Stunning, emotive, sensitive and thought-provoking. Surely there must be a flaw somewhere?
Pitched as game of the year from the moment the first trailer appeared, this game had a lot to live up to. Usually a review will keep you guessing until the end as to how good its subject is, but Battlefield breaks the mould and so shall I. Theatrical, heartfelt and gripping from the word go, this game can thrill even in the opening prologue. The scene is set in the campaign by a trench battle you are not even supposed to survive, this acknowledgment of the realities of war lends the game a weight few FPS games can boast.
The Campaign leads you through a selection of stories from World War One, each one centred around an individual’s experience and its affect on their life. These cameos are larger than life at times, which makes for a hugely enjoyable gaming experience. This is rooted back to reality by tongue-in-cheek narrators that make you question the validity of war stories in a very clever way. While all characters and missions are not equal, all hold to a good level of quality, presenting unique and individual experiences, challenges and messages. This gives you a highly enjoyable way of sampling the maps, weapons and vehicles you will be spending your time with in multiplayer.
Battlefield’s multiplayer experience is sublime. The maps are exquisitely designed to allow dynamic attacking and defending manoeuvres, they look the part and are visually different to each other visually. The new operations mode is a huge success. Bringing new life to the tried and tested, rules it combines modes to create a great narrative and emphasis on team play across multiple maps and rounds. The dedicated servers mean even with 64 players on the map it is rare to experience game-altering lag or network issues. This level of performance means you can throw yourself into the game regardless of your network connection and enjoy it without having to make concessions.
The way the game plays sits right in the sweet spot. At the slower pace of old warfare it holds well with the clunkier and grittier battlefield movement scheme. With more time to consider your options and make your move, Battlefield 1 turns the ‘quickscoping’ era on its head; battlefield tactics, utilising your tools and geography has much higher value than quick reactions. This opens up the game to a much wider audience and allows even those previously forced out of competitive FPS by slower reflexes a chance to enjoy the genre again. Despite this slightly slower pace, the game still plays smoothly and you never feel held back.
When the smoke clears from the battlefield and the fires of the zeppelin burn out, it’s time for the scores. In a manoeuvre worthy of Lawrence of Arabia this title by DICE and EA had massacred its rivals before it even left the studios. This game has covered every angle with such care and attention it is hard to imagine any real competition at least for the next year. The love put into this creation will surely be paid back in full by its players for a long time to come.
Author: Joe, Bath store