Generally speaking, FPS aren’t my cup of tea. I don’t keep up with their development and I never played one for more than a couple of minutes. That was, until the SW Battlefront hype spilled over to my twitter feed and alas, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I mean… it’s a Star Wars game! Star Wars makes everything better, right? I decided to give it a chance. Who knows, maybe I do enjoy the genre after all?
Thanks to @jnsplace, who told me that the first open beta weekend had been extended until Tuesday evening, I was actually able to squeeze in a bit of playtime between my coming back from the symposium in Upper Austria (which kept me busy that weekend) and my regular lectures. I had barely an hour left before I had to leave for university, but I managed to take a look at both a solo survival mission and the Walker Assault.
Exploring New Terrain
The first thing I noticed when I started up the game for the first time was the clean interface. Plain, but stylish and easy to navigate.
When I was done marvelling at the UI I picked the solo PVE mission on Tatooine and jumped right in at the deep end. I had no clue about the combat and the controls (though they felt a bit like ESO’s) and had to use the terrain a lot to kite the vehicles around, but I held my ground. Easy enough. THAT MEANS I’M READY FOR PVP, RIGHT?
The answer is no.
Drop It Like It’s Hoth
It took me approximately three seconds after I zoned into Walker Assault to make my first encounter with the death screen… and then it happened 14 more times. The feeling of having no clue reached a previously unknown level in my head. No matter how carefully I sneaked around the area, my situational awareness was so bad that people were backstabbing me left and right. Sometimes I just got one-shotted from players who apparently were miles away. But you know what? It was still fun. The fact that there’s pretty much no death penalty makes the game mode a nice opportunity to just goof around for a bit. And I’m sure I will get better with time.
Hey, the one kill I scored was a headshot! Much skill, very pro.
The only thing that bugs me is that upgrades and the like are not PVE only. I’m pretty tired of games releasing with PVP modes whose playing fields aren’t innately level. PVP being (at least) partly about unlocks and gear should be a thing of the past, imo.
I Tasted the Blood, but Did It Taste Good?
So turns out that what I played actually didn’t scare me away. Yay! That means I will probably buy the game when it comes out.
While I’m sure I will get my money’s worth of entertainment out of it, I’m concerned about the actual long-time appeal of Battlefront. Will I miss the character customization of MMOs too much? The personal touch that I care about so immensely? Come to think of it, SW Battlefront might work well as a complement to SWTOR. You know, for the times warzones lose their entertainment power entirely (and that already happened far too often for my taste).
In this light, BW’s newly reinforced focus on story content makes a lot of sense business-wise. Okay, I don’t actually know anything about economy per se, but about ecology and the two naturally have a lot in common. It’s clear that the two games will have at least some playerbase overlap, if not a lot. Concentrating multiplayer efforts on one and story on the other, at least at the time around Battlefront’s release, sounds much better than making players decide whether they get their (Star Wars) multiplayer fix from SWTOR or Battlefront.
I see that my thoughts are a bit all over the place here, but I think you get what I mean. I’m very much looking forward to explore Zakuul and to fail a bit more on Hoth’s snowy plains.