by William Thompson
previewed on PC
Those lucky enough to play the Star Wars Battlefront beta got a taste of the game, but with its due date close, there is still a large portion of the game that has yet to see gamers eyes. During PAX Aus, the game was on display, but selected media were invited to attend a special preview screening of Star Wars Battlefront. Hooked Gamers were part of that group and welcomed the opportunity to take a trip on the Star Wars Battlefront Bus and test out the Fighter Squadron mode.
Stay on target!
In the Fighter Squadron mode, players were able to take on the role of an X-Wing or Tie Fighter pilot and engage in some aerial combat in the skies above Sullust. The mode pits up to twenty players (10 fighting on the side of the Empire and 10 on the side of the Rebels) plus another twenty AI pilots against each other in multiplayer deathmatch.
I must admit, the game mode took me back to my earlier gaming days playing the LucasArts classics X-Wing and Tie Fighter. The ships in Star Wars Battlefront fly faster and smoother and of course, the visuals are now stunning, but the object is primarily the same - to destroy the opposition spacecraft before they shoot you down.
Besides the two classic fighters, X-Wings and Tie Fighters, seen in the demo, the full game will also include A-Wings and Tie Interceptor. Each play out similarly, but each had their own special ability. In the case of the X-Wing, gamers can take advantage of a shield for a small period of time, while the Tie Fighter gains a speed boost for a similar short timeframe. All vehicles do have an evasive manoeuvre skill, allowing them to quickly change direction and escape from a chasing opponent. And as an attacker, with so many vehicles flying around at one time, it is easy to get confused which enemy you were chasing if they fall out of your sight with the evasive manoeuvre.
Plenty of action
The battles are quite hectic with all the spacecraft zooming around at one time. More than once, accidental collisions resulted in me having to respawn, which happens quite quickly, allowing gamers to get back into the thick of the action in a short space of time. During the battles, a Transport shuttle will appear for each team and will attempt to escape. The side goal is to destroy it when it appears.
Visually, Star Wars Battlefront is stunning and although we only got the chance to see only one multiplayer area, the lands over Sullust, combined with what has already been shown, Star Wars fans should be content. Vehicle models look authentic and the volcanic looking landscape complete with canyons and valleys look great. And the audio is full of Star Wars sound effects and great voice acting.
For those of you old enough to remember the old LucasArts X-Wing and Tie Fighter and loved the games, youíll be impressed by this portion of Star Wars Battlefront. Flying around in an X-Wing gave me a feeling of nostalgia as I weaved my way through and around the marauding Tie Fighters. Controls are smooth, with the dual sticks being used to control direction and camera being quite intuitive. And if this portion of the game is anything to go by, there will be many Star Wars fans spending plenty of time in the Star Wars universe.