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Star Wars Battlefront 2 Beta Pros and Cons

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Darth Maul on Theed

It is finally here! The granddaddy of all video games of 2017, Star Wars Battlefront II. Star Wars fans and general gamers have been waiting all year, and EA has given us a little appetizer in the form of the beta release, before the main course in November.

So what has EA learned from the release of the first game two years ago? Will it pack more of a punch, giving gamers more a of a complete game than the previous release? Let’s dive in and find out!

Star Wars Battlefront 2 Beta Pros and Cons

Pros

Graphics

Like its predecessor, Star Wars Battlefront 2 delivers a knockout blow in the graphics department. Characters and environments look absolutely stunning. Whether you are running through the streets of Theed or flying above Fondor, you will feel like you are right there in the worlds that Lucasfilm has created.

I have been playing the beta on a regular Playstation 4 console, so I am going to guess that the graphics will blow your socks off on a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X. Seriously, there is no complaining on a standard Playstation 4. The gameplay looks almost as good as the cinematic cut screens, and that is saying a lot!

Audio

If you love the sounds of Star Wars vehicles and just general sounds of blasters, lightsabers and droids, then this game is going to overpower your senses. EA has added true-to-life (is that even possible in a make believe world) TIE-Fighter flight sounds, X-Wing blasters, Clone trooper blasters, and even the great “Roger-Roger” from Battle Droids. It is a totally immersive experience. Add some John Williams inspired music, and you have a cherry on top of that ice cream sundae of a game!

Starfighter Battles

Starfighter battles in Star Wars Battlefront seemed a bit clunky and sort of thrown in as an afterthought. The team at EA has taken that experience, hidden it in a lock box, inside of a closet, in a house that has since been blown to smithereens. Battlefront 2 has totally redesigned the Starfighter gameplay in a great way! Yes there are some similarities to the original (and one thing that I wish they left in), but it feels totally different and more polished.

The steering controls are less tight than before, which takes a little getting used to. Familiar vehicles from the first game are given new abilities. Not only do other players pose a threat to you in space, but your environment does as well. Imperial battle stations will fire on Rebel ships, making it tougher on the Rebel Alliance players, but adding a sort of realism to the experience.

Heroes and Ships in Assaults

When EA first described the method for gaining access to a hero or special ship in combat, I questioned their thought process immediately. After playing the beta, my fears have subsided. To gain access to a hero character (Darth Maul, Rey, Han Solo, and Boba Fett are the only ones available in the beta) you have to achieve a certain score, then use those points to respawn as that character.

Every time you die in ground assaults, you can choose from one of four types of troops, or if you have enough points during that round, one of any number of ships, specialized troops, or heroes. It really makes you want to gain as many points so you can play as Darth Maul or Rey, which can be gained with 5000 points.

Space Battle

Star Wars Battlefront II Space Battle

Star Wars Battlefront 2 Beta Cons

Lootcrates

One thing I am not a fan of in games are lootcrates. These random drops purchased from a vendor as you make your way through the game seem almost unfair. I have felt inadequate in the game many times due to players who have spent hours upon hours racking up money to purchase lootcrates and gearing up their players.

It would be different is was buying lootcrates for one character or vehicle, but in this game you need to beef up four different types of troops, Heroes, and four different types of ships. Each troop/hero/ship has various things to increase such as three abilities, emotes and weapons. This game introduces a crafting system for the weapons. Each weapon has three different abilities as well, which you will have get crafting money (through lootcrates) to upgrade them.

Starfighter Battles

Yes, I know I said this was a positive thing, but some changes made from the first game have me frustrated. The biggest is being able to lock on to ships and shoot them. This is probably just me, but I would rather be able to lock on. The A-Wing does have a special ability that allows this, but I haven’t seen it on other ships. Plus it is a special ability that only lasts a few seconds. While this may not bother some, it is a major disappointment for me.

The Interface

The game interface needs a little work as well. Everything has a warbly holographic look to it, making it almost impossible to read anything from a distance (like me sitting on my couch looking at a 46″ TV – hey, it could just be that I am 41 and losing it as well). I know they are shooting for a Star Wars ships system interface, but something really needs to be either redesigned or just take out the holographic look before the game launches in November. Concentrate on reading something to long, and you will have to put the controller down and reach for the Advil.

Enemy Locations

One of the final issues I have is with finding enemies in ground assault maps. When playing as a clone trooper, it is tough to see B1 Battle Droids against the background of the city of Theed. They blend in really well. It almost seems like a competitive advantage for the Separatists. I don’t know that this can be fixed without compromising the integrity of the look and feel of real Star Wars though. In a game this good, it is just a minor issue anyway.

Overall

Major improvements are found across the board in at least the beta. The games comes with a single player campaign mode, which is not available in the beta. The only thing you can do in the beta is participate in a ground assault (Theed), Starfighter Assault (Above Fondor), and arcade mode (which I haven’t played).

I get the feeling that the beta was released for load testing on the network, and for minor improvements. The game certainly feels polished, aside from the horrible user interface outside of gameplay. I only experienced issues once, and that was with the starfighter assault. It might have been my Internet connection, but everything kept stuttering, making it impossible to play.

I get the feeling that EA has a major hit on their hands with this one. If you haven’t played it yet, you have until October 9th to play the beta. Or you can just wait until the full release in November.

You can currently pre-order the game on Playstation 4, Xbox One, or PC from Amazon #ad!

A Star Wars fan since 1978, he has a passion for all things Star Wars and wonders why May the 4th is not a national holiday. He lives in the wastelands of middle Georgia with his wife, two girls, and two dogs.

Editorial

Why Starfighter Assault Is The Highlight of Battlefront 2

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So, the Battlefront 2 Beta has ended now that the (delayed) deadline of October 11th has come and gone. As someone who was lucky enough to secure one of the randomly dispersed email codes for the closed alpha, I thought the game was solid. Of course, this is probably jaded by the fact I love the saga (duh). Hell, I played the original game despite its lackluster combat depth for over 100 hours. However, it’s one of the key new features of the game that’s really persuaded me to buy the sequel at launch instead of wait for a sale like I did the previous installment and that’s one of the plethora of new game-modes, Starfighter Assault.

Now don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the boots on the ground combat in the closed alpha and the vast improvements it’s made compared to the first game in terms of strategy, gameplay, classes and unlocks, but the slew of game releases over the last few years has left me a bit petered out on the whole FPS concept. It’s ridiculous fun, but I’m not yet ready to sink another hundred hours into another shooter. So, when I opened the game I was expecting to be entertained, but maybe be a little bit bored of the concept. As someone who hated the starfighter gameplay in the previous game, I was met with a pleasant surprise.

Starfighter Assault, despite not being the game’s “flagship” mode, and probably having the least content in the beta, easily made up most of the 8 hours of gameplay I got from the demo. Probably because I don’t play many flying games, the concept was unique enough to interest me much more than the ground combat. For those unaware, the beta version of Starfighter Assault sees a team play as the rebels attacking a Star Destroyer that’s under construction, first taking out two Imperial Cruisers, then flying into the cavernous scaffolding of the shipyard to blow up the shield generators in typical Star Wars fashion. The plucky group of 12 rebel players must then damage the clamps connecting the Star Destroyer to the shipyard to expose the reactor and deal damage to it, all the while being attacked by the enemy team of 12 playing as the Empire.

Sound design is on point, as is the visuals – just like in the last game. Unlike the previous installment though, the smattering of turrets placed all over the map and on the advancing rebel and Imperial cruisers adds even more realism to the experience, allowing you to shoot these larger ships out of the air with enough teamwork and proton torpedoes. Thanks to this, the maps feel so much more alive than the barren starfighter maps of the previous game, especially at launch where ships flew around, essentially, an empty sky only shooting at each other. The fact that I enjoy that there’s more things shooting might seem fickle, but it really does make everything feel more action packed, frenetic and complex.

The main reason I disliked starfighter combat in the previous game, especially when more detailed maps like that beautiful assault on a Star Destroyer in an asteroid field were added, though was the controls. It all felt very clunky. Trying to make precise movements with your ship was impossible since a brief move of the mouse or control stick caused your little fighter to continue to slide slightly afterwards. Furthermore, to stand any chance of hitting the fighter you were chasing, you had to keep the target in the middle of your screen for a few seconds to get a “lock on” and then shoot or bomb them. This is all meant you had to wait to take out enemies, making combat less fast paced and feel much slower and more boring. It also meant that it was fairly easy to take out enemies, making dogfights feel less rewarding and more trivial. Thankfully, the new game completely overhauls this control scheme. Now you just aim your reticle inside the circle near to your target and fire. The lock on system remains but now it’s only used for firing missiles. Controlling your starfighter, especially the snappy interceptors, feels great, removing the awkward sliding from the first game and replacing it with a tighter scheme that allows you to pull off precise movements. You’ll be needing these tight movements to be able to pull off dodges which are no longer assigned to the push of a button, further making you feel accomplished when you dodge that pursuing TIE’s torpedoes successfully.

Screenshot from the Beta

Continuing this trend of overhauling the foundations laid by the previous game, the starfighter classes have also been expanded. Unlike boots on the ground combat there are only three, but each one has just enough different attributes to make it feel unique. The interceptors allow for fast, sharp maneuvers and feature powerful blasters at the cost of health and the bombers are able to dispense volleys of powerful proton torpedoes, ion blasts etc at the cost of being slow and a bit more unwieldy to pilot (though this never felt as uncontrollable as the original for me). Fighters offer a middle ground, having fairly powerful weapons and a respectable amount of health and maneuverability. Each class has their own strengths, but unlike the ground combat classes, I found myself happily switching between them. None of them, to my casual eye at least, felt particularly over or underpowered and they were all huge fun to control and experience. Each team has slightly different variants of these classes, replacing one or two abilities, like switching out the X-Wing’s health restoring astromech for the TIE’s speed boost. More variation would have been nice but the changes are enough to make each ship feel at least somewhat unique.

 

The map showcased in the beta is also fantastic, perfectly blending large open space for fast paced dogfighting with tight corridors and spaces to navigate and cover to duck behind. It begins with a nice open space to allow players to get to grips with controls without having to dodge around tight corridors and the space means players aren’t concentrated in one small area so there’s less incoming fire to avoid. Of course, you still have the Imperial cruisers to fly behind for cover should you so need it. The fight then transitions into a narrow corridor of scaffolding with obstacles littering the ceiling, floor and walls to avoid. This focuses the action down a small path, forcing you to engage in quick dogfights and bombing runs but you lack the space to make complex dodges (unless you want your little A-Wing to become a little ball of flames against the walls). Finally the fight moves to around the Star Destroyer. Thanks to the clamps overhead, you still have tight spaces to maneuver through and obstacles to avoid. Fighting is still focused around a small area so your skills are put to the test but now you have the added space to make larger dodges and evasions again, allowing you to flex your piloting muscles in the mode’s climax.

Overall, the brief snippet of the game-mode I’ve played so far has me converted. I used to think I would hate the starfighter combat of this game but now it’s shaping up to be the part I’m probably most excited to experience fully when it releases on November 17th 2017.

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Gaming

Full Star Wars Battlefront II Trailer Released

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Star Wars: Battlefront II Logo

EA and Lucasfilm have released a brand new Star Wars Battlefront II trailer. The new video features John Boyega giving us the details about the game. If you haven’t seen anything about the game to this point, this trailer breaks down everything you will see in the game from new maps, to improved gameplay mechanics and more!

Check out the video above and don’t forget to pre-order the game now from Amazon #ad, so that you can have access to it a few days earlier than those that wait on the street date!

About Star Wars Battlefront 2:

Star Wars Battlefront focuses on the fast frenetic battles that you love in the star wars saga. Fight dozens of troopers alongside memorable heroes like Darth Vader each with unique skills and attributes. Chances are you’ve already played the first one and Battlefront 2 promises to deliver where it fell short. You want a story mode? You want clone troopers? You want deeper gameplay? The team at DICE seems to be trying to please the fans with this one (unless you wanted those fun 32v32 battles from the originals).

  • Jump into the boots of an elite special forces soldier, equally lethal on the ground and space, in an emotionally gripping new Star Wars campaign that spans over 30 years and bridges events between the films’ Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • The Ultimate Star Wars Battleground! A Star Wars multiplayer universe unmatched in variety and breadth where up to 40 players fight as iconic heroes, authentic-to-era troopers and in a massive array of vehicles on land and in the air – as battle rages through the galaxy.

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Gaming

Complete List of Star Wars Battlefront II Map Locations

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Star Wars Battlefront II (Naboo)

Electronic Arts has revealed Star Wars Battlefront II Map Locations! These are the areas that you will be playing in when Battlefront II hits your console! It looks as if we will be revisiting Jakku, Hoth and Endor for this installment. We will have more information for you when the game hits in November.

Check out the list below…

  • Naboo
  • Kamino
  • Kashyyyk
  • Endor
  • Death Star II
  • Hoth
  • Mos Eisley
  • Yavin IV
  • Jakku
  • Takodana
  • Starkiller Base

About Star Wars Battlefront 2:

Star Wars Battlefront focuses on the fast frenetic battles that you love in the star wars saga. Fight dozens of troopers alongside memorable heroes like Darth Vader each with unique skills and attributes. Chances are you’ve already played the first one and Battlefront 2 promises to deliver where it fell short. You want a story mode? You want clone troopers? You want deeper gameplay? The team at DICE seems to be trying to please the fans with this one (unless you wanted those fun 32v32 battles from the originals).

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