“Star Wars: Battlefront” beta test: “a mix of extensive and restricted”


Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

Nothing screams excitement quite like dropping onto the planet of Hoth, surrounded by massive AT-AT’s, and blaster fire filling the skies. Nothing is more satisfying then becoming Darth Vader and decimating an enemy squadron of Rebel fighters.

That, in short, is what gamers were exposed to this past week with the release of the “Star Wars: Battlefront” beta test. It lasted roughly one week and ended this past Tuesday with no mention of whether or not there would be any more beta experiences before the official release.

In regards to the extent of the beta, it was a mix of extensive and restricted. It was restricted in the way that there was no story missions available for demo or viewing. There was a single option for a mode called “survival,” which was a simple wave-battle format with ten rounds of fighting.

The survival mode was, as Alexander Govus, freshman, phrased it, the best intro to the beta.

“Yeah, survival was the first thing I did because I didn’t want to hop into multiplayer without knowing how to even shoot the gun,” Govus said. “But the graphics, oh my lord, I could tell this is a next generation game because it was such high quality I nearly forgot it was a game.”

The texture and graphics of the game are very high quality, and there is hardly any texture-pop or lag, even though what gamers saw was a beta. The mechanics of the game itself seem to borrow from prior games, but also from the latest generation of First Person Shooters given the last console “Battlefront” game was in 2005.

There is the standard Heads Up Display seen in “Call of Duty,” but also incorporates in-game items such as grenades, shields, and charges for your blaster. There is also a level of verticality in play similar to the sci-fi shooter  “Destiny” as players will have access to a jetpack which lets them fly for a limited time.

Where the beta truly shined was in the multiplayer that beta-testers were allowed to do. There were two modes, one called “Drop Zone” which was an 8v8 team deathmatch on the planet Sullust, and the highly anticipated “Walker Assault” which was a 40v40 team deathmatch on Hoth with aerial battles, and the classic AT-AT.

This level of gameplay, with as many people, and with as high quality of a game engine, has hardly ever been seen to play out so smoothly on a console, especially for the Beta of a game which looked like a finished product. Though, the true experience of the match could barely be captured by words, only experienced, as expressed by Matt Longo, a freshman.

“Going into a match on Hoth with people shooting at you from every direction, then ships fighting in the air above you, mix in the possibility of a massive AT-AT, it’s insanity,” Longo said, “then when you have the chance to get into your own ship or become Darth Vader and deflect blasters to kill other people, oh it’s nuts.”

The assault on Hoth mode is an assault on the senses, and will have gamers leaning forward in their seats due to the fact that where typical multiplayer matches are somewhere between eight to 15 players on each team the sheer size makes the map a literal battleground.

So far what the beta promises is a realistic “Star Wars” gaming experience on current consoles with a strong multiplayer experience and a yet-to-be-seen single player and co-op campaign. The release date for “Star Wars: Battlefront” is 17, November for PS4, Windows, and Xbox One.

Photo Credit: Etahos

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