Star Wars Battlefront Beta

Before we begin, let’s get the Death Star-sized elephant in the room addressed prior to anything else: No, Star Wars Battlefront does not have a single-player campaign – and there’s nothing wrong with that! If you haven’t been paying attention over pretty much the last decade, the single-player campaigns tacked on to online First Person Shooters have declined more and more over the years with regards to content and actual story. The good news is that we got Star Wars Battlefront, a game that’s current Luke Skywalker vs Darth Vader timeline puts us smack dab in the middle of the Return of The Jedi backdrop. A campaign was never really promised anyways and there is nothing to say that this game wouldn’t have been a lot less fun had a campaign been focused on instead of the amazing multiplayer experience that this title is. We’ll hope for a future title for a Star Wars campaign for now.

Star Wars Battlefront is a full-fledged multiplayer FPS experience in the Star Wars galaxy, putting you at the controls (normally) of a member of the Rebel Alliance or a Stormtrooper for the Imperials. Along the way, certain game modes allow you to become something far greater than you ever imagined: Star Wars Heroes. The opportunity to wield a Lightsaber as Darth Vader or shoot first with the gunslinger abilities of Han Solo, Star Wars Battlefront has what any Star Wars fan would be looking for in a multiplayer FPS. As well, you also have a chance to pilot iconic space crafts like the Millennium Falcon which is an experience in itself.

But enough with what the fans expect to hear. Let’s get down to it! Star Wars Battlefront is hands down one of the most beautiful games I have ever played. When I think next-gen consoles, this is what I expect them to do. The Forest Moon of Endor is hands down one of the more picturesque maps in the game and even if you’re not a Star Wars fan per se, you cant ignore the fact that it looks like you’re standing in the middle of a forest when you’re charging through. It’s amazing how impressive some of these maps look and it’s hard to ignore that, aside from the galactic battle waging 50 yards away, you can get lost looking at the environments. Even far off hills, as long as you’re not paying attention to Jabba’s Palace off to the side, look like ones you’d see while road tripping through the desert. Though the map selection for game modes are limited, they are immense and can be easy to get lost in without the option of viewing a full area map, relying only on your limited personal radar in the corner of you’re screen. More maps are promised in future free DLC so there’s that.

Weapon selection is rather limited for Star Wars Battlefront, and needs to be unlocked at a price once their according level is reached. With limited weapon selection, it’s easy to pick out which is going to be the crowd favorites. Within days, I found myself on the usual rotation of 3 different weapons and it was hard not to notice most everyone else using one of the three for their load-out as well. Star Cards add an addition power up option, giving you the chance of three per hand: two being a secondary weapon while the third being a personal-use power up. Thermo Detonators were by far the popular choice with the Jump Pack being the only real game changing device through the again limited use of Star Card options. Again, more to come in future DLC I’m sure but that’s getting near the point of title that didn’t have enough to begin with at launch and with 20 v 20 modes, it’s not hard to see entire armies favoring a handful of Blasters and Star Card hands

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Another option fault comes in place of character customization. Storm Troopers and Rebels all look the same… and that’s pretty much it. If you’d like, you can purchase a pre-made character head for your Imperial Troop, but then you just look like a Storm Trooper missing his or her helmet. As well, the heads are the same for the Rebels. You can’t currently modify their outfits at all, nor can their weapons be designed in any fashion other than the standard galactic issued “Ass-End-Of-Space Black” color option. Now I’m not looking for a neon pink Storm Trooper but simple changes in armor hear and there, modifications to the helmets or chest pieces, little things that could have been done to make your individual soldier their own personal look would have been awesome. Instead, everyone wants to either get the Biker Scout or the Shadow Trooper, or the alien Rebel characters and that’s it. The game definitely fails there, especially in comparison to how customizable characters can be with custom emblems and armor can be in other current and past FPS games. There’s just no real custom option whatsoever in this game.

Other missing things you’d come to know and love in FPS multiplayer games is a final kill cam, or anything that shows big highlights of the previous match. And believe me, game changing moments happen every other moment in this game and there’s really nothing to highlight those outstanding moments or players, other than a basic naming of three players for their outstanding skills. Seems rather cookie cutter especially in a game this big and heroic where literally anything can happen.

The game modes are plentiful but very few stand out as ones you’d really go back to, time and again. My favorites by far were ‘Supremacy’, a massive 20 on 20 tug-of-war death match, with the opportunities to fly X-Wings, Tie-Fighters, and become Heroes like Luke Skywalker and Emperor Palpatine, are what make this game mode by far the most intense. The objective-based ‘Walker Assault’ was as well as standout. Though it was tough communicate the team-play issues that plagued this version during the beta, it has quickly caught on as a non-stop action game mode with again vehicles and Heroes in-game. As well, fighting off AT-AT and player-piloted AT-ST walkers are what make this game an unpredictable and insanely addictive 20 v 20 mode. Though getting used to controlling Heroes can take a few goes, the chance of picking up the Hero Token that are randomly placed in the battlefield are amazing. My favorite by far is Luke Skywalker with his speed and jumping abilities, he can carve up entire platoons of enemies with his lightsaber. Heroes on both sides of the Force are available including Boba Fett and Princess Leia. ‘Blast’ was a game mod that also a lot of fun for those looking for your typical 8 on 8 team deathmatch, pure and simple. The weapon limitations without the option to add attachments do level the playing field for pretty much everyone out there so all game modes are accessible one the basics are grasped. Other games like Droid Hunt and Cargo can at times be fun but turn more into GTA Online after a while; everywhere dropping the objective and blasting on whoever walks around the corner. I suppose smaller maps just eventually lead to battlefield-wide shootouts after a while.

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Fighter Squadron however takes a step away from the norm and puts you at the controls of Tie-Fighters and Rebel craft like X-Wings as well as the chance to fly Boba Fett’s Slave-1. This game mode was incredible if you enjoy combat flight simulators. I personally would love to see EA and Dice do a standalone Star Wars combat flight sim game in the future because Fighter Squadron was so good that it just didn’t have enough. I found myself flying an A-Wing through canyons for no other purpose than just to see how tight I could make corners around cliff faces. Though they can seem incredibly overpowered when flying against them, being behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon or the Slave-1 are amazingly fluid and fantastically brutal when dog-fighting opposing craft. Each fighter craft does have it’s own 1st-person cockpit flight view. Though they are neat to look at once or twice, they are difficult to use while in a match and they really do not serve any more purpose than the once-given “Ooohs” and “Ahhhs”. Still, this needs to have it’s own game, EA. Bigger maps, a lot more vehicles, and a campaign. I need more Fighter Squadron!

I’m lucky enough to have multiple friends who are massive Star Wars fans / PS4 owners so I had a lot of fun playing Star Wars Battlefront. However, if you’re not a huge fan of the franchise (I like it but you wouldn’t call me a “fan” necessarily), and don’t really have a group to enjoy the game with, Star Wars Battlefront may not be the game for you. It just doesn’t have the customization and weapon options to keep you on target long enough to really get the full enjoyment of this game. Even with it’s looks alone, Star Wars Battlefront is not a game I’d recommend to the casual gamer who doesn’t have time to sit down and enjoy it with friends. However, if you’ve got friends and are ready to throwback to throwing laser blasts down steel-girded hallways, facing off against the likes of Darth Vader and hordes of Storm Troopers; if you’re ready to turn your back to the Imperials and stand in rebellion with Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Battlefront is where you want to be. This game will have you entertained for hours.

[easyreview title=”Star Wars Battlefront Review Score” cat1title=”Overall Score (out of 5)” cat1detail=”” cat1rating=”3″ ]

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