Yesterday EA games opened up the free beta for Star Wars: Battlefront and well it was pretty cool. Now mind you, this is just a first impression of the beta, this isn’t a review of it or the full game. This is just what I got out of it for the few hours I played it yesterday.
The first thing I’ll talk about are the graphics, and wow they are gorgeous. I played on the Xbox One and this might be the prettiest game I’ve played on it, and I’ve owned Forza, Metal Gear, and Arkham Knight. When I was first dropped into Hoth on the 20 vs 20 the light reflecting off of the snow actually hurt my eyes for a second. The vehicles, the characters all look fresh out of the movies. Regardless of everything else in this game, it looks good.
Of course this is a beta so not all features will be available, right now you basically have three choices when playing the game. There is the single player survival missions (though it’s called single player, you can play couch or internet co-op), what’s available on the the beta are 6 rounds you have to survive on Tatooine. This was a nice way to get used to the controls of the game without going into multiplayer and getting killed a lot. The six rounds consisted of various Storm Toopers coming after you, all of which are fairly easy to dispatch, and in rounds 3 and 6 an AT-ST joins the fight. They’re a little more difficult but your fellow rebels drop in a pod before these rounds start that give you some power ups to help take down the bi-pedal walker. Overall this mode is pretty cool, a good way to spend sometime when you don’t want to get online but still want to play. I hope when the full version comes out you get more rounds to play through, I did the 6 pretty quickly. What would be even better is if you can choose how many rounds you want to try.
For the multiplayer there was 8 vs 8 and 20 vs 20. I couldn’t get a game going in the 8 vs 8 because not enough people were joining that game so I spent my evening playing the 20 vs 20. In the beta you’re playing on Hoth and if you’re the Rebel forces your objective is to set up and defend these comm satellites in order to call in Y-Wings to bomb the hell out of the AT-ATs to drop their shields so you can destroy them, which is your ultimate goal. If you’re an Imperial your goal is to take out those satellites so the AT-ATs can blow up the shield generator.
In this mode you can get into a lot of different vehicles. On the Imperial side you can pilot TIE Fighters, AT-STs and take over as a gunner in the AT-ATs. To get into these vehicles you have to find floating symbols for them and then you can pilot them by holding down LB/RB buttons. I never got into the AT-ST but I was able to get into the TIE Fighter and AT-AT. In the TIE Fighter I was able to shoot down a couple of X-Wings. My only gripe is that controlling the TIE Fighter (along with the Rebel Snowspeeder I piloted) the steering isn’t as tight as I would like. This could very well me needing get used to the controls, so I’m not going to mark the game down for that, but I will note another friend of mine playing the beta mentioned that he had trouble controlling the vehicles as well. Being the gunner of the AT-AT is nice because you’re shielded and deal a lot of damage but you’re also on rails so there isn’t as much control as with the TIE Fighter and you can only aim so far to the sides and up and down and it’s not very far.
On the Rebel side you can pilot an X-Wing, A-Wing, and Snowspeeder. The only one of these I got to pilot was the speeder. It was pretty hard to control and you’re just barely off the ground so you have no room for error as I quickly found out as I crashed into a mountain.
So far my first impressions of the the game are very positive and I can’t wait to get home to play some more. If you haven’t downloaded it yet do it as soon as you can. The beta closes Monday.