You know Battlefield 1 is going to be a different kind of game when the first thing it tells you in the lead up to the opening mission is that you are going to die, you won’t survive. Great pep-talk right there. And true to their word, you do die, again and again and again. No matter how careful you are, what ever you do, you will eventually die. And when you do die, the screen fades to black and the name of the body you had just inhabited appears on screen with both his birth date and death date. Each time you take on another souls mortal body, you have a different gun. But the outcome is always the same. It’s a sobering way to begin a game, with a mission that has no way to win, and with a growing list of what I assumed was the names of real soldiers who fell in battle.
This is war in a whole new light.
The single player storyline is also done differently. Rather than one continuous narrative you can pick one of several glob spanning locations and get a taste of the many different aspects of war, and you can do this in any order you want. And you can even ignore the flying storyline if you suck at flying.
Online looses some of the sobering nature of single player, but you can’t really get past that if you want a fun online game. All the usual modes are there, along with Battlefield’s signature destructive environments.
One mode however keeps more to the feel of real war, Operations is a defender vs attacker game that can push back and forth over five areas of the same region, lasting up to an hour per game. This is war on an epic scale with the battlefield constantly changing with the destructive environments. It’s a constantly shifting game play that mimics the two sided nature of World War 1 and to keep the game on edge, the loosing side gets a last ditch bit of help in the form of an airship, attack train, or a dreadnought giving them a chance to turn things around a grasp victory out of the jaws of defeat.
Keeping in with the theme of making the war more real, Operations has some very informative before and after match voice over that not only gives details on battles fought in the area you are about to fight in, but also ponders some what if questions.
A cynical person could easily pick up Battlefield 1 and claim it’s just the same as all other Battlefield games but with archaic weapons. Now if that were true, it wouldn’t exactly be a bad thing. But it’s not true. Battlefield have pulled out all the stops and have taken a series that has struggles to stay relevant and innovate and given it a massive kick up the arse to produce probably the best Battlefield since Bad Company 2.
Rating: R16 Contains violence and offensive language.