We were lucky enough to go along to EGX in Birmingham this year and play a variety of games before their official release. One of these games was the hugely anticipated Star Wars Battlefront, which is set to be open to the public during its beta run on October 8. After getting some time with game modes ‘Walker Assault on Hoth’ and ‘Survival on Tatooine’ at EGX, here’s some thoughts on what to expect.
The Gameplay Is Frantic
Whatever worries people may have about dedicated servers or not being able to get into a match slip away once you do actually get dropped into a 20 v 20 match on ‘Walker Assault’. Nothing compares to 40 players charging at each other from across the map, with lasers hissing at the floor and fizzing through the air. Running battles are as common as team firefights as you wrestle over control points and desperately shoot everything in your arsenal at a group of enemies.
Campers Will Be Punished
Unless you plan on never seeing another player, camping isn’t going to get you anywhere. While the Hoth map feels pretty expansive, you’re never far from an enemy player who will destroy you given half a chance. If you decide to go the other way and camp on a control point, you can bet your bottom dollar you’re getting swarmed with enemies pretty sharpish. Teamwork is essential to success in Battlefront, unless you’re cool with rebel scum everywhere or an AT-AT fucking you up.
The Art Style Is Faithful To Star Wars
There’s definitely a knack to getting the feel of a Star Wars game right – some have it, some definitely don’t. Battlefront absolutely has it. The recognisable pa-ching of blasters, the thunk of grenades and the painstakingly detailed maps all combine to put you right in the middle of a set-piece battle from the eponymous universe. We spoke to some of the Battlefront team at EGX who told us they consider it to be their career defining achievement – probably not the words of somebody worried about the game.
Jetpacks Are A Game Changer
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from modern gaming, it’s that jetpacks make everything better. This is thankfully still the case in Battlefront, especially in Walker Assault. If the action is out in the open, then a nimble jetpack thrust to flank your opponents can wreak absolute havoc. There’s nothing more satisfying than whipping over an enemy as you rain hot laser down on their pitiful head.
Co-op Isn’t That Fun
Unfortunately, it’s not all rose-tinted lightsabres. The ‘Survival on Tatooine’ mission felt markedly stale in comparison to the white-hot action of the game’s online portion. This is obviously dependent on who you play with and on which difficulty etc. but on medium difficulty with a fairly competent team-mate, it just feels like an afterthought. You boost around the claustrophobic map batting away waves of Stormtroopers as they run towards you. It is worth noting that when we played our headphones were broken, but there’s not much hope that a lack of wilhelm scream made this so average.
All things considered, Star Wars Battlefront felt like the kind of game Star Wars fans would want to play. Obviously, we’ll have to wait until November 19 to know for sure, but the open beta should give at least some insight into what the final product will be like.