Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection’s Multiplayer Has Been a Disaster

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection recently launched for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch. A collection of the first two games in the series from Pandemic Studios, it adds a new map and characters like Kit Fisto and Asajj Ventress, previously available only on Xbox via DLC. It’s a look at a bygone era of gaming – a venerable golden age bereft of microtransactions and annoying monetization. However, if you go to the Steam listing for the title, you’ll notice something shocking – fans hate it.

The collection currently has a “Mostly Negative” rating roughly a day after launch. Out of the 2974 user reviews on Steam, only 20 percent are positive, which is abysmal. If it racked up more, it could easily rank among the likes of Overwatch 2 (where only 17 percent of its reviews are positive, and that’s before getting into the joke reviews).

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That’s far from the legacy some fans expect from classics of this caliber. Is it ironic that despite how beloved the core games developed by Pandemic Studios are, they would face this kind of backlash, especially given the legacy of more recent Battlefront titles? Sure, but something’s got to give.

I should first clarify that I reviewed Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection on PlayStation 5, giving it an eight out of 10. Both titles are quite enjoyable and hold up pretty well, from the immersion of the battles to the solid performance, even with dozens of units on-screen at once. Trying different units depending on the strategy was fun, and Galactic Conquest in Battlefront 2 fed that “one more turn” itch usually reserved for tactical role-playing and turn-based strategy games. I didn’t try the multiplayer, much less split-screen, but even with some nagging issues, I find the collection quite enjoyable for solo play and still stand by my review.

However, there are some severe issues, as highlighted by how Aspyr (which worked on this re-release) chose to handle the technical side of its multiplayer rollout. Several players pointed out on Twitter and Steam that only three servers were available at launch to join. One server accommodates 64 players, and the peak concurrent count at launch was a whopping 9,232 players. You’ve probably noticed, but the math doesn’t add up. Even if Aspyr anticipated much less demand, and this is only for Steam, very few multiplayer games would launch servers accommodating only 192 players at launch.

Aspyr reportedly added new servers over the day, but the problems had only begun. Hero Assault, where one side controls heroes and the other side villains, has an issue where no one can join the hero side. Consider that the collection is the first time the mode is officially available on more than one map, a benefit reserved for the Xbox version of Battlefront 2 when it first launched.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection screenshot

Stuttering, terrible ping, excessive lag, no aim assist in multiplayer, bugs like the respawn timer remaining stuck on 1 (only fixed by relaunching the game), the Xbox Series S version reportedly crashing if you try to play Conquest with two controllers are connected – the list goes on. Though some reviews have pointed out that the server situation is improving, the sheer number of issues from what should have been a straightforward re-release is baffling. That’s not counting the lack of basic functions, like turning off inverted controls while engaging in space combat.

Again, while much of this may not seem a major issue if you’re a solo player, that’s not how Aspyr sold Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection. It was also marketed for the ability to play online, and seeing it handled like this, especially for a $40 re-release of titles nearly two decades old (regardless of how beloved), is disheartening.

You also have to remember that this is a passionate community, one that’s developed some pretty stellar mods for the original games. It’s from reskinned characters to resemble Ventress and Fisto on PC since they were exclusive to Xbox. It overhauled Galactic Conquest to resemble 2015’s Star Wars Battlefront and even added new heroes, maps, units, and campaigns.

It’s also a community that had to face the cancellation of Pandemic’s Star Wars: Battlefront 3 and deal with EA’s Star Wars Battlefront titles, the first lacking content at launch (never mind the paltry single-player offerings) and the second mired by a pay-to-win approach to loot boxes that took years of post-launch support to wash the stink off of.

How this happened is unknown, but this isn’t the first issue players have had with Aspyr and the Star Wars franchise. The first trailer for Battlefront Classic Collection faced controversy for using a mod of Asajj Ventress instead of how the actual character plays in-game. The developer admitted its mistake to IGN, revealing that this was “placeholder footage” and not meant to make it into the final trailer cut.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection screenshot

Of course, the less said about Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – Remake, the better. Announced in September 2021 for PS5 and PC, development was reportedly paused after a less-than-stellar reception from studio heads to a vertical slice. It’s still reportedly in the works, though unlikely to arrive any time soon.

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection may have faced issues in its final months of development from internal turmoil. In a recent statement, Aspyr said it experienced “critical errors” with its network infrastructure, resulting in “incredibly high ping, matchmaking errors, crashes, and servers not appearing in the browser.” It’s working to address these and improve network stability and while this may explain the lack of servers, it doesn’t quite account for other quality control concerns.

The question now is how it proceeds, and whether it has the resources to properly support the Battlefront Classic Collection over an extended period. It continues supporting the recent Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered, fixing missing textures, resolving crashes and fixing the lighting in certain areas, so there’s hope. However, since the collection’s concerns are multiplayer-focused, it remains to be seen if the single-player-focused studio can handle it.

Unfortunately, the first impression is usually the most important for multiplayer titles, and by botching the launch of online play, Aspyr may have muddled its long-term prospects. Improving that takes time and effort, but since this is effectively a re-release, that too competing with other multiplayer titles, it may not get its moment of redemption. Time will, of course, tell – after all, we’ve seen the Star Wars Battlefront franchise bounce back from much worse. Nevertheless, this is one collection that banks on positive reception from fans for survival, and right now, that’s in short supply.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.

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