As Star Wars fever prepares to grip the world for what seems to be billed as another decade, Lucas Arts has got its marketing ‘hamster wheel’ churning early with the Beta access to Star Wars Battlefront.
Billed as “Battlefield with a Star Wars skin” by some gaming websites, SWBF seems to offer an FPS experience on huge maps with solid gameplay mechanics. Now I must confess that I am not a huge fan of FPS titles having fallen out of love with the CoD franchise years ago, it was only a few months ago that I jumped back in with Destiny (having found it for £20 in Asda)! To compare SWBF against these titles would be a little unfair as I don’t have substantial knowledge and/or experience in this area but the controls seemed slightly sensitive to my liking; but at no point did I feel like I was out of my depth. Another positive note is that with the capability of servers hosting larger and larger scale maps and players (40v40), gamers shouldn’t be turning off due to lag or buggy glitch which sees them stuck in areas of the map ready to be picked off by an AT-ST. It has a very clear ranking up system shows gamers a distinct link between performance and levelling up and even for those players who are not the most successful, upgrades are not far away!
But SWBF just seems to have a bit of a hold on me that I haven’t really experienced from FPS or MMO titles in a very long time. I found the draw of coming back for more snowballing each time a game was completed. At the writing of this article, the Beta “closed” but has been extended by one day which means I can think of nothing more than having just a little bit longer to get myself back to the snow covered Hoth and battle it out for a further 24 hours.
Nostalgia will play a huge part in the success of SWBF as gamers who grew up in the Star Wars ‘era’ who will want to return again and again to relive some of the famous moments in mainstream cultural history inside the comforts of their own home; I think this is the game changer. Having that personal investment to characters which we have known for years (not personally of course) means that every time Skywalker or Vader appears on the battlefield your heart skips a beat and you find a sharp gasp of breath accompanying an intensification of the game.
What will ultimately make or break of the game will be its ability to sustain the sheer number of players and servers. EA will need to provide a seamless service of loading the game, to set up, to gameplay to keep players encapsulated in the universe and returning over and over again. Making SWBF a “pick up and play” type of game means that in a world where time to game is ever decreasing, our enjoyment levels should leave us satisfied until the next episode of the Imperial Army vs the Rebel Alliance.
Not a lot can be said about the other maps or modes which will be available when the game launches November 17th but if the Walker Assault is anything to go by, chaos will be a dish served repeatedly!
May the Force Be with You (and you, and you….oh and you)