Published on October 13th, 2015 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
Star Wars Battlefront Beta Impressions
Having been the perfect age to appreciate the first two Star Wars Battlefront games developed by Pandemic, I was excited for EA DICE Battlefront for this generation consoles. The keyword is “was.” If the public beta now done, I was left feeling unsatisfied. I am unsatisfied with game modes, balancing, upgrades, and maps.
Star Wars battles are epic, massive, and chaotic. Pandemic got this right. When starting your battle you picked between Imperial or Rebels because each side had the same amount of vehicles, torrents, and weaponry available. It did not matter if you were on an online match or doing an XL Instant Action match, matches felt balanced. Vehicles and torrents were available for everyone who can get to it first. There was nothing like hijacking a Tie Fighter or AT-ST as a Rebel to wreck havoc. Upgrades were not placed on the map or were vehicles locked to certain sides. This change alone removes the feeling of reliving an epic Star Wars battle where Rebels and Imperials are frantically running into combat positions as often seen in the films before the large battle begins.
The maps presented in EA DICE Battlefront do not convey the grand scale battles we grew up with in the Star Wars films. The largest map available on the Beta was the Hoth level for the 40 player Walker Assault mode. This level did not seem grand; it was segmented into three sections in which battles simply followed the AT-AT Walkers. Unlike with Pandemic’s Battlefront, no matter where you were on the map, a battle was going on and going to each end of the map was a challenge because you had to go through the battle. Unlike the new Battlefront where you can run on the edge of the map mostly undetected. Battles are not epic and but are set in a series of smaller battles. The Survival and Drop Zone maps were small and did not represent the locations well.
Maps were highlighted with gorgeous graphics and that’s about it. Gone are the creatures and animals that gave a number of Battlefront’s levels life. I expected to have Tauntaun running around in Hoth. I expect Ewoks to run all over Endor. Tauntauns were nowhere to be found on Hoth and I expect the same for Ewoks on Endor. The only thing I managed to find was a bad video version of a Tusken Raider in Survival mode in which they were not interactive.
EA’s Battlefront is a simplified shooter with a Star War’s skin. EA’s other franchise, Battlefield, successfully recreates a grand battle on a massive scale and it is disappointing that they did not capture this feeling in Battlefront. Battlefront is filled with poor balancing, bad respawns , poor upgrade system, unimaginative maps. EA had great source material, but they did not take advantage of it.
EA recently detailed three more online modes in Supremacy, Cargo, and Droid Run in addition to a $50 Online Season Pass. With the season pass almost the same price as the base game, I am going to wait for price drop of the base game before picking up EA’s Battlefront. For now, I am happy doing my XL battles in Star Wars Battlefront II.