It has ended for now- the beta for Dice’s Star Wars Battlefront. But soon gamers will have their revenge. Well at least somewhat soon. November 17 is still down the road.
My experience from the beta was one of glee and pockets of frustration. I haven’t had a solid round of Star Wars Battlefront for years, so getting the teaser a couple years ago, and then seeing the presentation at Star Wars Celebration was incredible. The beta just made me excited for the whole experience.
Seeing Star Wars with the beautiful new graphics is a tick in the win column along with faithfully recreating weapons. From the Imperial issued E11 to the Rebellions widely used DH77 pistol, each weapon is faithful to what you’d expect from Star Wars canon, and it have the sounds to match. Hearing blaster fire and seeing sparks fly from near misses is exhilarating, right up until a Wilhelm scream that signals someone’s death. Without a doubt, this is Star Wars.
One of the largest gripes with the beta which I don’t agree with completely is how unbalanced the Walker Assault mode is. For those who don’t know, this mode allows you to face off as the Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance. For ease of description, you were pretty playing the opening battle from Empire Strikes Back. This means the battle is not in your favor if you’re playing as the Rebels.
I’m a weird gamer. I kinda enjoy situations where you can potentially be a gluten for punishment and are used as target practice. As the Rebels you’re attempting to destroy the advancing walkers. Before you break out your tow cables, get this- no damage can be done to the walker until it suffers a bombing run from a Y-wing. Said air support is guided in by holding specific points on the map.
I’m sure most of you are piecing this together. Your team of 20 has to hold specific points while the opposing team of 20, aided by the Empires walking death machines, tries to stop them from calling in these strikes. It’s not the ideal situation if you like a “fair” fight. But there are instances where a band of rebels can become victorious.
One of the other functions that became more of an annoyance was with the range and accuracy of the various weapons you do have to choose from. I don’t think I’ve been annoyed by pistol kills this much since Halo CE and I don’t really look forward to it in Battlefront. From what I experienced, kills at what seemed like extreme range was possible no matter your weapon of choice.
Added to this was my frustration with air combat. I’m a huge fan of past Rogue Squadron titles and I knew going into the beta that the flight controls would be the same if not similar to Dice’s other titles. Needless to say, I lazily listed myself into the side of a snowy mountain on more than one occasion. Despite these points against it, I found the beta enjoyable. Gamers, myself included, will be able to war in the stars once again to see if the galaxy will be liberated or under the Empire’s grip.
Dice has already acknowledged the Empire favored Walker Assault mode, so only time will tell if that mode gets tweaked heavily to even the odds. As far as my other gripes, I’ll just have to wait and see if it’s the will of the force.