As most of you may know DICE and E.A. Games have been working on a new Star Wars game in the Battlefront franchise titled simply Star Wars Battlefront. It isn’t a continuation on the previous series but a reboot of the franchise. Well this past week they released a Beta version of Star Wars Battlefront across the PS4, X-BOX One and PC for all to play and go through. With three out of the 13 different modes unlocked for the Beta version, players got just a taste of what DICE and E.A. have been putting into this next game and possible rebooted franchise. So here is my review on all three game mods, the pros and cons for the game as a whole, some DLC, and what hopefully this game will deliver on its release date of November 17th. (I should also mention that I played this game on the PS4)
Walker Assault Mode
The first game mode I tried out was the famed Walker Assault. I did get a taste of this as well when I went to San Diego Comicon. They had a tent set up with this as a playable thing. Now it was on PC and I myself am a PS4 guy. So I died pretty much every single time while playing it at SDCC. I was therefore very happy when it was released on consoles. The basic idea for this game mode is a 20v20 online battle on either Hoth or Endor (Hoth was the only one available for the Beta version). You either play as the Empire or Rebel Alliance as you take control of unique vehicles, power-ups, and weapons. You either defend your base if you’re a Rebel or lead Imperial Walkers and troops to destroy the Rebel Alliance if you play as the Empire. The choosing of what side you are on for any of the three game modes was completely random. So it’s unknown if that will stay the same when the final version of the game is released or not.
In the Hoth mode, it was just like watching Empire Strikes Back. Everything from the music, to the location, sound effects and objectives really did feel like the battle of Hoth. The match played fairly simple. Either you’re the rebellion and you’re trying to activate uplinks around the map to call in Y-Wing Ion Bombing runs or you’re the Empire and trying to destroy the uplinks and lead the walkers to the shield generator. There are an array of weapons and power ups scattered across the map for you to find, including the rare and hard to grab AT-AT power up, where you get to control the cannons on the Imperial Walkers and hero card where you get to play as either Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader for this map. With those two being some of the hardest to grab they will surly go fast if you can’t find them first. You can also fly Tie-Fighters and X-Wings respectively but sadly not the bombers. This is a fast-paced map with a very large open landscape for all you sniper fans out there. This mode during the Beta would earn a solid 8.5/10 with me.
Drop Zone Mode
The second game mode I tried was a mode called Drop Zone. In this mode you have to capture and defend five escape pods that are randomly dropped from the sky onto the map. Once you defend and secure the escape pod it releases power-ups from inside as a reward. The team who captures all the pods or has the most in 10 minutes wins the match. The developers have stated that they intend to add more escape pods to capture but only did a small amount for the Beta. This mode took place on the new planet they have been pushing called Sullust. Mentioned briefly in Return of the Jedi this is the first time in the newly formed Star Wars canon where we get to see this volcanic planet in all its glory. This mode has a smaller map and I believe only 6-10 players on each team.I am not sure if there will be other locations for the game mode but I do know for sure Sullust is one of them. Was this the most fun game mode I played? No. But it was more action packed and extremely fast paced with tight corners and rocks to maneuver between. I found it super relative after the third time playing it but that’s just me. So if you like the close combat style and capture the flag style gameplay, then you will surely love this mode. Personally I would give it a 6/10.
The final game mode that was released with the beta is called Survival. This is a part of their single player/co-op missions. During this you only play as the Rebel Alliance as you are stranded on a planet and must fight off 15 waves of Imperials either by yourself or with a friend. During around every 3-4 waves a drop pod will land in your location and you must capture it to gain the power-ups from within. These power-ups include personal shields, orbital strikes, rocket launchers, and Ion magazines for your blaster just to name a few. This is the typical survival mode that are in games now, you kill all the enemies in the wave and then more challenging enemies emerge in the waves after. During the game you want to use the environment around you to take cover and spy on what the enemy is doing and where they are going. This mode probably features the smallest map out of the three in this article. So use the corners and rocks for major cover from snipers and AT-ST’s. With each wave the Imperials grow in number and strength so you can’t just go full head on charging them. You have to plan your attack according to what power-ups you have and what type of enemy there is to face. This mode was a solid 7.5/10 for me.
Now on to some pros and cons for this game. I can’t list all of them but I will hit on the key ones fans have been vocal about and some I found while playing it. Let’s start with the pros. The game is beautiful! The graphics are absolutely amazing and blew my mind when I saw them. This is so far the best looking Star Wars game out there right now. The snow shines like real snow on Hoth and you can leave footprints in the sand and have destructible environments in forests and while blasting at rocks. It is just amazing. It really feels like a Star Wars game when you see the blaster bolts firing from your rifle and hitting your target ahead. You no longer have a count for ammo or thermal detonators like you did in previous Battlefront games. It is on a cool down system for the rifles/blasters and grenades replenish over time along with your health if you’re hit.
You get to customize what species you are. You sadly didn’t get to during the beta but they have confirmed, along with customizing weapons, you get to choose your species. They haven’t released what’s to choose from yet but rumors are Twi’leks, Rodians, Sullustians, and many more. You also get to play as a female soldier! After all these years of featuring female characters who are totally bad ass you get to play as them on the front lines. You get to play as iconic hero’s and villains. Everyone ranging from Princess Leia to Boba Fett and with a whole lot more to chose from. You only got to play as Luke and Vader during the beta but they played fairly easy. If you were a fan of the heroes and villains you could play as in Battlefront 2 then you will love these because it’s basically the same game mechanics. And finally the gameplay itself. It feels like a PS2 game. Not in a bad way at all, mind you, but like how the original games felt. It’s very simplistic with not a whole lot of buttons to use. You basically point and shoot. You will have to play it to see what I mean by that, but it’s totally a good thing.
Now on to some cons. No campaign mode. In the previous two games there were actually story driven missions where you played through iconic battles and locations from the movies or expanded universe. This does suck, but they have said that there will be single player missions. Whether or not those are story mission or whatever is still unclear. So we will have to wait and see what those are all about.
There are no hangars for ships/ground vehicles. Before, you could just walk up to a random ship or ground vehicle and get in no matter what side you were on or what you were doing. In this you have to find and activate power-ups for vehicles of any kind. So in all reality if you’re on a big map you may never find a vehicle power-up for a good long while if others keep taking them or if they are scarce. But they do make up for it in a way by just having a fighter squadron mode. So that may calm people down who can’t fly anything during normal game modes.
There are no Republic or CIS sides to play as. I will miss playing as those two sides just because it gave the previous games more to work with character and troop wise, not just the Empire or Rebels. There are only limited locations and planets. So far, only four planets have been announced to fight on and it’s looking like that could be it for now. I sincerely hope not because there are so many locations in the Star Wars universe, and it would be a shame to limit it to just 4 or 5 planets.
Finally, there is no space combat. That was a huge plus for Battlefront 2 and it was so cool! Docking in huge capital ships and taking out their support systems, then flying out and destroying fighter support was a blast. With the game engine and mechanics that DICE and E.A. have come up with for this, a space combat mode would have been killer! I am hoping they will add that in either the next hopeful game or as a small DLC pack.
Speaking of DLC packs, E.A. has just announced that there will be four add-on packs that you can buy for Star Wars Battlefront, one of them being a pre-order bonus, which is called The Battle of Jakku. This takes place one year after the Battle of Endor as the newly formed New Republic tries to capture a major post on the planet. This is also the setting for a good part of the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. So fans get to see and live out what happened before we see it some 30 years later on the big screen. Those who pre-order the game have early access to it and those who do not pre-order it must wait a week before its release to the public (It’s rumored to be a free download, btw),
All in all, I hope this game really delivers to the fans what they want and need. Most Battlefront fans have been waiting for a new game since Battlefront 2’s release in 2005! So no pressure to DICE and E.A. I really did enjoy myself while playing through just those three modes. And with 10 more to be released along with all the DLC, I am sure that this will be one of many Battlefront games to come.
Have you picked up the Star Wars: Battlefront beta? If so, what do you think so far? Which platform are you playing it on? Comment below!