Ollie Barnes looks back at a game which captured his imagination 15 years ago

IN troubling times, it can be fun to cast your mind back to those that were simpler.

Remember how you were as a young child, doing things an average child of whatever-decade-you-grew-up-in would do.

For me, this was the early 2000s.

Recently I have been revisiting the video games I played during these years and remembering the good, and the bad.

Today, featuring the year 2005 to be exact.

That’s right, Liverpool are on their way to win the Champions League, James Blunt is calling us all beautiful, Doctor Who returns with Christopher Eccleston, and Revenge of the Sith is released, tying off the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and directly leading to a personal major event: the release of my favourite videogame of all time.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 was released on October 31, 2005 for PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and XBox.

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It was a huge success and I couldn’t wait to play it for myself.

I can remember my brother coming back from Woolworths (gone, but never forgotten) with our very own copy, loading it up on our PS2 and playing for countless hours.

“Turn that b****y game off ” my mum would say after every time the game would inform us that the enemy had taken over a command post.

This is understandable when you consider this was said - and I say this with a good degree of confidence - hundreds of times a level.

However, my seven-year-old self was far too enthralled by what was going on to turn it off.

Hell, my 22-year-old self feels the same way.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that my almost unconditional love for Star Wars is largely due to this game.

The game itself is a third-person shooter that sees you assume the role of one of the clone troopers of the 501st battalion, experiencing the effects of Order 66 - in which the wicked Emperor Palpatine demanded the extermination of the Jedi Order - and playing a number of battles seen in the movies.

However, as cool as that sounds, that is just one of the modes the game has to offer.

Another is ‘Galactic Conquest’, which works in a similar way to the game Risk.

Basically, you choose which faction you want to play as, your options being The Republic or the CIS (for the prequel era) and The Empire or the Rebels (for the original trilogy era).

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You then attempt to take control of every planet in the galaxy by battling the other faction.

Again, very cool. My favourite mode though, was ‘Instant Action’.

This let you create a playlist of various battle scenarios and play them one after the other.

For example, you could have a battle on the Death Star (featuring a working trash compactor, I hasten to add) followed by a galactic dogfight above Hoth, leading to a ground assault on Hoth where you can use AT-ATs and Snowspeeders, just like in the movie.

As if that’s not enough already, you can also play as a different hero/villain on each planet.

Yes, you can recreate the Obi Wan v Anakin fight on Mustafar with your friend, or fight Darth Vader with Luke on Bespin etc.

And as if that wasn’t cool enough for you, there’s a special battle you can set up that lets you face all the villains with all the heroes or vice versa (I always played as the villains because Darth Maul is clearly the coolest).

There you have it, my favourite game and with good reason.

And if you take one thing from this, even if you abhor Star Wars, let it be this: use this time to revisit the things you loved from your childhood.

Unless it requires you to meet up with more than six people, of course.