DICE working on Battlefront is a dream come true for all Star Wars fans. The masters of the Battlefield franchise are the perfect development home for massive Star Wars battles. After braving a line of eager fans, we were able to go hands-on with the shooter at E3, and we say that the force is truly with this iteration of Battlefront.
Star Wars Battlefront is a jaw-droppingly gorgeous game. The graphics in our demo looked every bit as good as the cinematic trailer released earlier this year. DICE has created a realistic game that perfectly captures the Star Wars aesthetic. Whether running around as a Stormtroopers or Rebels, the attention to detail in the character models, weapons, and environments, is astonishing. Couple that with the authentic sounds and visual effects like blaster bolts striking enemy armour, and you have a game that genuinely immerses players in the Star Wars universe.
During our hands-on session, we played a mode known as Walker Assault. With a total of 20 players on each team, we took the side of the Imperials assaulting the Rebel Alliance’s Hoth base. The invading Imperial were charged with protecting an AT-AT as it rained fire down on the Rebel’s shield generations. A number of AT-ST’s and TIE Fighter’s were also at our disposal, as the Rebels fought back with turret emplacements, Snowspeeders and X-Wings. The Rebels had to capture a number of uplink stations, similar to flags in Battlefield, in order to call in a Y-Wing bombing run on the AT-AT.
As Snowtroopers, myself and my fellow soldiers did everything at our disposal to stop the Rebels in their tracks. Fighting from trench to trench with classic Imperial blasters, it felt like reliving the classic icy battle from The Empire Strikes Back. Running across a power-up token can grant the player temporary access to a air vehicle such as a TIE Fighter, or a battle-pickup like a rocket launcher. I was able to fly a TIE Fighter very briefly but wasn’t able to acclimatise to the controls in time, quickly crashing it into a mound of snow.
Battlefront‘s weapons operate on a cooldown, and in the current build hip-firing weapons seemed far too accurate. In addition to your primary weapon, players can active a number of secondary abilities that recharge over time. For instance, Stormtroopers have a jetpack and grenade launcher at their disposal, while the Rebels have thermal detonators and can deploy a portable shield generator. Zooming across the battlefield with my jetpack and mowing down Rebels was rather entertaining, and even made me feel somewhat guilty for the opposition in their desperate counterattack.
The AT-AT sequence is completely on rails, but pilots can use the machine’s blaster cannons and also call in orbital bombardments. The Rebels eventually secured the requisite number of uplink stations and a Y-Wing bombardment stopped the AT-AT in tracks. However to halt the Imperial assault, the Rebels still need to utilise Snowspeeders and their tow cables to topple the hulking masses of armour while they’re temporarily immobilised. The Rebels ultimately were unable to stop the Imperial war machine and my team eventually claimed victory over a smouldering Echo Base.
Battlefront is shaping up as a sublime Star Wars simulator. From our hands-on session, we can say the game is looking to deliver on its promise of accurately recreating our favourite Star Wars battles. Star Wars Battlefront is scheduled for release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC this November.