The Battlefield series is one that I’ve loved for several years now. From Battlefield 1943 to the Bad Company games, Hardline and the core Battlefield games (namely 3 and 4).
Then came Battlefield 1……..I was kind of unimpressed at the premise. Don’t ask me why, because I’m not sure. Perhaps because I was burned-out on the series after years of playing conquest, or maybe World War 1 doesn’t particularly inspire me to want to play a game (no idea why).
It looked great, all of the chaos of Battlefield, with a new level of gloss and sheen. Everything I saw was stunning, it was on my “to play” list…..
Released in October 2016, I always figured I’d give it a go when it was down to the £20 bracket. I never did.
The long and short of it, is that it was cheap. Prompted by the fact that the premium pass was being given away for free online, I took it as the signal to get a copy and get stuck-in.
£5 on eBay plus a couple of quid postage and I was soon the proud owner of Battlefield 1.
Now all I can think is “why the hell did I leave it so long?!”.
Sure, Battlefield V is on it’s way and I’m indifferent towards that, too. But who cares? This is pure Battlefield fun with a twist. Being constrained to WW1 technology to go into battle.
So, here we are.
Truth is, I won’t get to play all the way through the solo elements of the game. I’m not here for that (likely the attitude that leads to these games no longer having solo campaigns…..).
That’s not to say I don’t want to share my experience, though.
I’ve played for hours through games of Conquest (classic Battlefield!), and most importantly the “Operations”.
Operations are similar to the conquest gametype, whereby you’re having to capture and/or defend specific points of a map, but they’re much more than that.
Framed around historic battles, on massive battlefields, you’re heading to the front-line to either defend the map, or to attack and take over the whole area.
Broken down into “sectors”, attackers need to capture specific points, and then move on further through the map until they (ideally) capture the whole thing.
Defenders, of course must prevent this and try to hold on to their capture points. Only ever retreating back to the next sector if they lose one.
It’s a tug of war, and honestly I love the ebb and flow of it. Mixed in with tanks, planes and horses, you could potentially hold off the attack at the first capture point and win. Or, you could eventually wipe out the attacking team on the last point. It can be tense, and occasionally frustrating, but damn, it’s so much fun!
The good stuff
It’s be remiss of me to review the game as a whole (I can’t, because I haven’t played it all, or for long enough), but let’s just touch upon the important bits.
Battlefield 1 looks bloody incredible. Honestly, it’s the best looking game in the series, even on my base Xbox One! Seeing a zeppelin on fire in the sky as bullets whizz past you. Watching the carnage unfold right in front of you, all with the level of polish previously unseen in the series.
It sounds fantastic. As always, stick on a stereo headset and just get immersed. The sound design around weapons, footprints, soldiers shouting, screaming in agony when set on fire…. It’s incredible at times. When the score sweeps upwards and hits those highs as you press forward on the attack, it’s like you’re a part of some kind of epic. Other times it’s brutal, hearing people burn alive is not ideal!
This is a game that’s been made with love and attention to detail.
Playing in classes is still here (medic ftw!), and when a squad gets it’s shit together, working in their roles, the whole experience is elevated to greater heights. I love that someone in my squad will keep my ammo levels up, or perhaps repair our tank. In return, I’ll heal and revive and keep my eye out on everyone,
It’s more Battlefield fun! Simple really. If you like Battlefield games, this is one of the best yet. Sure the World War 1 setting isn’t for everyone, and not having those super-high powered scopes, and amazing assault rifles is different. But different is good!
The not so good…..
Honestly, it’s the usual gripes with a Battlefield game. Connections aren’t always great when playing on this scale. I’ve never struggled to get into a game though, even 2 years on from initial release, which is good.
Being killed almost directly upon spawn. It’s no a big deal, and mostly my fault for spawning on a squad member that’s about to engage in a firefight, but you’d think there was some way of mitigating this a little, especially if your team is being hammered!
Battlepacks……..Because apparently all anyone wants is RNG and cosmetics…….Essentially another bloody lootbox system that nobody asked for. You can buy them with real money if you want? No thanks.
Lone wolves! It’s a squad-based shooter, you’re literally dropped in as squads with different classes that compliment each other. Inevitably, though, people just want to run and gun, solo-style. No playing objectives, no supporting a squad, just trying to get the most kills.
It isn’t the end of the world, hell, play as you like, you paid for it! It just isn’t quite so fun when a squad isn’t really a squad.
Worth a punt?
When you can pick it up for around a fiver, and the premium pass was free a week or so ago, this is some of the best value for money I’ve had from a game in ages.
A truly “Triple A” online shooter that I know will see me through for plenty more time yet.
Unless you don’t like Battlefield games, or you’re not into First-Person Shooters, this is absolutely worth your time and money. In fact, I would have paid full-price for it, now knowing how great a time I’ve been having.
It’s not a full review, and I feel bad giving it any kind of rating, but Battlefield 1 easily gets the Ninja Refinery “recommended” rating.
I’d go so far as to say that it would possibly hit the heady heights of “Exceptional” if I invested the time in it to review it. I guess I’ll never know, at least not in the foreseeable future.
Just get it cheap, load it up and have a blast. Don’t get too immersed, though, because those realistic screams will haunt you!