Star Wars Battlefront
It’s basically Battlefield 4 with a skin of Star Wars on top. AT-ATs are on rails. There’s no space battles.
Those are all completely valid criticisms of DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront game. That being said, it’s also fun as hell.
The demo plopped two people down in a sort of objective-based wave killing mode in which you’re two rebels fighting off waves of Storm Troopers while trying to complete missions. We were skeptical at first, but once we were in the game taking down Imperial scum, we knew we’d be getting it. The combat feels fluid and the environments are gorgeous. The planet we were on appeared to be Tatooine with its desert motifs and high cliffs. Even just looking across the valley we were stationed in looked gorgeous.
Then the Troopers came. And as quickly as they came, they were gone, banished by our blasters. First wave down, no biggie. Hell wave two came and went almost as fast. Then more heavily armored troopers were introduced and we were still okay. Then a walker with the troops and we actually had to start using our abilities. First off, the jetpack is incredibly fun. Getting a huge, fast boost up in the air in these terrains is an absolute joy and one we’re happy to have. It’s just so much fun bouncing about through the valley it’s hard to focus. There’s also a shield for deflecting blaster fire while you try and make a getaway. The valley also spawns random powerups from a group shield to a sniper rifle, encouraging you to do more than just hole up with your partner. After six waves and many dead Storm Troopers, we made it out alive and with far more enthusiasm about this game than we came in with. Though it may not be Battlefront 3 we were all hoping for, it’s still a really enjoyable experience. The gameplay is solid, fast paced, and a hell of a lot of fun.
We didn’t know much about this game coming in to it aside from what we gleaned from the statues by their booth — it had a giant man with a teeny tiny head in it. On the last day at the last possible time we could, we hopped in line and got to be one of the last groups of E3 2015 to try the game, which is pretty damn cool.
Battleborn is a new FPS game made by the people behind Borderlands. As you’d expect, there’s a multiplayer cooperative story mode in which you and three friends pick characters and go through missions together . The main difference between this mode and Borderlands are the amount of characters to choose from and the variety of options with those characters. Each of the 24 characters characters has their own unique abilities and play style. Instead of focusing on massive amounts of loot, players don’t pick up different guns, but instead shards with which they can upgrade their characters. This shift makes character selection much more important as all you’ll really have are the characters abilities and your upgrades. The graphics are also not in Borderlands pseudo-cel-shaded style, but rather something more akin to TF2 with its cartoonish, smooth style. The characters are also supposed to represent tropes from the FPS genre from military testosterbros to wee, but powerful dwarf warriors.
There’s a story for this game, but honestly, unfortunately for 2K, they were right next to the EA booth and we couldn’t hear anything the characters were saying over blaring bass. Hopefully it’s as clever and interesting as the Borderlands dialog. Though we couldn’t hear the story, we did get to experience a really fun multiplayer mission in which four of us fought some spooky looking demons. The demo level was fun to navigate and it was great fun hopping in with strangers, all of us figuring out our cool abilities, and taking down baddies with great prejudice.
Battleborn isn’t just a co-op game, however, as it also has various multiplayer modes. One such mode that has been shown off already is called Incursion, and looks an awful lot like a MOBA in structure, adding to the argument that this isn’t just reskinned Borderlands. Gearbox has promised more modes by the time the game releases this year, so we look forward to seeing what this new game can offer when we get our hands on it.
The most surprising demo we got to try, we didn’t even know was in development until this show. RIGS is Sony’s competitive gaming title for its upcoming VR platform Morpheus. It’s a 3v3 objective-based FPS in which the goal is to accumulate a enough energy to throw yourself through a hoop and score a goal. You get energy by finding it throughout the map or by killing your opponents. There are three classes all with different attributes that you can choose from, all with their own attributes and abilities. The one we picked had a hover ability that proved quite annoying for the team to have to look up to aim. Hehe, suckers.
The VR part is interesting. Instead of aiming with the right stick, you have to look at your target to aim. Upon first hearing this, we were skeptical of how it well it would work, but it was surprisingly intuitive. Once you realize you only see more of the map by moving your head, it’s already natural to be moving your head to stare at the enemy, so you just need to keep it there to keep firing at them. The only bad thing about this aiming system is that if they start moving, you also need to be moving to keep your target on, so it’s actually not terribly difficult to get out of your opponents line of fire. Luckily, it’s that way for everyone so although it’s harder to keep a lock on your target, it’s also harder for them to keep a lock on you.
RIGS was only allowed to shine, though, because of all the VR headsets we’ve tried, the Morpheus was by far the most comfortable. To be fair, we’ve only tried various iterations of Oculus Rift, but that terrible elastic strap on the back makes the whole thing feel uncomfortable. Morpheus, on the other hand, has a piece that extends and contracts to allow you to slip it over your head, kind of like headphones. The padding is a lot softer, it feels more secure, and the experience of taking it on and off feels so much better than Oculus Rift that it’s incredible. The VR itself is also pretty good with very minimal screen door effect and a 120 Hz refresh rate, which should help a lot of people with their VR motion sickness.
If you have PS4, Morpheus is awesome and RIGS is a really great game to show off what it can do. Look forward to both sometime in the future because lol what’s a release date.