It’s Friday the 22nd of September and myself and thousands of other British gamers have descended upon the frankly absurdly huge halls of the NEC in Birmingham for EGX 2017, the UK’s largest gaming event and therefore the only one I get to swing an invite to.
This years event showcases some of the best games coming up in the near future and, as always, a host of Indie talent but, as I managed to elbow my way to the front of the que, let’s kick this off with a look at the hotly anticipated Battlefront 2.
I managed to get my hands on a PS4 controller and, along with 20 other gamers and members of the press was thrown into the battle of Naboo, the one they’ve been showcasing in alot of the trailers. In no time lasers were flying, droids were exploding and an endless stream of clones were throwing themselves into the fray.
So, does it live up to the hype?
Well, to be honest the match very much felt like a throwback to the first game, which is only a year or two old at this point, as the shooting was still tight an controlled, and explosions remain satisfying. The key difference this time out, from a gameplay standpoint at least, is the return of a class system. Whereas the original (rebooted) Battlefront let you basically select your weapons and abilities freely, provided you’d unlocked them, the new gam restricts your choices to four basic classes; Assault, Heavy, Officer (Engineer really) and Specialist (Sniper). This allows for some cool visual variety in the different characters, something the last game really lacked, but does feel a bit like a step backwards to an older type of game.
Visuals definitely seem to have been a focus of this new title as the map and everything in it were absolutely and undeniably gorgeous. If I’m honest it didn’t really feel like Star Wars the same way the first game did, but it was very pretty (Also, it was faithful to the bright and shiny prequels it was taking place in so that might just be my dislike shining through).
The other noticeable change in gameplay was in the mode we played. It was essentilly Walker Assault (with a droid mega tank taking the place of hte walker) except now instead of holding points to call in bombers you need to pick up Ion Disrupters to launch at the tank yourself in order to damage and slow it down. In my experience (my team did lose) this is alot harder then holding a point as you essentially have to pick up a weapon you can’t use on other players and expose yourself to fire to get a clear shot.
Luckily, the game no longer ends once it reaches its destination and instead there was some final act fighting in the Imperial palace. This adds an interesting dimension, and some welcome longevity, to this mode and might encourage more players to pick it up in future…though that will depend on how many maps there are (a major failing of the first game).
My takeaway so far is that Battlefront 2 looks promising on the multiplayer front, but players hoping for a sea change might be disappointed by the scope of rejigs here on display. However, when combined with a promising looking single player mode there’s alot to be happy about here.
I’ll have more from the show later on, but for now I just want to share this to prove we may have lost but yours truly is still holding his head high.
‘Making you a Better Geek, one post at a time!’