Much like how the Star Wars film series has two distinctive elements to it – land-based firefights and massive dogfights in the air and space – great Star Wars video games manage to combine both of these. And Star Wars Battlefront is shaping up to be a great Star Wars game.
We recently got our hands on a wave survival mode on Tatooine that acted as a nice counterbalance to the Hoth battle that we checked out back at E3 2015. But the thing that really blew us away this time was the TIE Fighter vs X-Wing battle mode, titled Fighter Squadron.
If you’re a fan of previous flight-based Star Wars games, then Star Wars Battlefront’s Fighter Squadron mode will feel familiar. Controlling either a Rebel X-Wing or an Imperial TIE Fighter, players have to shoot down enemy fighters, while occasionally attacking or defending transport ships. It’s clear that there’s a lot of love for the older games built into Star Wars Battlefront.
The 24-players multiplayer mode is intense, with additional A.I.-controlled ships added to the mix to create an enormous mid-air battle with green and red lines streaking across the sky. During our time in the cockpit of the X-Wing, we got to learn how to use the blasters, shield, and homing missiles. Not to mention the ship’s ability to divert power between thrusters and weapons – allowing you to fin-tune your strategy, and continue to change it on-the-fly throughout the battle.
The ship’s weapons can overheat just like the ground mode’s blasters… and like the special attacks in the Hoth battle, our missiles needed time to recharge. Keeping note of the timing on that is important, because if you chase down an enemy and finally get a lock, you’d better be sure you’ve got a missile ready. Every hit and kill nets you points, with player-controlled ships worth more, and as teammates are shot down, they shout in your headset – adding weight to the growing score tally that ultimately represents casualties.
We found that it’s easier to crash into another ship than you might think, and a kamikaze move still counts as a kill – so when our engines were burning, the best maneuver was often to fly headlong into a TIE Fighter or the transport we were trying to shoot down, resulting in a brilliant explosion.
It’s awesome to see that Star Wars Battlefront offers two very distinctive styles of play. We imagine players will lean one way or another on which they prefer, but right now, we’re quite enamored with both. Star Wars Battlefront is likely to eat up entire weekends for us when it ships for Xbox One and Windows PC on November 17. And don’t forget: if you’re an EA Access member, you’ll be able to play the game before its release for a limited time, only on Xbox One.