Battlefield 1 is the latest Battlefield game to come out and it is definitely the best one yet. After a couple of missteps with Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4, DICE has really nailed it this time. Battlefield 1 is set in World War 1 and the story is told through multiple people. Instead of one cohesive story told through the eyes of a single person it is a bunch of short stories that show different perspectives during different events throughout the Great War. In addition to the campaign is Battlefield’s popular multiplayer mode. There is a lot to do here with your standard Team Deathmatch, Domination, Conquest, Rush and War Pigeons mode as well as the new Operations mode which is large scale warfare.
The development team over at DICE tried something new with the Battlefield 1 campaign and in my opinion it worked really well. Instead of following one person through the course of the war they broke it up into multiple short war stories. There are five main war stories to play through as well as both a prologue and an epilogue. The five main stories do an incredible job of showcasing the brutality of the first World War and some of the consequences that came along with it. There aren’t any happy endings here as not everyone makes it out alive in some of these stories. The first story that I played through I was a tank driver and would use that to help eliminate the opposition. During the course of battle though the tank would break down and I would have to get out and do what needed to be done to fix it. Another of the stories had me as a pilot and I was dogfighting against the German army as a member of the British Royal Flying Corps. Then I jumped to being a shock trooper wearing a ton of armor as I battled through the Italian alps trying to assist my friends. After that I stormed the beaches of Gallipoli to try and lock that place down and then finally found myself in the desert on horseback as I fought against the Ottoman Empire. Each story was unique and told through a different lens. The stories were all very powerful and highlighted the extreme sacrifices that these troops went through on a daily basis. DICE should be commended here for how they handled everything and for how realistic everything felt.
There are some people of course that will jump straight into the multiplayer and avoid the campaign altogether. I highly recommend going through the war stories but the multiplayer portion will be what keeps you coming back for more. New to the Battlefield series is the Operations mode in multiplayer. This is where you can be a part of a large scale war that will span across several maps. You will have to either attack or defend on multiple fronts. Operations is really cool for a number of reasons. With this mode everything is interconnected. With most multiplayer games (as well as the other modes in Battlefield 1) you typically play one round and then that is it and you move on to the next one. In Operations it is all connected. Operations will span across multiple locations and as you move from area to area and as you proceed to the next map you will be able to see where you were previously fighting in the horizon. During my time with Operations I experienced a number of different things. There is of course the boots on the ground moment to moment action. This Battlefield though so there is also tanks you can drive, airplanes you can fly, boats and of course, horses you can ride.
The way this mode works is that you are either an attacker or a defender. If you are an attacker then it is your job to try and capture and hold all defensive positions in an effort to try and capture the area you are fighting over. If you are a defender you will have to try and dig in where you are at and you will have stationary machine guns as well as cannons to try and help prevent the opposition from taking over your position. If the attackers successfully capture an area then the defenders will fall back to the next area and try to defend that. It really is a lot of fun where almost anything can happen and the moment to moment gameplay is fantastic. During my time here I didn’t notice any lag at all and everything seemed to run really smoothly for me. I was a soldier on the ground for a lot of it but getting a chance to drive something like a tank and wreak havoc was always fun as well.
In addition to the really well done Operations mode is the more standard multiplayer suite. There is the Conquest mode where it is a massive all out war and you have to hold the majority of flags and eliminate the opposition to win. In Domination the action is more infantry focused a bit more intense. In the Rush mode you will need to either attack or defend the telegraphs. The defenders can use these telegraphs to call in artillery strikes on enemies that have been spotted so the attacking team will want to try and destroy these as quick as they can. Team Deathmatch should be self explanatory where the team with the most kills gets the win. War Pigeons has you trying to retrieve and release pigeons so that they can send messages to your supporting artillery units to eliminate the opposition. Out of all of these modes I probably had the most fun with Conquest and War Pigeons. War Pigeons specifically was something new for me and I seemed to do fairly well in it which I liked.
When determining how you want to play the Battlefield 1 multiplayer there are a number of different choices. One of them is the server browser. This is the old school way of finding that perfect game to fit your needs. This is where you can pick the server to join and see and get all kinds of server info such as how many players are in the game, what the ping is at, what the different rules are and more. If you want complete control over what matches and games you get into in Battlefield 1 this is the way to go. There are also going to be Custom Games in Battlefield 1 but unfortunately those weren’t ready to go yet.
DICE has done an incredible job with the look and feel of Battlefield 1. Aesthetically the game is stunning. The action has never looked more real from the devastation across the landscape to crawling through the trenches trying to survive to looking in the eyes of a soldier as he realizes that he might not make it out alive. The audio is also really well done and adds to the overall immersion of battling through World War 1. The sound of your bolt action rifle or of a tank rolling through a village is fantastic. When you pick up the controller you will immediately notice how great the game feels as well. Battlefield is a slower, more methodical type of game. It requires different strategy than some other FPS games on the market. If you happen to be a Call of Duty player, for example, you can’t just run and gun here. If you try and do that you probably won’t survive very long. You need to try and scout an area before you go into it, check out where the enemy is stationed and then use everything around you to your advantage. I found it really satisfying to be standing on a water tower outside of a village and using my binoculars to spot the enemy below and then silently taking them out with my sniper rifle. You need to make sure you eliminate them though or they will sound the alarm and you will have a bunch of troops that will begin to converge on you.
Battlefield 1 is DICE’s best Battlefield game to date. The way it showcases the brutality of war and some of the very real things that happen is astonishing. From the look and feel to how it controls and being able to experience the Great War from a variety of different perspectives, Battlefield 1 is definitely a game no FPS fan should miss. It is definitely going to be a game that I play for quite a while as it offers something that none of the other shooters on the market offer with its slower, more methodical approach set in World War 1. If you are still on the fence and are an EA Access member then be sure to download the free trial and play the game for yourself. You won’t regret it and in fact you will probably end up buying it once the trial period is complete.