Well I finally finished the demo, having it installed some 4 months ago or something like that.
I think it was just too over the top in quality sake. Plagiarizing NG right now:
Almost everything. From the menu you can tell it's top notch quality when little details like the flashing animations that substitute the standard fixed menu backgrounds, or the surround sound when mouseovering the menu items. The aesthetic style of choosing one pallete of colors which favors the beiges, browns and yellows over everything else and sticking to it gives it a very singular thematic that is not only beautiful but also easy to remember. For me, BtA will always be that "yellowish mod from Freespace2", and that's a good thing that not many mods have done in the past (Vassago Dirge with its greyish backgrounds and its classical music for instance).
The heavy scripting of events and novelties (such as the hilariously easy to **** up "watch the freighters but don't scare them"), the usage of new good models and the new shaders (invisibility and so on) makes it clear the campaigns will be of top notch technical quality. And they are put to good use. Watching the freighters was fun, kamikaziying the drones was hilarious, time-bombing the fighters fell pretty good.
The missions have good pacing. Where I found pretty hard to follow the events in Vassago Dirge, for instance, I found it easy to do in here, understand what is going on and quickly decide what to do about it. The first mission seems pretty straightforward, and the events themselves follow realistically. The second mission is gargantuan, not only in size, but also in contextual scope, which hints to the kind of lens we will be enjoying in the full campaign. I like the fact there are dozens of ships in the asteroid belt (ashes belt?) each doing their thing as in a living universe of its own, designed as if we are crossing some kind of post-apocalyptic junkyard with its own anarchy, mafias and all sorts of dangers. The mission properly gave me the correct hints on how should I pace each moment and the story flowed pretty well.
It's a small hitch of mine, not anything major. The second mission felt somewhat like a deus ex machina at the end. I felt a little betrayed in the story, "right how convenient the package was unharmed", but I also understood this most probably happens for ulterior reasons. The plot point felt a little cheap however.
The briefing and dialogue are still uneven in their quality. Sometimes, the one-liners are pitch perfect, sometimes they feel artificial. The briefing of mission 1 was annoyingly confusing and big, I had to click the back button a few times so I could be sure I understood everything that was supposed to happen in that mission. I understand the difficulty of briefing someone every detail of a somewhat complex hit job, but keep in mind that that briefing was the exact first thing I experienced in your campaign. And the kind of dialogue / briefing never got me into a suspension of disbelief. Who are these guys? Why am I a smuggler, and why should I care? I feel forcing myself to do all those things on my own, when it should be the campaign doing it.
I know this is a hard thing to do, and perhaps I'm being overly critical. Thinking back, I know I am. But if I am, it's only because the quality of the remainder tricked me into raising my expectations perhaps too high in every direction. And that in itself is comendable. This is a mod I'll be eagerly waiting for!
e: Oh I forgot. I'm still not sold in so much ambient lighting. The heavy ambient lighting gives it a dream quality, which combined with the chosen pallete almost feels like we are playing a Sepia instagramed game, which in itself might be good on its own. However, I'll always be a fan of low ambient light, what can I say.