Through Battlefield 1, EA and DICE have proved that sometimes in order to move forward, you need to take a step backwards.
With the repertoire of modern shooters implementing a futuristic setting, Battlefield 1 feels like a fresh twist that revisits a time period long forgotten.
The World War, a moment in history which haunts our very existence as human beings, was a common theme within past first-person shooters, before growing stale over a long period of time. As a result, many titles opted to explore the new and innovative settings of futuristic warfare. However, as expected, this theme slowly followed the same dull pattern.
Battlefield 1 is a game which grips you with the true horrors of warfare from the get-go. As you load into the game you are greeted with an unusual tutorial based around the mechanics of the game, in which you are told truthfully, you will not survive. And you don’t.
Every character you play with in the tutorial dies in brutal fashion, and when you die, you progress to the next part of the tutorial before accessing the main level. Almost immediately, you are presented with the tone of Battlefield 1, a true nitty gritty shooter that tugs at the heartstrings of times gone by.
In recent years, Electronic Arts have focused upon providing a great multiplayer experience for their fans, while simply creating the campaign as a fun add-on. This year, it’s refreshing to see a Battlefield campaign that not only exceeds expectations, but quashes them.
Battlefield 1 offers a campaign experience that focuses on multiple stories and narratives, with characters having differing views and personalities. You are able to choose which story you wish to follow, allowing you to mix and match your experience. One ally can soon become your enemy and it's wonderful to see this non-linear approach being grafted as a true experience, as opposed to a second choice game mode.
Titled as “War Stories” the Battlefield 1 campaign is a true series of tried and tested crusades, which welcome a variety of objectives and storytelling. Fans seeking an authentic single player experience will be satisfied, as each great tale explores the world, in what is definitely a step in the right direction for the franchise. I for one am hoping to see some story based DLC in the future.
While some people have branded ‘War Stories’ as a glorified multiplayer training mode, in essence, they do provide users with practice time with difference weapons, vehicles and other multiplayer components, however, more importantly, these scenarios can not be replicated within multiplayer.
Without going too far into detail, as I believe in spoiler-free reviews, there are obviously some better campaign stories to follow, but all of them hold their own and showcase unique tales. I often found myself finishing one before continuing the other, in order to see the outcome of my actions.
Even with the offer of non-linear storytelling, I prefer to complete a chosen path as much as I can before moving on. So, it was nice to see multiple options implemented by EA, as differing people will have different patterns they wish to follow.
By retaining its testament to Ballfields multiplayer formula, Battlefield 1 stays close to the franchises roots, which made it such a strong powerhouse to being with. Destructible environments, character classes and open combat return, alongside the nostalgic greatness of World War 1.
In terms of usability, navigating the multiplayer menus and finding a match were pretty straightforward. However, the real struggle lied in leaving one. It seems you can only really escape a match while in-game, which means that if you finish a match, you are required to load into a new game, before you can physically exit it.
Battlefield 1 also reintroduces Battlepacks, EA’s stance on the popular loot formula we have become accustomed to. However, this year Battlepacks have received a slight adjustment, with the release of a single Battlepack type, which rewards users with new weapon skins, exotic puzzle pieces, bonus items and more.
New Game Modes
Joining the likes of Conquest, Team Deathmatch, Domination and Rush Battlefield 1 introduces two new game modes, offering a new experience for those who want to dive into multiplayer and try something different and entertaining.
The first of these modes, War Pigeons, tasks teams with the objective of locating and gaining access to pigeons, in order to write a message to be sent home, with teams receiving a point for each successful pigeon deployed.
If the opposing team reaches the pigeon coop before you, players are able to prevent the message from being sent by killing the enemy, or if the pigeon does start to fly away, players are notified so they have a chance to shoot it down before it can deliver its message. Once a message has been successfully delivered, an artillery barrage will strike the enemy, three points and your team is victorious.
Despite its comedic title, War Pigeon involves plenty of strategy and timing, so here's a quick tip, when you have a pigeon, stand still, you will write the message quicker than if you were moving.
Operations, the second game mode, is most likely the meat and bones of the Battlefield 1 multiplayer experience with some games lasting hours until a result is finalised. These matches take place in locations based upon real battles in World War 1 and offer a large and epic experience that focuses on teamwork.
The map is split into multiple sections with the attacking team trying to take over points in each zone, in order to advance along the map. As an attacker, you'll have to take over these defensive points by any means necessary, if they are successful, you push the defender's back to the next section until there is nowhere left to run.
Failure to do so will result in a special event happening for the attackers, who have three chances to try and storm the gates and win the match outright. Upon failing, the attackers may be boosted in their efforts by an armed machine like dreadnoughts or attack trains, with the environment changing as the battle progresses to match the action.
As the first major World War shooter of next-gen gaming, Battlefield 1 will experience significant success, while also paving the way forward for first-person shooters. The campaign is structured and works well, while the new multiplayer game modes succeed in creating gripping battles, which fans will play over and over again.
The amount of content and customisable options offered within Battlefield 1 is amazing, and allows for each player to create a truly individual experience, whether online or offline.
I hope to see you guys on the battlefield. Word of warning, I'm going to win. ;)
With all this in mind, Battlefield 1 gets the royal stamp of…
The latest instalment of EA’s first-person shooter stays true to the Battlefield franchise, while reinventing itself, through small, yet significant updates. Ultimately, Battlefield 1 adopts a forgotten theme, and creates a fresh, pleasant experience, that can be enjoyed for many days to come.
Images and Game owned by EA
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