I ponied up an extra 5 shekels for the opportunity to play Star Wars: Battlefront before its official release tomorrow, because that’s the kind of impatient Star Wars fan I am. Over the weekend, I shot Imperials in the face on Hoth, Tatooine, Endor, and Sullust and it was pretty glorious. There was also much getting shot in the face to be had, as I am generally bad at shooters; also, I’ve not experienced some of the mechanics used in this game before, which I assume came over from DICE‘s Battlefield franchise. Here are my so far thoughts:
- Stunningly gorgeous. Seriously, the team at DICE did marvelously.
- There’s something about playing a Star Wars game where I get to shoot things with a BlasTech DL-44 and an Imperial standard issue E-11 that floods my brain with a sense of eurphoria. This must be what crack feels like at its high point.
- The notion of scoring points by collecting coins from your kills instead of scoring off the actual kills themselves is both engaging and enraging. It’s a clever way to slow gameplay down and force players to approach shooters from a more tactical perspective. Run-and-gun tactics work okay on normal difficulty, but try that shit when playing missions at the higher difficulty levels is like running headlong into a meat grinder, and being satisfied that your thumb came out the other end in one piece. Which I sometimes find myself doing anyway, because the coins are only on the field for a few moments before fading away.
- Hero missions are…interesting. Not in a bad way – I enjoyed running around maps as Luke Skywalker at break-neck speeds slashing people with a lightsaber, but I don’t know that they really add much depth to the mission modes; I think I prefer being a regular ole rebel or stormtrooper. I feel like they added the hero mission mode because some of us (I.E. me) will never be good enough in multiplayer to earn them as a power up reward. WE DON’T NEED YOUR PITY, DICE!
- The AT-AT hangar map on Sullust might be my favorite.
- I haven’t played any of the multiplayer since beta, so I haven’t experienced how they fixed the spawn camping, but they claim to have done so. Here’s hoping.
- This game scratches a large part of my Star Wars shooter itch, but serves as a reminder that what I’m really after is a proper story driven shooter a la Dark Forces and Dark Forces II. Get someone on that, Disney!