The Dawn of All-Out War
Battlefield 1 blew up the internet when it was originally announced earlier this year, and saying it blew Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare out of the water would be an understatement. For some reason, people seemed to be craving boots on the ground/World War 1 shooters, and DICE listened. So does Battlefield 1 live up to the the hype? Or is it just another flop much like Hardline was? Battlefield 1 excels in some areas, and others, well, not so much.
A Short War Story
Battlefield’s 1 campaign comes in the form of War Stories, where you can play 6 different War Stories set during World War 1. They last about 45-60 minutes each, racking up to a total of about 5-6 hours of playtime. Each War Story is varied, and has a different set of characters, but this unfortunately works against what War Stories was going for as a campaign mode. There simply isn’t enough time spent with the cast of the 6 stories, and there’s only 2 or 3 characters that I really grew to like, for the game to do away with them quickly. It’s just disappointing because Battlefield 1 had so much potential to have an incredible campaign, it’s just a shame corners were cut instead and this is what we got. It simply isn’t long enough, isn’t engaging enough, characters don’t get the time to develop, and while they are varied, I found myself enjoying some War Stories a lot more than others. War Stories leaves a lot to be desired, which is incredibly disappointing when you realise the potential Battlefield 1 had for an epic campaign, I can see where DICE wanted to go with the theme and unrelated plots, but it just doesn’t work out.
The War to end all Wars
Battlefield 1’s gameplay, while very safe, is incredibly entertaining, and has a few new tweaks that make small but somewhat meaningful differences. It’s nothing genre-bending, and for the most part it’s just more Battlefield, but that definitely isn’t a bad thing. The World War 1 era does a lot for Battlefield’s 1 setting, weapons feel impactful, satisfying, and truly of the era the game so respectfully borrows from. Melee combat is brutal and fast, with varying weapons and potential bayonet charges. The weapons act the way you would assume you would, while still keeping gameplay fast paced and entertaining. Vehicles are an absolute joy to control and use, flying Bi-Planes is exhilarating to say the least, and tanks feel like an entire army when you’re in control of one. Where Battlefield 1 really shines, is in it’s incredibly multiplayer. It’s fast paced, frenetic, fairly well balanced, and while it lacks content, it definitely doesn’t feel bare-bones. It has your common class based combat, and each class has different primaries to use, the one problem I have with the class based system is that there simply aren’t enough weapons to unlock and work towards. Battlefield 1 ships with new and old modes such as Conquest, Team-Deathmatch, Domination, Rush, War Pigeons, and last but definitely not least, Operations. Conquest is one of Battlefield’s classic modes, with two teams going head to head over capture points, on a large map with vehicles, and multiple spawn points. Team-Deathmatch and domination are fairly self explanatory if you’ve played a multiplayer shooter before, and Rush puts two teams against one another, while one team tries to plant and detonate bombs, while the other team tries to defend against the other team and disarm any planted bombs. War Pigeons is somewhat of a gimmick mode, with either team frantically trying to capture a pigeon in order to write a note and send it back to HQ, it’s entertaining for a few games, but gets old quick. Operations on the other hand is handled extremely well. It takes very realistic scenarios from the war, and one team has to attack another by capturing points, taking territory, and pushing the other team back to their home base. Operation games take about 45 minutes, but they’re always entertaining to play. Battlefield 1’s maps are open, beautiful, and for the most part destructible, providing a battleground that is ever changing as the match goes on. The level of destruction here is incredible, and it’s really hard not to watch a blimp fall from the sky in an explosion of flames and debris. One new tweak to the Battlefield formula is the addition of character kits, similar to the ones found in Star Wars Battlefront. They spawn on the map at random intervals, providing players with armour, flamethrowers and more. They’re extremely strong, and have potential to change the tide of a match, but they aren’t as unbalanced as they were in Battlefront. Battlefield’s 1 gameplay definitely isn’t lacklustre, just don’t expect anything revolutionary.
The Beauty of War
If there’s one thing that you can rely on with Battlefield, it’s that each and every time a new game is released, it’s a technical marvel, and Battlefield 1 is no deviation in that regard. Battlefield 1 looks incredibly, and is easily one of the most beautiful current-gen games out right now. On Playstation 4, the game runs at 900P, 60 FPS, albeit a very inconsistent 60FPS. Sometimes the game just can’t keep up with everything on the screen, causing some slow down, but it’s definitely not a deal breaker. One thing that really stood out to me was the attention to detail, with mud caking my guns when I was near the ground, and rain water would wash it all off again, I was consistently blown away by the little things. One thing that Battlefield 1 gets perfect is it’s sound design. Battlefield 1 sounds absolutely amazing, and I absolutely love the sound of firing round after round, with artillery going off in the distance, and Bi-Planes flying over your head. It all sounds beautiful, and it’s all handled so damn well.
Battlefield 1 is definitely the boots on the ground shooter Battlefield fans have been waiting for. While it’s multiplayer, visuals, sound design, and gameplay is handled exceptionally well, a very mediocre campaign, inconsistent frame-rate, and somewhat lacking content hold it back from being perfect. Battlefield 1 is definitely a good game, but by no means is it perfect. If you’re into your multiplayer, and you’ve been craving World War 1, I cannot recommend Battlefield 1 to you enough, otherwise it’s a bit of a tough sale with the asking price as it is.
-Fun, albeit very safe gameplay
-Some stand out multiplayer modes
-Diverse and destructible maps, making for ever-changing battlefields
-Incredible sound design
-Short, forgettable campaign mode
Thanks for reading guys, up next is Titanfall 2, and it should be up in the next few days!