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Star Wars: Battlefront hands-on preview – We battled for Hoth

by Joey Davidson | June 18, 2015June 18, 2015 7:20 am PST

The line for Star Wars: Battlefront was absolutely nuts at E3. The game is going to be exceptionally popular. Even with an appointment to see it and access to the media line, it took me more than an hour of waiting to sit down and play.

If you watched EA’s presentation on Monday, we played that same battle on Hoth. The Rebels activate a series of outposts in order to call in Y-Wing bomber runs on the AT-ATs and AT-STs. The AT-ATs are only vulnerable when bombed, and that’s when the Rebels have the best chance to strike.

I played on the Imperial team. Our job was to guard the walkers as they slowly stalked their way to the generators on the planet. We stop the rebels from activating the beacons for the bombers. If they do keep them active, we beat back them and the Y-Wings as the fly in. Do it for three sections of map and you win.

We won.

My battle stayed strictly on foot, before you ask. I wanted to hop into a TIE Fighter, but they were always unusable. There are chips on the map that let you call in the vehicles. They aren’t just sitting in the open, at least not in this mode.

But, on foot, I had a lot of fun. In the course of something like 15 or 20 minutes, I wound up going 47-10 and standing in the second place on our full team leaderboard.

This game feels, looks and sounds incredibly Star Wars-esque. That seems like a given what with the license and all, but it’s not. In the 15 or 20 minutes I had with this game, it felt immediately and definitely more like a Star Wars experience than anything else I’ve ever played. It felt like being placed right in the boots of a lowly soldier on Hoth.

I tried both loadouts on offer and used all five of the blasters, but I wound up sticking with a long range blaster and the ability to blast up with a jump pack and fire three rounds of grenades over long distances in quick succession.

I was a force to be reckoned with, fellow nerds. The Rebels come in all sorts of species, and I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it was shooting one that looked like Greedo from A New Hope. (They’re called Rodians… learn you Star Wars species, Joey! – Sean, Editor-in-Chief)

The game feels really good. We played it with DualShock 4s here at the show, though I’m not sure if it was on PlayStation 4 or PC. They kept that bit below the cabinets. It looked absolutely great and didn’t dip in framerate at all, so whatever platform it was genuinely on should be fantastic.

What really sold Star Wars: Battlefront for me here? This is going to seem a bit nuts, but it was the sound effects. The game sounds really, really good. And the pulse of my blaster coupled with the screaming and the crazy explosions are intensely immersive. I loved how great the game sounded, something DICE has always been really good at. That continues here, and the sound only further fuels my nerd nostalgia trip.

Star Wars: Battlefront will definitely please fans on the generic level of “is a shooter” and “faithful to Star Wars.” I don’t care what anyone else says, 20 minutes with it won’t be enough to definitely say whether or not DICE perfectly nailed that great Battlefront feeling.

I’m excited for the game, though, and that’s what’s most important. It plays loud, fast, fun and tough, and that’s what I wanted from it. Well, that and some lightsabers.

Star Wars: Battlefront goes on sale starting on November 17, 2015. It will hit the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and, of course, PC.

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Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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