Like much of the gaming community on this past Thursday, I found myself glued to my PS4 Dual Shock controllers, playing the living daylights out of the Star Wars Battlefront Beta. All I can say about this, it has fulfilled that little kids dream that I have had ever since I began to watch and play Star Wars games. That being said, why is this one so much more different from all the other games I have played or even the other Battlefront games? Simply put I feel like it is the attention to detail. DICE has stated throughout the development period that they are fans too of this grand saga. We did not get to see this or consume it until just now. Hopping into my first match as the Empire, seeing that hi-definition E-11 Blaster in my characters hands, the screaming of Tie Fighters over head the harsh winds of Hoth beating at the ground and characters, the ringing of blaster fire. DICE has truly constructed a living and breathing Star Wars environment. While it may not seem like it at all, it still gives us the pleasurable experience of having our very own fantasy fulfillment. Now, there are some gripes I have, as this is a beta and a game after all but, I want to share a little bit of my own personal experiences with this Beta test. Also below is our first video for our website that will be a video based discussion for this topic! I apologize for the quality…. very new to this.
First off, this is by far the best Star Wars shooter I have played. Shadows of The Empire was long my favorite Shooter but this one takes the cake. It is immersive and the responsive nature of each weapon provides a more than satisfying experience for the player. The Flight controls take a bit of time getting used to but once you learn how to properly pilot your air vehicles the can be very efficient. The ground vehicles, right now the AT-ST is the only controllable one that moves with player input, is straight forward and simple to use. Critics have argued that this is no more than a glorified and re-skinned Battlefield 4 game. I would argue that, that is just poor writing and analysis on part of the critics. This game falls into the same formula as the originals did. With modern touches and better engines to boot, Battlefront plays and feels very much like a much improved BATTLEFRONT game. Of course the player tactics have changed, the weapons are different and behave differently from how they did a few years back on the original games. This is all thanks to the improvements made over the past years with the rise of Battlefield and Call of Duty games. While it may feel like a Battlefield game, I feel that lumping this game into the bit of just a ‘clone’ (No pun intended to any Stormtroopers reading this) is a bit of a stretch. Sure DICE is known for their Battlefield series but, do we say that games like Mad Max, being published by Warner Brother’s, is a clone of the new Batman games, just because it uses the same melee system? No, we make comparisons but I don’t see it as a re-skinned clone.
Secondly, this games successfully immerses you, the player. My hair stands up and goose bumps crawl whenever I hear the screeching sound of the Tie Fighters roaring over head. It never gets old. The child in side of me, the played with Star Wars Lego’s and tried to imitate these noises, is more than thrilled to be able to experience it. Hell, it means that I don’t have to go and ride Star Tours, every time I feel like being in a Star Wars setting. I can now play a game that will provide me the same immersion. DICE was careful in their love and passion for the game as a whole. They were granted access to Lucas’s personal archives at Skywalker ranch. They went to the on set locations for the original films! What game developer does that? I’ll tell you. Ones that are fans as much as you or me are. DICE loves this series and the attention to detail proves that much. If you can successfully lose your player in the game you created by literally making them feel like they are actually there and experiencing this, then you have done your job right and you have made a fan-base more than happy. This being said, this is from my small point of view, there are plenty of others who feel opposite and feel like EA and Disney are just making a cash grab out of the Star Wars name and nothing more.
Now for the gripes, I hate multiplayer only titles. Pure and simple, I am not competitive and I cringe and feel awkward when having to play multiplayer all the time. No I am not a ‘poor sport’ or a ‘newbie’ I just don’t see the thrill in it all, that being said, I have grown to enjoy it. More over, like many other authors before me, the evident lack of a fully fleshed out single player experience has been the biggest ringing note out there. The Survival Mission that is playable for the beta feels lack luster. It can easily be punched out in less than half an hour and it is not possible to die. That being said this is the only bit we have exposure to. I don’t know what the rest of the game will be like for that matter. We will have options to be able to play against bots in traditional matches like we had for the Battlefront series before hand. Is this a make or break choice for me? Yes and no. I don’t enjoy paying a full retail cost for a multiplayer experience only. I do however enjoy paying a full retail cost for a Star Wars game that I am in love with. Will we see maybe a Single-player patch come through for us? Doubtful, if anything it will be thrown in as DLC, since that is just the way the market has been for the past several years.The other big gripe that DICE is already addressing is the one-sided, historical truth to the Walker Assault mode. The Rebels lose almost every time. Yes, I have had two sounding victories over the Empire but, that’s just it, The Rebels were never meant to win Hoth from a historical-fictional standpoint. But for players I understand how demoralizing a defeat logo looks match after match.
Do I fear EA screwing things up before launch? No. Why do I not fear this you may be asking? Because I don’t think EA is stupid enough to piss off the entirety of the Star Wars Fan base or the mouse for that matter. But Kausus! What about Mass Effect, Sim City or Battlefield 4?! Sure, EA can afford to change things on titles that have a big following but in all consideration, they are absolutely dwarfed by the fan-base for the Star Wars Saga, quite literally this is a worldwide appreciated piece of art. If EA where to piss off the fan-base, the new owner, Disney, would hear about it. I don’t want to see the mouse angry. That being said… Disney might not even do anything and that is just something you got to accept. We have some sway but not much when it comes to big corporations like Disney. All I can do is hope that EA is wise enough not to screw anything up before or after launch.
With the beta being extended for today, as per an EA announcement, I think many more will be able to put some adequate time into the beta before the severs close. That then leaves us in the home stretch for the November 17th launch date. By time all is said and done, we may have an even better launch experience than what we have had to taste with the beta thus far. That being said I do hope the servers are ready for a launch day experience. Battlefront will launch on PC, PS4 & Xbox-One. Have you been playing the beta any? What are your takes from this slice of the game and what do you think or want changed about it? Feel free to leave us a comment below or get with us on our Twitter page!