One of the biggest games at this year’s E3 was EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront. How could it not be? Not only is it Star Wars, but it’s also the return of a much beloved video game franchise. Because of this, the lines to play the game where enormous, even if you had a VIP pass. For those of us who didn’t have that type of access, it meant waiting hours upon hours to play the game. I, being person of little patience, didn’t even bother trying.
Thankfully, EA put together a nice event in Manhattan last week where I finally had a chance to play the game for myself. Though I have never played a Battlefront game before, I am a big Star Wars fan and this new game showed a lot of promise. After we were given a brief run down of the game’s basic controls (it controls very much like a modern third person or first person shooter), I dove into the fray.
The split-screen co-op demo had my partner and myself on a desert planet full of high, rocky canyons and which had a beautiful blue sky above us. This landscape also had something else… imperials! In many ways, what I played could be considered a horde mode since we had to survive wave after wave of enemies. However, we had to do so while trying to fulfill the objectives given to us. For this demo, we were on foot and weren’t able to commandeer any vehicles.
One of the best things about this game was the ability to switch between first person and third person on the fly. Though the first person perspective is great for making you feel as if you yourself are in the game, I personally prefer to see my character on screen as it lets me orient myself and gives me better spacial awareness. I did fine shooting in first person but when I switched over to third person, I became a virtual killing machine. This option is great for those who are better in one perspective over another.
As I continued to defend probes and fend off against imperial troops and vehicles, the controls were something that didn’t factor into my experience. This is a great thing because it meant that they were so intuitive that I felt as if I was one with the game. Everything I wanted to do, like running, jumping, even flying, all came naturally and easily. The overall feel of the game was very smooth and is what you want a shooting game to handle like.
The demo I played was a bit limited in what it had but it was enough to give you a taste of what to expect in the finale game. You are able to choose a loadout prior to playing. This consists of blasters, rifles, emp grenades, and other Star Wars-specific weaponry (minus light sabers in this demo). Enemy stormtroopers featured your standard ones, to some which had more armor and heavier weapons. The most dangerous foe on the field was an AT-ST which needed to be taken down with the equivalent of a rocket launcher.
My time with Star Wars: Battlefront was rather short but it was enjoyable nonetheless. This is going to be a big game for EA this holiday season so I have no doubt they will continue to add more things to it to make it the Star Wars experience everyone craves. Even a person like me who isn’t exactly into multiplayer focused games will want to check this game out since it really is a lot of fun, and I imagine it will be more so when playing with a group of up to eight friends. I don’t know if this will dethrone a certain other shooter that comes out during the holiday season, but this could give it a run for its money.
Star Wars: Battlefront will be released on the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 17.