Battlefield 1 is a new direction for Dice and the Battlefield series, the modern day shooter franchise that has travelled back 100 years to World War I. In this Battlefield 1 review, we will look at how this huge change has altered the beloved series and whether it has been the right direction for EA and Dice.
|Type of game:||First-Person Shooter|
|Total Play Time:||6-15 hours for the main story|
|System Requirements:||CPU: Core i5 6600K / AMD FX-6350
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 7850 / nVidia GeForce GTX 660
OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or 64-bit Windows 8 (8.1)
HDD Space: 50 GB
The World Of Battlefield 1
Battlefield 1 features a completely new world for a AAA first person shooter. World War II used to be a staple of the FPS genre, but with the move to modern day shooters there has been a distinct lack of diversity in recent years. World War I has remained relatively untouched, especially in the FPS category and Battlefield 1 has certainly done the era justice. Below we will review how the world of Battlefield 1 has been built to be an authentic and convincing WWI experience.
Atmosphere & Location
Immediately upon starting Battlefield 1 you are thrown head first into 1918 on the Western Front as the American, French and British forces make a last stand against the push of the German army. If you die you don’t fail the mission, the person you are playing as is dead and you switch to a different soldier, fighting in the same battle.
This opening prologue is an inspired way of setting up the game and creating the sense of desperation felt by soldiers on the front. The overwhelming loss of life, the chaos of friends and enemies all around and the mighty explosions in every direction only help to create this.
The music is intense, grandiose and perfectly fits the atmosphere that the game has created with this opening mission. This same imposing music is prevalent throughout the game, in the menu and loading screens, in the multiplayer and during the single player campaign. It is music that fits the game unbelievably well, so much so that it is worth mentioning in this Battlefield 1 review, whereas music in an FPS would not usually warrant it.
The design of the game is remarkable, Dice has done a magnificent job of designing the world and making it into a convincing World War I setting. The design of the characters and maps that you play are realistic and convincing enough to carry that feeling of being in the war all the way through the campaign and multiplayer.
The campaign of Battlefield 1 is split up into 5 main campaign stories, not including the prologue. Each story follows a different main character as the player experiences their part in the war, each story consists of 2-4 missions of varying length. Each story that you play could be compared to a cinematic experience as you follow the characters through around 2 hours of gameplay.
The single player portion of Battlefield 1 seems like it was tacked onto the game without much thought being put into it. In terms of character development, the game would have benefitted much more from a coherent single story where the player could become invested and root for their hero main character. The characters and stories definitely feel like an afterthought that the developers didn’t expect people to care about. Perhaps they were appeasing the people who were disappointed with the lack of a Star Wars: Battlefront campaign.
The individual stories, while lacking in length and depth, are compelling stories that show the player the horrors of the war in a convincing and realistic way. Nothing Is Written is probably the most talked about campaign prior to the launch of the game, you get to play alongside T. E. Lawrence, the famous Lawrence of Arabia and the only story in the game that is based upon a specific real person. Nothing Is Written takes you to the deserts of the Middle East as you fight alongside Lawrence in guerrilla warfare against the Ottomans.
In the Friends in High Places campaign you play as an American pilot in the British Royal Flying Corps (the precursor to the Royal Air Force), this story shows the player the intense dog fights and airborne battles that were new to World War I. The story is fine but it feels more like a way for the player to gain some experience with the planes in Battlefield 1 before diving into the multiplayer.
This is the case with a lot of the stories in Battlefield 1, they are decent standalone stories but none is sufficient enough to become invested. The idea that they show the player a variety of different scenarios of World War I is good, however it is let down by the fact that they feel more like story driven tutorial modes for the various aspects of gameplay. It is a shame; if it were not for the subpar single player, there would be very little to fault the game in this Battlefield 1 review.
DLCs and Expansions
The main attraction of any Battlefield 1 review is surely the multiplayer. The multiplayer in Battlefield 1 is what players are truly coming to the game for and I am happy to say that they will certainly not leave disappointed. The multiplayer in Battlefield 1 will keep FPS fans happy for years to come, the variety of game modes is excellent, the player classes, weapons and customisation will also keep players busy during the hundreds of hours many players will put into the game.
The standout of multiplayer is the Operations mode, which is new to the Battlefield series. In Operations, you play on either the attacking or defending side in a famous battle from World War I.
The aim of the game, if you are attacking, is to control a sector completely and force the defending players to retreat. The defending team has 5 sectors that they can fall back to in case of defeat in a sector. If they lose all of their sectors then the defending team will fall back to a smaller map and the attacking team will continue.
Operations has brought the frontline, massive battles of World War I to life in the multiplayer portion of the game. The battles feel massive and perhaps show the brutality and scale of World War I better than any of the story missions.
As for the rest of the multiplayer modes, they are excellent and largely unchanged from previous Battlefield games. If you like Battlefield multiplayer and want more then you will be happy with Battlefield 1.
Battlefield 1 features a “Premium Pass” which has become typical with any AAA game these days. The Premium Pass promises 16 new maps and 20 new weapons which will be included in 4 distinct releases. Although only one element of the Premium Pass has released thus far, we cannot comment on the overall quality of the DLC in this Battlefield 1 review. Each release will introduce a new side of the war, the first part “They Shall Not Pass” introduces the French army to the game and 4 maps to accompany it. The next release will introduce the Russians and the final two will bring in a new amphibious game mode and infamous battles of the war.
The Premium Pass promises a lot of content and support for the game, but it is likely only valuable to the most hardcore of players. At $50 it is more than the price of the base game in most stores these days so it represents quite the investment, even if it does offer up a lot of content.
If you want Battlefield 1 for the multiplayer experience then look no further, you will be hard pressed to find a better game. Battlefield 1 is the quintessential multiplayer game that players can spend hundreds and thousands of hours on. However, if you are looking for an amazing, long and in depth single player experience then Battlefield 1 isn’t for you.
What do you think of Battlefield 1? Do you agree with the sentiments in this Battlefield 1 review? What would you focus on in your own Battlefield 1 review? Let us know!