DICE’s beta of the reboot for Star Wars: Battlefront hosted more than 9 million people, in its fleeting existence. Over 10 years after the childhood-defining original, EA’s team and their undeniably glamorous Frostbite 3 engine had a lot to repent if their biggest beta release ever was to bomb.
The E3 showcased Hoth-based Walker Assault was the spotlighted feature of the beta. It is the glittering snow in the trenches, the sharp audio and the strategically crafted terrain of Hoth’s map, the scrupulous attention to detail, that makes it the talking point. Complaints have been made saying the Empire are gifted with an advantage because of the juggernaut AT-ATs. Yet, it is easy enough to tow cable your way to victory in one of the X-wings or A-wings, if the opportunity arises. Pick-ups pop up sporadically, including the most wanted Hero pick-up, which transforms the player in to either Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader. It is easy to rack up kills as Vader in tighter confines of the map and corridors of the Rebel base, but in the larger expanse of the mountains it can be quite difficult. The Gears of War style active reload/cool-down is a nice touch, making timing imperative in the intensity of shootouts and hindering any run-and-gun strategists.
Other than the Walker Assault there is a Survival mode, which is a 5 wave onslaught, set on Tatooine (the full game will be 15 waves and a map set on every planet) and another Headquarters style game. These seem a little bit filler for what was meant to be the main feature of the beta.
With only one month left to wait, the verdict of Battlefront is resoundingly positive. Even though it is only a slither of the available game that has been showcased, it seemed that DICE gave away so much and left punters begging for more.