before allowing you to play the battles, and playable heroes like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker help, but you can only do much with a core gameplay loop this simple. The original Battlefront does have better UI design, though, mirroring a more traditional shooter of the era, while its sequel just stacks bars on top of one another.

Battlefront II is essentially its older brother, just refined. The second game adds the ability to sprint, more heroes, more maps, and so on. Our favorite addition is the Space Battles, which lets you pilot fighters and bombers in space as you attempt to take out the enemy flagship. You can even board the ship and destroy the systems from the inside, or take them out from the cockpit. The flying feels a lot like early Star Fox in all-range mode, so there’s a ton of fun to be had here.

Battlefront II also adds other modes like Capture the Flag, Hunt, and perhaps most famously, Hero Assault. Normally, you have to earn the right to play Hero characters in a match, but in Hero Assault you just start with one and battle it out against the other side. Before the remaster, Hero Assault was limited to certain maps, but now you can use it on all of them. The issue is that playing Hero Assault doesn’t feel particularly satisfying, as it’s not balanced very well, and the fights themselves play more like a kid mashing his action figures together than anything beyond that.

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection Review - Screenshot 4 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

Battlefront II also brings in a pretty solid single-player campaign where a Clone Trooper veteran of the 501st retells you his stories. These missions have unique objectives and do a good job of capturing the look and feel of Star Wars, so it’s a nice change of pace.

And then, of course, there’s the multiplayer, which is where we imagine most people who buy this will spend most of their time. Multiplayer was a mixed bag; sometimes our matches were great. Other times they were noticeably laggy, even when playing with the same people in the exact same set-up. It was a bummer getting into a firefight with another player and losing because they started teleporting around the map. There were also periods when it just didn’t work at all.

But the real problems are the myriad of technical issues. It would take thousands of words to describe the technical issues we’ve experienced in the Battlefront: Classic Collection, but here’s a small number of them: sound not loading during cutscenes; the roll animation appearing as the jump animation; certain control options not appearing in the menus, or not working when selected; being unable to see the firing animations for certain weapons; textures not loading in properly; reinforcements not working properly on certain maps; several enemy AI bugs that included having enemies just stand there; and on and on it goes.

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection Review - Screenshot 5 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Aspyr has fixed some of these issues on PC, but that was a week ago at the time of writing, and there’s no sign of a control patch. Worse, some of these bugs, like the no sound bug, only happen on Switch while the game is docked. Others only happen when you’re playing handheld. It’s crazy. Bugs aside, playing both docked and handheld looks and feels good, however.


The irony is that Aspyr has done a nice job with remastering the visuals in both games and we enjoyed seeing the results. But the reality is that these games often feel old, they're extremely buggy, and the online play is hit-and-miss. This should have been a slam dunk. Instead, playing Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection made us feel sad. If Aspyr can fix the slew of technical issues, this might one day be worth picking up on Switch. Until that happens, though, the Force isn’t with this one.