By Sam Coles:
We’ve all been waiting for a new Star Wars Battlefront game for the best part of 10 years now, but finally we have a new one on the way brought to us by DICE who most famous for the Battlefield series. What I’ve experienced of this beta so far is that it’s ok but nothing mind blowing, but it has balance issues with Walker Assault which I’ll get into.
Let’s get the good out way first to soften the blow with the negatives I have with this beta. The presentation is fantastic it’s what I would expect from DICE in terms of visual fidelity. The environments look beautiful of what I’ve seen so far from the crisp snow on Hoth to the blood red canyons of Tatooine. Even down to the explosions and damage that guns make when they hit walls, vehicles and people you see sparks fly everywhere creating this chaos with the battle that you would expect. It’s nice that the game runs at a blistering 60 frames per second for the most part, but however it does only run at a resolution of 720p on Xbox One in the beta.
As per usual in the sound design department at DICE they’ve nailed it! They’ve mixed the sounds of the Star Wars such as the blasters and Tie Fighters with that Battlefield sound, so it sounds like they’ve added in the grunt of a real firearm with the noises of blasters. It helps you get sucked into the environment with chaos around with the explosions and the shouts of your follow soldiers.
So now let’s get into gameplay and features of the Beta.
You have three modes to choose from:
· Walker Assault
· Drop Zone
· Missions: Survival.
Walker Assault was a great Idea but however at the time of this review when I played it, it was horrendously unbalance and is always in favour of the Empire. I don’t think I played a game as the Rebel Alliance and won Walker Assault. So here is how Walker Assault works, you have two AT-AT’s slowly pushing up trying to stop you from turning uplinks on, which is a similar vein to Rush from Battlefield. This is a great idea on paper it should work right? No it does not work well at all because the Walkers take too long to destroy and I’m not saying make their health low but make them a tad easier to destroy. The reason why I say this is most of the time when you’ve destroyed one AT-AT the second is already at the shield generator. So I wish they would balance this before it launches on the 20th of November.
Drop Zone is nothing too special two teams fight over drop pods that are randomly dropped around the map and you have to defend them for a short amount of time to gain power ups. I liked playing this mode but my problem is that it’s not anything that I’ve haven’t played before and in my opinion it’s a bit run of the mill.
Now Missions were very controversial because DICE said that they’re not including a single player campaign, but they said you can play missions single player. What mission do we get in the beta? Bloody horde mode! I thought we got over horde mode after Gears of War 3 I don’t understand how this mundane mode is still so popular? You fight off waves of enemies that increase in difficulty over and over agian, mowing down enemy after enemy in the same spot just isn’t fun it’s a snore fest.
So let’s talk gameplay when you’re out on the field and power ups etc. The gameplay is competent you shoot at the enemy and they eventually die, but don’t hold down the trigger for too long because the blasters over heat. There is a small mini game where you can do a sort of active reload in the same style of Gears of War to skip the wait of the gun cooling down period.
Now the main thing about this game in terms of operating vehicles and assuming controls of heroes of villains is annoying. So how it works with vehicles is that you’ll find small blue icons which will be in the shape of said vehicle which is a pain to spot in whiteness of Hoth. This is annoying because using vehicles is no longer a choice and becomes a scavenger hunt to find them. The charm of the old Battlefronts is that you could be a specialist with certain aspects such as being a pilot of ground vehicles or providing air support from an X-Wing or Tie Fighter, but it’s not an option in this game. The Heroes and Villains system works the same so anyone can be Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker without earning it like in Star Wars Battlefront II.
So after each match when you level up you’ll gain currency to unlock “Cards” for your loadout such as thermal detonators or jetpacks. My main issue with this is why don’t you let me have a grenade from the start? That is also a huge issue as well because you get infinite thermal detonators! I’m not joking and yes there is a cool down time but it runs down far too quick and I noticed a massive problem with spamming especially in the hanger on Hoth. So I was in this situation where I was constantly dying because of the grenade spamming this needs to be addressed they need to slow the cool down time by a mile or the logical thing to do is to give you limited amount of grenades.
Overall Star Wars Battlefront is a bit of a mess at this point in the Beta phase with the unbalance nature to Walker Assault to the boring horde mode in Missions. They need to get into gear and address these problems because over wise they’re going to have some very unhappy gamers.