Star Wars: Battlefront Beta Impressions
So the beta for the third entry in the Battlefront franchise has launched on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. It will last four days and includes just a handful of weapons, two maps, and two modes. My initial impressions are exceptionally positive, but have not gotten more excited for the final release. I feel like the beta just confirms we will be getting a great game, but fails at showing gamers and fans why this should be the game to play during a crowded holiday season.
First off, let's talk about the weapons and gadgets. All four guns are automatic blasters and mostly just look different. I found the light machine gun like DLT-19 to be the most brutal of the bunch, but there's just not a lot of variety in these equipable weapons, nor are there any attachments. I'm not even sure if there will be attachments, but that would be a huge blow considering the amount of guns in this beta that are all basically the same thing. There is a sniper called the Cycle Rifle which is a card weapon you can equip to the left or right bumper. You can get one shot out of it before you have to let it recharge before using again, but it packs a punch from a distance and is a one hit kill mid to close range. There is also a customization tab that is blocked out, this is for your character.
Cards are where you can find gadgets and you unlock them with the in game currency you earn from doing just about anything. You can equip most of these cards to the left or right bumper or there are three in the beta that can only be equipped to the triangle button. These three cards seemed focused at giving your character a slight edge on the battlefield. Ion Shot gives your weapon special ammo for a short time tailored at giving extra damage to vehicles and gadget, a personal shield which gives you protection, but no use of any weapons when activated, and a card called sharpshooter that reduces cooldown times if you get headshots when activated. Each have their advantages but don't really have a huge effect on gameplay. In terms of actual gadgets you have a grenade called a thermal detonator, an ion grenade which does extra damage on vehicles and shields, and a jump pack. The thermal detonator is a decent grenade for giving a good amount of damage or finishing someone off. The ion detonator is pretty useless in my opinion and literally does nothing to enemies. I flanked a group of enemies not even aware of me and threw an ion detonator and did a quarter of damage when it was at their feet. Then lastly the jump pack which sends you flying in whatever direction you're moving. It's nice to use to get out of a sticky situation but you're unable to control it while in the air. Again, note that all these are on a cool down system and can be used many times during a match.
There are two game modes in the beta. An 8 vs 8 drop zone mode and a 20 vs 20 walker assault mode. My favorite being drop zone, it's a fun focused mode that puts you in team firefights and promotes a bit of teamwork. Walker assault is Battlefront's biggest mode and it doesn't fare well, at least on this map in the beta. It's all over the place with no focus and found myself wondering what is going on at times. Rebels must defend the base and activate and defend satellites that take down the AT-AT's shield defenses. Once this is done teammates must use the X-Wings to shoot at them and take them down. Turrets and regular guns do very minor damage against these things. During my playtime I never won using the rebels. It's very unclear what to do if you aren't sure. The AT-AT's also have a bunch of damage, making them seemingly impossible to destroy.
The two maps in the beta are Hoth and Tatooine. Both look absolutely stunning. Not only do they look straight out of Star Wars, they boast some great effects, sounds, and lighting. It's really impressive. Characters also look great. This is the biggest plus I can give Star Wars: Battlefront and that's nailing Star Wars, it's a novelty in every match I have played and doesn't get old. Dice has also nailed the shooting mechanics, which isn't any surprise.
My final impressions of the beta are very positive, but again, I believe this feels catered at the casual audience who like Star Wars. Not the hardcore shooter fans Dice has, nor previous Battlefront players. It's a disappointment, but the game is fun nonetheless. I'm just hoping the final release brings a lot more guns, gadgets, modes, and maps. I need my first person shooter fix and don't want to rely on Call of Duty to do so.
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