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Taking Part In The 'Star Wars: Battlefront' Beta, Hands-On

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.

Follow Rexly Peñaflorida II @Heirdeux. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • DeadlyDays
    After playing it I have to say I am disappointed. Fighting doesn't really feel visceral, it feels more run and gun/clean/Arcady which I am not a fan of. I want more feedback on weapons, weapons feel too generic/similar. More dirt grime in explosions, damage system is also Arcady. You have a health bar on the bottom that auto regenerates x/100, don't like that. The maps I played feel super generic CODesque where they focus on spawning you and putting you in area's where there are no established lines of battle, just twitch combat and run forward and hope no one comes up behind/to your side(which is often because of the map layouts, seem to be something map design focuses on encouraging clusterf*** battles) Teamwork feels deemphasized if anything. I think they focus'd way to much on 0 downtime instant action play, so there is no real feeling of accomplishment....ever. Even after winning a game with a 10:1 ratio I felt absolutely nothing, very much just going through the actions of the typical generic shooter with updated graphics. They seems to deemphasize classes which just adds to the cluster of randomness and confusion with no realistic way or reason to try and sort into something meaningful for teamwork.

    I might pay 30$ for something like this, just for the game models. Otherwise I have a host of FPS games that I own that are better fundamentally, and even graphically equal. And I bet they sell constant "expansions" to this which won't improve the fundamental design issues that they are apparently pushing. If you like playing the same old shooter games with just updated models, don't like teamwork, and just want to get in and shoot something over and over without thinking, this is perfect for you.
    Reply
  • BarrySch
    Overall I like the Beta.. It's arcade like gaming style and the intended run and gun style does work well. My only gripe with it is that they have done everything they can to get away from the awful FPS stuff out there (assigned tasks each player must do or get yelled at in MP, the rigors of game play taking away all the fun) but yet they still include the dumb system where a new player starts with the most basic weapons and has to earn better weapons?
    So a new player starts, see's a bad guy.. shoots him 20 times only to be shot once back and killed. What a way to encourage new players. I slugged it out and played up to the highest level in the beta just so I can now finally actually play a fair game. Seems like a stupid concept to me.
    Also, they need to fix the UI and include some stuff to better indicate what team ur on, etc.. You should be able to just look at the screen and tell. Maybe there is something.. but I haven't noticed it.
    Otherwise.. yes.. it is the best looking Star Wars game ever made and has a lot of potential to be the best overall Star Wars game ever made too.
    Reply
  • Fates_Demise
    @BarrySch, The new player isn't at all at a extreme disadvantage. The only thing that other players have over lvl 1 is a shield they can pop in a 1v1 fight. Which you gain shield killing ammo at lvl 2 after one round.

    If your familiar with fps play, a few well placed headshots kills anyone very fast.. just aim better. my rounds from lvl 1 played as follows in k/d. 1st 4/6, joined part match also., 2nd 9/5, 3rd 16/14, 4th 12/12.. atleast with me lvl made very little difference.


    Anyway gameplay is alright, I'm more of a BF fan which it definitely is not like. Flight is very um... lacking... feels like they don't have any physics applied to them. But maybe that's how they should feel?
    Reply
  • Jesse_7
    1. Spawns are shit
    2. Jedi and Vehicle powerups are terrible and removes any tactical advantage cause it's totally random who gets one
    3. Weapons and loadouts are boring
    4. Maps are disgustingly small and ugly
    5, Lack of classes takes away any tactical actions such as rolling out demos to deal with vehicles
    6. Everythings a garbage unlockable so there is zero fun starting out in the game
    7. You can't fucking leg tie the AT-ATs? You mean the most fucking iconic thing of Hoth?

    "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" - Don't lie Tom's Hardware, This game isn't what any fan of the older battlefronts wants. This is what battlefield fans want so they can stop playing battlefield in the modern era cause that is what this game is. Battlefield with star wars wall paper and even less fun. The fact vehicles are just glowing little icons literally made me hate this game. It doesn't feel like a war, it feels token. You can't make any strategies by rolling vehicles for key points cause there is a RNG chance you get one. You cant deal with vehicles unless you get a RNG powerup for a rocket launcher or get a turret and just sit there. This games an abomination and a spit in the face of a game series that is older, and did everything this game does better. Graphics are good, but that haredly matters. If the dog shit is 4k res with lighting and texture effects, it doesn't change the fact it is dog shit.

    0/10

    Literally made an account to post this.
    Reply
  • hitman400
    1. Spawns are shit
    2. Jedi and Vehicle powerups are terrible and removes any tactical advantage cause it's totally random who gets one
    3. Weapons and loadouts are boring
    4. Maps are disgustingly small and ugly
    5, Lack of classes takes away any tactical actions such as rolling out demos to deal with vehicles
    6. Everythings a garbage unlockable so there is zero fun starting out in the game
    7. You can't fucking leg tie the AT-ATs? You mean the most fucking iconic thing of Hoth?

    "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" - Don't lie Tom's Hardware, This game isn't what any fan of the older battlefronts wants. This is what battlefield fans want so they can stop playing battlefield in the modern era cause that is what this game is. Battlefield with star wars wall paper and even less fun. The fact vehicles are just glowing little icons literally made me hate this game. It doesn't feel like a war, it feels token. You can't make any strategies by rolling vehicles for key points cause there is a RNG chance you get one. You cant deal with vehicles unless you get a RNG powerup for a rocket launcher or get a turret and just sit there. This games an abomination and a spit in the face of a game series that is older, and did everything this game does better. Graphics are good, but that haredly matters. If the dog shit is 4k res with lighting and texture effects, it doesn't change the fact it is dog shit.

    0/10

    Literally made an account to post this.
    I was reading your post until #7, YES you can leg tie AT's. Did you even see the E3 trailer for this game? If it's not in the beta, then...it's not in the beta, not the final release.
    Reply
  • Jesse_7
    I never saw this in five hours of gameplay so, I assumed they removed it, I'll edit it.
    Reply
  • Jesse_7
    I never saw this in five hours of gameplay so, I assumed they removed it, I'll edit it.
    Reply
  • okcnaline
    Hilariously, anyone with a Quadro can't play this. No drivers for it. Lol.
    Reply
  • basroil
    You can indeed hogtie the walkers using a snowspeeder, I've done it successfully twice and tried two dozen times.

    Overall this game does not seem like it'll be finished by november, as the hoth map is completely unfinished with broken spawn points and completely unbalanced play (a well planned rebel team can win 100% of the time, a regular rebel team has exactly zero chance of winning). Hell, half the map (at any point in time, ignoring the direction of the at-ats) is unused, and pickups for the rebels are well ahead of the spawn point (closer to imperial spawn point) while imperial pickups are behind the spawn point.

    Overall the beta is a mess on hoth, though drop pod one is fine
    Reply
  • QSV
    I didnt even want to try it just because of that Origin malware, but for some reason I did anyway and instantly got what I deserved.
    That game is a joke. The controls alone make you think you suddenly switched to a console from the PC. Extremely jerky, inaccurate and unintuitive. Spawnpoints are totally random and stupid. For example a few on the rebel side are so well placed that you literally cant move anywhere, because incoming AT ATs have full view on it and blast everyone away, since there is no cover for miles. I couldnt believe how bad flight controls are. Hotkeys to do maneuvers and they have cooldowns too??? Really??? Those cards with cooldowns can also only be a bad joke and the total randomness of stuff laying around on the map make this a brainless arcade game for people who play shooters with a controller on a PC.
    One of the worst console ports I have ever seen. You would think DICE has some experience with games, but this makes them look like some newly founded scamming indie developer who promised a lot on kickstarter but delivered nothing.
    Reply