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Star Wars Battlefront E3 2015 Hands-On Multiplayer Preview


Star Wars Battlefront E3 2015 Hands-On Multiplayer Preview

The hype is real, if you’re a Star Wars fan or just a fan of great shooters, you should be very VERY excited about Star Wars Battlefront. Let’s not waste any time, and instead get right into breaking down why you should be adding Star Wars Battlefront to your wish list.

Before we get into Star Wars Battlefront’s gameplay, one aspect that is so notably awesome, that it will hit you right in the face with just how amazing it is, is its incredible sound effects. This game BEGS to be played in surround sound or at least with a high quality headset. The sounds of Star Wars Battlefront, be it the ping of blaster guns or the whizzing of a TIE Fighter flying by, all immerse very effectively.

Adding to that experience is its impressive visuals brought to you by the latest version of EA Dice’s Frostbite engine. It’s the best looking Star Wars game to date, hands down. Combined with the excellent audio, Star Wars Battlefront looks, feels, and sounds like you’re sitting in a theater watching the movies yourself.

Star Wars Battlefront

The multiplayer demo at E3 put us in the shoes of imperial and rebel soldiers duking it out in the famous Battle of Hoth. A massive 20v20 battle filled with foot soldiers, fighter pilots, AT-ATs and more, all of which were human controlled. I played as a rebel, whose objective is to hold two positions long enough to call in Y-Wing bombers. The bombers are capable of stunning two massive AT-ATs that must be destroyed to claim victory. Empire controlled units must disrupt the rebels and successfully escort the AT-ATs across the map. I played as a rebel.

Combat can be played in either third or first-person, whichever you prefer. I went with third-person but both perspectives play great, it’s just a matter of preference. Loadouts which include weapons and abilities can be customized.

When you spawn in, the first thing you do is storm out of your barracks and enter the battlefield. As I run out, I’m briefly blinded by the brightness of the gorgeous glistening snow. A few moments later, I’m on the frontline; the sound of blasters being fired in every direction is overwhelming.  I barely have time to admire the dogfighting going on above me as I quickly make a break to help defend the uplinks needed to get Y-Wing bomber support. After some back and forth with imperial forces, we were able to hold the uplinks long enough, and our Y-Wings temporarily incapacitated the AT-ATs. Seeing the opportunity to take on an AT-AT, I looked around for a rebel special power up, and was lucky enough to find a snowspeeder so I could join the fight in the skies.

At this point, the rebels have to unload everything they have on the AT-ATs as it’s the only time when they can actually damage them. Alternatively, snowspeeders can be used to trip up the AT-ATs using tow cables as was done in The Empire Strikes Back. This is the most effective way of winning but also the most difficult to pull off. I attempted multiple times to wrap the cable around the AT-AT, but couldn’t keep the ship steady long enough to successfully trip it. As long as the AT-ATs go down though, it doesn’t matter how the job gets done.

After about a minute, the AT-ATs return to their normal invincible state and continue their march across the battlefield. The rebels must once again capture and defend the two uplinks as quickly as possible to get another crack at the AT-ATs.

Star Wars Battlefront

Although we never tripped any of them with the tow cables, we were able to damage them greatly. With under one minute left before the imperial forces reached their final check point, things were looking pretty grim. In typical dramatic Star Wars fashion, however, we (the rebel forces) got our act together to make one last stand against the imperials and destroyed the AT-ATs just in time. We snapped victory from the jaws of defeat and it was glorious. With that, the demo ended.

It was a thrilling 15 minutes or so, and everything I described above (the combat, sound, visuals) all contributed to making Star Wars Battlefront the most immersive Star Wars experience I’ve ever had.  This was just one map. Obviously there will be more maps, each with their own unique experiences based on the battle objectives. Couple all of this with a cooperative horde mode that was just as excellent, and it’s clear Star Wars Battlefront is destined to be a monster hit and is deserving of your hype.

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