Star Wars Battlefront Beta: A disturbance in the force
Let me start this off by saying, this is a game that I have been anticipating for a long time. As a Star Wars fan, I have been awaiting a game from this franchise to immerse myself in for quite a while. When I saw the first trailer for Battlefront, I was amazed, and over the next few months, more and more videos of game play footage was revealed, and it all looked great. This, by all accounts, appeared to be an excellent realization of the Star Wars franchise in the form of a first person shooter. Later, when it was announced that the beta would be available to everyone, I couldn’t wait and preloaded the game as soon as I could. Then on October 8th, I got home from work, fired up the game, and for the first time saw out of the eyes of a storm trooper as I raced to
help my team capture a downed escape pod.
My initial thoughts were that the game looks absolutely beautiful and it does feel great staring down the sights of the storm trooper rifle, which is something I haven’t done since Dark Forces. I racked up some points in Drop Zone mode, grabbed a few upgrades, and headed over to the Walker Assault mode to see what this game had to offer in one of the most iconic Star Wars battle scenarios. This mode is fun, yet horrifically unbalanced. If you play on the Rebel team you are tasked with maintaining transmitter dishes that call in a Y-Wing bomber attack that will disable the Empire’s AT-AT’s. Then you must focus your fire on them to defeat the walkers in order to win the match, however, this is extremely difficult to do with the limited variety of heavy weapons available to the Rebels. If you play as the Empire, you get to kill Rebels, drive AT-ST’s, man the guns on the AT-AT’s and actually win the match. I must confess, I did see the Rebel team win during my time spent in the beta, once.
Regardless of the balancing issues, the game is enjoyable; however, there are some glaring faults. For instance, star cards take the place of a customizable load out. I just don’t like the idea of throwing a grenade, then having to wait for my grenade to charge? And I can throw them forever? That’s weird. Also, long gone are the days of vehicles located around the battlefield. Now to get into a vehicle you have to find a random power up coin located around the battlefield. Need a rocket launcher? Same thing, only the weapons power up coins don’t tell you what you are getting and can be anything from an orbital strike to a squad shield. The absence of a single player campaign is also a letdown.
Battlefront is having trouble filling the shoes of either the classic Battlefront 2 or Battlefield 4, and with the announcement that the DLC Season pass is an additional $50 to effectively unlock the developers original intentions, I am having trouble justifying the price to purchase this game at launch.