FINALLY. It may be only a few months before the game has released, but EA and DICE have finally graced us with some substantial gameplay of Star Wars: Battlefront. The demo they showed off at E3 is obviously highly choreographed, but otherwise remains the best example of what the game is like. What’s the verdict?
Star Wars: Battlefront looks like a ton of fun, but is still a work in progress.
While all major gameplay elements have been integrated, there are still notable placeholder HUD assets and lightsaber combat is deceptively hidden from being genuinely present. The actual gunplay and vehicle combat on display does bring to mind the original Battlefront games, and the new additions seem like rock-solid improvements, but there’s still some things not being shown yet.
Because the game is only a few months from release, so while final polishes have plenty of time to be applied, it makes me a bit concerned. DICE’s last online shooter launched to an awful lot of chagrin, and it even had a public beta before launching. While Battlefront is being worked on by a different team, it’s hard not to feel a bit concerned that after more than two years worth of work, some features aren’t ready for us to see.
We only see the same mode that was demonstrated in the CGI trailer, Walker Assault. There are vaguely discussed air combat and close quarters modes, but we know so little about them we don’t even know their names. Hopefully in the months to come, DICE and EA will be more forthcoming, but as it is, there are still way too many questions in the air.
Now, that said, what we do see looks like a lot of fun.
Guns fire like they do in the movies and have a very satisfying soft-kick to them, befitting laser guns. AT-ST’s tear up the scenery and explode in balls of fire just like in the movies. It is very easy to say a lot of what we see feels very much like the movies. The sound design is utterly superb, sounding exactly like how a Star Wars game should.
The Hoth map shown in the demo is a bit tighter and smaller than the famous Echo Base map from the original games, but this works to the game’s benefit. There are no giant fields where snipers can pick you off left and right, but instead tons of trench warfare and tight twists and turns for pilots to dogfight in. It feels like no matter where you turn, something is happening, which may explain why the player count was shrunk down to 40 instead of 64 or higher.
The vehicles look like they handle like a dream and will be great fun to fly around in.
Despite the lack of space combat, it seems dogfights between X-Wings, Tie Fighters, and more will all be great fun. The automatic pilot chatter, in particular, sold the experience.
Also, for those of you who watched the YouTube version of the gameplay reveal, you will notice at the end that co-op gameplay is up next. Here’s hoping that turns out good.
So in the end, Battlefront might turn out to be a great game. It might also have some issues at launch, if DICE can’t pull everything together in the remaining time. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!