If you pulled yourself away from Metal Gear Online, Transformers: Devastation and Rock Band 4 long enough to play the new Star Wars Battlefront beta, we commend you. This past week has been full of fresh doses of gaming and it’s pretty tough to choose which one to devote your time to.
We were in the mood to shoot off blasters and be on the winning side of our Empire or Rebel forces. After putting in an ungodly amount of hours into the public beta for this much anticipated release, we came away with our final thoughts. Some positive and some undoubtably negative.
What We Enjoyed
– We have to admit: once we saw the full name for this release and heard that Battlefield developer DICE had its hands on it, we immediately thought this shooter would simply be a Star Wars re-skin of Call of Duty’s main competitor. Once we got a good feel for the game, we realized that totally wasn’t the case here. Moving across the ravaged terrain of Sullust and snow covered grounds of Hoth felt smoother. Since you’re blasting firearms that shoot lasers and have no need to reload, there’s no Battlefield recoil feel to worry about or manual reloads to activate. This shooter feels entirely different from the series we once compared it to.
– From the striking visuals to the classic audio, it’s quite apparent that the devs took special care to make this Star Wars experience as authentic as possible. True fans will bask in the glory of those towering AT-AT’s, elicit screams of joy (or horror) upon seeing powerful Jedi’s run across the field and shed a nostalgic tear when the Star Wars opening theme randomly starts playing. This is Star Wars through and through.
– Drop Zone can be described as the game’s “capture and defend an objective” styled mode. For smaller skirmishes, this option is a much more fitting option than the large scale Walker Assault mode. There’s a lot of fun to be had here when it comes to entering more action packed encounters. Everyone on the map is just a few steps away from each other, so there’s never a dull moment. It feels immensely gratifying when your team actually pays attention to the objective and pulls out a clean sweep victory after capturing several drop zones.
– Walker Assault mode truly brings that large sense of scale players expect from such a grand multiplayer shooter. It becomes overwhelming at times while laser fire, AT-AT’s and fighter ships are moving above and on the freezing planet of Hoth. But you’ll quickly adjust and fall into line after a few matches. This is where proper teamwork truly shines.
– Getting to play as Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader makes you truly feel unstoppable.
What We Weren’t Big Fans of…
– Walker Assault mode is fun…if you’re playing on the Empire’s side of the conflict. This mode seems woefully unbalanced for the Rebels. The odds are truly stacked against you as a Rebel – not only do you have to activate and defend uplinks, you also have to fend off AT-AT’s and eventually take them down. AT-AT’s are massive and have large health meters to boot. The Empire has it so much better if you’ve noticed. All they have to do is turn off the Rebel uplinks and wait out the clock while controllable AT-AT turrets can pick off any Rebel stragglers. The Rebels can hop into ships to whittle down the AT-AT’s health, but that still doesn’t give them much of an edge over the Empire. We hope some adjustments are made to the final version of this mode to give them more of a fighting chance.
– The Survival on Tatooine co-op mode is a nice diversion from the double digit player numbers of the other multiplayer modes. But it feels a bit ho-hum and underwhelming in comparison. Just having two players holding it out against growing waves of enemies is a bit of a letdown. Having a full squad of four in other games’ version of Horde mode may have us a bit spoiled. This mode seems like the one and done type of experience you’ll quickly play and ditch for the more competitive options at hand.
– There’s no option to go prone? Yep! We think that sucks…
– It feels a lot better and easier to shoot in 3rd-person mode, in our opinion. Just hold down on the D-Pad as soon as you spawn to enter that viewpoint. Aiming down the sights becomes less of a priority here, too. You’re much better off shooting as soon as an enemy enters your crosshairs and then zooming in after landing a few laser shots. There’s no need to give up that one split second to get an exact bead on your enemy. Just start blasting. There’s no weapon recoil, so there’s nothing extra you need to worry about there.
– Blaster Rifles are a safe bet for players who like to fight from a medium distance. Those Blaster Pistols have an incredible rate of fire, so they’re great picks for players who like to get up close or play the ranged game. If you truly like killing from a distance, the Heavy Blaster is a fine choice to equip once you unlock it.
– Once you fully unlock the Star Card unlocks, we recommend you go into battle with a Thermal Detonator, Personal Shield and Ion Shot. The 1st item is your go-to grenade, the 2nd item protects you from death for a few moments and the final one increases the power of your shots. If you’re more of a sniper type player, we suggest you equip the Cycler Rifle, Jump Pack and Sharpshooter. That way, you’ll have access to a powerful one-time ranged shot, be able to jump to higher places quicker and get better perks for certain kills you attain.
– If you’re on the Rebel side of Walker Assault matches, here’s what’s gonna actually give you a fighting chance – the Orbital Assault power up. If you happen to be the solder who nabs it, don’t use it until the match at hand tells you to attack the AT-AT’s. They do a ton of damage on those towering machines. This is one of the few edges we found when fighting from the side of the battle that’s less likely to win.