REVIEW - Star Wars: Battlefront (Beta)
So I've had the opportunity to play the new Star Wars Battlefront game now that it's in beta and I have to say it exceeded graphical expectations, there are still some issues that are key to making the game work best.
Now I normally don't do things like this but I feel it's a well hyped game and I have to give the development team some credit where it's due, it's a solid game so far. Gameplay is fun (and addictive) and there are clear objectives.
My quarrels begin with the first and foremost being that you can't be on the same team as your partner or party. It is one of the biggest problems that they game has right now and while being in a party doesn't have to be everything, it would be nice to be able to play on the same team as your friends. In that regard team balancing is definitely an issue and requires some tinkering.
I was once in a match where there were 8 people on one team, and 2 people on the opposing team. That is extremely unbalanced and should've been picked up on by the server. I find also that they don't really mix up the people who are either high ranking or get high scores in matches with those who are lower levels and don't get as many scores. You will typically see the same people over the course of an hour on the same team and they are all the people who will do anything for that extra point (which in my opinion is just toxic gaming and can ruin the fun and experience).
Now while in this game, points mean a lot as they help you level up, they also provide you with in game credits to purchase weapons, cards (little power-ups such as ion ammo, grenades, personal shields, jetpacks, etc.), and customization options (which aren't available yet in the beta version). The scoring system is fair in my opinion and you get credited with a lot be it damaging a vehicle a bit or getting an assist on a kill. You earn points all the time regardless what you're doing (that being said don't just sit around in a match and expect points... you'll just end up getting kicked).
One of the other problems I have is the pickups you can get throughout the map. They seem like a good idea but I would rather see a system where they spawn randomly than in the same locations so that you don't get people who camp on them to always get them (because I've already ran into that issue of the same guy who kills me because he keeps stealing that AT-AT card for himself). They are a great way to change up gameplay but they need to be balanced as well.
One of the pickup cards that is rare for people to get is the hero card. These allow you to play (in the walker gamemode) as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader and you have special abilities as these characters. Now they are great fun and all, but glitchy as can be. When you "kill" the character they seem to just either float in the air or glitch on the ground, giving the illusion that they're still in the game when indeed they're not. It's also another card that needs to be balanced because I feel it shouldn't be a pickup at all. I think it would be best if it could be randomly given to players at various points of the game because it's another card that seems to be stolen by the same people.
Overall mechanics of the game need to be tweaked as well given that the reticle aim is slightly higher than where the laser actually hits. Amount of hits on a player need to be played with too because some characters will take more damage than others and even at point blank with a high damage weapon, a weak character can take upwards of 10-15 shots before finally being incapacitated.
Graphically the game is beautiful. It's engine is developed by Dice and that alone makes the game beautiful to play. Terrain features are individually carved out (for example on Hoth the snow depth alone is beautifully rendered), the lighting engine is absolutely stellar, and all the special effects (this includes laser blasts, shields, etc.) are beautiful to look at. I'm running a GTX 970 4G card with an Intel i7-4790 processor and even on just high settings the game runs smoothly. NVIDIA also released a driver patch to help optimize the game.
Overall the game is extremely fun and worth the time playing in beta and I will give it that... it's just a beta for now. There isn't anything stopping EA from making some quick fixes to adjust the smaller things like aim accuracy, pickup randomization, and other key features I mentioned. There are a lot of fun qualities to the game and one of the things I like is how easy it is to customize your gameplay (both visually and logically).
I highly recommend this beta for anyone interested in the game but not sold on purchasing it when it releases. You can pick it up for free right now on Origin (it's a 10.5GB download).