In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone, Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws The only shadow that the Desert knows:— "I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone, "The King of Kings; this mighty City shows "The wonders of my hand."— The City's gone,— Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose The site of this forgotten Babylon. We wonder,—and some Hunter may express Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace, He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess What powerful but unrecorded race Once dwelt in that annihilated place
[Crowd]: Oh please noooo...
What am I reviewing today? That would be the SWBF3B, otherwise known as the Star Wars Battlefront (no. 3 technically, but EA actually just wanted the title for its glory, nostalgia factor, and above all, FAN SERV... Er, money, not because they were genuinely making a third instalment) Beta (that's said BEE-TA).
Let me open with an illustriously generic opening banner:
The first thing that will slap you round the ears with a wet jandal are the graphics, they are beautiful, and without a doubt this is the best we've ever seen the Frostbite engine, this isn't really saying much because I never was particularly impressed by the Frostbite engine, specifically Frostbite 3.Uh Oh. Anyway, kudos to DICE, they managed to regain control of their engine after their miserable failure of a game that was Battlefield 4 (to say nothing of Visceral's Battle$ Hardlol that was about as innovative as a rock in the middle of a desert full of rocks).
The sound; it's literally having John Williams directing the London Symphony Orchestra inside your room with Ben Burtt and crew playing all those classic Star Wars sound effects, altogether, at the same time. It's incredible, but if DICE had somehow managed to screw this up it could have kissed its dally into the Star Wars Universe goodbye, so it's to be expected.
THE GUNS: They go pew pew, kill things, and feel generally all round fantastic. If you get those reload cooldowns on time you can be all gangsta and shit... I don't know. Interesting design choice not having ammunition, but I think it works well enough, as it was a grey area anyway.
THE THERMAL IMPLODER: This guy gets a seat right here because that noise is straight out of heaven (or hell, whatever you find more macho). 10/10
GAMEPLAY: This is where it counts folks (as we all know, because we are well versed in this sort of thing) the be-all-end-all of a game.
Walker Assault: It's unique, and it's not Conquest, that's a +1 in my book. The dynamic back and forth gameplay makes for a fluid fast moving battle, with opportunities for epic flanking manoeuvres, periodic spawn rape, and zero opportunity for casual recon bushmonsters to camp and snipe for the entire match (although there was no dedicated sniper rifle in the Beta, players still tried and failed with the Cyclic Rifle card). The problem is that the mode is massively unbalanced BOTH ways. How does that work I hear you ask? Well when playing the Empire it becomes Walker ASSault, you will stomp the Rebels the majority of the time, but there are the few times that the Rebels win and it sows the seed of doubt in your mind, is all this Imperial Splendour simply a ruse? Yes, and no. This is where there are some very strange balancing issues going on. When one side begins to win, you stomp the other side 6 meters under. I couldn't tell you exactly why, as I think it is a combination of things, but I'll give it my best shot. The Rebels only have to take out the walker on the right hand side (Bob) (when playing Rebels) to insta-win, how? Orbital Strike. Then essentially kick back and relax and wait for dat Snowspeeder mini-game at the end of the match to take out poor Fred on the left. So it really takes the very smallest amount of T-E-A-M-W-O-R-K to actually win as Scum. The same goes for when playing the Mighty Skrub Killing Empire, just even less so.
Drop Zone: It's TDM/King of the Hill, it's fun with jetpacks, and good for casual play (meaning if you have any practice in an FPS at all you will dominate the skrubs who play with a 60 degree FOV in first person perspective and don't know how to sprint). Otherwise, it's same sameness done alright, neither good nor bad, but in the long run it'll quite possibly turn painfully average.
That Co-op Mo... no wait this belongs under the bad...
Those starfighters... Well they conform with all the normal pros already detailed. They look great, sound great, and when you hit that internal view button you sit there going "WHY THE HELL ARE THERE NO SPACE BATTLES?!" They also scream (literally in the case of the TIE) through the air at Mach One, which makes a lovely change from Battlefield's hand-holding. The flight controls are abysmal, really abysmal. It's like you're permanently stuck in safety mode, in reality I imagine it's like not being allowed to exceed your G-limiter or maximum angle of attack. In saying that I managed to vaguely get the hang of the TIE Fighter, which is by far the most superior anti-infantry starfighter in the Beta, simply because the cannon spacing actually allows you to hit small targets. Yep, these super advanced starfighters don't even have targeting assistance that regulates round dispersion at different ranges, meaning that the classic X-Wing can't hit stuff all when strafing ground targets simply because its cannon spacing is to far apart. Seems legit. The Snowspeeder is awful, I don't even know what you're supposed to do with it other than rope those AT-ATs in that really fun mini-game at the end of the match (sarcasms). The spawns also allow enemies to destroy you right off the bat before you even get control of your damn spacecraft. Small issue...
Dat AT-ST doe: This guy deserves his own category. "Chicken Walker!" Remember that? I do, Chicken wasn't so powerful back in those days, but he's come back with a vengeance. This guy can walk right up to the Rebel spawn at 50kmph, and just wreck. I mean really wreck, like why would you even bother playing Darth Vader wreck, like this is the ultimate power fantasy of every Star Wars fanboy ever since forever, wreck, like where are those stupid teddy bears from Endor when I need them, wreck. I'm talking 30-0 within 5 minutes of the match starting, no joke. But again, the balance issues, it really only take about four guys to concentrate on the AT-ST to take it down, especially with the Ion Ammo and Ion Grenade cards, along with every noob and his Cyclic Rifle which does an obscene amount of damage, also Scum only have to use their damn turrets which are scattered everywhere, seriously, use your damn turrets Scum. I'm no balancer, but I can say they nailed the "realism" so to speak of an AT-ST, but the moment they nerf it I feel like that magic will be lost, and the moment they buff anything else to counter it, it'll become utterly mediocre. Their job, not mine.
The Heroes: They're okay. Remember, nothing can stop Darth Vader's lightsaber.
That Co-op mode: Highlights how this game is not wanting to be Battlefront, but is forced to be. It's alright, but all it does is overwhelmingly highlight the fact that there is no campaign.
WHY DID YOU CALL IT BATTLEFRONT EA?! Was it really necessary? This is an okay game, not great, but not terrible which is really an improvement for you! But just imagine the amount of flak this whole thing could of avoided if it'd gone with a different IP. Call it Battlefield: Star Wars, okay maybe too close, Star Wars: Invasion, Star Wars: Casual, Star Wars: I Have An Identity, I don't know what your PR or advertisement team does but they seriously suck. I could tell you right now that you would have made around about the exact same number of sales calling the game something else. WE'RE NOT STUPID. If it's good we will buy it, if it's bad we won't, if it's average it can go either way, but if it's average AND people see you as riding on the name of a classic franchise simply for profit? It will do nothing but hurt your bottom line. Because of greed, you killed this game's identity before it was even born, your Battlefront knows what it wants to be, which is a serious strength in a game today, but it isn't a Battlefront.
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