Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
We played on Xbox One
Battlefield 1 stands out amongst a crowd of sci-fi shooters by bringing gamers back to World War 1, one of the most brutal conflicts in human history. This was a huge risk on their part. Shooters have been trudging their way forward in time for years. There was no way to know if players would be willing to trade wall jumping for trench warfare. I was more than happy to make that trade. Battlefield 1 is a well-made shooter that focuses enough on authenticity that players might even learn a thing or two.
Battlefield 1 eschews a standard single player campaign in favor of five smaller vignettes that highlight different parts of the conflict. This is fitting because World War 1 was a war that was fought on multiple fronts and it would have been quite the stretch to craft one story that saw even a few of them.
The smaller and more intimate stories told through these vignettes help to paint a different picture of the war than many of us are used to. When we learn about great wars, the only characters are the different nations and their armies. The stories in Battlefield 1 are more personal and help us see through the fog of war and see real people who were swept up into something much bigger and more terrifying than they expected.
The stories themselves are mechanically diverse as well. They help provide the player with a taste of all of the different mechanics the game has to offer in its multiplayer mode. The player will drive a tank, fly a plane, ride a horse, and more. The fact that this kind of diversity wasn’t forced onto some Frankensteinian nightmare of a campaign was refreshing because it meant I could experience each of those things without having to struggle to understand what was going on.
Don’t let the awesome story mode fool you. Battlefield 1 is as multiplayer focused as ever. The massive multiplayer battles from previous Battlefield games have returned. The sharp shooting mechanics and diverse WW1 weapons that were showcased during the campaign are present in the multiplayer as well.
One thing that helps the Battlefield 1 multiplayer stand apart from previous iterations is the presence of Behemoth vehicles. Anyone who knows multiplayer games has been there. The games don’t last forever. Even the firmest stalemate is eventually broken and one team will start to lose the match. As they get closer, their side will eventually spawn a behemoth vehicle. These are massive vehicles that can change the tide of an entire battle. The vehicles include an airship, an armored train, and a destroyer class ship. These vehicles are terrifying to behold and can have a lasting effect on the game even if they are destroyed.
Battlefield 1 is rated M for mature and it earns it. World War 1 was a brutal war and you couldn’t make a game about it and not have that be reflected in the gameplay.
Battlefield 1 stands out from the crowd of recent science fiction based shooters. It is a must own for anyone who enjoys the genre, but has been hungry to put down the laser rifles and charge into the war zones of the past.