Star Wars: Battlefront Beta Impressions

The Star Wars: Battlefront (ad) beta has been out for more than a day now and I’ve probably played 8 hours or more of it. In this post, I’m going to run through my thoughts on the game.

Graphics

First off, this game is gorgeous and detailed. The Frostbite engine is being used to maximum effect in this game. We have apparently finally reached the point where the game can look fairly similar to the movies. I am especially impressed with how the Rebel’s base on Hoth looks. Playing indoors on Hoth really feels like actually being in the movie. The battlefield right in front of the generator on the Hoth level also looks like it is right out of the film. Some other nice graphics I noticed are the ice on Hoth and the rocks on both Tatooine and Sullust.

Player movement

It takes a bit of getting used to how your player moves in this game, as it is a third person shooter where the camera is back far enough for you to see around you, enabling you to quickly turn around to fire on someone. There has been some discussion as to the best way to play with your character, with a lot of players now not scoping in at all and just staying in the third person. The auto-aim seems to work better this way, and you can watch what is happening around you while firing on an opponent and you can keep moving, which makes you harder to hit. If you scope in, you end up being a standing target plus you don’t know what is happening around you and won’t be able to adjust after your firefight.

Vehicles

The controls for the vehicles seem to be fairly intuitive, although a lot of players seem to be completely overlooking the fact that your player cards change when you are in a vehicle and there are special weapons to use.  I like that there are several vehicles that players can operate, including an X-Wing, A-Wing, Snowspeeder, Tie Interceptor, Tie Fighter, and AT-ST. We know that the final game will also let you use the Millenium Falcon, Slave 1, and a speederbike.

Heroes

On Hoth, each team can get a Hero powercard which allows the Imperials to be Vader and the Rebels to be Luke. Boba Fett will be another hero in the game, although he isn’t in the beta. There is just something so fun about being able to be one of those characters in the midst of a huge battle. It is perhaps a bit unfair to other players, as this is really the equivalent of getting the best killstreak in Call of Duty simply by finding it in a supply drop, but it adds a lot of flavor to the game. A lot of people are complaining that Luke is wearing his Return of the Jedi black garb with green lightsaber, but EA has said that Heroes will be able to be customized in the final game, leaving us to hope that Luke can wear his orange flightsuit in the battle of Hoth.

Gamemodes

Since the beta launched, there has been a steady stream of people complaining that the AT-AT assault on Hoth is nearly impossible for the Rebels to win. I’ve played that level at least twenty times now, and only won once with the Rebels. While most players want the game changed in some way or want it to be easier for the Rebels, I actually think the current game balance is fine. The problem isn’t the game, it is that teammates aren’t working on destroying the AT-AT’s like they should be.  Instead, everyone seems to want to just play the game like team death match.

If you don’t know, the Rebels are supposed to enable two different uplinks, which then trigger a Y-Wing bombing run. During that bombing run, the AT-AT’s shields go down and it is vulnerable to fire. There are a plethora of options for dealing massive damage to the AT-AT, including several turrets (the large disk one works best) along with a few powerups like the Orbital Strike, Snowspeeder, and  X-Wing. For all we know, this gamemode might be even easier once players can bring in other weapons and power cards.

The other multiplayer gamemode is dropzone on Sullust. The objective in this game is to claim drop-pods for your team. When the time runs down, the team with the most drop-pods wins. Teamwork still can be very effective, but I’ve found that one player can make a much bigger difference in this gamemode than others. The drop-pods have set places where they land, and if you just try to guess an area and then reach the drop-pod first, you often can claim it right away and then work to defend it. Once both team’s reach the drop, a battle ensues, but the other team often can’t take back the pod that you quickly claimed.

The last gamemode in the beta is the survival mission on Tatooine, where you basically just fight a few waves of stormtroopers and two AT-ST’s. It’s a pretty basic survival mode, but is a nice change of pace from multiplayer. I found it pretty easy on Normal, but there are two other difficult levels to make it more of a challenge.

Final Thoughts

I’ve been impressed by the beta primarily just because the game lacks any of the bugs or issues I typically find in betas. Of course, this game is only a month out from it’s November 17th release date, so this probably is nearly the finished game and EA likely just wanted to test their servers to avoid any launch day problems.

So far, I’m loving this game. It feels like the Star Wars game that I wanted as a child when I poured hours into various Star Wars games that were no where near as good as this. If I played 8 hours on just three maps and gamemodes and still want to play more, then I think I will easily be able to get at least 60 hours out of the final game which will include more maps, gamemodes, and other content.

After playing the beta, I am seriously considering preordering this game (ad).  I’ve typically been against preordering altogether in the past, but for this game I might make an exception as people that preorder will get access to the Battle of Jakku a week earlier (On December 1st instead of December 8th). Also, the fact that EA at least had a beta for this game and it looks pretty good really means there isn’t much chance of this game being a broken mess.

What do you think of the Star Wars: Battlefront (ad) beta? Will you be preordering the game? Leave a comment below!

 Star Wars: Battlefront

Pre-order Star Wars: Battlefront and on December 1st, 2015, be among the first players to experience the Battle of Jakku, the pivotal moment when the New Republic confronted key Imperial holdouts on a remote desert planet in the Outer Rim. Taking place in the aftermath of the Rebel victory in the Battle of Endor, players will experience the events that created the massive, battle-scarred landscape of Jakku shown in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Players who pre-order Star Wars Battlefront can fight the battle one week early. All other players will get access to this content on December 8th, 2015.

Preorder from Amazon Now! (ad)