On October 10th, 2015, EA DICE, the company known for games like Mirror’s Edge and Battlefield, officially launched the public beta for the much anticipated Star Wars Battlefront game first announced at E3 2013. The beta received tremendous success, filled with over nine million players from around the world. The beta showed off both the multiplayer aspect and single/cooperative features of the game featuring two multiplayer modes, Drop Zone, Walker Assault, and one cooperative survival mode, Tatooine.
The first thing players noticed about the game were the graphics. Although there weren’t very many maps for the players to explore, the game featured Tatooine, a barren desert planet, and Hoth, a desolate frozen planet. The Tatooine map was featured for the survival single-player game mode where the player and one other friend, if chosen, were forced to survive six waves of Imperial troopers with limited resources. When people weren’t shooting down All Terrain Scout Transports (AT-ST) and getting the drop pod, they was being mesmerized by the outstanding textures of the sand and rocky surroundings. This transferred on over to Hoth where the surroundings were crisp and beautiful. However, the one visual problem that was very prominent was in the hangar area looking out towards the snowy area, except the area outside was hard to see unless it was by looking through a scope.
The survival part of Star Wars: Battlefront, is a single-player/multi-player alternative to just shooting other players. Instead, the player is dropped at a location after their ship is shot down by Imperial forces and the player needs to defend themselves until backup can arrive. In the beta the map is Tatoonie. The player needs to defend themselves for six waves. There was one difficulty level, normal, allowed for the beta. Although there was a slight challenge, there wasn’t a real sense of completion by the end of the six waves. Unfortunately, the difficulty couldn’t be bumped up due to the restrictions of the beta.
The other aspect of Star Wars: Battlefront is the multiplayer aspect. The beta featured two multiplayer modes. The first was a 16-player mode called Drop Zone. In this mode, two teams of eight had to go after a specific zone and capture a drop which came with extra power ups/items for the team that captured it. The mode wasn’t as popular, and some players even had difficult times connecting to a lobby. The other mode was the highly acclaimed and anticipated Walker Assault mode, the one featured at the E3 2015 preview of the game. This mode features the map Hoth, where AT-AT walkers are marching upon the rebels and trying to basically take over their base, similar to Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. This mode has been cited as overpowered, since the Imperial side gets a bit more to work with than the rebels. This is unfortunately true. The imperials get access to not only AT-AT walkers, they also get AT-STs, Darth Vader, on top of Tie Fighters. While the Imperials get one flying ship, however, the Rebels had access to three including an X-Wing fighter, Speeder, and one other flying vehicle I can’t remember the name of. Each ship held it’s own perk, and provided a balancing effect in some ways. The goal of the mode is to capture specific uplink stations to call in y-wing bombing attacks on the AT-ATs and to keep the AT-ATs from reaching the generator.
For the most part, the game really exceeded my expectations. I really enjoyed getting to be apart of the beta. To give a score I would give the game about a seven out of 10. Overall the beta delivered excellent quality and gave players the perfect tease of what’s to come, but it has a lot to work on in order to be considered a perfect game. The game releases on November 17th, 2015 and features three purchase packages: A standard edition for $59.99, a deluxe edition for $69.99, or an ultimate edition for $119.98.