Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection is a hot mess, but I can’t stop playing it — here’s why

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection
(Image credit: Future)

I know. I know. Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection is broken. The multiplayer is a mess, there are bugs and crashes aplenty, and over 70GB of space for upgraded textures seems crazy to me.


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But here I am, looking at my playtime and seeing over 20 hours invested in it with little regret. Why? Well, provided you play it in a very specific way, I was able to feel that nice, warm nostalgia — taking my mind and heart back to keeping the volume down low (so as to not wake my parents) and playing this until the early hours of the morning in my teenage bedroom.

To spoil the specific way, the secret is Steam Deck single-player. But allow me to take you through my love affair with returning to Battlefront — starting (and staying) rough, but all falling into place on a flight to Costa Rica.

A wretched hive of bugs and villainy

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection

(Image credit: Aspyr)

So let’s address the very unpopular elephant in the room. I got hyped at the announcement, installed on my Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 on day one and…what in the world is this catastrophe!? 

I’m not just talking about the sheer lack of online servers completely killing any chance of playing multiplayer, or the multiplayer itself being a hellscape of poor hitboxes and bugs. But the random crashes in all modes, the broken character dialogue in cutscenes, and weird issues like being unable to select specific spawn points in maps.

Aspyr’s update (towards the end of March) has resolved some of this, but it hasn’t fixed one of my favorite elements of the old Battlefront — split-screen is still basically an impossibility. Whether you’re on PC or Steam Deck, nothing seems to work in terms of connecting controllers and having a laugh with your mates.

Put simply, for anything outside of the single way to play that I’m about to document, much like if you french fry when you’re supposed to pizza on the Aspen alps, you’re going to have a bad time.

The force is strong in Steam Deck

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection

(Image credit: Aspyr)

Bad start, but in the confines of a long haul flight with no WiFi connectivity, things started falling into place. The single-player is a lot more solid in terms of playability, and I can’t deny I felt that nostalgic feeling come flooding back.

Whether it’s dominating my favorite map from the first Battlefront in Kashyyyk docks or taking my place as Red Leader in space above Tatooine, the removal of those frustrations gave me a chance to immerse myself in one of my favorite games of the 2000s.

Is it a little rough around the edges? Of course. Upgraded textures only serve to highlight some of its jankiness, and the actual gameplay control has not been brought into 2024 — feeling rather clunky. But to someone who had his gaming heyday in the formative teenage years, that 10+ hour flight went by so fast.

So if you’re an anti-social gamer (welcome to the family), your experience is not going to be as bad as you may think from the overwhelming negative reviews. But users shouldn’t buy a game for just one feature. Everything should work and in this case, it absolutely does not.

Do or do not. There is no try.

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection

(Image credit: Aspyr)

So as you can see, in amongst this very lazy remaster from Aspyr, there is some promise here — specifically when you take it for a spin on long haul flights via Steam Deck. It felt so nostalgic to head back into one of my favorite PS2 games, and since I spent most of my time in single-player, the crashes and problems related to online play were virtually non-existent.

But please, if the developers are reading this, don’t take this as wholehearted praise for this game. There was a chance here to address some of the niggles I had with the original, such as how useless some player classes feel because of those dodgy aiming mechanics, and the lack of balance in some of the map and gameplay structuring. 

None of these chances have been taken, and it leads to this simply being a new lick of paint on an old game that feels like it’s falling apart at the aging seams sometimes. I’ve noticed Aspyr has started its work to squash bugs in updates, so I sit here with crossed fingers that the team takes time to address some of these fundamental gameplay tweaks needed to really bring the best out of this formula.

Please, I beg of you. Fix this game. This love affair can’t be based on me constantly taking long journeys and playing on my portable — I would be bankrupt by the end of this sentence.

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Jason England
Managing Editor — Computing

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.