Battlefield 1 Review - "Throw back to World War 1"
The last Battlefield game I played was the one numbered ‘3’. With friends in my squad we took to the maps and took on our roles; mine being a focus in vehicles and medic. For some reason, Battlefield 4 never appealed to me as well as Hardline. Though the cops-and-robbers gameplay seemed interesting, I felt that it would never hold my interest for long. With the announcement of Battlefield 1, my excitement began to flicker to life again.
The use of World War I was not been touched and feel like new territory in the video game industry. The promise of a brutal look at war seemed good enough, but the return to destructible environments equal to Bad Company 2 fully ignited my interest in the series.
STORY: The war-stories from various WWI figures seemed interesting and they played really well, but Battlefield’s campaigns have never been a focus for me at all. Not to say that is a bad thing, just that I love the multiplayer.
MULTIPLAYER: This is where this game shines and showcases the series’ well known gameplay features. Weapons kick hard. Snipers need to compensate with distance. Explosives are death sentences. Mustard gas clouds areas of maps. Soldiers yell and scream left and right. Vehicles mean bad news. This is a war game, and it feels absolutely brutal in all areas. The mute color-palette adds on the grim feeling even more and the game paints a picture that people will die. Amid the grimness, it still is a blast to play. It feels empowering to take down multiple enemies before you are eventually taken town by an explosion or headshot. As one who loves to fly in these games, taking a Warfighter to own the sky feels fantastic. Tanks feel heavy but provide the firepower to show for it. Hours have already been sunk into solely the multiplayer, and would recommend to anyone looking to quell their multiplayer needs.
VISUALS: It is a somber looking game. Even in the game’s use of daylight, it is usually lighting the explosions and debris. The changing weather on the maps provide enough visual variance to keep the maps interesting and fresh. At times you may be on a mountainside on a relatively clear day. During a match, it would not be shocking to find a fog bank roll-in and obscure everyone’s sight. Rain provides a shine to the brutality, sandstorms whip around, mustard gas distorts your vision, maps feel alive. However, my frame-rate tends to dip when things get a bit too chaotic and every now and then I get a fat screen-tear above the middle. Though not game-breaking, it is just a bit annoying to see in such a beautiful game.
SOUND DESIGN: Explosives pop loudly, tanks screech and creek, dirt crunches all around as it is blown about, screams of men cry out. I would recommend a decent sound system or headphones as it ups the intensity of the war. Guns of the past are brought to life with each sounding different and unique with use.
GAMEPLAY: Battlefield 1 feels like any of the other series’ gameplay. The trademark Conquest takes center stage, and Operations offer the longest and biggest games that I have played din recent memory. Though there are a few other objective based games and a team deathmatch, there is no air-only mode which is a shame and only a wish. There are four classes to choose from: assault, medic, engineer, scout. Assault handles explosives and is useful for anti-vehicle support. Medic can heal allies and revive dead ones, easily able to turn the tide of a battle. Engineers can repair vehicles and provide more ammo to allies. Scouts can highlight enemies and pop-off far head-shots with skill. All of the classes have their use, and with a coordinated squad, you can be the bane of many enemies’ existences. It is a shame to see one of the scout’s tools that is the least used, the flare gun. With it, you can highlight enemies in an area. No one is safe from it if you are in the flare’s vicinity, campers will be highlighted even in buildings. Each use a specific set of guns: assault with automatic rifles, medics with semi-automatic rifles, engineers with heavy machine-guns, and scouts with rifles. The shooting is not point and shoot, you will need to compensate if enemies are off in the distance, and that goes for everything that shoots. For the aerial enthusiast, planes feel easy to fly and dogfights feel balanced. I have had aerial supremacy for a few games and that is a fantastic feeling to have as you just take enemies down one-by-one. There will also be behemoth vehicles available for use during matches, a zeppelin, armored war-train, and a dreadnaught battleship. These vehicles have limited movement but can be a thorn in people’s sides, depending who is on the barrel’s end.
OVERALL: War has never been so brutal and beautiful. Guns feel balanced and vehicles, while a huge threat, have their own flaws that can be used against them. Multiplayer is not feeling repetitive at all and I have sunk in several hours into it. Though I am far from perfect, I still am thoroughly enjoying it all. I would highly recommend this game and would call it one of the best of 2016