Star Wars Battlefront beta: DICE strikes again – try it out
We have been struggling with the beta for a few days now Star Wars Battlefront, a title in development at the DICE studios, which will put players in the shoes of rebels or imperial soldiers intent on fighting some of the historical battles of the film saga.
What are the results of our road test? Is the work done by programmers compelling, or should we prepare for the worst? The general feeling you get when starting your first game with Star Wars: Battlefront is rather strange, because while you feel a pleasant sense of nostalgia, it is evident that many things have changed, not necessarily for the better.
We are talking about a beta, a product that is still incomplete and subject to changes of all kinds, so it is likely that the feedback, ours and of the players who participated in the test session, will be taken into consideration to evaluate any interventions.
At the moment, the life of the Imperials during the Battle of Hoth is considerably simpler than that of the rebels.
What has convinced us so far? The version we tested was the one for PlayStation 4, and we must say that we were favorably impressed by the technical sector. Despite the lower resolution than expected, in fact, the Star Wars: Battlefront graphics engine manages to naturally manage even very chaotic situations, with many players on the screen, vehicles and graphic effects of all kinds, all without obvious hesitation.
The fluidity, therefore, would seem to be confirmed. The real doubts, however, emerged on the gameplay front. The modes present in the beta were 3: Drop Zone and Walker Assault, for multiplayer battles, and a single map for the coop horde.
The horde turned out to be pretty standard, as after creating a party with a friend we didn’t have to do anything other than take down increasingly fierce groups of enemies, while trying to recover the capsules fallen from the sky to get useful upgrades.
We are talking about a mode that, in all probability, will not offer great satisfaction in the final package, but which will still be nice to have available to organize something different from time to time.
The real heart of the beta, of course, were Drop Zone and Walker Assault. The first sees two teams face off on a small battlefield to retrieve a series of pods that rain from the sky.
By collecting some power-ups, you can take on the role of Luke or Darth Vader. Beware, though: You will be strong, but not immortal!
The battle for territorial domination, in this mode, is seriously penalized by the management of respawns, which on more than one occasion forces either to travel long distances to return to the hotspots of the map, or to appear in the midst of intense firefights. , to die again after a few seconds.
The management of respawns is always delicate, and can be a fundamental element in establishing the degree of appreciation of a title by the community. From this point of view, DICE still has to work hard, in order to guarantee an always pleasant and never frustrating experience.
Another element that deserves a serious review (but which at this point can hardly change) is the choice of upgrades that can be activated through the cards. Cards are skills that can be purchased with the in-game currency and, provided you have reached the required level of experience, equipped to be used in battle. Each skill is subject to a more or less long recharge time, after which it can be used again.
The abilities guaranteed by the cards are of various kinds, but on more than one occasion we have been baffled by the choices made by the developers. One of the cards, for example, allows you to take up a sniper rifle to fire a single well-placed shot from great distances.
In Drop Zone it is necessary to reach the fallen capsules, reclaim them by activating them, and defend them until the operation is completed. The team that wins the most wins the battle.
Even grenades have been associated with these phantom cards, a choice we frankly do not agree with. In a game like this, providing unlimited grenades associated with a short cooldown is quite absurd, and risks creating unpleasant situations during matches.
Fortunately, other cards have proved more sensible, such as the useful jetpack that allows you to take long leaps with which to surprise your opponents, or easily reach areas that, otherwise, would require a long walk.
Another rather obvious problem we encountered with the Star Wars: Battlefront beta is the balance of Walker Assault mode, which is clearly set for the benefit of Imperial troops.
This is not a problem related to skills or equipment (the same on both sides, in the beta), but a series of game design choices made by the development team. The task that the imperials must complete to win the battle, in fact, is much more affordable than what the poor rebels must do.
Imperials can reduce Rebel firepower by cutting off radio communications, which can be done by simply holding down the button next to the device. The activation of the positions by the rebels takes much longer, and their defense is particularly difficult.
Managing the skills associated with cards requires careful balancing. The risk of something going wrong is always around the corner.
Details like these can still be adjusted by DICE, so we hope the extensive feedback gathered through the beta will help programmers find the perfect balance to ensure an epic experience.
There’s no shortage of fun for sure, and all Star Wars fans will have something to enjoy. We just hope that the design choices we have described in the article do not spoil the final experience too much.
Star Wars: Battlefront will hit stores on November 19th.
Buy Star Wars: Battlefront (DICE) from Amazon