Much has been made of the settings of the big shooter franchises this year. Gamers are certainly divided about the latest Call of Duty As It Releases Today. Plus, Titanfall 2 is also one hell of a game but lagging behind in sales so far. This Battlefield 1 review looks at the other player in the mix and it’s going to take some beating. This one is all about the classic war feeling, going back to the game’s origins.
It’s all-out war, it’s muddy and intense and one of the best world war games ever made.
Battlefield 1 being set in World War 1, hence the name, brings back that classic shooter experience. But it certainly works in the modern day with the gameplay, visuals and multiplayer all a healthy mix of today’s standards and a classic war game feel.
Here are my thoughts on the game as a package split down below. If you have it or are thinking this one could be for you, leave me a Disqus comment below!
Look and Feel – Mud And Blood
One thing that games get accused of is glorifying wars. You could say this isn’t any more than films do but let’s leave that alone for now! We can only do that so casually because Battlefield 1 goes out if it’s way to show you how downright awful the war was. There is nothing glorified about it, everything is captured to give the real sense of pain, suffering and traumatic time it all was.
The mud, the rats, the chaos and the unnecessary deaths of so many people on both sides. It’s all here and the game really does it’s best to make you feel it in the presentation.
This whole atmosphere is captured perfectly in the prologue to the game. The war is all around you from the moment you start the game and the graphics perfect capture a gritty, muddy experience. There is no sci-fi sheen on this one, it’s all sharp images with a real sense of grime.
Little things also bring you in as each death brings up a darkened screen with your characters name birth and death years. In the prologue it states at the beginning that you are not expected to survive and it’s very right and you move from soldier to soldier as one dies.
This continues throughout the War Stories and Multiplayer as you try and complete your missions. Everything looks so realistic and wonderfully presented.
There’s the sound of tanks, aircraft, soldiers on the ground and bullets flying past along with a well orchestrated soundtrack. All of this just makes that feeling of intensity so much stronger.
Visually and atmospherically, Battlefield 1 really makes you feel every bit like your in a battle for you life.
Single Player – War Stories
Shooters have been accused of letting the priority on single player slip as the “money” is more in the multiplayer now. But, as I’ve written about already, the single player in Battlefield 1 is excellent.
The game had not gone for a single plot line here, it’s more like “episodes from WW1” in the form of 5 war stories.
I’d have liked a couple more personally but that’s what DLC is for right?
The reason I wanted more is because they were so good, not because I felt it was overly short. The stories take you up into the skies in bi-planes, down into the trenches of foot and sneaking a pint the deserts of Arabia. You’ll go all over the world see the tables from soldiers from Italy, Australia and the Middle East.
It’s all wonderful and each one tells a great story, the acting is great as are the cutscenes in each story.
My personal highlight was the Lawrence of Arabia missions where you got to be more sneaky. The story to Avanti Saviola was exceptional too but they all hit home in some way.
I recommend anyone playing or considering this game experience these stories. They really are amazing, it’s just a shame there aren’t one or two more.
Multiplayer – Death to Death Ratio
Who sucks at multiplayer? I do! Me, me, me! They don’t call me Respawn for nothing. And that was definitely the case here. But everyone was getting shot aplenty in the Battlefield 1 multiplayer mode around me so I didn’t feel too bad.
It’s not about kill to death and personal achievements here as much as it is achieving captures, defending your base and being a good team player.
The game keeps it simple here again, with a string of classic multiplayer modes including Domination, Team Deathmatch and the headline Conquest that is a lot of fun.
Each one involves easy to understand goals that seasoned multiplayer players will know right away. Capture bases by occupying them for a few minutes a day out the enemy. Then defend them with all the tools you have.
The these include armoured vehicles with mounted machine guns, planes offering missiles and bullets from the skies. Not to mention boats, horses and the monstrous armoured trains.
Vehicles and big maps are what Battlefield players love and this game really delivers.
There may only be a few maps to play for now, but they are so grand in scale it will take more than a few games to get used to them. Little areas that are great to snipe, the best routes to flank locations and where the vehicles are. All takes some learning but it’s fun during that process at least.
My personal favorites to play are the desert map, FAO Fortress and the French City map called Amiens. Both made for some amazing battles but the wide open spaces of the Desert were awesome to fly around and offer air support. Amiens is just classic boots-on-the-ground action with rubble and chaos everywhere.
But whatever the location, I got my ass kicked and many other gamers were in the same position. MP fights are intense and brutal, lasting towards 30minutes on Conquest mode.
You’ll spend a lot of time here and you’ll need unlock the extra weapons for your chosen class. Be that Assault, Medic, Support or Scout, each of them with different weapon sets. I found Support a great starting class but moved to Scout for some sniping after a while and did reasonably well.
It’s all lots of fun and chaotic and you’ll be back for more. Again, it feels like there could be more here with the maps and games in particular. It’s not as thin as Star Wars Battlefront but it’s still a game based around the basics become standard. The rest will be in the season pass layer.
But the standard multiplayer alone is excellent and has just about enough to keep you going till the first DLC drops.
Gameplay – War Never Changes
Between all the modes you’re treated to classic first person shooter gameplay. No special abilities, no wall running and no double jump rocket packs on your back.
What, how can this be possible? I hear you cry sarcastically! Yes it’s classic and it’s exactly the shooter this console generation needed. You don’t need all the future tech to have the best gameplay.
Some missions take you down more linear paths than others going from point A to point B. But in equal measure there are sandbox areas to take over any way you like. Utilise stealth, vehicles and all out assault to get your mission done. It’s all up to you.
The multiplayer gameplay has the same feeling but adds in the variation between classes and maps. It’s worth playing a few of them on each map and thinking about weapon selection as some are better than others.
Unlocking more guns and items to use is essential too in order to advance and provides a nice change.
If you could argue anything in this game is perfect, it’s the gameplay. It’s a classic shooter for the modern gamer and its wonderful to play.
Battlefield 1 is excellent throughout with classic gameplay that works so we you wonder why so many games feel the need to use futuristic tricks. The maps are great coming with some intense battles, great to use vehicels and loads of action to be had. Single player is also very well thought out and you’ll love playing through all the war stories.
The quantity is just about good enough. It’s not bursting with content but I wouldn’t say it’s a massive game either. There could be more war stories, maps and game modes in Battlefield 1 to make it feel more substantial.
Enter the season pass.
You will end up wanting more here however because the whole package is so good. Get this shooter in your collection and you’ll be a very happy gamer.
I’ll see you on the Battlefield (I’ll be the one getting shot a lot!).