Yesterday marked the console launch of the Open Beta for Star Wars: Battlefront. After a relatively long download – busy servers I’m guessing – I was able to play a few matches and get a pretty good feel for how I think it’s going to unfold.
The big thing that was on my mind going in was just how close this new Battlefront would feel compared with the old classics from 10 years ago. So far, it feels very similar – but I think that’s more due to the strength of the Star Wars licence. DICE did a good job of not making it just a reskin of Battlefield with lasers. I really like the infantry system in place for the secondary items. Instead of worrying about ammo and item count, you have two item “hand” cards to pick, along with a “top-card” item that requires charges. The hand cards recharge after using them – you don’t need to worry about grenade count or secondary ammo. Just keep your cooldowns in mind, and you’ll be at full power frequently. Ammo in general is a thing of the past here – your blaster has a meter to watch before it overheats, but there’s no reloading (which takes a little to get used to) and you don’t have much in the way of recoil to watch either.
I would offer up this one caution if you’re unsure about Star Wars: Battlefront. It isn’t a true hardcore shooter. If you go in expecting a set of game mechanics like Call of Duty or Battlefield, you will be disappointed. It’s still got a competitive feel to it, but it just seems a bit more about the overall experience to me. I don’t feel like I’m going to be worried about my K/D or overall win/loss with this game. I think I’m going to be more interested in the moments that happen in the games – especially in Walker Assault, or playing as the hero characters. That was how I always used to play the classic games too. There are plenty of other, more intense shooters in the market this fall if I want a more competitive game; Star Wars is all about the fact that Star Wars is just plain awesome.
After a week off, for a weekend with college buddies, I’m back to look at the big news stories from this past week.
ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE CONSOLE BETA CURRENTLY ACTIVE
It’s had a pretty rocky lifespan on the PC, just recently going free-to-play. Now Bethesda sets their sights on the console market. MMO’s haven’t ever really caught fire on consoles – Final Fantasy has tried a couple times, and Neverwinter is currently making its attempt. This weekend is also the console beta for Elder Scrolls Online, in advance of the summer launch. This beta could determine just how well an MMO that never really caught on on the PC, on the consoles.
BLACK OPS III TEASED IN ADVANCE OF REVEAL
After the confirmation a couple weeks back of Black Ops III being this year’s Call of Duty, we went into waiting mode for the worldwide reveal this Sunday. This week though, Activision released a second teaser in advance of the reveal. This one is a little longer, and does a good job of setting the story up. There’s no real concrete info in this trailer to point to, but it does a good job of showing what kind of a story we’re looking at for the campaign. This weekend I expect to see even more details on the campaign, I wouldn’t hold my breath for multiplayer specifics. Activision likes to have a full reveal that’s just dedicated to the multiplayer – last year it was at Gamescom – so we’ll probably have to wait for that.
BATTLEFRONT CONTINUES TO BE A BIG DISCUSSION POINT
After the reveal of Star Wars: Battlefront last weekend, people are still buzzing about some of the details we learned. One big one that I saw online this week was in relation to the AT-AT being on-rails. I, for one, think that’s the right gameplay decision. It’s an important objective in the Walker Assault game mode, so it is paramount that it plays within the rules. The last thing you would want is to see it wandering off out of the map borders because some troll thought it would be funny. There’s still a ton of stuff to learn about the game – I think we’ll see a lot more this year at E3.