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E3 2015: Star Wars: Battlefront Hands-On

by: John -
More On: Star Wars: Battlefront E3 2015

It took a long time, but I finally got to get in to play Star Wars: Battlefront. They were using PlayStation 4s to demonstrate the game and what I got to play was an objective based mission.

It was a full 20 versus 20 match setup and I was tasked as an Empire Snowtrooper to protect two AT-ATs as they traversed across Hoth towards a Rebel base. There were various objectives to attack or defend as the game progressed and I've always liked this style of play over team deathmatch.

The blasters you are given don't need any reload but they can overheat. This prevents people from just constantly holding down the fire button and makes you a little more conscience on firing your weapon. A grenade launcher was also available and reloaded based on a timer. Finally, jump jets let you jump high or cross areas quickly.

Scattered across the battlefield randomly will be power ups. You might pick up a rocket launcher or pilot an AT-ST or even fly a Tie Fighter. The demo did feature special characters, but unfortunately I never found a power up nor encountered one. The mechanic though is that you're slowly losing health and to regenerate that, you have to kill the opposition. The more you kill, the longer you last as the special character. Once your health runs out, you respawn as you normal character on the battlefield.

Flying the Tie Fighter was a ton of fun. Just being able to blast Rebel troops on the ground and hear that distinctive sound made me all giddy. I was able to get into some dog fights with X-Wings as well. You'll need to adjust the amount of power between guns and thrusters strategically. That means if you fly faster, your guns won't do as much damage. Slow down and your guns will have more oomph to them.

The AT-ST was also pretty fun to pilot. It's a slow walking machine, but packs some nice firepower. Launch a bunch of grenades into a pack of Rebels and watch their bodies scatter into the air. My time with the AT-ST was cut short by a Rebel firing a rocket launcher into the side of my cockpit, but it was a great time when I was in it.

Visually, the game looks stunning. I was impressed at how well the models, vehicles, and landscape looked. The Frostbite engine really shines in making a truly accurate Star Wars game. Looking at the AT-AT, I was amazed at the scale and detail on the model. And you really felt like you were flying in a Tie Fighter with how well it looked and moved.
The action was intense and very Battlefield like. You're never too far from the fight and shooting at the enemy, even when respawning. There were a few times I respawned in the middle of a few Rebels which resulted in my immediate death. Hopefully this gets a little adjusted when the final product gets released.

But if you wanted a chaotic and visceral Star Wars combat game, Star Wars: Battlefront is it. Watching troops jet around, seeing X-Wings and Y-Wings fly overhead, experiencing large scale combat on huge open maps such as Hoth, Battlefront really delivers on the action that feels like it belongs in the Star Wars universe. Whether you are playing in first person mode or third person mode, you'll experience Star Wars like never before.

It was a small taste but oh what a taste it was. I'm really anxious to see what else the game has to offer, and I'm glad it won't be too long before it is out.