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.

19 Comments

  1. Lord Byte says:

    I am more of an AT-ST man myself, but I know what you mean :) Also I’m 35 and the giddyness I’m experiencing can be measured on the Richter scale :P

  2. Premium User Badge

    Jiblet says:

    £120?! For an AT-AT?! God damn you, mother; why did you have to throw it all away.

    I’m 37. I’d like a pet AT-AT. I’m excited for Battlefront (even though it’s EA and so we all know it’ll be terrible).
    Please, please help.

    • Bugamn says:

      I bought a LEGO AT-AT for less than that. I might be 26 but I’m proud of it. I also wanted the AT-TE, but after seeing that it was mostly empty I decided instead for an AT-AP.

  3. Mordechi Locke says:

    Great news on the beta. But with the good comes the bad – there’s a thread over on the SWBF sub-reddit confirming no server browsers for any platform, but a “skill based matchmaking system” instead. Unsurprisingly people are not impressed and I don’t blame them.

    • Iajawl says:

      What is wrong with skill based match making ?

      • Mordechi Locke says:

        In isolation, nothing. But instead of a browser for a FPS online shooter? Check the link for the various reasons.

      • Asurmen says:

        Lack of community. There’s more to gameplay than your K/D or how many objectives you did. What about team work? What about knowing the guy stood next to you isn’t going to run off and stop covering your back?

        Matchmaking leaves that aspect up to the will of the gods. A server browser allows you to build a community, allows you to revisit the same place, and hopefully with the same people. You can build a rapport with people and get to know them. When you play, you’ll then know they’re going to help you and vice versa.

      • Premium User Badge

        Kirrus says:

        No matchmaking also means no pro competitive team play at all

      • KesMonkey says:

        Nothing, when it’s an option alongside a server browser.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      Wow. That’s a death blow. A lot of people will, rightfully, bail. We’ve seen how matchmaking worked with Titanfall, and the BF games only have longevity on the PC because of the community that private servers foster.

      Gross.

  4. Iajawl says:

    I’m bewildered by people thinking either of those trailers look promising. Looks utterly abysmal to me. All I see is OTS camera (which does my head in) cut scenes (which are as welcome as a punch in the gizzards) and over done explosions and GFX.

    • silentdan says:

      Yeah, the more I find out about this game, the more my excitement wanes. I love Star Wars, but this … I dunno. It just seems so formula-driven, with little understanding of the appeal of the IP. Take Luke and Vader facing off in the middle of a battle. It’s just absurd. It’s as though someone who never heard of Star Wars thought, “Hey, I want to have a hero fight a villain in the middle of a battlefield — who are the main good & bad guys? Luke and Garth? Have ’em fight here.” That’s not how those two tend to confront each other, though, and it just seems weird.

      Also, in Star Wars multiplayer, either everyone’s a Jedi, or no one is. Otherwise, the Jedi mop the floor with the non-Jedi, and everyone either spends all their time working towards becoming a Jedi, or quits until they’re told they can be a Jedi. No one wants to be the Hawkeye to someone else’s Thor.

  5. fishlore says:

    Last I read, At-Ats were on rails. Has this been proven false? I know At-st’s are pilotable if you stumble upon a “powerup,” lol, but everything I’ve read so far has AtAts on rails. Hopefully for Alec’s sake I’m wrong.

  6. Kempston Wiggler says:

    Lucas milked the Star Wars cow so much that the cow became a dry bag of flaky leather and dusty piles that used to be bones. Worse, he pissed all over that cow with his prequel garbage.

    To me, Disney’s approach to their new cash-making-engine is to pretend the piss-stained, cow-shaped leather skin is still an actual cow instead of the shambling zombie of what once was. For old time’s sake I’m keeping one eye on proceedings but I’m hugely irritated by the aggressive marketing and don’t think the film will be anywhere near as good as any of the originals.

    …I’d play Battlefront, though. Looks….decent. And, yes, would murderdeathkill to have an original AT-AT in my home.

    • Asurmen says:

      A trailer for a new film is aggressive marketing now?

      • Kempston Wiggler says:

        Yes. That’s precisely to what I was referring, and not at all the huge upsurge in Star Wars-related events, news, products, images, merchandising…..

        Have yourself a biscuit.

        • Asurmen says:

          There hasn’t been, unless you’re going out of your way to look for it. I wasn’t aware that some people reporting on a new film (as if that’s a new thing) and a trailer = aggressive marketing, because that’s the only real visible part of it.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Serrit says:

    will feature the Hoth-set Walker Assault level

    Is that where Battlefront attempts to survive as John gives it a rigourous testing against the Do’s and Don’t of gaming?

  8. Darth Gangrel says:

    “I’m praying all AT-AT itches will be scratched” You mean, you’re praying those itches will be scrAT(-AT)ched.