Pacific Rim isn't a very good movie.
I've seen it around eight times now, with and without my kids. The pacing is horrible. The protagonist is a sodden bore. There are entire subplots that make very little sense, and the scientist characters are actively painful.
Pacific Rim is also one of my favorite films in recent memory, due to the fact a giant robot hits a monster in the face with a goddamned boat.
There is an entire quagmire one can sink into separating the idea of entertainment that's "good" and that which is "enjoyable," and I'm going to avoid touching that one with a ten-foot pole while at the same time stating flatly that I don't give a monkey's butt if Star Wars Battlefront is "good." What I've played already is so enjoyable, and set in a world I love so much, that I'm nearly defenseless against what it's already doing well.
Getting too close
There have been an untold number of Star Wars games released on nearly every system since the release of the original trilogy, and they've varied wildly in what they set out to do, with some pretty significant peaks and valleys in terms of quality.
I'm a fan of the original films and have been since before I can remember, which makes it hard to judge whether or not something is "good" in any kind of meaningful way during a time when it feels like we can finally be hopeful about the world again.
I can say this: The first moments of Battlefront took my breath away.
It's not just that the game is one of the most graphically impressive things I've ever seen on the PlayStation 4, although that detail certainly doesn't hurt, it's that every aspect of the game is saturatad by the world of Star Wars. The character models are amazing, as are the environments. The devotion to the sounds and even animations of each weapon and character has paid off. It feels like stepping into the films, at least until something unbelievably goofy happens.
But that's one of the things I adore about the game, even though purists may howl that grenade spamming or the heroes dying in silly ways somehow corrupts the sanctity of the property.
The fun is that the presentation and visuals are absolutely top-notch, and then these systems are given over to the players who can be as serious or as silly as they'd like. We never signed a contract saying that Darth Vader is unstoppable, and by Gygax if I saw him on Hoth I would find nothing wrong with flying directly at the cold-hearted bastard.
AAAA I'M DYING pic.twitter.com/kEuEgmgzZd— AnimeMigosDad98 (@thatbitchlando) October 9, 2015
While these sorts of joys may be short-lived in other games there is something about this sort of random, viral moments happening in such a beautiful Star Wars game that elevates the experience in the eyes and hearts of fans.
It feels like playing with the classic toys in my back yard, especially since the often trench-like designs of the content in the beta make it feel like a toy war you may have designed in a sandbox with shovels and a bit of water. The game feels like the battles and stories I would tell myself with my toys as a child, except what used to only take place in my mind's eye is now shown in beautiful detail on the TV in my game room.
I know I should pay attention to the number of maps and the design of the objectives and really think about whether this is going to be a game that remains fun in the long term, but the sheer fun of it and the enjoyment I'm getting from the experience makes it hard to care. I'm not going to pre-order, and I'm certainly going to wait to figure out if the game is functional on launch, but I'm onboard. My money is EA's to lose.