The Star Wars: Battlefront beta officially started on October 8, and many players are already taking to the galactic battlefields on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. However, the work week might have prevented some fans from playing the game. Fortunately, we spent some time with it so you know what to expect.
The beta offers three different modes of gameplay: Walker Assault, Drop Zone, and Survival Mission. The first two games pit large groups of players against each other, while Survival Mission can be played alone or with a friend. Unfortunately, the Fighter Squadron mode from Gamescom isn't available this weekend. Still, there's more than enough gameplay to please new and old fans, whether it's fighting alongside a friend or holding off Imperial forces on Hoth.
We saw Survival Mission and Walker Assault at PAX East and E3, respectively, but Drop Zone is something new. In a way, it's considered to be the medium-sized mode of the beta in terms of the number of players. Walker Assault features 40-player battles, while Survival Mission allows a maximum of two players to fight against multiple waves. Drop Zone centers on a 16-player match with two eight-person teams. The goal of the game is to claim as many landing pods as possible, while defending it from the other team from taking it for themselves. The team with the most pods at the end wins.
A notable change in Walker Assault this time around was the addition of heroes. At E3, the trailer had a showdown between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. However, the playable demo didn't support the two characters at the time. Fortunately, it's been added in time for the beta. Each character has three abilities in lieu of the Star Cards, but because of their uniqueness and overall strength, they're an easy target for players.
One thing that remains constant in both Walker Assault and Drop Zone is your weapon loadout and Star Cards. The latter are the various abilities that you can use throughout a game. These include the use of a jetpack, grenades, or special ammo. However, most of the selections are locked until you reach a certain level. Even then, they all require a certain amount of credits to purchase, which are earned based on the number of experience points gained after each game. For now, they're all cheap to buy, so it's just a matter of picking your preferred ability and weapon, and you're ready to go. As for Survival Mission, two predetermined series of weapons and Star Card abilities are available.
So far, the waiting time for each match is incredibly short, mainly because the beta is available to everyone. Even if you leave a match and go to another game, it doesn't take long to jump back in. In fact, the number of PC servers that went online on the first day increased due to the high volume of players.
As the weekend draws near, the player count is expected to rise, which means many more matches, but could also lead to server issues due to the overwhelming number of players. The level cap for the beta is five, and it's easy to reach it in a matter of hours. Still, that shouldn't detract from the overall experience. Even if you have the starting weapon and only a handful of cards available at your disposal, you can still contribute to the fight. Every sortie is just as intense as the previous, with lasers and explosions littering the battlefield. The combination of soldiers, droids, and planes makes for an incredible sight. This is only a taste of what fans can expect in November, and it seems that DICE might deliver the Star Wars experience fans deserve.