If you weren’t already aware, the Star Wars Battlefront 2 beta is now open to all, meaning you can download it on your format of choice and get stuck in until 5pm BST on Monday.
I’ve already spent some time with the beta over the last two days, and despite not even being much of a Star Wars fan it’s definitely got me excited for its release.
Four gameplay modes are available in the beta, three of which focus on the online multiplayer aspects of the game, and one that showcases the single-player and couch co-op arcade aspects. Unfortunately it doesn’t give us a taste of the single player campaign, though you can watch a preview to whet your appetite, and it does indeed appear to be intriguing.
Galactic Assault is the Star Wars Battlefront 2 beta’s biggest mode, splitting 40 players into two teams – attackers and defenders. As the attackers, your task is to storm the Royal Palace, though the defenders will do their utmost to stop you. Four distinct trooper classes are available in this mode, each with their own starting loadout and skills. As you complete objectives and maim your opponents, however, you earn battlepoints, which can be used to bring in heroes such as Han Solo for a brief period of time, or spawn a range of vehicles.
The action is fast and frantic, and even though the Theed map on which the battle takes place is expansive, with 40 players running around it feels like a real conflict zone. There’s an ebb and flow to battle as each team takes the upper hand, and the class system means you can switch roles between each respawn to better suit the current conditions.
Smaller in scale, Strike battles are similar to Galactic Assault but simpler, focusing less on the use of heroes and vehicles. With one team once again acting as the attackers and the other defenders, it plays more like the traditional Battlefield experience in which teams battle over a set of objectives. With a 16 player limit they’re less hectic, but still a great deal of fun.
Arcade mode is perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the beta. I undertook a challenge in which my goal was to kill 25 Stormtroopers under a strict time limit, with more time being added onto the clock after each kill. With time being extremely limited, however, I was forced headlong into battle without much time to devise a strategy. As Darth Maul it was fairly enjoyable, dashing into enemies and slicing them with my lightsaber, but playing as a B2-RP Rocket Droid the odds felt stacked against me and a little dull. Hopefully, the challenges are more interesting in the final product.
The mode in the Star Wars Battlefront 2 beta which impressed me the most by far was Starfighter Assault. Letting you jump into the cockpit of a range of Starfighters to compete in objective based team battles, Starfighter Assault is an absolute delight for players like myself who adore aerial dogfights. And as usual, completing objectives and hitting opponents awards you battlepoints which can be used to spawn more hardy ships sparingly. I can honestly see myself spending a huge amount of time in this mode.
Across all modes the visuals are spectacular, though on the Xbox One version I played they were a little blurry. Performance was rock solid the whole time too, and the netcode seemed very stable. My only concern with the game after playing the beta is its use of loot crates, which grant cards that can be equipped to boost character abilities and even change skills. While they can be purchased with in-game credits, those who flash the cash will have quicker access to more advanced bonuses, giving them the advantage in the short-term. I guess we’ll have to wait until the full game is released to see the full effect.
All in all though, the Star Wars Battlefront 2 beta has left me with the impression that the full game will not disappoint when it is released on 17th November. Though, If you really can’t wait to get into the action once the beta has ended, remember that by buying the deluxe edition of the game you get 3 days early access.