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PAX Prime 2015: Star Wars Battlefront Hands-On Preview – Survival Mode

August 31, 2015 Written by Mark Labbe

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I got to blast Imperial Stormtroopers on Tatooine this weekend using a laser rifle, and it was awesome.

During PAX Prime 2015, I played a round of Star Wars Battlefront‘s Survival Mode (which is a different part of the game compared to Chandler’s hands-on with the traditional multiplayer mode), taking on six waves of enemy Stormtroopers with one of the game’s marketing employees. Before starting the mode, I first was asked to choose which weapon I wanted, as well as which set of skills I preferred. I chose the classic laser rifle, and chose the ability to shoot grenades, use a little jetpack, and infuse my rifle with ion energy, which allows it to do more damage to vehicles. Each ability has a timer on it, so it requires that the player make a strategic decision on when to use each skill.

Do the Wave

In the first wave, several Stormtroopers slowly made their way across the Tatooine desert, firing at me and my co-op partner. They were fairly easy to take out, and after wiping them out, an item cache suddenly fell out of the sky and slammed into the ground nearby. We raced over to it, and I was told that if we manage to defend the cache, then we would get some nifty items and gadgets from it. As the second wave came pouring in, with more enemies than the first, we blasted away, and I fired some grenades into the swarm of enemies. The grenades blew up instantly upon hitting the ground, sending several enemies high into the air. The cache was defended, and I got a rocket launcher from it.

In one of the next rounds, an AT-ST made its way towards me and my partner. We were up on a ledge, so saw the vehicle coming from a long distance away. I infused my shots with ion energy, and the two of us took down the vehicle without it even firing a shot. It seemed a bit too easy, especially since it went down in a matter of seconds. But, maybe we just got lucky.

Jetpacks and Force Fields

In the last several rounds, the Stormtroopers we face off againsthad jetpacks, and were able to zip over our heads and fire down upon us. These troopers were a bit tricky to defeat, as they were able to stay in the air for a while and evade our shots. To make matters worse, some of them had personal force fields, and I was told that in order to defeat them, I either had to wait until their shields to dissipate, which takes several seconds, or run up and melee attack them. So, I waited until the troopers were on the ground, and slammed them in the face with the butt of my rifle, killing them instantly.

The last round featured both Stormtroopers and an AT-ST, but again, the vehicle went down almost immediately. I chalked this up to my rocket launcher, but I do hope that when the game releases, the AT-STs are a little bit harder to take down. Even so, I enjoyed my time with Star Wars Battlefront, and am looking forward to trying out more of the game’s Survival Mode when it releases in November.