Star Wars mania has been unavoidable. The new film was the smash hit of the Holiday period and it now seems possible to have a Star Wars product for every walk of life, from new toys to a R2-D2 air humidifier nothing has been left untouched by Disney.
The Star Wars: Battlefront game has also done exceptionally well selling 12 million copies to date – that’s enough to fill both Death Stars, complete crew and then some. This isn’t a huge surprise as the franchise has the power force to pull people into games that may have abstained otherwise. Whilst the comment sections on reviews may have you believe it hasn’t sold well, the game lobbies on consoles tell a different story.
If you’re a fan of the series and a gamer it’s probable that you may already own a copy, and it’s easy to see why it’s done so well. Short of being in a Star Wars movie, this is as close as you’re going to get to being in a galaxy far far away, the sounds and sights are massively immersive and with a decent pair of headphones, you’d swear you were on Hoth itself (minus the need to cut open a Tauntaun for survival purposes).
So, whether you want to be Rebel scum or a swanky Stormtrooper, Battlefront is a solid go to for your Star wars kick.
Chances are that if you grew up with the original Star Wars Trilogy then you may have dreamt of being a character in a galaxy far, far away… playing Star Wars Battlefront is the closest you will get to that feeling and it’s the most cinematic experience to be had on console.
DICE have lovingly recreated the universe of Star Wars. From cargo crates and power couplings to X-Wings and Lightsabres – nothing has been left to chance or imitation – everything has been modeled from the original props and it makes for a wonderful experience and looks absolutely stunning.
Rushing across the snowy plains of Hoth, or charging through the dense foliage of the forest moon of Endor is exhilarating, especially with laser fire going off all around you while the iconic Star Wars score rings in your ears. It’s easy then to get caught up in the moment and be swept away by the sheer joy of a Star Wars game that makes full use of its license.
Gunplay is a casual experience, and although each weapon has a unique set of attributes, each one handles similarly with many players favouring the same blaster. Laser fire looks great and maps light up with firefights. Like Halo’s Spartan Laser, you have to lead your shots making the gunplay tricky to get used to at first and a little haphazard as to whether your shots hit their target. In true Battlefield style, newcomers aren’t welcomed and will be victim to higher ranked players who have access to the better weapons and buff cards, making the initial experience a hard one to love.
Running or shooting highlights you on the mini-map, which points out the rough direction of enemies rather than pinpointing them. Air combat is simple too. Piloting an X-Wing isn’t nearly as difficult as taking to the skies in a FA-18 Hornet. In fact flying is quite the highlight. There’s nothing greater than outmaneuvering a Tie Fighter to hear it crash behind you as you make an evasive turn through a canyon.
Instead of vehicles lined up waiting to take off or stomp across the landscape, icons appear across each map and must be collected then called in, which makes for a frantic race to collect them first. Once collected, you must find a safe spot to call a vehicle in – get shot while doing so and you won’t appear in the cockpit of a Tie Interceptor or behind the guns of an AT-AT.
Of course the highlight of any Star Wars game should be playing as one of the main characters and on each map there are hero power ups that allow you to step into the boots of Luke, Leia, Han, Boba Fett, Vader or the Emperor. Each hero is an absolute joy to play as, pitched at close, mid or long-range. When a hero appears on the battlefield it can be a huge boost to your team, but heroes can easily be knocked down by a well-organised attack. If you do run into them individually you best turn and run. It’s quite amusing when playing as a hero and seeing an enemy turn tail and run – Luke and Vader in particular are the toughest to go up against as a lowly trooper.
Battlefront is pure and simple pick-up-and-play fun, but because DICE are behind the wheel, I must admit to expecting a bit more from Battlefront, although I love the simplified air combat, gunplay is just too simple and there are no character classes to liven up the team based gameplay. Instead, Star Cards buff your loadouts with unique weapons and explosives – all of which are unlocked as you level up – by spending credits you can add them for selection.
At launch there aren’t enough environments either. There are four planets; each has multiple maps depending on the mode you’re playing. The vast map of Hoth’s Walker Assault is quite different to the same map played during Hero Hunt and while each location is expertly crafted with some great level design, there just isn’t enough variety to the environments. At times this makes the game feel like you’re playing the same map over and over again.
While there are plenty of modes to choose from, Walker Assault is my standout favourite and it has seen quite the overhaul since the beta. AT-ATs are now easier to take down and there’s a rush protection to stop the Empire from charging ahead. The mode is almost perfect, but I feel that when playing on the Forest moon of Endor it’s balanced against the Empire and almost impossible for the Rebels not to take out the lone AT-AT.
Walker Assault may be a mode that has been plucked straight out of the films, but other modes lack this link and therefore feel like filler to pad the game out. Rather than recreate other film scenarios, like the excellent Speeder Bike training sequence, each mode plays like many other multiplayer modes we’ve all come to love (and hate). A competitive Death Star trench run would have made for some epic multiplayer combat, with a battle raging overhead as one-by-one squadrons are called in to take on the iconic race down the Death Star’s trench.
Battlefront might be a first person shooter, but I preferred to play it in third person – both on foot and in the air. I seemed to connect my shots better and by playing in third person I got to experience the excellent character animation, which reacts accurately to what’s going on – from looking around the environment to flinching when shot – it’s a wonderful addition that adds to the immersion of making your character seem a part of the world.
Outside of competitive multiplayer, there’s a single and co-op mode although with no matchmaking, you must rely on your friends list to play through the training, survival and battle missions. They are a good distraction and some of the training missions are particularly exhilarating but it seems like an afterthought, there to tick the single player box.
Battlefront is the new toy and it’s Star Wars branded. It will remain at the forefront of my online gaming, not least because I’ve played Halo, CoD and Battlefield over the last few years. Battlefront is superb fan service that just lacks in content for it’s multiplayer focus, but as a Star Wars fan I absolutely love it!
This new Battlefront TV spot can be summed up in three words – oh the feels.
Going straight for the heart-strings, EA and DICE have made a great play at appealing to the older Star Wars fans who dreamt of piloting their own X-wing or reenacted iconic Hoth battles with the toys.
It may be true that Battlefront has one or too issues but you can’t dispute the authenticity – something I have argued for a long time even before the beta!
Whether you think it plays like Battlefield, it’s too ‘vanilla’ or unbalanced, Battlefront gives fans an experience of being in the film’s most iconic battles and I am super excited to jump back in when it releases in November.
The commercial has a similar vibe that EA and Respawn created with the “Life is better with a Titan” TV spot –maybe they should have called it “Life is better with an X-wing” and have done with it – check out the commercial below:
With limited time at EGX, first on my hit list was Star Wars Battlefront. Sure, there were other games on my list that I was more excited for, but the Star Wars fan in me was screaming to make this my first hit to see if the game could deliver on the Star Wars and Battlefront promises made by DICE.
Introducing our play session was a video deck of Admiral Akbar, and after a short briefing I was running across the surface on Hoth. It’s huge, open and rather intimidating. While there are pointers to objectives, you are left to your own devices, admittedly making me feel a little lost as to where I was going and what our objective was, which was to support an attack on a Rebel base with two AT-ATs in a 20 vs. 20 match.
To merely say that Battlefront looked stunning doesn’t nearly do the game justice enough. It was unbelievable. The draw distance, the textures, and the attention to detail – it was overwhelming – after I had finished playing, I wasn’t quite sure if I had just taken part in the new movie or played a video game. You really feel entwined into the Star Wars universe; you are a grunt struggling to fight for the Empire (or attempting to repel the invasion as the Rebels). The whole experience took me back to my childhood memories of the film and toys I grew up with.
The game played really well, and no it doesn’t play like a reskinned Battlefield! The game lasted for around 20 minutes, although it seemed to be over in the blink of an eye. I need more from the game to give a definite yay or nay, but with a beta about to kick off, I decided to hit up my next game… The Division.
DICE have revealed that Star Wars Battlefront will be getting a multiplayer mode that doesn’t sound too dissimilar from one of Battlefield’s most popular ones. Supremacy will pit the Rebels against the Empire in a fight over five control points that must be captured in sequence. Lead Level Designer Dennis Brännvall comments:
When you spawn into Supremacy, you don’t have to move far to see a lot of friends – and enemies. You’re thrown into a massive frontline, where your screen is filled with adversaries: infantry, Heroes, Walkers, and starfighters. You can prepare for very heavy and focused Star Wars™ action,
This is a great move by DICE to keep the action intense, and feeling like a huge Star Wars battle rather than a small skirmish – I felt that Infinity Ward nailed this style of spawn in Call of Duty 4.
Vehicles and hero characters also join the fight so don’t expect Supremacy to be a cake walk, and with the largest maps of all the modes, it will be impossible for fans and critics not to draw comparisons with Battlefield’s Conquest mode.
The subject of air combat has been the subject of a heated debate among fans of Battlefront, with DICE adamant that the much-loved Space Battles wouldn’t be coming to their version of Battlefront. They have however got something else up their sleeve – Fighter Squadron – 20 player aerial battles with skies full of X-wings and A-wings versus Tie fighters and Tie interceptors. There’s even AI pilots flying around, so expect one heck of an action-packed game mode.
The objective is simple – get to the kill score limit before the opposing team, with extra points available if you can destroy the enemy team’s transport shuttle. Each ship has a unique ability, and there are numerous powerups strewn around each map, including a special powerup that allows you to pilot the iconic Millennium Falcon or Boba Fett’s Slave-1.
It’s not Space Battles, but surely after watching the brand new trailer below you can’t help but be excited for Fighter Squadron!
Blast has been revealed as Star Wars Battlefront’s multiplayer deathmatch mode.
Rebel forces must kill off the Imperial team in 10v10 battles – the battle is over when one team hits 100 kills or after 10 minutes of gameplay has passed, and the team with the most kills wins.
One battle you’ll be fighting within interior levels on Endor or Sullust. In the next battle, you might find yourselves among Tatooine’s dusty canyons, or inside the undeniably cool Ice Caves on Hoth. My favorite is the verticality of Tatooine, fighting by the Sandcrawler.
Dennis Brännvall, Lead Level Designer.
There are several weapon pickups strewn across each map in Blast – I wonder if there will be a hidden lightsabre! The close-quarters nature of each level has been designed specifically for Blast – they aren’t just smaller sectioned off versions of the larger maps that are part of one of Battlefront’s other game modes.
Star Wars Battlefront releases November 17 – with members of EA Access getting early access prior to launch.
We’ve all seen the Star Wars Battlefront E3 trailers, and I’m sure many of you have seen the sneaky leaks from the alpha build, but just how do you play Walker Assault? Battlefront updates has the answer!
Uplinks are captured by the rebels so that the Y-wings can be called in – all the while, AT-ATs are en route to the base. Once the walkers have hit a certain point, the rebels can now attack them with ground assault and any queued Y-wings that were queued up via the uplinks – it looks less like Rush than the E3 trailer first looked, but will the force be strong with DICE’s Battlefront?
Releasing November 20th is a game most have been anticipating, Battlefront was shown off today in all of its glory. Watch this amazing 40 multiplayer battle of the Empire accompanied by AT-AT Walkers vs Rebels who do everything in their power to stop them. Pre-ordering will get you access to the Battle of Jakku December 1st, learn what happens before the events of The Force Awakens, two maps are set on the all new planet of Jakku and seven days early access for a pre-order. Battle of Jakku is available free for all December 8th.
Since the official reveal of Star Wars: Battlefront earlier last month Dice have remained silent over the controversial decision to not include space battles in the game despite repeated requests from fans for a reason behind it.
Patrick Bach, Dices General Manager explains why the development team has taken the decision to not include “Space Battles” in the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront game.
We want players to stay in the same environment, we don’t want players to fly off and do something else. It’s about the Battlefront experience, so we want to keep you in-atmosphere and fighting with the infantry.
I understand the decision in some ways as Dice want to keep the focus on the ground, supporting infantry in battle like they do in Battlefield 4, but it would be nice to have the option.
In the meantime though it looks like if we want to enjoy Space Battles on an epic scale then we are just going to have to wait for Elite: Dangerous on the Xbox One.
Star Wars: Battlefront is scheduled for release November 2015.