It was 2004 when the first Star Wars Battlefront graced our consoles and PC’s with Star War Battlefront II doing the same the next year in 2005. Fans have been waiting ever since for the next instalment in this franchise.
There have been ups and downs over the last decade for the next Star Wars Battlefront instalment but finally the planets aligned and EA announced they have the rights to make Star Wars games. It was only a matter of time until the next Battlefront was announced, and so it was.
The task of developing a new Battlefront game has been entrusted to EA DICE, the makers of the Battlefield franchise. In terms of developers though, I cannot think of a more suitable studio than the creators of Battlefield, a game that very much feels inspired by the original Battlefront games.
My biggest worry however is that Battlefront would echo more of a Battlefield game with a coat of paint. Well, due to waiting in line at E3 2015 for over an hour, I was finally able to find out for myself.
The short snippet of the game I played took place on Hoth, very much an iconic Star Wars location. I was assigned to the Empire to destroy the rebel base. There were few other smaller objects including destroying strategic satellites and assisting the AT-AT walkers in their advance.
Initially, playing as a Storm Trooper, it did feel a bit like any other FPS shooter with a Star Wars skin. The gun mechanics were great and movement was natural. I can say when it comes to the FPS part, EA DICE really know their stuff but it indeed was reminiscent of Battlefield more than I’d have liked.
After running around and shooting anything that moved, which was easy enough to spot as snow makes for poor cover, I found a token that allowed me to pilot an AT-ST. Here I felt a little bit more immersed in an actual Star Wars universe.
Jumping into the very iconic Star Wars machine and shooting my powerful blasts at the puny rebels and attempting to simply smoosh some of them was fun indeed. I may have gone to the dark side, but I’ll tell you, it’s a lot of fun.
The next machine I got a small go in was the AT-AT. You couldn’t really control these but shooting presented some difficulty. Aiming was much harder than I thought and you only get a short period of time in it.
I appreciate that while still making both the AT-AT and AT-ST fun to play, they also made them harder to manoeuvre and contro, which I guess gives a good balance to the overall gameplay. If everyone could just get in high powered agile AT-STs all the time I feel it may not be as fun for the other team. Though I still would have loved to be destroying everything and everyone.
Moving on, visually the game looked great and it managed to perfectly capture the scenery of Hoth with its pretty snowy environment and outcropping rocks. I can say they managed to recreate the classic Star Wars universe quite well.
Unfortunately I was thrown straight into a match so there wasn’t much time to fiddle around and explore the smaller things that might be on offer. I hope we get to see a bit more of that side of things as the release date approaches.
Overall, I came away with somewhat mixed feelings about the game. The lack of a proper single player campaign means the game must survive on the multiplayer alone. While the game was definitely solid, I worry that it may fall down the same path as other big online focused titles like Titanfall and Evolve with the community dying mere weeks after launch.
These concerns though won’t be enough to keep me from playing it. I hope they have something special that keeps players coming back for more. Star Wars Battlefront launches on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in November 2015.