When you think about the First Person Shooter craze you’d generally think of one thing: multiplayer. And this had been the focus of the details I had seen from the latest Battlefield experience. The game looked impressive, had some real old-war atmosphere about it and had that very DICE feel. And, with no disrespect to DICE, this had me concerned as someone who still likes these games for single player. But after my first few days with the game, the Battlefield 1 War stories mode has really left me stunned at their quality.

Each of them so far has been outstanding, really captured the feel of the Great War and had me really excited to play more.

As my author name, Respawn Rossco would suggest, I’m not the best player at multiplayer out there. Respawning is where you’ll usually find me in-between rush-of-blood charges and stupid deaths. So I was hoping this game would give me some joy from the single player side and so far it’s really delivered.

Below I’ll be talking about a couple of the stories I’ve played and general thoughts on the game so far. More is coming up too with me taking on Multiplayer in my next diary entry. But for now, let’s have a look at the first war story.

Don’t forget to leave me your comments using Disqus at the end, I shall read all of them and reply!

War Stories

I’ve mentioned this before on my article about remastered games coming up, I have a self-diagnosed condition:  Gamer OCD.

This means things must be played in order, should there be an order. Would I play game 3 without playing games 1 and 2? Well, not if they impact on one another in some way no!

Final Fantasy is ok to miss one, Mass Effect and Dragon Age is not!

This also affects me within the game so after playing through a rather brutal introduction in the prologue (more on that in a moment) I was greeted with the 5 war stories as the multiplayer component installed.

battlefield 1 war stories 2Here you can do, in any order you like, 5 stories:

  1. Through Mud and Blood
  2. Friends in High Places
  3. Avanti Savoia
  4. The Runner
  5. Nothing is Written

So far I have done 2 of them and working on the third. Hence my gamer OCD… I have done Through Mud and Blood, Friends in High Places and started Avanti Savoia.

Must… Play… In… Order!

But before I got into those, the game did something that I hadn’t really thought about: paid its respects to World War 1. The short but impactful words on the screen hit home first: It was the war to end all wars. It ended nothing (or very similar) was really setting the tone about the game. Then you took over as the screen read: This is frontline combat. You are not expected to survive.

First this really gets me as I hold my pad in hands about to go into this experience, thinking that this all happened for real. It’s quite hard to think about how these real people went into combat knowing most of them wouldn’t survive.

And, in the game, survive I did not but you are clearly not supposed to. There are lines to hold as a soldier, targets to hit as a tank gunner and there are many bullets and explosions to avoid. Soon your chosen character will die, leading to their name obituary style name, birth and death years on screen as you move to another.

Everything is muddy, grimy and intense and really set the tone for the whole game brilliantly. I was ready for more.

Black Bess, Mud and a Hint of Far Cry

My next adventure was to take on the role of Daniel Edwards, a British chauffeur turned Land-ship driver in the Great War. You are introduced to him in a very intense scene that sees him looking very beat up and bloodied, taken back in time to his chauffeuring and then into the beginning of the adventure.

battlefield 1 war stories 1You join commanding officer Townsend on a mission with a crew of other British soldiers from different parts of the UK.

The acting is really well done as are the visuals of very scene, it’s very impressive the job they have done here already. And the mission was both fun and intense to play in.

I blew up various targets along my way through the first area, taking down artillery and capturing locations along the way. Forcing the German army back further and further. It all felt very thrilling.

Soon things go bad for the Land-Ship, called Black Bess. You are rescued by artillery, which involved a rather fun sequence controlling a messenger pigeon.

But the level was not just about the tank, soon you were out on foot looking for repairs and you needed spark plugs for the engine. And here is where the game got a little bit Far Cry on me.

Something unexpected, but I really enjoyed.

Capturing The Engine Parts

There comes a part of this story where there is an occupied village. Here you must navigate yourself around the sandbox style area to get the spark plugs required. But German soldiers are everywhere and it’s only you alone.

Time for my favourite mechanic, a bit of stealth!

Although you can go in all guns blazing and experienced shooters will pull off a full takeover. I enjoyed sneaking around, throwing bullet shells to lure guards and then killing them with my melee attack (a classic WW1 spade).

To do this effectively there were climbable windmills and tall towers to scout out the areas so you can mark enemies. While done in the traditional sense of, once you’ve spotted them you can track them, it’s done as a game feature rather than some crazy technology.

Once you have spotted what you need you move in, take over the small area or just sneak in and out to get what you want.

It was excellent as was the whole story.

The human side was there to see to with some nice acted moments and some well thought out scenes that show the difficulties the men suffered through this war. As an introduction to this mode goes I can recommend this story as a good place to start.

Time to move on from the mud, so I took to the skies in story 2.

World War 1 Meet X-Wing

After my time with Edwards I was ready for a different experience so over to American opportunist Clyde Blackburn in “Friends in High places”. A pilot willing to impersonate a commanding officer to get on board the latest flying machine in the war.

battlefield-1-war-stories-3Here you get to do some dogfighting and piloting some WW1 aircraft and it was a whole lot of fun.

From the earthy, muddy and downright grubby environments experienced in the previous story this was much more up in the clouds. Quite literally as you get flying right away.

Anyone who’s been playing the X-Wing/Tie-Fighter modes in Star Wars Battlefront will feel at home here in the Bristol F.2 biplane. You throttle up and spin with ease while firing upon enemy fighters. There are only machine guns and rockets here though, and they are all very sensitive.

The machine gun gets hot fast so you can only fire in small bursts, and rockets fire a flurry then need to be reloaded. As a break from reality though the ammo is infinite for both.

One part of the mission however got you down on the ground after a crash, right into no-man’s land. This was intense. Moving from the German trench to the Allied side. Avoiding fire from both sides as you get yourself, and your wingman back to base.

While shorter and came with a different tone to the first story, I really enjoyed my time here and can’t wait to get in a plane again.

More to come

I’ve really enjoyed my time with the game so far, and the single player is more than a distraction from the games big multiplayer focus.

If, like me, you were concerned about the single player you really shouldn’t be. With the first two taking over 3 hours to complete I’m guessing that you can spend a decent amount of time in the single player area. Plus there is the MP to keep you coming back for more.

Given the almost episodic nature of this campaign structure, it’s actually quite plausible to see some more war stories coming in to play here. Something I would like to see, even better if they were free…

Oh, this is an EA game… ignore that.

On to multiplayer next gamers! Don’t forget to leave me a comment using Disqus below. Also, say yes the notifications for more of our articles to your desktop or mobile. And get on our Twitter and Facebook for the latest on social media. Until next time.

Game On

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