Hello! Today, I’ll be discussing the critically acclaimed FPS of last year going strong in this year (2017). Battlefield 1. TitanFall 2 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare have their spots, but I have been a diehard Battlefield fan since I first got my PS3. Battlefield has been my go-to for online mayhem and destruction, combining cutting-edge graphics and team-play into a cohesive online battlefield. With that said, this post will be riddled with personal bias, however I’ll play Devil’s advocate later on. Prepare yourself for a lengthy read…
In one of the boldest moves in the Battlefield franchise, Battlefield 1 takes place in… well World War 1. It seems absurd in a year filled with games set in distant futures, but DICE (the lead development team nearly all Battlefield games (save Hardline) decided it’s time to take a nostalgic trip back into time. Except World War 1 has seldom been featured in any game for that matter, which is what makes Battlefield 1 all the more unique. The main concern with the time-period is that bolt-action rifles, trench warfare, and cumbersome, lengthy battles were predominate, which would make for awkward gun-play and slow-paced action (compared to Call of Duty and TitanFall), yet DICE pushed the era’s bounds to lay to rest the aforementioned concerns by introducing experimental weapons and machinery into the Battlefield. The game itself is relatively fast-paced with many options for CQC. The new Operations mode pits you against a 20 or 32-player team to fight in some of the most historically significant events of the Great War. Vehicles have been completely revamped and tanks are truly a force to be reckoned with (in my humble opinion, any gamer should try out the Heavy Tank with the flamers and the Landship with the Squad Support package). The new bayonet charge feature make for some very tense and surprising deaths. In what is clearly the most unique shooter of the year, and possibly the decade, Battlefield 1 truly lives up to what many consider to be a true Battlefield game (Vehicles? Check. Explosions? Check. “Blueberries” (AKA teammates) that prove useful and useless? Definitely a fat check.).
The campaign. The Battlefield series has often been mocked for its weak, uninspiring, and lack-luster campaigns. However, Battlefield 1 has completely revised what a single-player experience should be like. In a typical game, you have one epic hero, slaying hordes of enemies and surviving unrealistic scenarios against even more unrealistic odds. While the latter is no different, the epic hero part was heavily revised. In Battlefield 1, you live through a series of War Stories around the globe. This dynamic take on story-telling allows for more versatility in terms of game-play. For instance, in the War Story Mud and Blood, you’re the driver of a Landship (nicknamed Black Bess), while in the War Story Friends in High Places, you fly a British plane. Each War Story is engaging and beautifully constructed. There are many options in terms of game-play. As a ground-troop, you can often choose to go in guns-blazing or stealth-like. Whatever your approach, the War Stories have one thing in common: a reverence for the Great War. Not many games give second thoughts to the time-period they’re emulating. There’s usually a focus on how many “bad-guys” you can slaughter, not how this slaughter affected anybody. Battlefield 1 creates an atmosphere of solemn respect for the the Great War, if you’re willing to let yourself feel that after slaying, destroying, and surviving incredible moments. The War Stories are in no way realistic, but they are very fun to game through. When I finished, I was yearning for more.
Now onto the historical implications tied in with a game set in one of the most brutal historical periods known to mankind. The game supplements many of the matches with factoids and interesting statistics of the Great War. The multiplayer itself is set in maps of historical significance in the Great War. Operations provide a unique avenue for truly “changing history”. The un-lockable codex entries in-game provide unique information (fun fact: the codex were created by qualified history buffs). The game doesn’t jam history down your throat, but if you’re interested, it’s there.
Ah, Ratings. Not in terms of stars but rather letters. The game carries an M-rating for good measure. The grittiness of the Great War is conveyed through brutal killings, cursing, and an intense amount of violence. However, what sets this game apart from other games with similar qualities is the de-emphasis on the killings themselves and emphasis on the game itself. Sounds contradictory in a game set in such a brutal time period, but let me explain. While other games reward players on the sheer blood and gore of killings, Battlefield puts more reward on objectives, helping the team, and shifting the tide of battle. There is blood but no gore, flying limbs, or decapitation. For this reason, I would say that although it deserves an M-rating, there is more to it than many, many other M-rated games.
Now onto “the bad”. The War Stories are limited in comparison to other games. The true value of Battlefield is found in it’s unique multi-player. If that isn’t your cup of tea, you may be disappointing with the game as a whole. The game also takes a good bit of time to get used to. The TTK is rather short when compared to other Battlefields and vehicles are TRULY a force to be reckoned with. My friends often groan and complain about that “one guy in a tank”. Typically, that’s me, and although it’s thrilling to see people cower in fear at the sight of your glorious and lethal vehicle, I can preach that it is very painful (emotionally, most certainly physically to your character) to be at the receiving end. The game has a very, very long grind to max ranks, so don’t expect to achieve everything in a month, two months, three months or even a year. It’s all dependent on your ability to master the game, which can be very difficult to those not familiar with Battlefield. The game is also somewhat limited in terms of content once you finish with that grind. Additionally, the game naturally has glitches to it, however DICE has been on their game (literally and metaphorically) with providing balance updates, fixes, and content. It honestly wouldn’t be a Battlefield game without some odd glitches and mishaps.
*A note for those pondering to or not to get the Premium Pass: I have gotten Premium for every Battlefield since the pass was first released to the franchise, and I can say with certainty that this has been the most limited “bang-for-your-buck” deal that has ever existed in any Battlefield. If you plan on buying all the dlc, you’ll still save money, but there isn’t much extra than the typical Premium features (priority position in queues, 2-week early access to expansion packs, CTE access, a few exclusive dogtags, etc.). They stripped away Double XP Premium days, quite a few Premium events, and (with the introduction of weapons skins in the revised Battlepacks) Premium weapon skins.
Overall, however, I find this installment in the series to be the most riveting and engaging so far. If I were to rate Battlefield 1 from a scale of 1-10 (10 being the absolute best, 1 being absolutely garbage), I would rate it a 9.3 for the base game and a 5 for the “season pass” dlc option in the game. I can’t guarantee that you may find the game nearly as amazing as I do, but I can guarantee on of the most unique gaming adventures you’ll ever experience. Thanks for reading, an I hope you took away something from this post!
*Battlefield Tracker is a great website to track your statistics! You can check mine! My PSN ID is Saifgrey.(< No period) I’m rather proud of my stats!