Battlefield 1 Review – All This And World War 1

Blackadder Goes Forth was a fantastic series.

01

Developer: EA DICE
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Format: PC, PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One
Released: October 21, 2016
Copy purchased

Battlefield 1 successfully pulls off an incredibly tricky balancing act – portraying World War 1 as the destructive, wasteful hell it was while providing a videogame that shooter fans could still find entertaining.

Some authenticity has to go out of the window for this to take effect, of course, with a generous smattering of automatic weapons and thrilling gunfights emphasized over bleeding miserably in a soaked trench. Nevertheless, combat in Battlefield 1 can be chaotic to a terrifying degree – a dizzying mass of smoke, gas, explosions, and screams that turns an ordinary shooter into something altogether more intimidating.

Playing Battlefield 1‘s huge multiplayer modes can be confusing and disorienting, but not due to a design flaw. Instead the chaos is deliberate, designed to evoke a sense of panic and frantic survivalism. After years and years of so many multiplayer shooters, it’s been refreshing to finally get another one that can make me feel like a deer in headlights.

Battlefield 1 immediately sets the tone with an opening “tutorial” level focused on the Harlem Hellfighters. Players are informed that survival is not expected, and each death sees them thrust into the boots of another soldier – complete with an individual name and date of birth. Throughout its campaign and even the multiplayer, DICE is quick to remind its audience that World War 1 was a horror show inflicted on real human beings.

Life is cheap and death is free, this is something players are taught from the outset. While any war can produce heroes, it creates significantly more corpses, many young lives ending within only a handful of minutes.

Through a series of short campaign stories and a mercilessly anarchic multiplayer, Battlefield 1 reinforces that message constantly. Even loading screens are filled with educational information about the scale of the so-called Great War. Not just in terms of its death toll, but its geographical spread and the tremendous impact it had on world history.

02

Campaigns have been a weak spot for DICE in recent years – so weak, in fact, that Star Wars Battlefront never even had one – but this time around things have significantly improved. The campaign consist of six short stories that can be played in any order, each one telling a specific soldier’s story in a different part of the world.

From Australian runners to Bedouin warriors, Battlefield 1 does a terrific job of emphasizing that World War 1 did indeed impact the world as opposed to a couple of nations. It’s so common to simply view the event as something that happened between England and Germany, but this game spans across the globe with a multinational cast of well-written characters.

Each story bears a distinct gameplay theme. One is all about an American pilot and therefore contains all the chapters involving flight. Similarly, a story about a British tank unit is the sole source of land vehicle combat. In this way, DICE has done an admirable job of allowing players freedom to tackle the gameplay they like and discard anything they don’t care for.

Not a fan of stealth? You might want to skip the Arabian chapters and focus instead on the Italian ones, where you get to suit up like a space marine and chew through soldiers with powerful weaponry. Hate planes? Stick to the tanks, or ride across the desert on horseback.

Chapters can be picked up and put down at will, and while every single story will feature at least some regular first-person shooting, they all tend to remain distinct with their own unique structure.

The downside of all this is that no one story is ever given much time to develop, often finishing up all too quickly.

Battlefield 1‘s diverse protagonists are all deserving their own full games – their tales are genuinely gripping and I found it hard to dislike a single one. Any single story could support a full-length campaign, so the bite-sized adventures we get are just a little frustrating.

There’s definitely something to be said for a campaign that won’t outstay its welcome, but I have no doubt that more time spent with each character could only be a good thing.

03

Returning to multiplayer, DICE has retained most of the flavor you can see in pretty much any Battlefield game. Squads, classes, vehicles, ranking systems, they’re all in place and they’re all instantly recognizable. I can certainly understand some players growing fatigued of DICE’s hallmarks after so many games.

However, this one has its hooks in me.

Perhaps I’m simply so jaded by “modern” military shooters, but I find the WWI overlay truly does lend an added energy to the game. Liberties have been taken with the period weaponry, but the prevalence of slow-loading rifles (complete with bayonet charging), the devastating nature of gas attacks, and the appearance of elite gear for flametroopers and sentinels sets a special mood for every match.

In fact, I’ve no problem saying this is the most fun I’ve had with a DICE game that I can remember – a fun that has a sombre tone to it, given the respect shown for the reality of the war upon which Battlefield 1 is based. It’s a respect that should appear insincere and hypocritical, but somehow works alongside the gameplay, careful to never glamorize things.

Unlike Battlefront, this year’s EA-funded shooter is a complete package with not just a great campaign but multiplayer modes ranging from the moderate to the enormous. Added to Battlefield 1 is a new Operations mode in which one team defends while another keeps pushing back their front line.

Each Operation has a story attached and pits two sides against each other in multiple matches that can last a damn long time. Similar to Battlefront, one team will feel itself forced to retreat as it loses ground, creating a real sense of urgency when territory cannot be held.

Conquest will always be my bread and butter though, and it’s clear I’m not the only one. While it’s never difficult to get into the territory-claiming sprawling game type, the more exotic modes might be tougher to wrangle a team together for.

04

Being a DICE game, Battlefield 1 is gorgeous and sleekly presented, running at 60 frames-per-second even on consoles. Landscapes look both beautiful and haunting, rendered with a ton of polish but ultimately consisting of demolished buildings and burnt up trees. The sound is just as fantastic, with punchy weapon noises, horrible death shrieks, and encompassing explosions.

One thing to be wary of is microtransactions. At the time of writing, none are to be found, but Electronic Arts has already confirmed they’re coming, and the game’s “Battlepack” system looks custom-built to house them.

Right now, Battlepacks are randomly awarded to players post-match or purchased with “scrap” earned by destroying the contents of previous Battlepacks. In the days since purchasing the game, I’ve thus far managed to acquire only a single Battlepack. It’s a “reward” system that makes Overwatch‘s look positively generous, and leaves a sour taste in an otherwise engrossing game.

The constant reminders that Battlepacks exists are a real hassle, too. There’s definitely pressure on the part of the game’s design structure to treat these “packs” of cosmetics with reverence, despite how miserly the game is with them.

05

Despite this, Battlefield 1 remains a fulfilling experience on par with this year’s other premier shooters. I get the impression from some commenters out there that I’m supposed to dislike this one, but I’m going to have to disappoint them – Battlefield 1 has provided me with a damn good time and I don’t regret it.

It’s reverent without being mawkish, exciting without being tacky, and robust with content despite all the usual trappings of a big-budget EA product.

War is hell… but Battlefield 1 is pretty damn lovely.

9/10
Superb

gasmaskangel
Guest
gasmaskangel

I’m super glad that this turned out well, and especially that they didn’t make WWI look like some Oo-Rah! war is glorious horse shit. Incidentally, if this sparks anyone’s interest in the actual history of the war, its roots and its impact I’d really recommend checking out the Blueprint for Armageddon miniseries from Hardcore History. Its four podcasts, each about three hours long, but well worth the time investment.

Think I’m gonna check this one out.

NaotaChannel
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NaotaChannel

What a stupid review and comments.

If you’re not going to tell the truth about WWI – Then – WHY PRETEND YOU’RE MAKING A GAME ABOUT WWI ????

Toby From HR
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Toby From HR

It’s a video game, get over it

Juan Carlos González
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Juan Carlos González

As hyperbolic and histrionic as the OP was, your comment is actually surprisingly dismissive and disparaging to videogames as a medium.

Toby From HR
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Toby From HR

Again, it is only a video game, not a BBC documentary. It is ok that it is not a 100% accurate.

Juan Carlos González
Guest
Juan Carlos González
The OPs question still stands, though. If you make a game set in WW1 and do nothing to actually recreate how WW1 was fought then why bother setting it in WW1? 100% accuracy is not a requirement, but the complaint is that the percentage actually presented is lacking at best. The answer is marketing, of course. Battlefield 1 is a WW2 game disguised as a WW1 one (which is a reason, I suspect, why no war story features a soldier from the Central Powers) because if they simply had gone back to WW2 people would have accused them of a… Read more »
Terriosaurus Hex
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Terriosaurus Hex

Calm down there old chap. Nobody’s forcing you to play it, let alone enjoy the damn thing. Why bother with sci-fi when the science can’t be one hundred percent accurate and peer reviewed by top leading scientists? Why bother with any period whatsoever if every single tiny insignificant detail cannot be clarified as a historical fact? Pull the stick out your arse and enjoyed life if you can reach past your own head.

Will Bertazzo
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Will Bertazzo

It’s called historical fiction. Don’t be an idiot.

The outlaw Jesse McCree
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The outlaw Jesse McCree

Ha ha ha let’s all point and laugh at NaotaChannel!

Toby From HR
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Toby From HR

People complain way too much. Who cares if BF1 is not 100% historically accurate, it is a video game not a BBC documentary. Video games are supposed to be a way to escape reality, why would you want to play something that is truly historically accurate.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

You are selling video games short and disrespecting them… ironically.

Matc123
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Matc123

It is completely fine for games not to be 100% historically accurate but you at least have to make it feel different from different settings. For me I see no reason at all why this couldn’t have been a ww2 game.

The outlaw Jesse McCree
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The outlaw Jesse McCree

“you at least have to”
They don’t have to do anything.

SirAngry
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SirAngry

This game is so unrealistic! All the pictures and footage I’ve seen from WWI was black and white, there wasn’t any colour back then. 2 out of 10 at best.

Terriosaurus Hex
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Terriosaurus Hex

Just thought i’d check back an…Oh dear. This game seems to have pissed on people’s grandkids at christmas a bit, hasn’t it? Is it too soon? Might as well check metacritic for this kinda fallout…

Jeddostotle7
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Jeddostotle7
I’m surprised by the number of people who think all the automatic guns straight-up didn’t exist at the time of the war, and that people only used bolt-actions. The truth is, all of these full- and semi-auto weapons existed at least by the end of the war, if not before then. Most of them were not in widespread use, and a number of them were barely used at all and were just prototypes, but they still existed. Their inclusion and widespread use in the game is no different than the inclusion of the variety of guns in the other Battlefield… Read more »
Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

AK-74s…
Not 47s…

Jeddostotle7
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Jeddostotle7

…I said 74s…

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

Either I am sleepy this early in the morning or it is edited… but in any case, sorry.

I agree with your general idea, but do believe BF1 is a poor shooter. See STALKER to get a better idea on what AI and gameplay balance ought have been.

Juan Carlos González
Guest
Juan Carlos González
Semi-auto rifles were rare and notoriously unreliable, and most of the ones in the game game never saw a battlefield in their entire production time. The only class that uses bolt-actions is the scout, and they are all equipped with scopes which, while they existed in the period, were way too delicate and expensive to deploy in the frontline. What I find especially weird is that the game allows you to fire MGs from the hip with near-perfect accuracy when not even Battlefield 1942 allowed you to do that. The equivalent would be a WW2 game where every soldier carried… Read more »
Jeddostotle7
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Jeddostotle7

My point is that these guns existed at the time. The people I was talking about think many of these guns didn’t even exist at the time and are complete BS, which is untrue.

Juan Carlos González
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Juan Carlos González
The situation reminds me of how media loves the Pankor Jackhammer shotgun despite the fact that only two were ever produced (and with good reason; that gun looks slick as hell). Many games include weapons that are extremely obscure, rare or even experimental, but most of them include them as an exception. Battlefield 1 includes such weapons as the rule, with the weapons that were actually used by actual soldiers being the rarity, and that rubs some people the wrong way. Add to that the fact that some of those guns were so unusual and experimental that actually looking them… Read more »
La Chica Incognita
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La Chica Incognita
Kinda thrown for a loop with the people crying about how they tried to portray this game as super historically accurate. All I really saw was a trailer or two and it’s over the top and cartoonish complete with a guy wearing his coat as a cape holding a pistol like this is some kind of anime from before Japan realized the rest of humanity didn’t’ find the Nazis as cool as they apparently did. But really did I miss something in the marketing? Nothing about what I’ve seen regarding battlefield 1 bills it as anything more then the bubblegum… Read more »
Max Whiteley
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Max Whiteley

It’s the battlefield version of historical fiction shooters.
If your after battlefield you will love it.

Krim
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Krim
This game is no more than a stones throw away in tone from any other previous glory boner modern millitary shooter where you seemingly play a terminator sent from the future. In order to ensure victory for the nation that then goes on to create the machines that will destroy us. Except that would be a fun presmis and not one where you’re sold the story straight faced, as if what’s happening is a gritty plausible tale. And by no means would I suggest the oft-paroted alternative that the game should be 100% realistic, with instant game over for taking… Read more »
JHardman
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JHardman

Every play Red Orchestra? The second iteration of that game has a hella strong community and it’s pretty much all one bullet = death.

Krim
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Krim

No, I haven’t, and now wonder how that works. Sounds tough as nails if it’s like that. I will look it up!

Max Whiteley
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Max Whiteley
I do completely agree that the world dice have created is just incredible. And prior to my previous worries that this game would create a false representation of the war, and if we’re talking purely about gameplay then yes it does, but dice have crammed the game with real information about the war in to read! They took care with the source material and its payed off. I’ve not played the single player yet so I will judge it then. There are times, in operations mainly, when your dug in as a German soldier, waiting for the enemy team to… Read more »
Edwin Jackson
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Edwin Jackson

I’m very surprised this got a 9/10 simply because the lack of effort from dice, the mechanics and gameplay are pretty much copy/paste from every other Battlefield game instead of actually reworking it to be a realistic WW1 game and realism is Battlefields selling point. Also it’s yet another £50 season pass from EA really not acceptable

Jeddostotle7
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Jeddostotle7

Since when is actual realism Battlefield’s selling point? This game is about as realistic gameplay-wise as any other Battlefield game.

Juan Carlos González
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Juan Carlos González

The word is “authenticity” more than “realism”, but in that regard Battlefield One is probably Battlefield’s least authentic iteration yet with the exception of “Secret Weapons of WW2”, which included nazi jetpack troopers.

Jeddostotle7
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Jeddostotle7

Eh, I’d say it’s authenticity isn’t quite that bad. Remember, most weapons in BF3 and BF4 are either weapons of militaries other than the US or Russia (or China), weapons made for non-military organizations that are not in use by any military in the world, or prototypes that never saw any battlefield use.

Juan Carlos González
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Juan Carlos González
That’s not actually true. Most of the weapons in BF3 and 4 are used by some military organization or another, and those that are not are the exception, not the rule. Also, every single weapon falls neatly into the tactical niches filled by the armaments used by those organizations. You don’t see people running around with gyrojet guns, gauss accelerators or sonic disruptors even though they technically exist IRL. But in Battlefield 1 those guns are not the exception. They are the rule. The main weapons are SMGs, that were fairly rare in WW1, LMGs that are not used even… Read more »
Aristatide
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Aristatide

You’re surprised Jim “Innovation is Gaming’s Snake Oil”/Dynasty Warriors Sterling gave a positive review to a game that didn’t completely overhaul a functioning system for a new game? Huh.

The outlaw Jesse McCree
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The outlaw Jesse McCree

Battlefield has always been a game first and it has never even come close to simulator. It’s less realistic now but if everyone would run around with the same rifle and opponents had a different, weaker model then everybody would complain about the lack of variety and balance.

Jack Trevor
Guest
Jack Trevor

I’m sorry but after watching “The Great War” YouTube channel, this comes nowhere close to depicting the horrors of WW1. And nothing ever will in my opinion.

And from what I’ve seen, it’s pretty much Battlefield 4 set in a different skin. And while that’s not a bad thing, it is gonna be a massive disappointment for everyone.

Henriette Gaston
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Henriette Gaston

It’s like they didn’t even try. Spare yourself and avoid any solo campaign footage if you care about history, mankind, or your sanity.

The outlaw Jesse McCree
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The outlaw Jesse McCree

Unless you care about fun of course. But who plays video games for that ammiright?

Henriette Gaston
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Henriette Gaston

Implying that single-player Battlefield is fun?

The outlaw Jesse McCree
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The outlaw Jesse McCree

Implying that your opinion is fact?

Nism
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Nism

I thought it was fun for what it was.
But to hell with other people’s opinions, right?

Henriette Gaston
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Henriette Gaston

Of course. You shouldn’t worry about what others think.

The outlaw Jesse McCree
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The outlaw Jesse McCree

Swoosh.

Henriette Gaston
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Henriette Gaston

Doesn’t mean what you think it means, indeed.

Eon264
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Eon264

If it accurately depicted the horrors of world war I then it wouldn’t be a very good game, really. It’s meant to be more of a primer than anything, something that introduces you to the major concepts, conflicts and terminology that can encourage further study if one is so inclined. When you look at it through that lense it’s actually pretty great historical fiction, because it’s fairly clear what the parts you’re supposed to take seriously are and what bits are ludicrous fantasy.

Jack Trevor
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Jack Trevor

Oh I agree. My big problem is they are marketing it as something it’s not: a respectful look at WW1.

“Yeah, right. Because a knight wielding a machine gun and mowing down the entire German army is totally respectful.”

YoDude
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YoDude
Compares to any other shooter with the codex entries and shit it gives the feeling of a somber look. The intro with the Hellfighters was especially poignant in that you flat out progress by dying. It really does make you feel like you’re in the chaos and carnage for that intro. Outside of multiplayer. In multiplayer it’s still hundreds of kiddies swarming over objectives and trying to bayonet everyone. That said playing as a sniper watching the hell of everyone murdering and then getting blasted by the near invincible tanks really hammers home the pointless death. I’ve never really felt… Read more »
The outlaw Jesse McCree
Guest
The outlaw Jesse McCree

Ha ha you thought this was going to be a WW1 simulator?

Martijn Fiering
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Martijn Fiering

I just came off a massive twitter war (against me) with people that say this game negatively affects the average person’s perception of how things happened in history.

I mean… It was exhausting. This game isn’t even trying. It’s so… blatantly obvious.

If you’re reading this: You don’t really believe that they jumped on and off Zeppelin’s right into the Thames, right?

Anton
Guest
Anton

…or that black people served in WW1 at all?!?! Completely unrealistic!

Martijn Fiering
Guest
Martijn Fiering

That intro was really something. I can’t believe a German soldier and a black American soldier stopped to look each other in the eyes! How did EA/Dice ever find out that really happened?!?!

Anton
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Anton

Did… did they bang?

Martijn Fiering
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Martijn Fiering

Well, in my experience, whenever a camera pans upwards and two people go off-screen… Yes. Yes they did.

boxfetish
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boxfetish

I am sure you are being sarcastic, but 40,000 African Americans fought in France in WW1. Half of them fought under the command of the French.

Anton
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Anton

I was indeed being sarcastic.

Mathew G. Smith
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Mathew G. Smith

Most people think WWI was white people in trenches murdering each other and nothing else. Actually I remember hearing that’s why they had a hard time getting the idea greenlit.

Martijn Fiering
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Martijn Fiering

I’ll admit that I didn’t know much about WW1. Never researched it. Now I have, because BF1 gave me a reason to.

They could make a game about anything and I wouldn’t take the whole game as my main go-to resource on how it “really went down”.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

WW1 is a necessary part to pass 8th grade lol…

Education is dying in some countries 🙁

Martijn Fiering
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Martijn Fiering

I live in the Netherlands. Education isn’t dying. History is an important subject, but specializing in WW1 is not a requirement in order to become educated.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

Then the charts have issues.

WW1 is important. History is an important subject. No one needs you to specialize of course, but to just be… decent with it.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

And Battlefield ignored the fronts that had a lot more.
No Balkan front ( Americans do not know the place even exists… might confuse them), no Russians (because the biggest side in the war is irrelevant), no French (because they do not speak Murican) …

It makes me sick

Mathew G. Smith
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Mathew G. Smith

It’s EA, they compulsively have to cut big obvious things out for DLC.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

Why not cut Britain or Murica then?

Mathew G. Smith
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Mathew G. Smith

What, their main markets? That’s just silly. How would they plaster that Harlem Hellfighters guy on everything then?

Seriously though, I agree not including major factions is ridiculous. The popular image of the war is just so atrophied that including literally anything but the Somme is a step up.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

This is sad… 🙁

Artemiy
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Artemiy

‘Muricans just think Russians only drink vodka. They think they won the WWII because they bombed two cities in Japan.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

Pretty much.

Henriette Gaston
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Henriette Gaston

I’m pretty sure they took anecdotes, prototypes and other insignificant nuggets and put them in the spotlight, thus eclipsing anything that could have been an actual depiction of WW1.

Martijn Fiering
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Martijn Fiering

That too. It’s nice how they paid their respects to the soldiers who died in WW1, at the end of the game. That said, I can’t begin to fathom why people think this would negatively impact the majority of gamers.

qorl123
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qorl123

Well, might have been a missed opportunity, then. Also that metal plate armor is just stupid. People in “realistic” military shooters that can wear armor that makes them extremely resistant to damage is a pet peeve of mine. It’s not a big deal, but I was hoping WW1 would be free from the “heavy” concept.

Martijn Fiering
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Martijn Fiering

I’m pretty sure the “they gamified historical battles!” riots would still take place even then.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

Even World of Tanks affects people’s perception… let alone a game with characters and writing (even if poor).

Martijn Fiering
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Martijn Fiering

I’m tired of this argument. You have nothing to back it up with, other than claiming the average person is dumb, unintelligent, and assuming everything is true at face value in material that wasn’t designed to teach someone in the first place.

Games like Battlefield 1 and WoT won’t affect the average person negatively but will almost certainly cause positive effects by making a person use ACTUAL EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL to learn more about something ->if<- it piques their interest in the first place. THEY WILL NOT USE A VIDEOGAME AS HISTORICAL FACTS.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

I guess you missed the MUSEUM that was complaining about how WOT influenced people’s perception of tanks and WW2 a few years back?

Also you have so much faith in humanity. So young… so naive.

Martijn Fiering
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Martijn Fiering

Oh look. More baseless accusations. What a surprise.

Martijn Fiering
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Martijn Fiering

Oh look. More baseless accusations. What a surprise.

Not really though. Wikipedia: Education Index.

But don’t let the facts get in your way. You haven’t so far.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

Mate, popular culture has twisted facts many times. Many people think the M4 Sherman was a poor tank all because of a few movies and some books…

Juan Carlos González
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Juan Carlos González

The M4 Sherman was so shitty at the start that Germans called them “Tommy Cookers” and the US had to ask the UK for actual guns to bolt onto them to have any chance against German heavy armor. It, however, got a LOT better as the war progressed and its glaring design flaws got ironed out.

Alexander Yordanov
Guest
Alexander Yordanov

Thing is most vehicles were like it at the start of the war. It was equal to the PZ4 but in tank v tank fights, but better against infantry and in maintenance and cost… it was a really good vehicle and Germany had no answer to it.

Juan Carlos González
Guest
Juan Carlos González
When it came out it had a tendency to go out in flames and explode if shook too hard, even by non-penetrating shots, and it’s rounds bounced off the armor of Tigers and Panthers like tenis balls at all but point-blank range. When it came into service Germany had lots of counters to it. The Pak40 an upwards, Tigers, Panthers, the infamous Flak 88, even the humble Panzerfaust. The US however had nothing to punch through German heavy armor and had to beg the UK for actual guns, and that’s how the M-10 came about: an M4 with a bolted-on… Read more »
Alexander Yordanov
Guest
Alexander Yordanov
…Except for the fact that all tanks at the time went into flames and lacked wet ammo racks and spall liners. So irrelevant, whilst it did ave some engine problems, it was not a much more prone to fire vehicle than any German or Russian tank. Tigers were rare. Panthers were fairly rare. The average German tank was an inferior Panzer 3 or 4 and a STUG (which isnt a tank, I know). Also M4s can and did kill Panthers and Tigers, and Kill to Death ratios that account for the different way in which nations noted these stats show… Read more »
PanelHopper
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PanelHopper

I’m really glad that the game at least tries to depict the war respectfully. WW1 was a nightmare not just for Europe, but everyone. And it is responsible for most for the following century’s other conflicts (both directly and indirectly)

The game’s first trailer made me cringe a little, at least the History graduate in me did, so I’m glad it seems to have found the right balance

kbc71
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kbc71

It hasn’t though. I wouldn’t exactly call it disrespectful, but it definitely didn’t find a balance between historically accurate and fun. It is fully on the fun side and really is a modern shooter with WW1 skins. A *fun* shooter, don’t get me wrong, but still…not a WW1 game in any real sense

Sharadufobash
Guest
Sharadufobash

A gritty and realistic game based on WW1 just wouldn’t be a AAA product, there’s not enough market for it.

Given that this is a AAA product it looks pretty daring in what it’s gone for.

I think you’re wrong to call it “.not a WW1 game in any real sense”. It’s probably as close as a big budget game can ever do to depeciting WW1.

boxfetish
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boxfetish

It could definitely be MORE accurate or realistic than it is, though, and still be fun. Nobody [I hope] is asking for a 100% authentic borefest.

Juan Carlos González
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Juan Carlos González

Or more accurately, as close as a big budget game will have the balls to depict WW1, which is not much at all.

I’m fully convinced you could make an amazing game set in WW1 while staying faithful to the setting, but that would require moving away from the comfort zone AAA publishers have cysted themselves into.

PanelHopper
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PanelHopper

Fair enough. I haven’t played the game for myself so that was my impression from Jim’s review.

Putang Inamo
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Putang Inamo
I’m not quite sure what people have against “all the automatics” in this game. There are 9 full auto weapons, versus 15 semi autos and bolt actions. 3 of these automatics are SMGs, the rest are LMGs that were indeed widely used in WW1. Sure, you can complain that no one can actually use these weapons portably, But then using LMGs like an assault rifle has been a staple of FPS games since forever. And if you do have a problem with the unrealistic use of automatic weapons in BF1, then the semi-autos probably tick you off too. Only one… Read more »
kbc71
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kbc71
Hey, it’s a fun game. I agree with you for the most part. For my money, even having the LMGs be stationary or less portable and the SMGs very rare with more limited capacity (and have both jam more often) would have been a nod to the purists that would have only made the game slightly less fun for the “pew pew” uber alles types. I feel they could have gone a bit more in that direction than they did, but obviously the pace and thrill of gun battles trumped everything else. I don’t want the game to be boring… Read more »
Andrew Barloq
Guest
Andrew Barloq

Well you’re also kind of supposed to go stationary when using LMGs, deploying the bipods basically erases their recoil and makes them arguably the best weapons available.

Putang Inamo
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Putang Inamo

I was just about to reply when I realized we were already talking on another comment. Small world!

I was actually just about to ask you on the other comment on how you would change it. Anyway, LMGs being stationary: as Andrew Barloq said, the LMGs are best used with bipods. I personally would make it so that crouching dramatically increases accuracy, while increasing accuracy penalties for moving and standing. For SMGs, considering there’s only three of the damn things, I’m fine with where they are at.

Juan Carlos González
Guest
Juan Carlos González

Interestingly enough, in Battlefield 1942 you *could* fire LMGs from the hip but it was mostly a waste of ammo unless the target was at very short range. In order to actually hit stuff with it you had to brace it first by going prone.

Also, those things are “weird and wacky” for the WW1 period, but completely pedestrian for WW2 and afterwards, so the “character” they give the game is, IMHO, entirely the wrong one.

Also, if automatics weren’t so omnipresent maybe playing cavalry would be worth a damn 😛

Rachel McVeigh
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Rachel McVeigh

Gotta say I’m really interesting in the campaigns for Battlefield . I’ve watched a few streamers & I love that each has it’s own character, feel & takes place at a different front. That being said, I’m not into multiplayer that much so I’m not paying full price for a 5-6 hr campaign.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

Men of War needs a WW1 title. Show these amateurs how it is done.

Wolfie
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Wolfie
So this is a bit of a divergent topic, but speaking of horrors of war and such… There was a game that came out, one of those anime visual novel types, that gave the protagonist, a female virgin, the choice to simply say no and not have sex at all. I know, wtf does this have to do with war? Well, in the comments section of a certain site, there was a discussion and someone opposed to it (for some reason) basically equated it to wanting to play Call of Duty, and instead playing photographer, and was like “would YOU… Read more »
qorl123
Guest
qorl123

Cute Demon Crasher?

Wolfie
Guest
Wolfie

That’s the one, yeah.

qorl123
Guest
qorl123

I was delighted that the option to refuse was there. As well as the overall theme of consensus. How lovely. And also original. And your CoD war reporter might be interesting as well.

BAH!
Guest
BAH!

I’m not sure if this is along the same lines as what you’re talking about, but FarCry 4 lets you get an early ending if you just wait around at the beginning. It’s a choice, of sorts.

qorl123
Guest
qorl123

That’s more of a non-standard game over though

BAH!
Guest
BAH!

I guess? I mean, the credits roll and everything.

Aristatide
Guest
Aristatide
I’ve always been surprised there aren’t more photography games. I especially feel like this is ripe for VR and Mobile gaming, but I’ve tended to really love any game over the years that let me use a camera and set up nice shots–everything from Fatal Frame to BG&E2. Hell, I remember being profoundly disappointed when Xbox released an ‘updated’ (now with more achievements, less music, and more bugs) GTA:SA and discovered my photos no longer saved. Now how will I record all the loving shots of plane wrecks I achieved in stupid places, I asked? (Like I said, I shortly… Read more »
sillyskeleton
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sillyskeleton
I watched TotalBiscuit’s video on the singleplayer campaign and it looked like a completely different game than what everyone else has been raving about. You get into a massive dogfight, shoot down about 100 planes while taking enough shots to completely stuff your cockpit. When bullets don’t work, you can just ram your plane into the enemies. Lol! Then the aforementioned Space Marine level where you’re running up a hill in armour at least twice your own weight, mowing down hundreds as a one man army. Now, I wasn’t expecting complete authenticity, but holy shit man, this game was one… Read more »
Wolfie
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Wolfie

Remove it being WWI, throw in more steampunk, add giant mech dragons, that’d be fucking amazing for a “military” shooter!

kbc71
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kbc71

“Tannhauser: The Shooter”?

George Sears
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George Sears

Holy Moly, I didn’t think anyone else actually played Tannhauser. Awesome sauce!

Juan Carlos González
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Juan Carlos González

I’d so play that shit in a heartbeat.

qorl123
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qorl123

So some comments here claim it’s the case of unreliable narration especially with the ‘space marine’ thing, but that is some primo bullshit to feed your daughter. “Yes honey, I put on invulnerable metal armor and grabbed my heavy MG and stormed a mountain stronghold and AA guns on my own. It was very traumatic.”

CaitSeith
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CaitSeith

Wait, mech dragons weren’t a thing in WWI? Dang it!

Jack Trevor
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Jack Trevor

If it wasn’t trying to be so serious and trying to be a respectful tribute, it would be Metal Gear Solid levels of entertaining.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

More should be said about the incredibly bad, 1997 (and this time it is not even a joke…) AI and dumb heroic superhero combat.
Also no one in the civilized world thinks WW1 was between England (lol) and Germany only. Perhaps only in America…

Nada Namae
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Nada Namae

“and this time it is not even a joke…”
So it’s JUST bullshit hyperbole. Good to know you aren’t even trying anymore.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

I wish it were hyperbole.
From videos I have seen the AI is effectively under RTCW and HL1 level. Even if it is better than that a few patches down the line and if I go looking for it, it would still be about 2001-2 level.

Peter Robson
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Peter Robson

It may not count as the civilised world, but Australia complained during the 100 year commemoration that too much attention was given to non-Anglo countries – as opposed to the “real” soldiers like Australians. So I reckon the conception still pretty strong and a tiny exploration of the cybersphere shows that a lot of “people” are pissed that there’s too many non-Anglos in it.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

Well if the Aussies really said that… yeah they arent part of the civilized world lol 😛

Peter Robson
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Peter Robson

I’d like to just blame the government, but people voted for the bastards.

Unit
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Unit
I got excited about this game when it was first announced. I felt like shooters were going in a fun direction. Got to play this game and immediately got reminded why I don’t buy EA titles. It played exactly like a modern shooter and that’s a big, red no-no. Too many automatics. Too much man-portable AT. Too little respect for the original conflict to do it right. I know I’m in the minority and I won’t bash others for liking the game. I’m glad you like it Jim. However I don’t. It feels like Dice were too afraid to change… Read more »
Putang Inamo
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Putang Inamo

Of course they were afraid to change the formula, because why should they? There’s thinking out of the box, and there’s having an entirely bloody new box.

I want a video game to feel fresh. I feel like BF1 is that. But expecting DICE to go the realistic route and restrict choices as severely as only having bolt-actions? That goes against the very appeal of Battlefield, which is all about offering an experience of almost every aspect of war.

kbc71
Guest
kbc71

Except the choice isn’t/wasn’t: 100% realistic and historically accurate OR not changing the formula at all and making the same old BF with WW1 skins. They could have tried to tweak the formula a bit and make it *more* historically accurate. It feels like they barely tried to find any balance at all. They could have beta-tested for more of that balance point if they had wanted to.

Putang Inamo
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Putang Inamo

Not sure what game balance has to do with people being against the presence of entire weapon categories. I would say 50% of the weapons in BF1 were not used in WW1. Their mere presence is historically inaccurate.

And I do feel the balance does reflect historical accuracy. SMGs are SHIT in any other engagement range other than 2 feet away and LMGs are most effectively used when bipod-ed.

Jeddostotle7
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Jeddostotle7

Man, some people here in the comments section don’t know shit. All of the weapons in the game existed by the end of WWI. Most of the “less realistic-seeming” weapons were prototypes that didn’t see a significant amount of use, but they were still there.

Jeddostotle7
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Jeddostotle7

All of the guns in the game existed at the time of WWI, and either were in use or were intended for use (but either they didn’t work out or the war ended too soon).

Juan Carlos González
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Juan Carlos González

In MMS’ assault rifles and SMGs are the mainstay because that’s what modern armies actually use. Which nation actually uses them isn’t all that relevant and is an acceptable breach from reality.

In BF1 auto-rifles and SMGs are the mainstay despite the fact that almost no side deployed them in any significant numbers while bolt-actions, which were the *actual* mainstay, are relegated to sniping with scopes that are completely anachronistic (they resemble scopes of the time but don’t work remotely like scopes of the time).

Not quite the same situation.

Unit
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Unit
I’m not saying they should have changed literally everything. Thinking outside of the box would have been tweaking the formula. Slowing it down. Representing things like they said they would. Other multiplayer FPS games have given the player a bolt-action rifle as the mainstay and been fine for doing so. I’m not saying automatic weaponry shouldn’t be there. I’m saying those weapons shouldn’t have been the centerpiece. I’m saying that all the mud and dirt the game totes should have done more than just be a visual effect. I’m saying they could have tried to strike a balance between gameplay… Read more »
InfamousDS
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InfamousDS
Automatic weapons have a very real place in games, especially in good game balance. I believe Extra Credits did an episode on multiplayer balance and talked them up specifically. Paraphrased, from memory (so it could be bollocks): “The automatic weapon is designed to be the first gun you use. Ammo is plentiful, they excel at mid-range combat, and the damage is low but the rate of fire is fast. All of these combined make the weapon a “jack-of-all-trades”, capable of a wide variety of use in the game… without really making it superior to the far better weapons players acquire… Read more »
Unit
Guest
Unit
You’re right, that does sound like bollocks. You’re also right that they have a place in games. But yet again and hopefully three is the charm. I’m not saying they don’t have a place in this game. I’m saying they shouldn’t be the main kit you give players in a game set in a time period where, and this is extremely important, that wasn’t the case. Other games have balanced accuracy and gameplay without putting a bullet-hose in literally everyone’s hands. It’s possible. Its been done and proven. Red Orchestra 2 is a fantastic example of it. Automatics are there… Read more »
InfamousDS
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InfamousDS
I don’t like EA on principle due to them either destroying the properties I did like or personal grudges based on massive game-breaking and save-corrupting bugs, and the modern military shooter has no interest to me. Even anachronistic interpretations of the MMS. I don’t own BF1, and you’ll note my defense did not use any in-game or historical references, only a loosely remembered discussion by a YT channel devoted entirely to game design. There is a valid defense for mechanics as they are though, and at some point after I get home I will find a link to the original… Read more »
Giorgos Katsas
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Giorgos Katsas

Came by to get a feel for how TF 2’s review will be like, I am happy BF scored well, I want both games to step on IW/MWR’s neck and double tap it.

Might get my wish it seems, great write-up Jim 😀

kbc71
Guest
kbc71
I have had fun playing this game and I really liked the introductory level. That said, all the complaints about “the prevalence of automatic weapons, the bombastic portrayal of combat, the distinct lack of trench warfare–all signs point towards this being just another modern military shooter with a First World War skin” are fairly accurate. Yes, I expected them to do a fair amount of that in order to please most shooter fans and make the game fun and exciting instead of a bore, but I would have liked them to err on the side a making it an authentic… Read more »
Putang Inamo
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Putang Inamo

I don’t care about the setting, the “respect” to historical events, the authenticity, etc. This is a fucking video game, and the number one thing is “is the game fun?”

To me, it is. All that other stuff is just icing on the cake, albeit very tasty icing.

diamond
Guest
diamond

It’s too ridiculous to be authentic, too easy and lacking in real decisions to be fun and a single dude mowing down hundreds of people on his own in heavily scripted sequences is the opposite of what a Battlefield game is.

ChooseYourFight
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ChooseYourFight

Correct me if I’m wrong, but reading the comments section here, it seems like you haven’t actually played the game. You seem rather invested in how awful it must objectively be, though. Rather interesting.

diamond
Guest
diamond

That was actually a quote from TB on Reddit, but from the playthrough of the game i’ve watched, it looks like he was completely correct, games looks like a fucking joke IMO, if you like it fine, but it’s not at all the direction I wanted Battlefield to go in.

ChooseYourFight
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ChooseYourFight

Simply noting that for someone who has not actually played the game, you seemed to be a bit gung-ho about the quality of the game based on specific second-hand accounts and viewed footage. Though since it sounds as if (regarding elements I care about in FPS titles) the game is solid and relatively free of issues with a decent single player, yes, I probably will like it and intend to get it now. Have a lovely day.

diamond
Guest
diamond

I’m just tired of people hyping this game to an extreme degree(it’s almost as bad as No Man’s Sky) while EA is deliberately not giving out review codes to certain outlets that they think won’t give the game a positive review.

Aristatide
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Aristatide

When quoting someone, it helps to actually attribute and use quotation marks.

Putang Inamo
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Putang Inamo

Opposite of a Battlefield game?

For the multiplayer, sure. But with the singleplayer? A “single dude mowing down hundreds of people on his own in heavily scripted sequences” is exactly what the previous Battlefield games offered for the singleplayer. And so did CoD. And Medal of Honor. And literally every other fucking FPS game.

I feel like the only reason people have such a huge problem with this is because its WWI, and for some reason that means it has to be held at a higher “realism” standard than other games with more recent settings.

Roel TheDeer
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Roel TheDeer

Close guess. The reason why people expected more realism is because the setting is so unique (for games at least) and had tech so different from everything that goes into your typical shooters, that people really hoped for these unique elements to carry over to the gameplay itself. If that happened, the game could be quite legendary.

But as we learned not that long ago, too many hopes and dreams can bring severe disappointment.

Putang Inamo
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Putang Inamo

Could you give an example of this unique gameplay you were expecting?

Because BF4 has been my only FPS game for the past two years and I just cannot see how BF1 can feel “familiar” to people. I mean, I can, but I certainly don’t feel the “just BF3 and BF4 reskinned” thing.

diamond
Guest
diamond
Not really, in previous campaigns you couldn’t take on that many enemies at once without dying, and you actually did have a squad in BF3 and BF4, so those games were actually not just “one man army” stories like this game is. None of the COD or MOH games would let you run out into the open and take on over a dozen enemies at once without dying like this game does. EA hyped this game up big time as being “respectful” about WW1, which it clearly isn’t(i’ve watched someone play through the entire campaign on Youtube, I barely mustered… Read more »
Putang Inamo
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Putang Inamo
I have seen people 360 noscope helicopters in BF4 single-player, so I do think that pretty much anyone can just run out in the open and slaughter dozens of people. Dunno about BF3, never bothered to finish it. In Bad Company, you routinely took on tanks ON FOOT. Modern Warfare 3 let you put on Juggernaut armor and murder scores of Russians and a goddammn helicopter. Modern Warfare 2’s Favela mission kills off all your teammates immediately and forces you to kill every guy in Rio plus their moms. Which I did by sprinting through the level. The earliest Medal… Read more »
diamond
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diamond

I don’t think you know what “slippery slope” actually means.

Putang Inamo
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Putang Inamo

“an idea or course of action which will lead to something unacceptable, wrong, or disastrous.”

In this case, wrong would be you going around arguing about a game you have never played.

diamond
Guest
diamond

Nothing wrong with that at all, there’s nothing “slippery” there, I simply think it’s a mistake for the franchise to go in this direction.

I think you’re engaging in the slippery slope fallacy.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

That is a poor way to view even entertainment, let alone art…

Nada Namae
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Nada Namae

Because art is historically accurate…? In what world? Maybe elaborate your point instead of going all dismissive, pretentious douche.

Alexander Yordanov
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Alexander Yordanov

Fun is an extremely subjective and very hard to even properly assess thing.

I find it fun for a game to smack me and demand insane things from me. Hence why I like STALKER, Dank MemeSouls and Men of War.

BF1 does not seem fun to me, it seems … lacking in Soul even.

Putang Inamo
Guest
Putang Inamo

I just watched a video where a dude got 2 battlepacks in a row. Perhaps you aren’t sticking around till the end to the match Jim?

I personally love the Battlefield battlepacks, because they’re so fucking USELESS. Jesus, in BF4 not only do you get one practically every time you play, they unlock the most boring of things. I have over 300 Xp boosts, of which I used one back when I was level 5.

Michael Campbell
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Michael Campbell

Or perhaps RNG is RNG?

Putang Inamo
Guest
Putang Inamo

After playing for days? Those are some incredibly unrealistic odds.

Michael Campbell
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Michael Campbell

That doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

Aristatide
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Aristatide

Point of fact it’s why any good game balances its RNG. Otherwise you end up with pissed-off players standing next to, “I don’t know why you say there’s a problem, I got three,” which just pisses them off more.

Michael Campbell
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Michael Campbell

Pretty much. I find people don’t really like random. People like the appearance of random, with a safety net.

Lloyd
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Lloyd

Rented for a night, blew through the single player in a few hours, tried the big battle mode for a bit, deleted the game and returned it the next day. Not bad but not worth more than rental unless you really like the multiplayer.