With a huge booth featuring a massive Tie Fighter, the queues to participate in the massive 20 vs 20 battles were ranging anything from 90 minutes to three hours in length. An introductory video gave some oversight of the collectibles on the battlefield and the controls for vehicles available and after a short wait, we were fired into our first massive, pitched battle. As the Imperial forces on Hoth, we got to experience first hand the sights and sounds that so far we have only seen in the strategically edited Battlefront video from E3 a few months ago.
As you arrive on the battlefield, you can see multiple objectives to capture. Relay points dotted throughout the map are held by Rebel forces and you are tasked with capturing these points and preventing the Rebels calling in fresh support to stop our AT-AT from destroying the shield generator.
Scattered throughout the environment are random pick ups which either grant you access to temporary improved weaponry or to unique and iconic star wars vehicles such as the AT-ST and Tie Fighters. Using these strategically can turn the tide of the battle, and on more than one occasion, helped us push forward to the front of the Rebel’s defences.
Those familiar with Battlefront will instantly click with the simplified load out screen. Once you have selected your armament, whether it be laser rifle, heavy blaster, hand blaster or the iconic E-11 Blaster Rifle, you are then able to pick between one of two gadget rotations. Hopefully this will be somewhat expanded in the full release. These include Anti-vehicle weapons, personal shields, thermal detonators and even jump packs.
What truly made this game stand out as the AAA of choice, for me anyway, was not how it played, but how it sounded. From the familiar whine of blaster fire, to the raucous thump of the AT-AT rounds to the muffled activation of the personal shields, it all just oozed of an honest and respectful homage to the series.
I for one was originally unconvinced given the staged presentation given at E3, but after having turned my hand to the game myself I can say that it looks likely to live up to expectations.