Stellar all the way!
DICE just knows what they are doing.They have been outdoing themselves for years now, they just know how to make an engaging and satisfying multiplayer game. However, this year apart from the amazing multiplayer, they have crafted an emotionally rich and powerful single-player experience.
Battlefield 1 delivers a new experience which is kinda a departure from what we have been playing before in the series. You are no longer just one “Rambo” dude going through a generic run-of-the-mill war story one set piece after another. Instead, they have opted in for five separate mini-stories or War Stories as they are called in-game, where you play as different characters in different places during different times in World War 1.
This was extremely surprising to say the least, as Battlefield games, for a long time now, have had kinda sh*tty single-player experiences. Not that they were bad, broken or anything like that, but you just didn’t care about them. The story was generic, the characters one dimensional, but most importantly it didn’t feel like a true Battlefield experience. With Battlefield 1 they have fixed all of those problems and then some.
World War 1 was pretty awful and probably the most brutal the world will ever, hopefully, see. Soldiers who till then were fighting using only simple rudimentary rifles found themselves against heavy machine guns, artillery barrages, giant metal tanks, dreadnoughts, bombers equipped with devastating bombs and probably the most terrible of them all, horrible gas warfare. It was “The War to End All Wars” and yet it ended nothing. As I said it was brutal, horrible and devastating and Battlefield 1 presents all that terror in an amazing and emotional way.
Each War Story feels unique and serves as a tutorial for what to expect in the multiplayer. The first one features a tank crew as you follow them behind enemy lines. Here the game teaches you about the tank mechanics and different strategies to use against the enemy. Another story has as a main focus flying a plane teaching you the mechanics, the how’s and do’s of dogfighting and then some. Then you have the more open missions where you can choose what objective to tackle first and what strategy to utilize stealth or guns blazing, it’s up to you. It feels like Battlefield, it is a true Battlefield experience and more importantly they did not sacrifice anything to achieve that. Usually, FPS singleplayer experiences focus on either mechanics and set-pieces or emotional story and cool characters. Sure there are exceptions to this “rule” like the old Call of Duty games and I’m glad to say that Battlefield 1 is part of this group.
The characters and their story feel real, it’s relatable and you are with them from start till the end. The Great War was brutal, but this is about the people who fought in that war, ordinary people who rose to the call, to serve their countries and protect their families. You experience the war from their eyes, see the sacrifices these men and women did for well, absolutely nothing. And that’s, as I said, rare to see in games today. DICE thank you for this!
Now even though the singleplayer is excellent, many people will keep coming back to Battlefield 1 for the multiplayer which is just stellar in my opinion. I’ve been playing Battlefield 4 with my bro for quite some time now, but Battlefield 1 is made of an entirely different sauce altogether. It is very analog and feels deliberately old. You feel each shot fired, you see each bullet whizzing through the air and you feel each bullet hit taken or dealt. The maps are big, expansive and well designed. Nearly everything is destructible so there’s nowhere safe. Grenades, dynamite and rockets feel powerful as they obliterate enemies send them sky high ragdoll style. The guns have weight and even though there are only 3-5 guns in total per class, they each have their unique distinct signature and feel. I love every gun here and I switch them around all the time cause it’s just fun to try them all. Of course, each class has the one special gun with which you can obliterate everyone in your path, but unlocking those guns require you to play for a while and it’s a nice carrot on a stick.
If you’ve played any Battlefield game before, you’ll know how the class system works, how to use the gadgets, and more importantly what modes to expect. Conquest, Rush, Team Deathmatch are still here and they still play the same as before. What are new here are the War Pigeon mode where you must capture, hold and release pigeons to score points, but no one is really playing this mode, and Operations. If you’ve played Battlefront, it’s like Supremacy which in itself is like a Rush/Conquest combo. You must capture and hold at the same time two or three flags in order to get through the next sector. What is even cooler is that DICE has managed to link two or three maps in one operation, re-telling what really happened during WW1 as the maps in Battlefield 1 are real areas where combat took place. It’s a nice bonus that by playing a multiplayer match, you’ll also learn something from WW1.
Going back to the whole Battlefield experience, the #OnlyinBattlefield moments are back and are just glorious. We’ve all seen the jump out of jet shoot a rocket to a chopper and get back in the jet clip, but that’s so 2015. It’s 2016 baby, and destroying a plane with a grenade while riding a horse is the new norm. Or sliding through a corner and obliterating a squad using the “chibby” Kolibri is cool. Or shooting down a plane with the At-Rocket. Or taking down multiple enemies using only a shovel. The addition of Elite classes, think the Heroes from Battlefront, and the dreadnaughts is extremely welcomed and offer a level of unpredictability to Battlefield 1 which is what keeps me and millions around the world going back and relishing those moments with my squad.
As for the presentation, it’s the new Frostbite engine so that alone gives you all the necessary answers. Yes it looks bloody gorgeous, the colors are vibrant and eye-popping, the animations look great and models are lifelike, but not in an uncanny valley, we are well past that. It’s smooth and the sound design is fantastic.
What’s left to be said other than just go buy it if you haven’t. Singleplayer is fantastic and the multiplayer experience is amazing. A couple of problems it had at launch have been ironed out with the latest patch and while there are still a “ton” of legacy Battlefield bugs, they have zero impact on the whole experience. DOOM as Best Action Game and Overwatch as Best Multiplayer my ass, Battlefield 1 is the one true king! Thanks for reading!