Above: AT-AT opening salvos on Hoth (Courtesy of EA Games)
By Zyra de Los Reyes, Staff Writer
“May the force be with you” is a familiar line that has been said by at least one character in each of the Star Wars movies. The force is now with Electronic Arts since they released the “Star Wars: Battlefront” beta. Over nine million people, have downloaded and played it since last week, which makes it the single largest beta test in the history of EA, according to the company.
EA is known for its “Battlefield” series so when I started playing it from my Xbox One, I found it disappointing because it felt like “Battlefield” in a “Star Wars” skin. However, I realized that this is not just a shooting game; it is “Star Wars,” so I instantly went into nostalgic mode and embraced the game as if I were a huge fan.
The beta is solid; I didn’t notice any flaws, nor came across any glitches in my 20-plus matches on the Xbox One console. However, this may not be the “Star Wars” game you are looking for if your mind is on a hardcore shooting game. One thing this game accomplished is that it is just like the movie. The remake of Hoth is visually mind blowing with its snowscapes and Rebel base. One can actually see their character’s footprints in the snow throughout the match. The Storm Troopers, weapons, and spacecrafts are close to being perfect. The audio gives an adrenaline rush from the sound of the Tie-Fighters to the laser blast of the AT-AT walkers, capturing all the familiar SFX from the movie.
While the graphics and sound effects are great, the combat does not have enough exciting content. There are four laser guns available and though they have different specialties they all looked and felt the same. It is limited to survival mode, defeating enemy waves as time runs out and taking better items rather than knowing the maps and systemizing attacks. The beta also lacks character advancement. Hopefully, the full game will have players personalize their characters with specific abilities.
Drop Zone and Walker Assault are the two main multiplayer modes available in beta. The Drop Zone, located on a new planet named Sullust, is very similar to “Battlefield”’s Conquest mode. Teams go against each other to secure key areas of the map, except here the places are escape pods which drops randomly, forcing an unplanned approach. I liked how the defense is open and tactical, meaning the player does not have to earn kill streaks; power-ups are randomly placed in the map for instant use. On the other hand, Walker Assault is the beta’s best. Players are split up into teams of twenty, either with the Empire or with the Rebels. The Empire has to stop the Rebels from getting to the uplinks in order to prevent them from triangulating bomber strikes and advancing against them. The game seems to be in favor of the Empire; the Rebel team did not win a single match that I played.
I found the “Star Wars: Battlefront” beta a bit tedious. You do not have to be a gamer to play this game since it barely requires any skills—no strategies needed. You can just run and shoot everything you see. A five year old can play this game with no problem. For me, a beta is not only for testing, but to show the better parts of the game in order to make you want to get the full version. That did not happen to me at all. The only saving grace for this game is the “Star Wars” label. That is all it needs to sell, which I think is a great marketing strategy. I hope every person who wanted this game had a chance to try it so there will not be a lot of disappointment when it releases.
My advice to all the gamers out there who loves “Star Wars” is that being a true fan does not require you to like this game. Just because it is called “Star Wars” and the guns go pew-pew instead of bang-bang does not make it a good “Star Wars” game.