For gamers around the world, this weekend offers the first chance to play Star Wars Battlefront, one of the most anticipated video games of 2015. It's been 10 years since the last Battlefront title, and the return of the beloved gaming franchise arrives shortly before the new movie.
Expectations are high, so the rush to judge the game based purely on its beta has been no great surprise. This is a beta, not a demo, and certainly not the final product, but there remain problems that need to be addressed in time for the game's launch on 20 November.
Don't worry, we've outlined some of our favourite things about the demo as well.
Walker Assault imbalance
As everyone who has played the beta's most popular mode can attest, Walker Assault is not fairly balanced. This hasn't infringed on my enjoyment at all and I'm not advocating complete balance. It feels right that the Rebels should have the odds stacked against them in some way, just slighter than is the case here.
In Walker Assault, Imperial troops are descending on the Rebels' shield generator with two enormous AT-AT walkers marching with them. The game takes place over three stages, and at the end of each a Y-Wing bomber run takes out the walker's shields, leaving them exposed to fire from the ground and air. The Rebels can add additional Y-Wings to the run to deal out extra damage by holding the stage's two radio uplinks long enough.
Imperials can turn off the radio uplinks to disrupt the Rebels and limit the damage they can do. To do so they need only hold a button down for a few seconds, while the Rebels need to hold the uplinks for much longer so they can make radio contact with a number of Y-Wings.
As the Rebels, doing damage to the AT-ATs is tough and requires a lot of team-work and knowledge of what needs to be done. The Imperials meanwhile have brute strength and can waltz their way to victory without much idea of what's going on. Winning as the Rebels is possible and feels great, but it should feel more achievable. Luckily this should be fairly easy to remedy, by reducing the health of AT-ATs, or possibly by allowing gun placements to do minor damage when a walker's shields are up. Hopefully we see something to this effect.
Spawn placement is problematic
This isn't even a problem with spawn campers. Anybody who plays the beta will see others spawning into the game both up close and far away with startling regularity. As readily as you'll take advantage of this by blasting freshly-spawned players away, the same will also happen to you. This is arguably the biggest problem with the game, occurring all too regularly on certain parts of the map.
Walker Assault not well explained
Further to the point above, the game doesn't do a good enough job of explaining how Walker Assault works. Prior to entering a match there is a screen outlining objectives but not in any great detail. A lot is left to be discovered either through finding it out for yourself or through coms chatter which is easy to miss. The fact it takes a sizeable illustration to explain says it all.
If the pre-release build up for Battlefront is an indication, Walker Assault will be the full game's main mode. Naturally, over time, players will get used to how it works, but there are going to be a lot of people playing come November, and informing them how everything works will make the overall experience better for everyone.