- Developer: Dice
- Publisher: EA
- Genre: FPS
- Release Date: 21st October 2016
- Platforms: Xbox One, PC, Playstation 4
- Game Supplied by: Xbox
It annoys me that the words “Epic” and “stunning” get bandied around so much these days it’s hard to really know when things truly are as described. Also, if you are not familiar on your history of FPS games, 9 years ago a FPS game came along that stuck two fingers up at the tried and tested FPS formula and did something different. It was so fresh that it sold in the millions and birthed a revolution in the way current FPS games have developed. People still enjoy the game today.
However things, IMO have gotten out of hand and I personally have hankered for a fresher, back to basics type FPS game that is mainly about the grunts on the ground with a gun. Well, with BF1, the FPS mould has been broken back to the way it should be again. No more new fangled fire and forget weapons, no more guns with so many gizmo’s on they have more computing power than a small country, it’s back to iron sights, skill, guts, and world war 1.
Welcome to the new historic moment in gaming and Battlefield 1.
It’s not often that an FPS has a thought provoking single player campaign, as most that I can remember are just throw away made up scenarios that give the player the tools to do nothing more than shoot everything and not worry about it. But, as BF1 is based around the real events and times of a real war, you always have a nagging feeling that the moments you enjoy in the campaign could have very seriously happened. That sense of poignancy, and gravitas adds weight to the SP campaign like nothing I’ve played for a long long time, and to make things even more convincing, the cut scene acting is superb.
Despite the SP game being broken up into individual stories you can play them in any order you wish, and each one is a little bejew piece of drama that you can’t but help feel and get caught up with. Along with this, each story, although set around one particular scene had you doing many things in it’s short cameo. For example, the “tank” story about Black Bess is not just a segment of playing in a tank. You start in a tank, end up on foot in a stealth section, snipe, infiltrate, blow more stuff up in tanks, fly pigeons, shoot more with your gun, get back in tank, and then ride horses back home in time for tea and medals. The variety of game play is simply excellent and exciting.
The graphics and sound design around these stories are frankly, utterly amazing. Battlefield games are famed for their sound and with explosions, noise, falling mud, bricks and body parts thunking around you with nerve racking authenticity, and as bullets whiz over your head or “tink” into the armour you’re behind, who needs VR when you already have this!
Then add to the sound design you have pinch me realistic and authentic graphics with amazing detail, clarity, and superb lighting and rendering, that the game engine runs so oh so smoothly. I’ve played BF1 on both the XB1 and PS4, and the PS4 version is noticeably clearer in detail but i feel the systems run better on the XB1.
The main course for FPS games these days is the MP aspect and BF1 delivers on that front as well. Of my time on battlefield games, I’ve enjoyed BFBC1, BFBC2 and BF1943 the most. I quickly grew tired of BF3 and BF4 because the games seemed more geared towards the players that had the better weapons which made the game uninviting to anyone that didn’t live on the game or have the patience or money to grind up to better weapons. Games should be accessible to any gamer from the start, no matter how much time they have; however, instantly accessible and welcoming, is exactly how i would describe BF1 MP.
There is a wide choice of weapons which although not historically correct, and do not have huge differences in the weapon stats in the same class, the weapons they do have here are all very in keeping with the period.
The MP also has the usual BF stamp on the class system, with the assault, medic, scout and support classes. 3 types of tanks, 2 types of armoured vehicles, horses, boats, biplanes both bomber and fighter versions, trains, and airships, that all leads to a wide variety of game play options that thankfully don’t overpower the in game battlefield. The reason is the grunts on the ground have equally powerful weapons to deal with these, be it stationary field guns, anti aircraft pom poms, or machine gun nests as well as an anti tank/vehicle weapon the soldier himself can carry. The only thing the soldier on the ground will find hard to attack is anything in the air unless they find a gun placement.
The normal assortment of game modes are back , be it 64 player conquest to 10 v 10 smaller map domination, with Rush and other modes in between. 2 new modes appear and are “operations” and “catch the pigeon” as I like to call it. “Catch the Pigeon” is basically capture the flag, but Operations is a new twist on Rush mode.
Much like Rush, Operations is a 40 or 64 player per side game with the attacking team having 2 or 3 points to hold for a set period to then be able to move on the next, however in operations, they now give the attackers 3 chances to complete these tasks. If they are not achieving their goals they then automatically get help from massive vehicles. In Ballroom Blitz, the germans get the help of a Zeppelin Airship where players can rain down terror from above, and in the Suez Operations V the Ottomans, there is an English Dreadnaught on one section and an armoured Train for another.
The MP maps are fantastic. People generally think of World War 1 being trench warfare only in Europe and indeed there are maps to reflect that. However here in this game there are also forests, buildings, deserts, small villages, windmills, and mountain tops to explore, each rendered to perfection. The artwork on each level in both the SP and MP games are amazing.
The player movement, and transition from one thing to another and back again I found to be faultless. Even at first when I was trying to dish out med kits and kept putting a gas mask on instead it didn’t take me long to master the controls. There really isn’t anything wrong with this game at all no matter how hard I try to find something!
Stunning, absolutely stunning is how I would describe BF1. Both the SP and MP games have been honed to perfection and have an air of seriousness about them befitting and honouring to the very real events and people of world war one.
I personally, have probably read more material on World War 1 than even video games, and for me, nothing has managed to capture on my TV what the Great War, or a real war experience, must have felt and looked like than in this game both on and offline. I have enjoyed the SP part of the game just as much as i do the MP side. As an added bonus, it was also really pleasing to play a WW1 game not just focused on the trench warfare at the Somme or Passchendaele as that would have become drab and boring after a while.
As it is the game is vibrant, detailed, exhilarating, exciting, moving, varied, but most importantly BALANCED to perfect and running smoothly. It’s the Multiplayer game next generation consoles have been made for, it’s groundbreaking, it’s stunning, it’s….well, the only word befitting to use really is … EPIC.