Everyone loves Star Wars. This is fact. If you don’t then you are one of the few who have not seen the films, lying, or one of those folks who prefers Babylon 5 (in which case please get in the Clyde). If you are anything like me then you are most likely pishing your pants at the thought of blasting lasers on some of the most iconic battlegrounds from the original trilogy in Star Wars Battlefront.
Luckily we won’t have to reach for the adult nappies just yet as DICE have opened up their public beta, giving everyone their first real taste of what’s surely going to be one of 2015’s biggest titles. After ploughing a good few hours into the few modes made available the question remains, are the early signs positive?
In a nutshell, it’s a semi-hesitant yes, on one side this is one of the most gorgeous looking shooters ever to grace a console with gameplay that certainly delivers. On the other hand however is the looming concern this title has had since day one – at face value it’s pretty much Battlefield with Star Wars assets…
Now depending on where you sit on the shooter fanboy fence, this can either be a great thing or one which will make you want to avoid it altogether. What I will say however is that while it does share similarities with EA DICE’s massively successful shooter, there is enough here to make Battlefront stand out on it’s own from Battlefield.
For one is the weapons, from the moment you pick up Battlefront and pull that trigger it really fulfills that yearning of wanting to be in a Star Wars battle. Coupled with the stellar sound design, these weapons feel a lot more meaty than some of the flimsy options available in Battlefield. (Lets face it, some of the gunplay in Battlefield feels like pissing in the wind).
Another thing the beta has shown is that EA DICE are not messing about when it comes to the scale of the maps, and when I say that I don’t just mean a measured area. Take the Hoth map for example, aside from being set in a locale which is a Star Wars fan’s wet dream, they really have nailed the action happening around you to make you feel like true Rebel/Imperial cannon fodder.
The attention to detail second to none, and this snippet of gameplay from the beta is promising. Really, my main gripe is with the balancing, and this is expected seeing as its a demo…sorry beta…
Of the three modes available, the epic clashes on offer within Walker Assault is clearly the most impressive, but hard as balls if you are playing as Rebel Scum. The Empire simply boss this mode, and I have yet to play a round where you are not absolutely teabagged by them. That being said, I am pretty pish at shooters.
Why is it so hard? Well the answer is simple, as the Rebel side you actually need need to play the objective to have any chance of winning. This is simply not going to happen in a team of twenty randoms who fanny about while you are up against a pimped out Empire side. Seriously, the only thing missing is a Team America-esque FUCK YEAH theme tune as they roll up in their AT-AT’s of doom to kill your peasant Rebel forces.
Granted, this adds a level of fan service to the whole battle. The Rebels were always the shanny one of the two, a rag tag army standing up against the riches of the Empire. Seriously, next time you watch Star Wars look at the nick of a Y-Wing in comparison to a Tie Fighter. But that was the point, to make them the underdog, and playing as the Rebels in Battlefront beta you really feel it.
A match will usually consist of two rounds, giving you a shot on both sides, so you will have your chance to feel the power of the Empire. Speaking of power, both sides will offer players the chance to play as a hero, in this case Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.
When you first come up against them it is pretty cool, but the awe is quickly washed away as they are clearly being controlled by a Star Trek fan, bouncing about the war zone like a force wielding festival goer who has clearly had a few tabs.
All in all I can say that there is a lot here for fans both old and new to the series and the franchise to enjoy. It has been revamped enough to make it seem fresh and should have most of the kinks worked out by next month’s release date. The early signs are promising, play you should.