Star Wars: Battlefront hands-on preview: The Force is strong with this one

What has easily been one of the most requested games ever will make its way onto consoles later this year. Star Wars: Battlefront has finally revealed itself to all, here at E3 2015 and boy is it special. The game is a reimagining of the hit title of the same name that was available for Xbox and PlayStation 2. Let's take a look at my time with the new game and the lasting impression it has on me.

The battle begins

First, let me start off by saying that what I played of Star Wars: Battlefront was a 15 minute 20v20 game of Walker Assault on Hoth. Unfortunately, it was played on a PS4 but that didn't take away from the experience in any way.

I should also note that coming into this demo, I had no anticipation for this game whatsoever. This lack of expectation was because it is missing a campaign. I'm afraid that it will only hold my attention for a short time like Titanfall did. This effect is due to no back story as well as feeling that sense of accomplishment you get when you finally beat a game.

Back to the matter at hand. I joined the Imperial side, and our job was to infiltrate the Rebel base by escorting our AT-AT onto their base. The Rebel's jobs are simple, destroy our AT-AT or hold him off long enough to let time expire.

Once the game booted up, and I put my boots on the ground, the first thing I realized is how familiar it felt. Not familiar in the sense of the past games but in the sense that I've done this recently. That's when a lightbulb went off in my head, but I'll explain more on that later. But, boy was this map was huge! I felt like I was in a real war zone with 19 guys by my side trying to push through enemy forces.

I can't remember the last time a shooter made me feel like I was a part of something bigger as if every small battle was important. Charging into the enemy lines with the familiar sound of blaster rifles going off nearby and TIE fighters zooming above was so atmospheric. I seriously couldn't help but smile as if I was an easy impressionable 10-year-old.

So here I am, an Imperial soldier infiltrating the Rebels base. I'm equipped with a battle rifle that doesn't need to be reloaded, but it does overheat. Many of you may be familiar with this mechanic from the Halo series with their plasma rifles, and it is no different here. Once you fire your weapon for too long, it begins to burn your hand, and you have to press and hold the X button to cool it down.

I'm also equipped with a grenade launcher that shoots 3 spread shot grenades as well as a jump pack that allows me to jump quickly out of any dilemma. Both become vital to use and can be used for different reasons. I found myself using the grenade launcher to help push enemies back and my jump pack to avoid death at the last second. I was able to use both limitlessly, but both had a cool-down time of around 45-60 seconds until it could be used again.

Me and my team took control of the match early and never looked back. We used lots of teamwork to get the job done while the other team took an 'every man for themselves' approach. We ended up obtaining the victory within 15 minutes. I ended the match with 41 kills and six deaths #HumbleBrag.

The lightbulb in my head

So here's the origin of that earlier sense of familiarity. I soon realized that Star Wars: Battlefront is essentially Battlefield with a Star Wars skin on it. With DICE being the developer of both games, it was bound to feel somewhat close. I'm hoping that this doesn't come across as negative, because it isn't. When I sat down and thought about it, I couldn't think of anyone that could pull this game off as easily as DICE could.

It's almost as if every Battlefield that DICE developed was to prepare them for this moment. They're the only studio that I can think of that does large scale objective-based multiplayer game modes and can do them well. Not only that, they are also the best at having flight battles going on during the same time as the regular combat.

As for the Walker Assault mode, it was a Star Wars version of Rush which you can find in recent Battlefield games. Like in Rush, the infiltrating team's objective is to get to the defending team's communications systems and destroy them which causes the defending team to push back to their next camp. This scenario has to happen three times for the attacking team to win.

My impressions

As someone that was resisting the excitement surrounded by this game, I can proudly admit that I've joined the hype train. Fans of the past Battlefront installments, Battlefield, or Star Wars fan, in general, will love this game. It ultimately feels like a modern Battlefront, which isn't bad at all.

I can't help but wonder though if the game would be as good as it is if it weren't a Star Wars title. The novelty is surely there, but how would this game be without it. Would it lose my interest as soon as Titanfall did due to there not being a campaign? Maybe, but the fact of the matter is that this is the Star Wars title we've been waiting on (especially since Star Wars: 1313 was canned).

That emotional investment that we all have in Star Wars fuels this game's fun. But just like the most recent Battlefield titles (except Hardline), this game is just as solid as those gameplay-wise. However, for many of us this game is simply better due to the Star Wars legacy being such a huge force in our culture.

Stars Wars: Battlefront is slated to hit Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this fall on November 17.

Jonathan Dollison