Electronic Arts and Dice have crafted a thrilling entry into the Battlefield series with the World War I themed Battlefield 1. The visually stunning game is dripping with authenticity which is seen in every frame of the game. The weapons, uniforms, vehicles, tactics, and technology as a historians dream brought to life.
Players to take part in the solo campaigns find themselves reliving various battles from the point of those who participated in them. There is a tank mission behind enemy lines in Europe, a battle in the Italian mountainside, a thrilling aerial scenario, a very intense and emotional story set against the battle of Gallipoli, and a thrilling desert adventure featuring Lawrence of Arabia himself.
One of the great things about the game is that it takes modern gameplay tactics such as trying to secure an objective or defeat enemy units and infuses it with a sense of the past. Weapons are slow to load, are not always the most accurate at a distance, and have a crudeness about them that is refreshing in this era of games featuring advanced weaponry and technology. This does require a bit of a learning curve as there have been times where I would unload a full magazine on an enemy player and multiplayer mode only to see them survive and dispatch me with one or two shots from pistol. Once you start to get the way the weapons work and develop strategies to work within their strengths and limitations, you’ll soon find yourself able to make solid progress in the game.
The solo play campaigns allow players to set a difficulty that is best suited for their style of play and have very interesting and gripping narratives.
Many players will keep their focus on the multiplayer portion which has campaign objectives as well as quick matches. This does take a bit of learning as the landscapes are large and there are plenty of places for players with higher grade weapons to pick up new players before they even know an enemy is near. Naturally your weaponry choices to get better as your on-field accomplishments merit them it is also important to note that due to the vast landscapes littered with foxholes, trenches, villages, and other locales, wide open areas where players are very exposed and vulnerable are numerous.
Getting a tank often seems like a big accomplishment but when you realize that the vehicle is slow to turn it is a sitting duck for enemy artillery, explosives, and other tanks. Strategy and teamwork are vital to the success of any mission especially when players can move up and bring in one of the massive zeppelins into the battle. I really enjoyed flying the planes of the era but had to remember that there reduced speed made it very difficult turn especially for somebody who was used to strafing a target, flying into the distance, making a wide turn, and then attacking again. I found myself that many times with the leaving the battlefield warning and was not able to turn fast enough to get myself back where I needed to be.
As somebody who studied history extensively in college, it was amazing to get a sense of the war the on the pages of history books and learn how in this era of new technology such as planes, tanks, gas, machine guns, Zeppelins, and more, the capacity to do devastating damage upon an enemy was massive as truly technology greatly overshadowed the tactics and medical abilities of the era.
Battlefield 1 is a glorious achievement and gaming as it takes an error that has been largely ignored and brings it forward incredible detail combined with thrilling battles that are loaded with customization options that will keep players playing well into the future. With the planned DLC content to come, I’m very interested to see what direction the developers will take it as there are countless possibilities ahead.
5 stars out of 5.