When everybody pushes in one direction that proves to be stale, going in another direction is remarkable. While many military shooters are competing in the modern or near future or far future arena, going back to the past is great. DICE dove into the history books where I hope it remains for the next couple installments and do something fresh and a masterpiece much like how DICE did Battlefield 1. Battlefield 1 is truly remarkable. One of the best Battlefield games to date since Bad Company 2.
World War I is refreshing and it’s so good to go back to the past and learn something that you never really knew about, but in a popcorn way. Biplanes, Tanks, and Calvary replace the Jets, Abrams, and every piece of modern technology that was visible in the last couple installments. Most guns have shorter ranges and rifles do the most damage, and the combat is brutal and tough to watch. With an wide range of brutal melee kills, flamethrower kills, grenades, machine guns opening up on you, mustard gas being thrown at you, and an emphasis on trench warfare, and several moments that you can make yourself like you’re on set for the next World War movie, Battlefield 1 has to be the most immersive, cinematic, and bloodiest war game that I’ve played this year. These moments serve that yes, this war happened 100 years ago and this war was vicious and no way, was this World War II.
The best part of Battlefield 1 is the destruction, destruction returns here but not in the Battlefield 3 or Battlefield 4 way, it returns as the Bad Company way. Houses are blown apart completely, you send a tank shell through one and the entire building comes crumbling down, windmills are decimated, the entire maps are leveled and you can see the true nature of warfare. Weather also plays a role in this, from dense fog to a heavy rainstorm, no longer are you safe from a distance, you must go in close and watch for shadows on the horizon. You must engage in hand to hand combat to take the objectives and come out on top and turn the tide of battle. Also, these behemoths come into play in the form of a ship, zeppelin, or an armored train and they help to turn the tide a little bit. They cut the gap, thanks to the artillery barrages, but not always will you win the day.
What I’m describing is Operations and Grand Operations. This mode acts like Rush and Conquest put together and mix it and there you have it, this mode is played out like a movie with a cutscene at the end of the Operations and in the middle, you have gameplay that is remarkably cinematic and like Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers and amazingly immersive. Assaulting teams must capture the objectives and push the frontline onto the next map where the defending teams will make their last stand, if the attacking team is repelled, they are granted a behemoth to turn the tide. These moments are cinematic and immersive, they are tense battles. For example, I was running into a trench and somebody from inside a bunker opened fire on me with the mounted MG, and I got down on my belly and crawled through the mud as my teammates fell to the ground and I got up there and tossed a grenade and jumped inside the trench to wipe out the enemy team who was defending the line, that felt good and that felt like I was in a movie. Those moments stick with you and they are memorable.
What I found out with Operations is that it’s best played with a small team and it makes the mode more manageable and more cinematic like, but Battlefield 1 itself is played best with large 64 v 64 battles. Operations and Conquest are the best modes to play.
Battlefield 1 wouldn’t be Battlefield without it’s issues. There are a few problems that has plagued the franchise, Battlefield 1 has it’s issues. Enemy spawning on you, a few hard crashes, a few problems with freezing and stuttering but that’s all to be expected from a Battlefield game, but mainly the game itself has been smooth which I like. This legacy issue is to be expected so it didn’t surprise me.
One problem that has always plagued Battlefield starting with 3 has been it’s campaign. Since Battlefield 3, the campaigns of the recent entries has been lackluster to extremely bad but Battlefield 1 is different. The campaign for this game is so strong and so well-made that it’s shocking on how DICE delivered it. The campaign is all about these six people that fought in this Great War, the tone shifts from serious to lighthearted that speak to the tragedy of this war. I wish these stories were based on real soldiers of the time but alas, no matter, it is still great. I really like the anthologies of the campaign.
In an time and place of military games going into the future, DICE has made a remarkable game about The Great War and it’s a great change of pace. After an extremely high amount of multiplayer action, I can’t wait to storm more trenches. Battlefield 1 is a great and remarkable game, one that will forever be seared into my heart.