“Star Wars Battlefront” by DICE is the newest entry in the “Battlefront” series, which was originally published by LucasArts.
LucasArts still exists, but after the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012, it hangs in limbo.
“Battlefront” is the first licensed Star Wars game to come out since the Disney acquisition and also the first on modern consoles.
A beta was released on Oct. 8 and ran until Oct. 13, seeing over nine million players.
The beta included access to three online modes, but I found myself spending the most time with only one, Walker Assault Mode.
Walker Assault Mode takes place on the snowy tundra of Hoth, and pits Rebels against the Empire.
It’s a standard deathmatch mode, but gigantic AT-AT Walkers are making their way toward the Rebel base, so the Rebel team must defend.
First off, the game looks incredible.
It’s the best looking game I’ve seen on this generation of consoles so far.
Star Wars is a property that lends itself to impressive visuals, and Battlefront doesn’t disappoint.
The white fields of Hoth juxtaposed with red lasers shooting back and forth, as well as dark TIE Fighters flying overhead, was something to admire.
In the audio department, DICE once again delivers, as it always has in its other series.
All the music and sounds Star Wars is known for are fully licensed, so it really feels like an authentic slice of the property.
“Battlefront” does something I find interesting for a competitive online shooter: It allows the player to go from first to third person with the press of a button.
Most games are exclusively first person or third, so for “Battlefront” to try something new is pleasant.
Unfortunately, that’s where it bugged me the most.
I love third person shooters, and while it was playable, it was quite janky.
The animations were often awkward, jittery messes.
This isn’t an issue in first person, so if that’s how you intend on playing, have no fear.
Also, it’s important to keep in mind it’s a beta.
The point of a beta is to discover things like this so they’re fixed for the retail release.
“Battlefront” also differs from other popular online shooters by placing powerups on the battlegrounds.
After you run over a powerup, you have it in your inventory and can activate it by pressing the bumper buttons at the same time.
The powerups I saw included piloting a TIE Fighter or Airspeeder, manning the canon on the AT-AT and assuming the role of Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader, depending on your alliance.
The vehicles controlled well and were easy enough to man, especially when compared to the sister series “Battlefield.”
Honestly, it was nostalgic to fly an Airspeeder around an AT-AT on Hoth again for the first time since “Shadows of the Empire” on N64.
The hero power up, which gives you control of series legends Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, were really fun and felt right.
Sure, you’re overpowered and can destroy anyone in your path, but a well approached team attack can bring you down.
It’s fair and empowering at the same time.
The beta offered a very small taste of “Battlefront,” but it’s left me more interested than I was before.
I worried the game would be too similar to DICE’s other project, “Battlefield,” but it’s clear that they