The Star Wars: Battlefront beta dropped today and the jury is already back. Electronic Arts has said the beta is available until October 12, with the game due for general release on November 17. Star Wars: Battlefront is probably one of the most anticipated games of the year. Of course, this sort of thing is said about many games, usually by their own marketing departments, but in this case the buzz is real. Star Wars: Battlefront is a part of the triad of games that gamers have simply been itching to try — Black Ops III and Fallout 4 being the other two. And, as always with games that are this hyped, there is the very real worry that they are going to lose the expectations game and pull another Watchdogs. Put simply, we’ve all been worried that Battlefront was going to disappoint.
The Star Wars: Battlefront beta can be seen as a quick litmus test of the likelihood of such a disappointment. It’s obviously not the whole game, but specific multi-player modes that are being tested. These modes are the Walker Assault, set on ice planet Hoth, Drop Zone on Sullust, and a Survival Mode which is on iconic planet Tatooine. While betas can sometimes be a smoking hot mess, the Star Wars: Battlefront beta really looks like it’s mostly a promotional tool. EA and DICE have very nearly completed the game, and the Drop Zone and Walker Assault modes have already been reported on by pre-beta testers in the past, all of whom say that they are smooth and eminently playable experiences. Dave Thier from Forbes, one of gaming’s more respectable voices, says that the Star Wars: Battlefront beta is primed to very effectively promote the release of the full game next month.
Gamers who have played the Star Wars: Battlefront beta have overwhelmingly nice things to say. When talking about the Drop Zone mode, most are positive, if a little dismissive. This is probably because, as a trope, it’s a tried and true and, above all, very common multiplayer mode. In a word — it’s zone control. The influence of DICE is said to be very clear. DICE worked on the Battlefield series, which is sometimes seen as a more realistic, serious-minded Call of Duty. That serious mindedness appears to be on display here. The weapons in Star Wars: Battlefront are simply not for frenzied, spray and pray shooters. Blasters and grenades all have cool-down periods, which means conservative fire and tactical awareness are important. This would help to lend the game a gritty, realistic feel — a vitally important element for a game set so firmly in the favorite realms of our imagination. If we’re going to do battle on fields that we know from our dreams, it really needs to feel real.
Star Wars: Battlefront beta’s Survival Mode, set on a very recognizable Tatooine, is generally agreed to show great promise. There is a general feeling that this must only be a small piece of the whole. It’s a pretty standard survival — a co-operative multiplayer against waves of enemies and periodic aid drops. Many gamers have pointed out that, considering the lack of a traditional single player campaign mode, the bar is higher for all other kinds of game segment. It’s a tentative thumbs up for this section.
And then there’s the battle for Hoth. Gamers have been hugely excited at the prospect of fighting one of the iconic battles of the original Star Wars films, and it was odds-on certain that any Star Wars: Battlefront beta was going to have to include it. And this is where the gaming world has sung its fullest praises of Battlefront. Players are calling the mode, which is a 20v20 battle for or against AT-AT Walkers, “jaw-dropping” and “hugely fun”. It would appear that it is this section of the Star Wars: Battlefront beta that has most fully delivered on its promise. But don’t just take our word for it: here’s a live video of the action.
[Images Courtesy of Electronic Arts]