Star Wars Battlefront is every bit the best and most superb take on a Star Wars game to date, and makes me feel like a kid in a candy store.
Before I start going full fanboy here it’s probably best to you know that I’ve been very skeptical about Battlefront since it was announced. For years, fans of the series have been pining for a decent game that gives us a bigger glimpse at the galaxy. So that we might get more involved in the planets and the lore within a video game associated with the series.
Star Wars Battlefront encapsulates everything from the original trilogy into a chaotic squad shooter that feels every bit a PS2 game- with it’s arcade feel taking away from the seriousness and competitive nature of FPS games that has become commonplace in today’s market.
Upon starting the beta up there is a very clean menu that houses all the things you’ll need to know with your in Battlefront. The ‘Play’ tab contains the multiplayer and missions, this is where you’ll choose whether you want to go into the player-vs-player or player-vs-computer modes. The ‘Collect’ tab allows you to check upgrades for your troops as well as check out the collection of diorama that you’ll receive during gameplay; though I couldn’t check out how to get any collectibles in the Beta because it wasn’t available. Finally the ‘Stats” tabs will allow you to keep track of all the points and statistics you’ll be getting up to in Battlefront, though again this wasn’t available in the Beta.
For actual playing in Missions there was only the survival on Tatooine available so I’ll start with this. In survival, you go up against AI enemies in wave defence, you can either go alone or with a partner, split-screen or online co-op. The mode itself is a great way to just shoot stormtroopers, because who doesn’t love doing that? With only normal difficulty available in the Beta, the six waves of defence out of the 15 that will be in the full game took about 10 minutes to complete. This isn’t really that bad for a small wave defence mode. There is also collectibles to grab during the battle, though it’s unclear what these will be used for in the full game.
The main attractions of the Beta, however, are the two multiplayer modes on offer: a smaller 16 player Drop Zone mode that invites players to secure a zone and defend it until the drop zone is completed. This is a great way to get used to the controls and how the game actually works. The second being Walker Assault that tasks players with attack and defend objectives. Playing as the rebels player must take down the AT-AT’s as they move towards the rebel base. As the empire players must defend the AT-AT’s and stop any rebels in their path.
Because Battlefront is so different to other FPS games, Drop Zone on Sullust gives players the gradual increase in getting used to not using perks or having any advantage over others. There is no advantage to aiming down sights as weapons don’t gain more accuracy. In fact, I found myself running around just shooting like a stormtrooper- missing everything and getting cut down.
Abilities in Star Wars Battlefront work a lot differently from other shooters as well. Instead of having grenades and perks, you load up your character with cards that are on a cool-down. Scattered around the maps are pick-ups that you can utilise to help your team or hinder the opposing side. The squad shield puts up a bubble around you and allies- the sound son bullets hitting it took me back to the battle of Naboo from The Phantom Menace and it’s little nostalgic triggers like this that make Battlefront so special.
Once you have a feel for the game, the game prompts you to try out the ‘Walker Assault’ mode on Hoth. This large scale 40 player mode is closer to the epic Battlefield battle we all know and love. Though playing as the Rebel Alliance is much more fun than the Galactic Empire. As the rebels, you are tasked with defending uplink stations so that Y-Wings can fly in and make the AT-AT walkers vulnerable to take down.
With TIE Fighters and X-Wings flying overhead and having pick-ups that allow players to turn into their favourite characters from the series, (in the beta Luke Skywalker and Darth Vadar were available). Star Wars Battlefront is the definitive game for the series and is perfect for pick-up and play. There is no worry about the competitive nature it’s just fun to play; something that has been lacking with most shooters over the past decade.
Star Wars Battlefront drops from a galaxy far, far away on November 20, across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. If you pre-order now you’ll receive the Battle of Jakku DLC a week early, the battle which take place between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. If you’re still on the fence about the game then I implore you to try it now. If you are a fan you won’t regret it.