This is the "Preview" review from the New Zealand Herald's TimeOut entertainment magazine section (15 October, 2015) ...
FEEL THE FORCE
Preview: Star Wars Battlefront
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 19 November
For fans of: Star Wars, Battlefield, Halo
Siobhan Keogh spent way too much time playing the Star Wars Battlefront beta ahead of its November launch, and finds the Force might just be real.
You know you've been playing too much Star Wars Battlefront when you can't stop singing Weird Al's The Saga Begins'.
Battlefront is a reboot of an existing franchise of the same name, developed by the company which works on Battlefield'. If the name doesn't give it away, it's part of the wider Star Wars franchise. But while Star Wars has something of a mixed reputation since the release of its three movie prequels, Battlefront is still a brand fans of the original movies respect.
The open beta for the reboot - although it was really more of a demo than a beta - was held over the weekend, and I took the opportunity to give it a go.
Battlefront features several different game modes, many of which weren't available during the beta. The ones that were available, Missions, Walker Assault and Drop Zone, were carefully selected to show off the scale of the game. All matches are multiplayer, and they range from a team of two in Missions to two teams of 20 in Walker Assault.
The scope of the 40-player matches was truly impressive, and really brought the epic Star Wars universe to life. During one of these matches you might drive a two legged AT-ST walker, or fly in an X-Wing. If you're really lucky, you might be bale to play as Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader, and run around deflecting lasers with your lightsaber.
Two-player missions were also pretty cool, although in a different way. Missions can be played split-screen (hooray!) and offline (double hooray!). The mission showed off in the beta was a survival mode; two of you facing off against waves of Imperial enemies. It seemed fun, but it's hard to tell - the beta ended the mission after just five waves. It hadn't even started to get challenging.
There has been some criticism about the game's lack of a campaign mode, despite the fact that its predecessors had them. Apparently EA believes people just don't play single-player campaigns in these kinds of games. Realistically, people don't play campaigns in EA's shooters because they're usually garbage. Maybe we should be thankful there's no campaign mode - Star Wars has been through enough already. But the excuse feels pretty flimsy considering games like Halo, with well-played campaigns and multiplayer options, exist.
Despite that, the beautiful thing about Battlefront is how much you feel like you're actually a small part of the Star Wars universe. When you become Darth Vader for the first time and use your Force choke on an unsuspecting enemy, you feel like you might be able to sway a huge, intense battle.
If you're into this kind of game - like Battlefield, sci-fi, or multiplayer fights on an epic scale - Battlefront looks as if it's going to deliver in a way no game has before. If you mostly play single-player, however, it's not for you.