It’s a sordid love affair Battlefront and I have. While the first game (2015) left a bitter taste in my mouth, this next one could be something worth looking at. A number of changes and tweaking are to be commended, so let’s jump in, shall we?

We’ll start with the most important aspect, gameplay. While the first felt ‘okay’ to play, this one has a bit of weight to it. Weapons feel good to fire, with the reload mechanic being totally redone. Instead of having to reload after a certain point, you can now vent heat from your chosen blaster whenever. If your weapon overheats you have two chances to vent. If you fail, you might as well admit defeat. Classes have also been reworked. In the first game, you had equipment cards. These ranged from weapons to passive abilities. In this, however, there are four classes, each having their own unique abilities.

The assault class comes with three weapons for all intents and purposes and is best for close range engagements. The heavy class is outfitted with a big ol’ rifle, capable of putting down fire fast, with a gun shield and a literal minigun. Officers focus on buffing other troops and the specialist uses a sniper rifle to pick out targets from afar.

Each class feels useful, which is difficult to do in a game like this. So, props to them for that at least.

It looks gorgeous too. One thing they absolutely nailed in the first game was the aesthetic; sound design to the look of everything, it’s all brilliant. Guns have a sheen on them, armour gets grubby, lightsabres hum and there’s that sweet TIE fighter sound we all love. There’s also a real emphasis on how grand the scale is for some fights.

The beta offered three maps to have a look at. An assault on Naboo during the Clone Wars, a Strike mission from the newer movies, feature Maz’s place in The Force Awakens and a space battle from the Rebel timeline. Each one felt strong in their own skin. Strikes were tense and quick, whereas the assault on Naboo felt huge, considering it was a relatively small map.

Flight controls feel better than previous attempts, as everything is manual. Do you want to avoid missiles? Better get good at flying. No more automatic dodging at the press of a button.

Overall, I’m intrigued. Plus, with no season pass nonsense like the last game, I’m almost tempted to put money into the thing.

A strong start.

A very strong start indeed.