I have to admit, that I am a console gamer by choice. I know mods are great, but sitting at the PC to play feels like more work to me. So when I downloaded the Star Wars Battlefront Beta via Origin, I wasn’t in my usual gaming space, which is typically comfortably reclined in my gamer bean bag, xbox controller in hand, drink not far out of reach, in front of my TV. Sitting at the PC, my hands felt cramped and slow and unaccustomed to hitting the right keys quickly enough on the keyboard to really play effectively on the chaotic, battlefields of the Star Wars Battlefront Beta.
I started out in single player mode, but the snowy battlefields of Hoth and the opportunity of piloting a TIE Fighter beckoned. So perhaps its my own fault that I felt sucky at this game. I should have prepared a little more before jumping into the manic 40-player Walker Assault on Hoth.
All around you on the Hoth battlefied are the classic Star Wars pew-pew laser noises while TIE Fighters and X-Wings soar and battle it out overhead. The snow is dazzling and feels crunchy underfoot as you race around in a frantic war zone. While the environment is beautiful, there’s not much time to gape as AT-ATs trudge menacingly toward the rebels shield generator target. And its the task of the rebels to stop the Imperial forces from destroying the shield generator.
Overall I really liked the look of this game and the sound effects are great. However its obvious from the outset, the beta was not balanced and felt heavily weighted in favor of the Empire. There were more choices on the imperial side, i.e drive an AT-AT or AT-ST or try your hand at piloting a Tie Fighter. Playing as a rebel felt a little overwhelming and against the odds being on the receiving end of an AT-AT and AS-AT assault. The AT-ATs’ gun down the rebels without mercy as they scurry across the snow and into some admittedly handy snow trenches. I died many times shot from a distance by both AT-AT and AS-AT vehicles. At one point I was even hit by a crashing TIE Fighter.
Respawning sucked a little in this game as I dropped into the same spawn point several times, right in the line of an oncoming AS-AT. I was picked off within seconds before finally spawning to a new location where death wasn’t so instantaneous.
From an Imperial point of view, the weapons felt a lot like what you’d expect as a Stormtrooper. Shoot a lot but don’t seem to hit anything and there’s a lot of noise about the lack of recoil of the weapons. I wasn’t too bothered by that or the infinite ammo supply but the weapons were quick to overheat and in a fast game, exposed on the battlefield, without being able to shoot back, is another really quick way to die. Also coming into the game I was often shot by sniper from a long distance which also got kind of frustrating.
It took a little while to get into the game and to figure out what the heck was going on in the chaos and in the start it felt like you were running into enemy fire again and again and dying too quickly to have much fun. It got better with practice though, and I learned that Jet Packs are invaluable and if you see Luke or Darth heading your way, run if your on the opposing side (unless you have a lot of buddies with you).
Overall the Star Wars Battlefront Beta was fun but also kind of stressful.