Star Wars: Battlefront was undoubtedly the most popular game you could queue for at Gamescom at the start of this month. With over 50 PCs with Star Wars: Battlefront ready to go at one of Battlefront's four booths, people were clambering over one another to try it. The game also walked away with the most awards from Gamescom - one of which was, unsurprisingly, the Most Wanted Consumer Award. People love Star Wars and they love Battlefront.
But what was it really like to play Star Wars: Battlefront? I had the chance to engage with two different demos of the game. One, was an enormous fight on Hoth with 40 players, and the other was a much smaller affair in an underground bunker. Both of these maps gave me an interesting view on what Star Wars: Battlefront will be like on its release date, but the statements from gamers around me were even more insightful.
What's it Like to Play Star Wars: Battlefront?
Let's get the bad news out of the way, because there actually were elements of this game (which as a product I cannot wait for) that I found really underwhelming. The superior of the two experiences was obviously playing on Hoth. There were far more players, we could get into vehicles, the map was huge and varied - it was a lot more dynamic. But the other map was fairly underwhelming and everyone I talked to felt the same way.
I played a match on Jakku against AI stormtroopers and it was a two player split-screen session with a member of the EA staff. It was an enclosed space, and I hate to say that it was reminiscent of certain maps I'd played in Battlefield. Battlefront is always far more enjoyable when you're engaging with multiple hostiles on a massive and open environment. In this small space, I was none too impressed by DICE's Star Wars: Battlefront.
Have You Had A Chance to Engage With Battlefront's Gameplay?
It felt like an average shooter, one which had left these weird powerups around the map that I was never really happy with. The guy from Electronic Arts did a great job of explaining a great portion of the game and making me focus on elements I would have overlooked. However, I was never as excited playing this game as I was with other titles I got the pleasure to engage with at the conference.
But Jakku wasn't the only map that left me with a feeling of uncertainty. Hoth had its problems too. The action was so intense, the amount of chaos on screen was incredible and DICE's exemplary sound design was always amazing. However, there are aspects of this build that I played that I desperately hope are altered or removed for its release date.
As I've already mentioned, the powerups in Battlefront are something I really disliked. Rather than seeing an AT-ST standing on the battlefield, I had to hope I'd pick one up from one of these floating coins. I never knew what I'd get, and while that sounds like it could be exciting, it was underwhelming. In the hanger on Hoth there were speeders there in all their glory - but you couldn't get in them.
All ships and vehicles were only accessible via this coin system and I really hated it. Even in Battlefield, seeing the vehicles and successfully taking it is so much fun and Star Wars: Battlefront has replaced this with - what I feel - is a poor idea. I'm not sure if this will be changed for the game's release date, but it was disappointing for me as a fan of the original games.
What Gameplay Changes Would You Like to See?
My time with [Star Wars: Battlefront](tag:2684021) was admittedly limited. However, so was my interaction with other titles at Gamescom and there were so many other games that left me with a sensation of joy and excitement. Star Wars: Battlefront was a mixed bag for me. The combat is so much fun, it's beautiful and it sounds and feels great to play. But there are so many little annoyances along the way that affected my complete enjoyment of DICE's shooter.
Perhaps a lot of the issues that I had with the game will be ironed out for its release date on the XBOX One, PS4 and PCs. DICE and EA took a lot of advice from gamers and I seriously hope that our issues with the title were listened to, and can be addressed. If you've had the chance to play Battlefront, let us know what you thought in the comments below!