Review – Battlefield 1
Battlefield 1 takes first-person shooter (FPS) fans back to 1918, a bold move in a genre that’s increasingly dominated by games set in the near-to-far future, like the upcoming Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare or Titanfall 2. Instead of energy rifles and running on walls, Battlefield 1 has trench warfare and guns like the MP18, the first submachine gun used in combat.
It’s a big change of pace for gamers, but the intro should go a long way towards cementing it as a good move. Thrown directly into the action you hold off enemy troops, but holed up against the advance with limited ammo it doesn’t take long before you’re cut down, but it’s not the end of the intro. Instead the screen goes to black and white, displaying a quick obituary for the fallen soldier: Forrest Washington, 1899-1918.
Fading back to colour, the camera pans across the battlefield and settles you into the boots of a machine gunner as he holds off waves of troops. Overrun again, you’re forced off the gun and into a bombed out building with troops coming from every side. With a shotgun and pistol, you don’t last long against flamethrower-wielding troops and this soldier falls as well: Clinton Point Coupee, 1897-1918. From there you’re a tanker, then stuck in trench warfare with mustard gas falling all around… In the end it’s an artillery barrage that wipes out most of the battlefield combatants, followed by a cutscene that introduces you to the campaign – a series of “War Stories” that move you around the world to experience the Great War from different perspectives.
Battlefield wouldn’t be Battlefield if not for the multiplayer, and DICE stepped things up for the launch of Battlefield 1. Server stability has been top notch, with no dropped games or lag to report, and the new Operations mode, which allows you to play a sequence of battles over different maps, is a great addition to the series. Conquest and Domination modes remain popular, and Rush and War Pigeons offer up something new and different. Classes have been retooled slightly from past Battlefield games, but not enough that you’ll likely want to vary from your favourites from the past so if you’re always an Assault guy, feel free to just jump back into the fray with that class.