The First-person Shooter to End All Shooters
The hype that has surrounded Battlefield 1 for the past few months has been something the franchise hasn’t experienced since the early days. At a time when the gaming community has been pleading for the return of a WWII shooter, EA DICE went and did one better by doubling back to WWI, and it’s fantastic. Battlefield 1 is a beautiful tragedy that perfectly highlights the savagery of The War to End All Wars. It brings to light one of the world’s darkest times by adequately portraying the global conflict shrouded in pure chaos.
Battlefield brings that chaos full circle within its flagship campaign mode by taking a unique approach to what’s seen as a rather straightforward and somewhat stagnant war. DICE decided to highlight the depth of WWI by breaking the campaign up into five separate stories as opposed to one linear experience. The game perfectly captures the uniqueness of The Great War and how it affected separate parts of the world through this approach. Being able to battle through five different mini stories not only expands the replay value of the title but it’s simply fun to play as multiple characters. The only glaring flaw within the campaign mode is the attention focused on the game’s heavy machinery as opposed to enduring its trench warfare. Outside of that caveat, it’s robust and entertaining to play.
Where Battlefield fails to connect gamers to the historical significance of trench warfare in the campaign mode, it certainly makes up for it during the multiplayer modes. Domination, in particular, brings out the close combat WWI was known for. This multiplayer offering pins small groups of players together within extreme close quarters, daring them to capture and collect more flags than the opposing team. The mode itself isn’t exactly the lure, but rather the ability to battle right in the face of your enemy is what makes this one a top pick for me. It isn’t too stuffy nor does it leave the bad taste of spawn killing in your mouth – it’s chaos from the start as you’re forced to use just about anything within the environment to take cover.
Rush and War Pigeons follow up Domination as the second and third of five multiplayer offerings, just behind classic Death Match and everyone’s favorite, Conquest. Both modes are relatively similar and send players through a maze of gunfire and destruction to either attack or defend the telegraph in Rush or revive and release pigeons for artillery support in War Pigeons. Both modes are equally entertaining to play with unique twists that keep them both fresh and separate, even after a few hours of gameplay.
Conquest, the one multiplayer mode that has been a staple of the franchise, is even more epic in Battlefield 1 . DICE describes this game mode as a “massive all-out war,” but it’s so much more than that – it’s pure historical chaos that embodies everything we love about this game. I found myself fully engrossed within this particular game mode from nearly start to finish. I couldn’t get enough of rushing random buildings full of lowly opponents while 8-12 guys followed behind me. There is something so genuinely awesome about dumping 64 players into a room and battling online without an ounce of lag in sight. This is still an incredible feat in my mind, especially for console gamers.
The online game modes are a strong complement to the new campaign offering, but they’re only as good as the weapons and vehicles that support them. Thankfully, DICE took notes during the open beta and stuffed the game full of authentic WWI weapons to go along with the insane offering of tanks, gunships, war machines, attack planes, bombers, land vehicles, and so many more. The range of weapons is rather expansive and touches everything from sniper rifles, to machine guns, to hand guns and flamethrowers. Playing through Conquest mode wouldn’t be as fun without the weaponry and a mass of artillery tanks looking to destroy you as you’re perched high in a building. I can’t count how many times my structure blew up in front of me and I was left to run a few yards to safety only to be met with a diving plane and its chattering machine gun looking to cut me down.
The gameplay mechanics are still very Battlefield -esque and a bit choppy with a cartoonish look. Traditionally, this would be a bad thing, but it seems to blend perfectly with this setting. The shooting mechanics, aiming abilities, and targeting systems were severely lacking in the summer beta. The only pieces that seemed to be done right at that time were the setting and the ridiculously epic Conquest offering. Fortunately, DICE was able to right the ship, with most of those issues having been ironed out. The only exception would be the aiming ability, which is almost too good and too true. Tagging your opponents while looking down your scope takes some serious skill with the sniper rifle. This may be a good thing for you purists out there, but it’s a painful point for me personally as I’d like to pipe some fools without having to check my wind conditions. The hand to hand combat piece is another downside to the controls as it feels more like drunk boxing rather than fighting for your life. Outside of that, the mechanics seem to work in the game’s favor.
I went full history nerd when this title came across my desk and having the ability to play a piece of what I consider living history has been a real treat. Everything from the unique presentation of the campaign mode, to the ridiculously insane amount of vehicles, to the sheer awesomeness of Conquest had me hooked from the minute my console booted up. I could seriously play Conquest for the next 6 months and be perfectly satisfied with the title. I’ll have to admit, I was a bit skeptical after playing the open beta as some issues certainly needed to be ironed out. However, EA DICE came through in the clutch and provided an engaging title that’s both entertaining and challenging. Battlefield 1 is certainly worth your investment and should carry you well past fall and into the winter.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.5 Graphics
The visuals at times feel like they’re straight out of a PS2 game while other times they look leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Inconsistent at best. 4.0 Control
Classic Battlefield controls, but they work perfectly for this setting. Improvements could be made in hand to hand combat as well as long range shooting. 5.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Fantastic blend of realistic sounds that truly immerse players into the game. 5.0 Play Value
Fantastic blend of realistic sounds that truly immerse players into the game. 4.5 Overall Rating – Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
|Review Rating Legend
|0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid
|2.5 – 2.9 = Average
|3.5 – 3.9 = Good
|4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
|2.0 – 2.4 = Poor
|3.0 – 3.4 = Fair
|4.0 – 4.4 = Great
|5.0 = The Best