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Hothtober: Star Wars Battlefront Beta Out Next Month

I’ve felt so little about Star Wars for so long now, and had so much distance from a fictional universe I threw myself into in my late teens that it no longer feels quite as over-exposed and cynical as it once did. This means I’m starting to find it vaguely appealing again. Nostalgia inexorably returns, God help me. Whether that will be aided or undermined by the looming marketingageddon of The Force Awakens I don’t know, but I do look at images of DICE’s Star Wars: Battlefront [official site] and think ‘yes, those are science fictional battles I want to be a part of.’ It’s the industrial look of the ships and structures that does it, a sweet spot between functional and stylised that the prequel movies totally bungled.

I don’t care about the characters, though. Mostly I just want to drive an AT-AT. Oh God now I’ve opened an eBay tab and typed ‘AT-AT’ into it. This is bad. If I can just hang on until October, when the Battlefront Beta will be released, maybe I’ll be OK.

Said beta, due early in the month for PC and them there console whatnots, will feature the Hoth-set Walker Assault level, so I’m praying all AT-AT itches will be scratched. It’s a 40-player map, and includes the option to play as Luke Skywalker or some guy named Dave Vader. It’s the map they showed off at E3 in July, like so:

Can it really, truly, honestly look like that in practice? It’s wonderful to behold, but maybe that won’t be the case when you’ve got 12 guys queuing up for a Scout Walker or the Rebel Alliance screaming ‘noobs’ at each other. Also that footage has more anti-aliasing than God’s beard, so don’t expect these kinds of results unless you have 48 GeForce Titan Blacks.

The beta will also feature a Tatooine-set ‘survival mission’, “where you and a Rebel friend must fight back waves of Imperial forces”. These are AI Stormtroopers who die in huge numbers, and there’s a solo (hah!) mode too, so this very much strikes me as something included to appeal to an older audience of Star Wars dads who can’t be dealing with this 40-person business. That looks like this. Ackbar!

A new mode is promised too, named Drop Zone, but DICE aren’t talking about that yet. My guess it will involve dropping things and/or people into some manner of zone.

There’s going to be a companion app too – words which strike fear into my heart, as they almost always involve some sort of grind for nebulous main game rewards. Annoyingly EA aren’t yet saying quite how we’ll get into the beta, or how open/closed it will be other than describing it as ‘a Technical Test’, but we’ll hopefully bring you more information on that soon. Many Bothans, etc.

Anyway, I don’t really care about Star Wars, but I do care about AT-ATs. I want an AT-AT. I am 36. As is most of Battlefront’s audience, I suspect.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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