The long awaited [Star Wars: Battlefront](tag:2684021) reboot by EA and Dice has finally released a teaser for the whole world to play. The Beta dropped today and people are geeking out over everything that the Beta allows and even what it doesn’t. While EA does a great job of staying true to the original concept of Star Wars Battlefront which gives this game a nice breath of fresh air in the midst of all of the same ol' FPS games out there. Yes, Call of Duty, I’m lookin at you.
In this Beta you are able to play three modes. Two multiplayer and one single player/co-op mission. The two multiplayer modes are Drop Zone on the planet Sullust and Walker Assault on Hoth. The single/co-op mission is called Survivor which is on the planet of Tatooine. Drop Zone which is 8v8, is pretty straight forward and has a lot in common with modes like Domination in Call of Duty. Both the Imperials and Rebels fight for control of various Escape Pods and their contents. Walker Assault, which is the most hyped up mode, features a massive 40 player cap and of course AT-AT Walkers. Fans of the franchise will probably remember this mode from the earlier games, not much has changed. Rebels capture outpost uplinks to allow Y-Wings to target the Walkers and the Imperials push through the Rebel defenses and go after the shield generators...the same goal the Imperials had in “The Empire Strikes Back”. And Survivor is the last mode where you are put on Tatooine either alone or with a friend and you fight off waves of enemies and see how long you last.
Drop Zone is a lot of fun to play. It is much more close range combat as compared to the long range battle of Walker Assault. You will die a lot because it is such close combat, but you’ll also rack up a good amount of kills, once you learn how to use the terrain to your advantage. This mode doesn't allow vehicles unlike Walker Assault where you have a wide range of Fighters and Walkers to choose from. Drop Zone is by far the closest to a classic Call of Duty multiplayer match, so far, which will be more comfortable for players who've only played Call of Duty or Battlefield, whereas Battlefront veterans will have much more fun with Walker Assault. Drop Zone is also the most balanced mode thus far, both teams have an equal chance of winning.
Walker Assault as I've said before is the most like the game play from earlier Battlefront games. You can still use turrets that are placed throughout the map and have access to vehicles via pick-ups. Although this mode is very, very one sided. The Imperials have a huge advantage over the Rebels and the Rebels will rarely win in this mode. In all of the times I have played this mode so far, I have never won while fighting with the Rebels. You can only attack the Walkers once you have turned on the up-link outposts and the Y-Wings bombard them and unless you use an X-Wing, A-Wing or Airspeeder, you probably won’t be able to destroy the Walkers even when they are vulnerable. Plus after the Y-Wings bombard the Walkers, they are only vulnerable for a fairly short period of time and if you don’t take advantage of it, you’ll miss your chance. So for that reason, I was kind of bummed about this mode. Although the fact that you can fly around and be able to snipe enemies easier still makes it pretty fun.
Survivor I really only touched so I knew what it was so I could touch on it. It’s exactly what the title says. You survive for as long as you can against the AI. I was never a big fan of these types of survival modes except for Call of Duty Zombies of course. I didn't even really like the Exo Survival in Advanced Warfare. But that is just me, other players might have a different opinion on this mode.
Another thing that kind of bummed me out about the Beta was that there really isn't a big selection of loadouts. Everyone starts out with the basic blaster which is slightly different for the Rebels and Imperials but the biggest difference is the way it looks. There also isn't a traditional aim like in other FPS games like Call of Duty. Instead it feels more like Halo where it’s mostly hip fire with the option of a scope zoom. Now for me, I love the traditional aim and never really got the hang of the Halo mechanics but that’s just me. Now the Cycle Rifle which is unlockable by leveling up and then buying with in game money you acquire by how many points you rack up during your matches, is very nice. It has one shot and a seven second cool down but if you manage or score a headshot, it's most of the time an insta-kill.
All of the other weapons and “Star Cards” which account for your support items and secondary weapons need to be unlocked by level and then bought with in-game money which you acquire during your matches by how many points you earn. XP you earn is added to your level and then converted into money. Very innovative process which I found actually very nice. “Star Cards”, for now, consist of grenades, a sniper with a cooldown, and tactical items like a personal shield or jetpack. You can only equip two cards at a time and will affect your play depending on the mode you’re in, so choose wisely.
Now besides all of the problems so far I have with this game, one of the best qualities of the game are its graphics. The game is just beautiful. The light of the sun glistens on the water soaked rocks of Sullust. On Hoth, sparks fly from the ground by large laser blasts. Embers, flames and smoke rise from the debris of shot down Tie Fighters and X-Wings. The blasters you carry are very well designed and almost identical to the ones from the movie. There isn't much texture popping and everything runs very smoothly. The only thing that got me was when you see Luke or Vader running around, their animations aren't as smooth as the regular soldiers. they are more rough. And from what I saw of their movements, they are more “jerky” and tough. But then again, this is just the Beta and I am sure there will be a few patches to be made before the release of the full game.
Overall this is a very good Beta. The servers, so far, don't get overloaded like what happened during the Call of Duty Black Ops 3 beta, the game play is very smooth and everything that they tease that will be available when the full game comes out like character customization and the other game modes like Fighter Squadron that, from the screenshot on the multiplayer screen, shows the Millennium Falcon which I can not wait to fly! Drop Zone is probably my favorite mode so far but Walker Assault is still a blast, even if the Rebels do lose every time. There are a lot of redeeming qualities to the Beta that make it well worth my time. I am sure that the full game will be even better than what the Beta has to offer. Hope you enjoy and have time to experience the Beta, and May the Force be With You.
For a full dive into what is included and hinted at in the Beta, check out my overview of the whole Beta.