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TGS 2015 – Star Wars: Battlefront Hands-On Preview (2-Player and Huge Multiplayer Modes)

September 25, 2015 Written by Heath Hindman

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I played two modes of Star Wars Battlefront at the 2015 Tokyo Game Show.

First, I played co-op with another player. We were on the ground in Jakku. Ackbar (the “It’s a trap” guy) kept dropping pods, which we had to protect and secure against wave after wave of Stormtroopers. Fortunately for us in this survival mode, the Stormtroopers had their notoriously bad aim.

The waves got progressively harder and, if I’m not mistaken, a little bigger, it seemed. The Empire’s most useless soldiers first came only on foot and only shooting their blasters at God Only Knows, but they eventually started charging us with energy shields and jet packs. After waves of guys only on foot, I was surprised to get damaged and wonder where the hell it was coming from… only to look up and see an enemy floating in the air above me. I liked the gradual increase in difficulty, but when enemies had both the jet pack a shield, that got a little frustrating for both of us.

My partner and I had great moment where he drew the fire of an enemy from a decent distance, while I went around the wannabe sniper and shot him in the back of the head. If we hadn’t both been touching controllers all day, which had in turn been handled by a hundred other people, we would have high-fived.

While this co-op demo didn’t tell us the difficulty level, it seemed fairly easy for the two of us to clear out five or six waves without much of a problem — even though we were obviously playing the game for the first time. Were we on an easy setting, or is the game actually very accessible to players of any level? We can’t know.

Hoth was the location of the bigger demo on the show floor. The map was huge in every direction. Upon death, one could regenerate (that alone was a welcome break after Umbrella Corps) at different respawn points that aren’t just the same place you started. That comes in handy on such a wide map. It’s nice to not tell everyone “Okay I just respawned, I’m on my way… still running… I promise I’m coming…. No, Steve, I haven’t died again I’m just still catching up to where you are.”

Classes seemed to be evenly powered overall, but that could have been because every single person playing was doing so for the first time — maybe second time at best. My guy packed a sweet jet jump. ~Whee~
(Witness reports are unclear as to whether or not I actually said “Whee.”)

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Occasionally, we could find special tokens in the middle of the battlefield that would give us a classic Star Wars vehicle (varies depending on your side), and players can also control turrets. The Good Guys were trying to bring down AT&T — excuse me, AT-ATs — and would do so by controlling certain points on the field and having Y-wings bomb the shit out of them, then go in for the kill. Also, remember this?

at-at-duff

You can totally do that. I didn’t pull it off, but was told it can be done.

 

Overall, both modes were pretty fun.

Modern-day AAA games tend to have buggy launches, but such things are very hard to detect at trade show demos. All players are very close together, and we’re never playing the final product, but always a carefully prepared demo that companies know will be dissected and analyzed by hundreds if not thousands of players, press and public alike. I cannot, therefore, predict launch quality of this game any more than anyone else can.

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