Picture this: an entire room filled with computer monitors, PS4s, and close to fifty Star Wars fans all standing up playing each other in some of the first hands-on gameplay of DICE’s new game Star Wars Battlefront. That’s what one of the rooms looked like at Nerd HQ during this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and judging from some of the shouts of surprise and combined frustration that echoed throughout the room during each round, it looks like EA may have a hit on their hands with this new addition to the Battlefront franchise.
It’s no secret that there has been some shared concern from Battlefront fans these past few months leading up to the game’s release later this fall, though. “Will it just end up being Star Wars Battlefield?” “Is EA really the right developer for the job?” “Will it be a worthy successor to the previous Battlefront games?”
Well, in some ways, the answer is both yes and no to all of these questions. Is Star Wars Battlefront really just EA’s Battlefield sequel? It’s true that the game shares a lot of the same mechanics, and the format is remarkably similar. At the same time though, the game feels wholly it’s own, and has a unique and fun feel that separates it from some of the same-old, same-old of the FPS genre these past few years. Fans will be hard-pressed to find anything in the many Battlefield games though, that holds the same amount of satisfaction as successfully destroying one of the Empire’s AT-AT’s or stumbling across one of the X-Wing upgrades that are littered throughout the maps.
(The flying mechanics have been another aspect of the game put into question as of late, and while I did not get to fly my X-Wing for long, I didn’t seem to have much trouble controlling the ship’s movements.)
Yes, you can go into first person mode, and the camera angles all-around are pretty similar to some of the other FPS and shooter games like Call of Duty or the previously mentioned Battlefield games, but firing the different kinds of blasters and seeing their individual laser blasts fly in sometimes varying directions brings a small, but different aspect to the game’s mechanics and aiming techniques unlike almost any other game on the market today.
One of the most surprising aspects playing the game though, was its almost instantly-addictive quality. By the time each round came to an end, it was hard not to want to instantly start the next, whether you had been victorious or not. The desire to do better and play more was impossible to ignore, as one of the players standing next to me turned and asked, “Do we have to leave?” In short, both Star Wars and video game fans in general may want to be prepared to sacrifice several hours — and possibly even whole days — sitting in front of their TV and computer screens playing this game.
When the original Star Wars Battlefront games came out, they were the first of their kind in a way. The first brand of Star Wars video games that allowed fans to play with any kind of SW character, on any kind of planet in an online competition with their friends. The novelty of the idea wasn’t the thing that made them such big hits, though, because they were actually fun.
So, while Star Wars Battlefront is not the same as its predecessors and does share more qualities with other popular shooter franchises than some fans may like, the thing that has remained consistent throughout is just how much fun the game really is. It’ll be interesting to see where this ends up landing with players in a few months, but the idea of getting to play against some of their fellow die-hard Star Wars friends in an online extravaganza may alone be enough to warrant spending the sixty dollars.
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