Bradley’s Battlefront Beta Experience
Let’s start this with a bit of sacrilege: I used to hate Star Wars…
I know, I know. I thought it was over-appreciated, I thought it was boring, I thought it was just a boring franchise in general. I didn’t get the hype, not even slightly. I thought Lightsabers were annoying, Jedi were boring, the troops looked stupid – I just didn’t appreciate it for what it was.
Then I played Star Wars Battlefront 1. Being thrown in to the front lines was beautiful. I was at my friend’s house playing it and I just fell in love with the game itself. This was the gateway drug that led to the cocaine addiction of Star Wars.
Experiencing the wars from the eyes of an inconclusive number, an unimportant soldier made me appreciate the scale. What was once “Snow Planet” in my head soon became the blistering cold Hoth. What once was the “Octopus Hole” became the Sarlacc Pit. What was once a franchise I would alienate (har har) now had a place in my hall of fame.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 was one of my most anticipated games ever. The fact you could actually play as the Jedi or the SIth was enough to make my tummy buzz with excitement. That pure exhilarating excitement that only a child can feel; I would dream of giant fights, draw pictures of large battlefields with lasers flying from one side to another. I was consumed.
It delivered. I loved it and when Star Wars Battlefront 3 was announced, I was so ecstatic… But then, it was no longer announced. Then it was no longer in development. Then it was over at Battlefront 2.
This came out in 2005! That was ten years ago. I lived in hope what seemed like a millennia for them to maybe one day announce it. Then that teaser trailer came across at E3. The kid within me went crazy! I was so excited and couldn’t wait for it. I worked at GAME for two years and would constantly pester my managers to see if they had any news about it. I would check Twitter, LucasArts, Forums or anything to see a possible date.
And now we have the date… Now we have the Beta, and I’m kind of glad I waited.
It looks amazing, it handles smoothly and it didn’t do what I feared. It’s not Star Wars Battlefield. It actually has the Battlefront vibe to it.
Just look at the difference! That doesn’t even do it justice. I’ve been playing the Beta and, seriously… The Snow glistens and there’s drifts, your soldier fumbled when being shot at, the blaster lasers whizz past your head with the classic pew pew sound. It just plays amazingly. You could be the Rebels and see in the distance a constantly red glow and know that Darth Vader is closer than you want him to be and same with the Imperials and Luke!
I always preferred the Command Post/Supremacy kind of modes which unfortunately the Beta didn’t offer, but I know they’re going to be just as fantastic and visually breath-taking as the available modes in the beta!
Now, I’m not all too happy that they have removed the class system and not to mention the absence of the Clone Wars roster (though I sense a bit of EA money making foul play floating around here), but they have combated that with the introduction of quite decent customisation of your soldier. I guess that adds a level of personality to the game- makes you feel like it’s truly you fighting against hordes of opposition, but I did like the class system.
I imagine once the option of changing appearance is accessible, you can save sets. So I can have the Scout’s Armour with a Sniper Rifle and Recon Droid to essentially make my own classes with completely control, but only time will tell. I hope so. It was nice to employ a certain tactic in Battlefront 2 depending on whether you were facing off against a Stormtrooper to a Shocktrooper and so on.
Now, the game modes available were quite fun, but to me the ‘Walker Assault’ seemed heavily unbalanced. The Empire only need to coast through and shoot away whereas the Rebels really need to work for their victory; I imagine the balance will be rectified when the final game comes out. Here’s hoping.
It’s nice to see them adding a bit of flavour to the games; there was always more than one game mode but they were (for me) as strong as the Command Post/Supremacy type of games. I’m excited to see what other modes will be implemented with the games official release.
Also, I think a nice thing they have added is the power-ups. They have added power-ups around the levels in which anyone can run over and access. This can give people LOLBLAST weapons, but they can also provide players with tactical bombs, such as proximity mines or thermal imploder (which is a fast acting bomb with a larger blast radius).
They also give players the opportunity to play as a hero, or jump in to a vehicle. This means that players who aren’t ask trained/skilled as others will still get the opportunity to play as the heroes. It won’t depend on kill/death ratio, it just depends if you’re lucky enough to be at the spawn point. That’s cool!
I do miss the inclusion of vehicles in the game on the floor. It was nice to see a vacant machine, you jump in it and kick it off… but I won’t cancel that hope yet, it is a very limited beta after all.
As far as we know, space battles are no more. The flying was fun which is fair enough, but considering the original plan for Battlefront 3 (way back when) was to jump in a vehicle on the ground and have the ability to dog-fight above the battlefield or zoom in to space to take down the command posts up there, it’s a bit of a shame… but I will never complain! I love this game too much to be a Negative Nancy!
Overall, the Beta was either going to be a massive disappointment or a 4-day teaser! I’m so happy it’s the latter. It’s making me want to play the full version, whilst still giving the developers a chance to test the game in action. I’m very happy with the state of it so far, even if I do miss a few of the more nostalgic elements, but hey… evolution of gaming is exactly that and as I’ve said plenty of times, if EA can see money in something, they’ll probably implement it anyway!
Let’s hope the full game keeps the magic and is worth the ten year wait. As far as I can tell: It will be!
I hope anyone who played has had fun and all those who did not get a chance to play the beta! Keep your interest peaked, it’s coming verrryyy soon!
Let’s all rejoice in the fact that it isn’t Battlefield with a Star Wars skin! Yayyy!!!