A Return to That Galaxy Far, Far Away…
This past weekend I was one of the many participants in the Star Wars Battlefront BETA (Apparently 9 million people took part in the BETA, according to EA). Star Wars has always been something special and important in my life so, naturally, I got very excited to try out the game before it released. After blasting Imperial scum and not finding the droids we were looking for, here are my initial impressions of Star Wars Battlefront.
As most of you are probably aware by now, Star Wars Battlefront is a multiplayer-only game. The only “single player” mode you can get in the game is survival mode. Survival mode is not restricted to one player only; you can also play co-op with a friend. From videos I’ve seen online, it seems survival mode can be played offline with a friend on consoles. In the BETA, you play as a Rebel soldier(s) that crash landed into Tatooine. Admiral Ackbar (sadly, he doesn’t tell you “it’s a trap”) tells you that he is sending someone to pick you up but you need to survive waves of Stormtroopers before that can happen. Naturally, the more waves you clear, the more stronger the Stormtroopers become (In two instances you have to take down an AT-ST). Survival mode in the BETA was limited to only six waves (which went by pretty quickly, to be honest) but I enjoyed it very much (it’s also very fun with a friend).
The guns in the game actually feel like they have power to them; they don’t feel gimmicky like in the movies and older video games. All the guns in the game are laser guns so there is no need to reload. The only thing you need to look out for, though, is to not overheat them. If you time it properly, you can cool down the gun quickly, but if you don’t then you’re gonna have to wait a while before you can use it again. Every gun is different in terms of its stats. For example, a blaster pistol might have a better rate of fire than a laser rifle, but the laser rifle might have a better damage rate than the blaster pistol and so forth.
On to the multiplayer: there were 2 different game modes that you could play in the BETA; Drop Zone and Walker Assault. Drop Zone worked like a capture-the-flag/king of the hill game. Drop pods randomly drop onto the map and you have to capture them before the other team does. The team that captures the most pods at the end of the time limit wins. It’s fairly simple and straightforward but also very fast paced. The second game mode, Walker Assault, worked like a defend-the-base/Team Deathmatch game – it’s basically a recreation of the battle of Hoth in Episode V. When playing as the Imperial army, you have to protect the AT-ATs while they head towards the Rebel base. When playing as the Rebels it is the opposite; destroy the AT-ATs before they reach the Rebel base. As I mentioned earlier, this game mode feels more like Team Deathmatch than anything else. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to play as Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker so I cannot tell you how they are from experience.
In my opinion, Battlefront feels a lot like Battlefield in terms of its gameplay (you could literally call it Battlefield in Space). This is no surprise since the game is published by EA and uses the Frostbite engine; which actually makes the game look very pretty, to be honest. In the older Battlefront games you could choose a preset class to play as, such as a basic soldier, engineer and so forth. In this game, you create weapon classes and customize the way your character looks (you couldn’t do that in the BETA, though). In each class you choose 3 cards; you could call them “special abilities” almost. So, for example, a random class could have ion grenades, a jetpack and an ion blaster. Obviously, as you rank up in the game it allows you to unlock better weapons and cards for your classes. Also, after every game you complete, you earn credits; which is used to unlock these things when they become available to you. One of the things the game does keep from the older titles is that it allows you to play in either first-person or third-person, depending on what works best for you. For me, the third-person camera felt awkward and I couldn’t really play the game properly. I personally preferred the first-person camera.
One of the biggest problems I had with the game was severe lag issues. While it was not obvious at first, and the fact that the game didn’t tell you what your ping rate was, it became abundantly clear when I tried to use my jetpack. Instead of going up, the jetpack took me to the other side of where I was facing; it’s almost as though I ran from the one side to the other. I hope that upon release the game will have dedicated servers because playing with many different people from around the world will make it a nightmare to play.
So, the question remains, is it worth getting Star Wars Battlefront? Personally, I’d say yes, but not on release. There are so many things I have yet to see in the full version of the game and I’m also interested to hear what others have to say about it. EA recently announced a Season Pass for the game (which is no surprise at all) so if you’re interested, and have the money, go get it. My biggest worry about this game is that it’ll become stale once the novelty starts to wear off. The fact that this game is heavily focused on multiplayer is also part of my concern since once you’ve played all the different game modes countless times, there’s nothing left to bring you back for more. Hopefully I am wrong but we shall have to wait and see.
Did you take part in the Stars Wars Battlefront BETA? What were your thoughts on the game? Let me know in the comments section below and May the Force be With You!