A short time ago, on a gaming platform not so far away, Star Wars Battlefront 2 saw its first open beta! Over the weekend, gamers on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC were given the opportunity to dive into the upcoming space fantasy shooter currently being developed by DICE. Though not everything was unlocked, the beta let us experience the rush of multiplayer in two separate modes, as well as a look at the new loot system and classes.
The Galactic Assault is precisely what it sounds like: a large scale battle where teams of twenty players use all manner of strategy, teamwork, firepower, and sometimes good old fashioned idea of “running directly at the enemy” in order to claim victory.
As you take your first steps out onto the winding streets of Theed on Naboo, you’ll be greeted with the incredible detail that DICE has managed to pack into Battlefront 2. The streets are filled with swirling leaves dancing in the wind, the sky overhead is smeared with cloud cover, and the civilians and birds are fleeing for their lives – all this is the back drop to an epic battle with lasers flying everywhere.
Fighting as the Separatists, you must push your way into the Palace, a massive task that requires defending an MTT as it moves ponderously forwards. Otherwise, the Republic must use their might to destroy the MTT, lest you must retreat to the Palace for a final stand.
The model is similar to Overwatch’s Payload, but with a lot more vehicles, explosions, and massive shoot-outs. As you inch closer to the goal, you’ll be fighting down different streets or trying to get an angle into the palace rooms. It’s large-scale and packed full of action, barely five seconds will go by before you’re trying to gun down another player or use your abilities to help reach the objective.
The Starfighter Assault is every Star Wars fans’ greatest wish come true. Take to the sky in the Fondor Shipyards in whatever fighter you please – be it an X-Wing, Y-Wing, or even a Tie Fighter.
It’s truly incredible to experience this side of Star Wars once more. The sounds of the engines screaming past you as you try desperately to either defend your own vessel from enemy attackers, or even the flipside, as you scramble to lock on and get those pesky enemies out of your way! One section of the fight saw us ducking and weaving inside a ship in an effort to take out engines and guns! You’ll need to steady hand in order to claim victory here.
The eight-player-a-side Strikes are intense battles set in incredible locations where one team must defend while the other attacks. In the Star Wars Battlefront 2 beta, the Strike was on Takodana, as recently seen in the J.J. Abbrams films. Attackers will need to locate and secure an artefact, and then take it to the extraction point. Meanwhile, the defenders will need to stop them using any means possible.
As you play through the thick forest, you’ll be relying heavily on sound to locate your enemies, as the impressive foliage does everything to break up the sight lines. Using the Elite Pros with the Tactical Audio Controller makes locating sneaky enemies a breeze, which is important as the artefact carrier can be difficult to spot. The sound of leaves and sticks crunching underfoot can give away an enemy location, as can the distant sparks of lasers. The entire match plays out as a giant tug-of-war, but in reverse, as each time tries desperately to move the object away from their own end zone.
Throughout the various modes available, you’ll be playing as one of the many classes in Star Wars Battlefront 2. The four main classes are Assault, Heavy, Officer, and Specialist, each offering their own unique weaponry, abilities, and statistics.
There are, of course, more units to use, but these are locked behind an intuitive points system. The more kills you earn, objectives you clear, or the more teamwork you employ, the more points you earn.
You can then redeem these points and spawn as one of the special classes, with the Heroes costing a fair chunk of points! If you want to jump in as Darth Maul during the Galactic Assault, you need to amass 5,000 points, while a Rocket Droid will set you back 2,000 points. But choose wisely, because once you spend the points, you’ll need to earn more!
How it Feels
To put it simply, Star Wars Battlefront 2 feels incredible to play. Every aspect of the game has been improved over the first title. While we only had access to a few maps across a handful of modes, they all felt true to the source material. However, what really sells it is the audio design. Starting a match of Galactic Assault (especially when playing as the Separatists), is like diving into a real Star Wars battle. Your little droid legs will hit the ground running, diving between civilians that scatter while lasers start blasting across your field of vision.
Then, regardless of what side you’re fighting for, there’s nothing quite as pulse-pounding as hearing the loud crack of a bomb going off a few feet from you as a ship tears across the sky on a bombing run.
The entire experience can be taken to the next level on Xbox One if you make sure to switch on the Windows Sonic in the settings – it really lifts the sense of being in the thick of it when using the XO THREE or the Stealth 700 gaming headsets. Star Wars has never sounded so good!
Even the loot system is worth talking about, as it’s thrilling to earn enough credits to purchase a crate. These crates can drop all manner of cards, which are applied to Classes and actively help increase your lethality or help with cooldowns. The more you play Star Wars Battlefront 2, the more you will earn, allowing you to craft new weapons for your classes, upgrade your abilities, and just generally make your loadouts more awesome!
Though the Star Wars Battlefront 2 beta was extended a few more precious days, it still had to come to an end. But at least we don’t have long to wait until it launches on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on November 17!