The Star Wars: Battlefront beta opened up today and after playing the 3 game modes for a while I think I have a pretty good opinion on how it is so far. If you haven’t been following the development of the new Battlefront, it’s set to release on November 17 and it’s being published by EA while being developed by DICE (who is owned by EA).
For starters, Star Wars: Battlefront is NOT a reskinned Battlefield clone, although it does share a lot of the same elements – it still feels completely different from any Battlefield iteration. The movement is similar to Battlefield, and the gunplay could also be compared to it, but how these basic elements are executed is what makes Battlefront different from Battlefield at the core level. With that said, it’s an FPS and after you’ve played enough of them, they all start to feel alike.
The level of detail put into the 3 maps that we’re given in the beta is absolutely phenomenal. The lighting and shadows are what really makes everything look near photorealistic, though – and I only had things turned to “high”.
Battlefront is also optimized incredibly well, and although the recommended system specs are through the roof, I really don’t think you’ll need that level of hardware to put out 50-60fps on high settings – even in the massive battles. I have a relatively mediocre build that’s below the recommended specs, and I was easily pulling 60+ fps on high settings.
Unlocks & Customization
The unlock system in Battlefront seems well balanced and allows for a feeling of progression without limiting you too much on your options early on – or at least that’s how it feels in the beta. There are 3 different weapons to unlock + a default one for each faction, and 7 “cards” which cover things like grenades and jump packs. There is also some form of character customization, but, unfortunately, it’s locked for the beta.
It’s safe to say that the Battlefront beta is a lot more limiting than the Rainbow Six: Siege beta was, but it still gives us a good taste of what’s to come – and I liked what I tasted. There has definitely been a lot of content left out of the beta, and there is going to be wayyyyyy more when the game releases in mid-November.
The first game mode that I tried was Drop Zone because I wanted to get right into a multiplayer match to start earning some XP and currency. When you first join a game, it will give you a quick run-down on what you’re supposed to do, and Drop Zone’s is pretty basic: 1. Capture the pod 2. Defend the pod 3. Repeat. It’s an 8v8 “capture the point” team deathmatch that was executed really well, the point moves after being capped, and can be contested by the opposing team – so you could be stuck on the first “pod” for an entire match with really balanced teams.
We only have access to one map for each game mode in the beta, and the one we’re given for DZ looks absolutely amazing, it really makes the experience that much more immersive and enjoyable. In my opinion, Drop Zone is probably the best place to start out earning some initial XP for unlocks, before hopping into the other more advanced game modes.
The second thing I did after gaining a couple of ranks in Drop Zone was hop into the 40-person Walker Assualt, which happens to be what we saw featured in the various trailers released. This game mode is all about either stopping the giant AT-AT walkers or protecting them. We only get to battle over Hoth in the beta, and I can’t wait to see what other maps we get for this mode. All across the map there are various pickups which will give you an edge in battle – and sometimes a little more than an edge.
Walker Assault really puts you into the heart of the Star Wars universe by allowing you to pilot numerous ships like the X-Wing, A-Wing, and Tie Fighters. It also allows you to take control of various “heroes” on both the Rebel and Imperial factions, in this particular battle you can find pickups to play as either Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker.
If controlling a force-wielding, lightsaber swinging machine of death wasn’t enough, you can also hop in the gunner’s seat of an AT-AT walker to really rain down the destruction. You only get 1-minute to cause all the chaos you can, but that minute should be enough to rack up at least 10 kills. You just have to know where to find the pickups during the various phases of the match.
After playing this one Walker Assault map for a few rotations, I really started to feel that Battlefront was going to turn out to be an absolutely amazing game. This map really left me craving more and got me pretty amped on all of the possible locations that EA could feature in Battlefront.
Survival puts you in a somewhat tight map and throws increasingly stronger waves of enemies at you. Every few waves a pod will drop and you can expect to encounter an AT-ST shortly thereafter. After activating the pod, it’s going to drop some powerups so make sure not to miss those. The map we get for it in the beta takes place on a super detailed Tatooine that makes you beg for more! The Tatooine map is definitely the nicest looking of the 3, in my opinion.
I only played one match of the Survival mode, and it was definitely a lot of fun. Unfortunately, what we get in the beta is quite limited and only lasts for 5 rounds that blow by pretty quick, especially on normal difficulty; however, I could see survival being really great once Battlefront is released.
All-in-all, Star Wars: Battlefront (2015) is turning out to be a really kickass game definitely worth your preorder. It’s not often that I advocate for preordering, but Battlefront is definitely not going to be a let-down like previous games at release this year.
The open beta will stay live until October 8th, although it will likely be extended like beta’s usually are, I would suggest hopping in before you lose your chance to do so! Getting into this beta is super easy and all you need to do is download it from Origin or Steam.