Star Wars Battlefront’s “Survival Mode” Impressions from E3.

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Yesterday afternoon we got a chance to play Star Wars Battlefront’s “Survival Mode” for about 30 minutes.

After a daring escape from an Imperial attack you find yourself stranded in a desolate canyon on Tatooine.

Admiral Ackbar has ordered a rescue operation but the Imperial forces are rapidly closing in on your position.

You will have to fight until help arrives.

May the Force be with you.

When the mode began I was able to choose from a few different packs of weapons and few other packs of survival tools. I picked the gun the Rebel Troopers use on my second play through but the first time I played it, I picked a long range gun. I had a shield bubble I could drop to protect myself from blasts which was very neat. The best thing though was the jet pack–it doesn’t come with unlimited charges you have to pick up power from the map to recharge it. But using the jet pack was really fun and it is honestly hard not to waste it the moment you step into game.

My favorite single moment in the demo was when I fired the jet pack into the air and landed in front of a stormtrooper and then I punched his stupid face, violently murdering him. He was just a man doing his duty but I killed him! It was great. I can tell everyone today that I do not feel bad and honestly, I’d do it again. I plan to.

I really liked how the Rebel heroes looked in the game. The models looked good and captured the Star Wars feel. The version we played was a PS4 build. For what it is worth, you can invert the controls. I’m not sure how I did it, but I did. I couldn’t undo it so I changed demo stations.

The general fight was pretty cool overall. There’s a large canyon you are fighting troopers through.  There are a few escape pods, like the one Threepio and Artoo use to land on Tatooine in A New Hope which you have to claim and hold. There were a few instances where we had to take the pod from stormtroopers and “protect the pod.” There’s a few Imperial shuttles around too, which was neat.

Imperial sandtroopers, stormtroopers, biker scouts with sniper rifles and elite stormtroopers with fancy red armor paint attacked us. The stormtroopers felt smarter than they did in previous Battlefront installments and they would flee, hide, and do the things you would think current-gen foes’ AI would do. The best part was that when I killed them, their deaths were cinematically Star Wars. They fell down like stormtroopers do and you felt heroic shooting them in their bucket-heads.

An AT-ST comes out during the fight. This was pretty much the one time you wanted to change weapons to heavier weapon. My partner Randy and I shot the thing for a few moments, changed to our heavy weapons and destroyed the AT-ST. I am a little mixed on this fight. It was both really cool, fast, and fun. But by the same measure it didn’t offer the type of “boss battle” it could have been had this creation been featured in a game like Destiny. It feels like the type of fight that makes a Star Wars fan flip out with excitement but after a day of play, I fear fighting these things will be taken for granted quickly. Hopefully AT-AT fights offer the “boss battle” intensity I am looking for here.

I have to be honest, I had a lot of fun. The demo basically showed a little bit of the gameplay but it showed us a limited version of Tatooine with things we’ve seen before. Playing the demo, you could sense the game is going to be a special Star Wars game. I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the game based on this one tiny mode. I would call that a pretty big success for such minor feature as “survival mode.”

One last note: Showing a Star Destroyer crashed on the planet’s surface didn’t do any favors for people annoyed Jakku and Tatooine look so similar. But in case you missed it:

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