Battlefield 1 Review
"Turning Back the Clock"
When the competition pushes themselves towards a familiar formula, it’s smart to avoid conflict and do something different. While most modern shooters have evolved to a sci-fi setting, Battlefield
has decided to go back in time. Battlefield 1
warps all the way back to World War 1, bringing old war shooters back from the grave. This deep dive into military history shows that doing something out of the box is not always a bad idea.
The World War I setting feels refreshing and blends perfectly well with the traditional Battlefield
formula. Biplanes, horses, and light tanks replace the jets and attack choppers seen in recent entries. The unique collection of weapons, from double-magazine rifles to revolvers, feel great to use and sound top-notch. There’s power to every weapon that just doesn’t exist in modern/futuristic shooters anymore. Each rifle is loud and has enough force to bring an enemy to their end much quicker than any laser gun I’ve ever used in a sci-fi shooter. It’s refreshing to play a shooter without thermal scanning, red dot sights or drones. Along with that, the action is much more brutal. Battlefields ring with tortured solider screams, violent coughing of mustard gas victims, and savage battle cries of infantry charging their bayonets. World War I was a scary, bloody war and Battlefield 1
perfectly emulates it in every regard.
The single player campaign further shows the violence of “The War to End All Wars”. Battlefield 1
’s campaign focuses on several “war stories” by multiple characters from different parts of the world. Not only is each character different, but the type of fighting is different too. One war story will have players control a British tank driver, while another an Arabian assassin. Each story has this unique touch to it, but doesn’t run long enough to really get to know the characters you’re playing as.
Outside of that, the story telling is my recent favorite in a first person shooter. The short narratives they choose to follow does the game justice. The Italian infantry was too short to savor, while the pilot’s storyline was perhaps my personal favorite. The pilot proves himself throughout the story as a liar and a cheat, while leaving a hint that players are experiencing a tall tale from an untrustworthy narrator.
Each story is rather short, running players about an hour to an hour and a half each. They’re enjoyable and subtly introduce players to the Battlefield
basics of multiplayer.
There are tons of stuff to do in Battlefield 1
’s multiplayer. Traditional conquest, the most popular offering, have enormous teams challenge each other to capture points. Players also have access to smaller skirmishes like domination and team deathmatch.
The new main attraction, Operations mode, acts as a hybrid between conquest and rush mode. Assaulting teams must capture two-to-three flags at the same time to advance the frontline. When the attackers capture flags, the infantry pushes the defenders back closer and closer towards their base where they make a final stand. These moments were some of my favorite from Battlefield 1
’s multiplayer, both attacking and defending. Hearing the alarm goes off calling for full retreat is tense as waves of enemies zero in on your position. The same can be said attacking, where taking shots at stragglers as your force pushes for the next capture makes you feel like a mighty force.
is at its best when large numbers of infantry are fighting one another, recreating World War I skirmishes. Shifting desert sands and bombed out towns make compelling environments fitting the World War I setting. Infantry combat is great, but on these wide, sprawling maps, the snipers remain king. Often would I spawn onto a map, walk a few paces until I would get the clean headshot having me rinse and repeat again. This isn’t an issue on small maps, but larger maps are where sniper and tank users reign supreme. Frustrating moments like these made me miss smaller, more contained arenas.
Other issues include some annoyances with the multiplayer’s spawn zones and glitches. I’ve had too many experiences where soldiers would teleport back and forth until they would successfully snipe me. This shouldn’t be an issue players have to experience in multiplayer. As for spawns, nothing is more annoying than dropping in to a zone and having enemies spawn around you prepared to fire. It shatters immersion and is unfair to every victim.
I’ve enjoyed my time with Battlefield 1
, but I don’t think my enthusiasm for the game will last forever. For every exciting moment I had in the game, whether it’s chasing the enemy out of their base or chopping someone in half on horseback, I’ll get blown up by a tank or headshot by a sniper. Often it's more frustrating than fun. The campaign is great, but isn’t worth the price of admission. Players will have to love Battlefield
’s multiplayer to make this game worth it. If not, then you’re out of luck.