Star Wars Battlefront’s beta: the potential for something great

We spent the last few days with the Star Wars Battlefronts’ Beta. Available for play since October 8th, we were pretty excited to finally get the chance to try out whatever the beta had to offer.

What that amounted to was two game modes and an ample amount of weapons, gadgets and power-ups.

Star Wars Battlefront - Beta - hands-on

No, Luke, I am your carry.

For starters, the game looks incredible. I played the game on a cool 900p on the PlayStation 4 and this is the tastiest, true-to-life Star Wars experience to be had in the gaming world.

The war-torn landscapes adorned with steaming craters and crashed space-ships look gorgeous. There are swarms of battleships hovering in the atmosphere, with X-wings and TIE fighters waging aerial warfare.

Troops blast at each other on land with lasers flying everywhere accompanied with the various pew pew sounds we love so much.

Not only does the environment look great, but lighting, particle-effects, explosions and lasers all look gloriously realistic.

One thing I always look at in games as a measurement of quality are explosions, and these are some of the best I’ve seen.

Another highlight is seeing the pock-marked Stormtrooper model, which looks like it could step out of my TV and start missing every shot at me.

Star Wars Battlefront - Beta - hands-on

Drop Zone on Sullust.

The game runs as about as smooth as I could ask for, and I have not encountered any bugs or hiccups so far. No crooked textures or corpses getting sucked halfway into the floor and proceeding to seizure.

This is definitely one of the most impressive betas I’ve played, but I can’t say the same for PC or Xbox One users.

As for the gameplay, what we have is a Star Wars emulation of Battlefield 4; the actual movement and shooting feels like a rather simplified Battlefield.

I was happy to see they left the option to switch between first and third person views. FPS veterans and rookies alike will have no trouble getting to grips with infantry controls.

Star Wars Battlefront - Beta - hands-on

Crush the Rebel scum in a variety of ways.

You start off with the basic blaster but more weapons and upgrades can be unlocked through earning credits and experience points which level your rank after each match.

There are also ‘cards’ to purchase which unlock goodies like grenades, booster-packs and force-fields.

One can only go up to rank 5 in the Beta and we’re just looking at a few samples here from what will hopefully be a wide arsenal.

The two modes one can play as are Drop Zone on the planet Sullust and Battle of Hoth. Drop Zone is similar to Conquest in Battlefield 4.

Drop Pods will consecutively crash on land and the two teams (Imperials and Rebels) will dash about trying to capture them.

After a player manually secures a drop pod, there is a time-limit based defence as the other team will try to take it for themselves. Each successfully captured drop pod awards a point.

Star Wars Battlefront - Beta - hands-on

Jump in an AT-AT Walker and squash your enemies.

This stage is infantry-only with no vehicles or heroes, a great way to level and ease yourself into a game that can be pretty overwhelming in the more elaborate game-modes.

Successfully capturing and defending a drop pod will award your team various upgrades: calling in air-strikes from nearby fighters, deployable sentry-guns and hefty explosives.

The second game mode on Hoth is a recreation of the Battle of Hoth from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

The Rebel team will attempt to continually power up defence systems and destroy the behemoth AT-AT Walkers plodding towards the base, whilst the Imperial team tries their best to stop them from halting their assault.

Star Wars Battlefront - Beta - hands-on

Maintain your defences and fight off Vader and his army.

This stage is completely epic and a wonderful realization of the iconic scene. Of course we’ve seen this map in a previous Battlefront title, but never this good.

Unlike previous titles where one would spawn in the hangar and jump into a fighter, this time you have to get lucky and chance upon a floating upgrade to have access to vehicles which you then manually deploy.

With AT-ATs and AT-STs (which you can commandeer if you stumble upon an upgrade) making their clunky advances, snowy Rebel and Imperial troops exchanging a lot of pew pew and A and X-Wings and TIE fighters having looping dogfights, this is pure STAR WARS euphoria.

Things don’t stop being awesome there. At one stage in a match I was playing Imperial and came across an upgrade with an icon I couldn’t make out.

After using it, an introductory cut-scene plays of the biggest villain of them all (debatable) prowling onto the battlefield and next thing I knew I was force choke-slamming enemies and dashing through them swinging my light sabre as Darth Vader.

Star Wars Battlefront - Beta - hands-on

Hoth looks completely amazing.

The game is a bit confusing when getting to grips with the mechanics of more complex modes and I did find myself getting bored after a while, but this is just the Beta and the full shebang is definitely something you should consider buying.

The one major problem I have with this game, though, is a lack of single-player campaign. Sure, we only get these games for multiplayer, but a game costing this much on such a large scale should have a story.

Played the Beta? Let me know what you thought in the Comments Section.

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Star Wars Battlefront’s beta: the potential for something great

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