DICE’s return to old-school war pays great dividends in Battlefield 1.
DICE underwent its fair share of setbacks last year with Star Wars Battlefront. With Visceral’s Battlefield: Hardline struggling to deliver, one had to wonder if DICE had anything left in the tank. Fortunately, Battlefield 1 not only delivers on the hype but offers some of the most compelling multiplayer shooter action out there.
Story-wise, Battlefield 1 is a global affair. You’ll team up with Lawrence of Arabia in Sinai Desert, experience some harrowing moments as part of the Harlem Hellfighters and much more. If you’re looking for a history lesson, then Battlefield 1 isn’t it – the various shifting perspectives and scenarios serve to humanize World War 1 rather than add to any real bravado. The war has its moments for sure but this is more about the grim reality of conflict than being a hero of following history. In terms of visuals and sound, DICE does an amazing job. Battlefield 1 is perhaps one of the best looking games out there right now.
Not a whole lot has changed for the Battlefield formula. There are several different classes to play with Assault focusing on submachine guns and Medic throwing health packs for squad-mates. The focus is on WW1-era guns, leading to less gun customization but there’s still a healthy variety of firearms from snipers to heavy machine gun and trench shotguns. Battlefield 1’s map design tends to emphasize trench warfare and more close quarters fighting than before, further aided by a new bayonet-charging mechanic. Then there’s the multiplayer which adds all manner of new things to do, from the epic round-based Operations mode to the King of the Hill-esque War Pigeons.
Despite the old-timey trappings and traditional modes, Battlefield 1 has changed in so many intriguing ways while still remaining familiar. The addition of trench fighting and bayonet charges lead to more up close and personal fighting at times. Dynamic weather can significantly change up a map’s strategies, prompting you to flank enemies or charge more effectively. Even the level of destruction is so dynamic, shifting your surroundings in all kinds of shocking ways. While some players may face issues with spawns, vehicles and effectively surviving, Battlefield 1 makes the experience worthwhile, especially when you’re fighting alongside 31 other players to hold a point against all odds.
Battlefield 1 is a great shooter, from its traditional but well-made campaign to its strong multiplayer and shockingly good modes. If there was ever any doubt about the future of the franchise, then rest assured – Battlefield 1 lives up to the hype.
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