Star Wars Battlefront - Did the training pay off?

So... It occurred to me that after all the time I spent playing Battlefield 4 in preparation for the release of Star Wars Battlefront I never actually confirmed if the "training" paid off. Was I able to hold my own against all the gamers who can spend hours and hours playing while I toil away in some dingy office somewhere in London? Did I end up shooting first like Han Solo or end up on the crispy side like Greedo?

Well things didn't start off great. For those of you who were keeping track you will remember that I played a lot of Team Deathmatch on Battlefield as it gave me the chance to keep track of the K:D ratio etc without the interference of chasing secondary goals such as capture points. Unfortunately the style of play that I had built up in this mode did not necessarily transfer over to the game mode that I spent most of my time playing on Battlefront. Walker Assault. I love this mode as it incorporates all of the elements of Battlefront, heroes, masses of troops fighters swooping in overhead and the mammoth Imperial AT-ATs.

There were some more nuanced tactics required than my usual run and gun which had served me well on Battlefield, Walker Assault rewards you for clever play, holding key choke points as the rebel forces or attacking as a team if you're playing as the Imperials. As you advance up the levels you gain access to weapons that benefit particular strategies, the pulse rifle for example is brilliant for sitting back and picking off your targets from cover and you can combine this with a long range primary blaster if you want to be a sniper. Similarly, you can use Thermal Detonators and barrage for explosive support in close combat, with a limit of two slots for these "power up" weapons you have to pick carefully and build your strategy around these.

As my game developed I managed to adapt to Walker Assault and start to work my way up the leaderboards. Alongside this development though I started to work my way through some of the other modes where my "training" was more useful. Three modes in particular have proven to be a lot of fun with my run and gun style:

Droid Run;
Cargo; and
Drop Pod.

Each of these modes focus on small teams working together to capture a particular objective and usually involve a lot of close quarters fighting. With each of these modes I found myself filling particular roles in the team depending on how the rest of my team was playing. If everyone was rushing off after our opponents objective then I would sit back and play "goalkeeper", in particular this role would occur in the Cargo game mode as there is a particular area each team needs to defend and attack, whereas the other two modes sees an amalgamation of these areas that both teams converge on. Alternatively I could go out in a more attacking role attempting to take our opponents objective, this role would usually work better in groups of two or more as there is nothing worse than getting caught in the open with all of your enemies bearing down on you.

With my head now well and truly in the game everything started to click into place in every game mode. That's not to say that I don't still have bad results from time to time but there are more good days than bad.

Most importantly I have been able to enjoy my time playing Battlefront. I was, honestly, worried that with so many good gamers out there playing FPS games I would struggle to get into the game and make a successful stab at it, and that would have been terrible as I was really looking forward to getting my game on in the Star Wars universe.

And by enjoying the game I am also able to take in some of the breathtaking scenery that DICE and EA have recreated from the Star Wars universe. Sure miles of desert may not look particularly impressive but take a look at the crashed Star Destroyer and the mass space battle going on overhead. On Jakku in particular there is a moment early on in the larger game modes where you can see a Super Star Destroyer come crashing down onto the planet's surface. (I have failed to capture it here)

Of course there is still the odd glitch... like this turbolaser bolt frozen in time...

In conclusion my time on Battlefield 4 paid off. I really enjoy playing Star Wars Battlefront and could well be tempted to by the extortionate season pass if they do offer something that could really add to the game. Battlefront has taken me back to a time when I was much younger, collecting the action figures from the movies and creating my own battles to play out on my bedroom floor. It may not be the greatest FPS that has ever been created but it is a game that I can really appreciate and appeals to something deep in my soul that most other games don't come close to. By working on my FPS skills I have made myself a better player and been able to get even more enjoyment out of the game, and hey! I've already reached level 50! (ages ago... I really should have written this article a long time ago but I was lost in a galaxy far, far away...)

Only available at level 50, coming to a planet near you soon


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