Digital Foundry’s Star Wars: Battlefront Hands On; Solid, But Not A Full-On Advance


Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry has published its hands-on with the open beta for Star Wars: Battlefront. The results are pretty solid, but not the a full-on advance for the Frostbite 3 engine.

Yesterday the minimum and recommend system requirements were for made public by EA. Judging from the comments on that article, people find the recommend settings somewhat overrated. Compared to the closed beta, EA seems to have lowered the videocard requirements, while they have upped the minimum amount of RAM needed.

According Eurogamer, Battlefront is the best looking game the Frostbite 3 has yet produced. Although Certain aspects of its technology seem to have been pared back compared to DICE's Battlefield line. It may well be that compromises are made for the benefit of console development:

“streamlining the experience to cater for platforms where physics-based action tended to buckle performance in previous games. When considering the PS4 and Xbox One's prospects here, the frame-rates on PC so far are promising”


Lighting hard-wired into the game

Judging from Digital Foundry’s hands-on, DICE has done an amazing job with the game’s lighting, which has been hard-wired into the game , with no compromise on the PC's lower settings. “Between low, medium, high and ultra presets, physically-based lighting is always in play”, according Digital Foundry. Maps in the game use alternate lighting settings, as confirmed by lead multiplayer designer Dennis Brännvall back in August of this year. Brännvall added that, while some game modes will share a level, lighting settings will be different.

Battlefront has been really optimized for PC and multi-core support for CPUs is a lock. The Frostbite 3 engine really holds its own – even during stress-testing on the Tatooine survival mission. Even those with lower end systems will be able to enjoy Battlefront, as the game will offer enough of settings that can be adjusted for maximum performance. On low settings, the biggest compromises are made to ambient occlusion, texture quality and shadow resolution. A graphic comparison between low and ultra settings, can be checked out here.

Visually impressive, but doesn't match overall ambition of Battlefield 4 or Hardline

On maxed out settings, its certain that each map certainly looks impressive from afar. According to Digital Foundry though, “the overall ambition doesn't quite match up to Battlefield 4 or Hardline in some respect”.

“From a technical perspective, the scale and flexibility of the map isn't quite up there with DICE's finest - it's beautifully lit, but feels somewhat intangible, with more limited interactivity with the environments in terms of the destruction model”

I suggest you check out the full hand-ons from Digital Foundry, right here. The open beta for Battlefront kicks off tomorrow.