If you ordered the deluxe edition of Star Wars: Battlefront, you’ll have received the DL-44 Heavy Blaster pistol from the off. It’s recognisable because it’s the signature pistol of Han Solo.
But if you’re playing Battlefront itself, you’ll also recognise it as the pistol that just about everyone is using. And there’s a damn good reason: it’s absurdly powerful.
It’s not like the DL-44 is perfect in every situation — it’s pretty awful at super-long ranges, ranges that you’d typically want to break out the Cycler Rifle or another star card for.
But as most people have discovered with the full launch of Battlefront, the super-long ranges that people became accustomed too in repeated Walker Assault battles on Hoth aren’t actually that common across the rest of the maps and game modes.
Smaller scale battles on Tattoine and the Rebel base on Hoth are a perfect example of the DL-44’s power. It’s absurdly easy to dodge the long range fights and stick to the trenches and caves, and even the more incompetent aimers will be able to easily pick up kills with two body shots (and if you’re using the third-person camera, you’ll get a further advantage with the extra reaction time of being able to see above/around the corner).
Battlefront already has an issue with its blasters in that there isn’t a great deal distinguishing them from each other, but that’s only exacerbated when one blaster is so supreme. It’s lack of utility on something like, say, Walker Assault on Tattoine doesn’t apply a great deal when most people will be focusing on charging to cover rather than trying to hit a tiny helmet with an E-11 several kilometres away.
The below is just one video you can find online of people slaughtering thanks to the power of the DL-44. You can find plenty others with a couple of seconds searching, but this illustrates what I’m getting at nicely.
Some people might point out that the ranges of Supremacy and Walker Assault make the D-44 less of an issue, but if you’re playing on PC that’s a complete non-starter because you can’t get a game of Supremacy (at least in Australia) anyway. I’ve been trying since Tuesday and have had no success whatsoever, with most games failing to get the 30 players necessary to start. That pushes more people towards the smaller game modes, such as Blast, Heroes vs Villans, Drop Zone and so forth, and which in turn immediately means you’re playing on maps that are much more geared towards the DL-44’s extreme damage output.
Another issue is that the gun is the last weapon in the game, so those who don’t already have access to it now will do so eventually (because unlocks and levelling is a fairly quick process in Battlefront, particularly if you’re playing the Hero Hunt mode). That means the annoyance of people running around two-shotting enemies now (or one-shotting, if you’re good enough to aim at the head) will only persist when the new wave of Stormtroopers and Rebels get to join the Han Solo Pistol Party in a few weeks.
Let’s be clear about this: it’s not as if this one pistol is completely dominating or breaking matches of Battlefront right now. That’s not the case. But Battlefront’s arsenal already feels a little sterile; this only makes the problem worse.
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