It’s been a little over a week since I got Battlefield 1, and I gotta say it’s been a blast so far! I’m impressed with the work that DICE did on the game that was inspired by the first World War. The graphics look amazing, the sound is immersive as ever, the gun gameplay is hectic, and the environments are dynamic. Unlike other shooters, like Star Wars Battlefront, Battlefield 1 has a fair amount of content that will keep players busy for a while (Thank you for putting a campaign mode in). While the game provides an enjoyable experience, it does have flaws that can be irritating to some players. Therefore, I’ll talk about my impressions with the campaign and multiplayer of BF 1.
Campaign: Besides taking the risk of going backwards in time with the series, DICE also took the risk in creating a different layout for the campaign. Instead of establishing one single narrative, the campaign features an anthology that focuses on different characters from different parts of the world. The anthology provides different perspectives on how WWI was like during that time. These narratives try to show the cold brutality that the war brought into the lives of these individuals by exhibiting a serious and distressing tone. They tried to pluck at my heartstrings, and to some extent it did, but there are some downfalls that affected the overall campaign. One major flaw is that the six narratives are very short. The total time of the campaign is roughly 6 hours, which is a little less than an average first-person shooter. Going in-depth, some narratives had shorter chapters than others, which greatly affected the experience on some characters. I had an attachment to a few characters while there were others that I really didn’t care for. If some narratives were longer, then I strongly believe that all narratives would have been fantastic! Despite the flaws, there is one positive that I really liked in the campaign. After playing for a while, I noticed that the entire campaign is basically a tutorial. One narrative has you play as a tank driver while another narrative takes you into skies as a pilot. It teaches you the mechanics and controls for vehicles and soldiers, but it didn’t really feel like a tutorial at all. The game lets you keep up the pace with the action as your learning the controls. Whether you enjoy campaigns or not, I think it’s worth checking out the narratives that DICE created that was inspired by the Great War.
Multiplayer: Components of the multiplayer are pretty much the same as past Battlefield games. The game supports up to 64-players, which is always awesome! Players can be assigned into squads, so there’s the usual focus on teamwork. The dynamic environment is once again present in the series. While this is the first Battlefield game that I own, the dynamic environment has always caught my attention since not many other shooters have that element. Buildings are blown apart, the landscapes are changed, and players are affected by the weather modifications. All of that intensifies the action and chaos that makes Battlefield really fun. The guns and equipment in this game are so distinct and are actually useful. Players have to carefully choose which gun to play with as there are a variety of factors, like reload time, recoil, firing pattern, etc. A major tweak that DICE worked on was the melee. There are a variety of melee weapons that can save you from death when having close encounters with enemy soldiers. A cool addition was the bayonet charge, where players who have bayonets attached to their weapons can rapidly charge towards enemies to get an instant kill. It’s a risky move to perform but satisfying when getting the kill. One thing that I noticed when playing online matches is that people actually use the weapons that are available in the game. For example, players in Battlefield 1 actually use gas grenades and smoke grenades. In many other first-person shooters, people generally use frag grenades or concussion grenades while ignoring the other type of grenades. One shortcoming that involves the guns is the lack of modifications. Even though World War I didn’t have advanced technology, there still should be some useful modifications that could affect the performance of a weapon. The current modifications have no impact on the performance, but they do change the appearance of the gun (like players would care about that).
Now moving onto the vehicles. There are a lot more of them than I had anticipated! Players can drive a variety of tanks, ride horses, fly planes, small cars, and even boats! Since this was the first war to feature the new technology, the vehicles do have limitations and players take that for granted in sci-fi shooters. Vehicles aren’t as versatile and swift as modern technology (like drones and turrets), so players must take caution with their surroundings and hopefully they won’t get destroyed. I’m fine with the movement and control scheme of the vehicles, but there is one vehicle that has been giving me a hard time. The controls for the planes are frustrating as hell! Last year, people were complaining about the controls for the fighters in Star Wars Battlefront (I personally liked the control scheme for the fighters), but controlling the planes in BF 1 is so atrocious. I’ve changed the control settings numerous times, and none of them work for me. Oh well… Maybe flying is not for me. The game currently has 9 maps, and most of them are pretty well designed. Some of them are problematic with the spawning. Players would sometimes spawn in areas where enemies would immediately take them down. The usual modes like conquest, rush, and domination are in the game, but there is a major addition as well. Operations is a game mode where players are in inter-connected matches. It takes players into a large and epic experience with all-out war. Attackers move towards the objective and try to win the match, while defenders try to push back the opposing team. If attackers win, they move into the next area, which starts the next match. There’s context given after each battle that tells a narrative of the battle(s). It’s almost as if you’re watching a history show. These matches continue onward until the attacks lose after 3 tries. It’s an interesting take on a grand-scale war.
Battlefield 1 brings a refreshing feeling to the first-person shooter genre after the market is already saturated with so many sci-fi shooters. It seems that going back in time appears to be more fun than going forward. If you’re a fan of shooters or intense action, then I highly suggest that you check out BF 1. It’s not the greatest game out there, but it is definitely a fun and enjoyable game!