Battlefield 1 Review - One Great War

Battlefield 1 Review - One Great War

Battlefield 1 takes gamers back to World War I, and it nails both the aesthetic and the gameplay.

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A Dutch tech website I frequent said similar things about the single player mode. It called it a 'beautiful tribute to the heroes of WW1'.

I call heavy amounts of bullshit on that though. This is a beautiful tribute? In which, as a tank driver, you suddenly become a technician, an infiltration expert and sniper all out of the blue? In which you use a biplane made out of sticks to attack freakin' anti-aircraft guns with proto-Sidewinders, while you can just crash into other planes to kill them and take out almost half a dozen Zeppelins on your own, unreliable narrator be damned? In which during the Alpine missions, instead of showing us the real horror of fighting for inches in that frozen wasteland we get dumped into an unkillable proto-space marine? In which the enemy AI has barely advanced from Call Of Duty 2 levels? In which the level design has barely progressed past that either? A tribute that, in the end, only lasts a few hours?

No, I genuinely don't get the praise this is getting. It's the same shit we've been playing for years interspersed with a few good cut scenes that almost seemed to belong in a completely different game. World War 1 deserved so much better than what it got here. And don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm asking for a mil-sim. No, what I wanted was a game that respectfully captured this war. That did it justice. And it didn't even start off that bad with that rather poignant prologue. But what we ended up with was Modern Shooter #86. There was no true, deep ambition for this game's singleplayer. It's all flash and no substance and it's core gameplay is pretty much the same old shit we've seen for ages now. What a bloody waste.

I suppose the multiplayer is fun though, I still sort of want to play it because of that. I do wish I had at least the option to main bolt-action rifles in all or most classes (don't tell me that I can expect 'plenty of them', that's hardly true). Make them all-rounder weapons and give the more experimental weapons more niche roles. I don't want to be stuck with the Scout to use a Lee Enfield.

That's tough to capture in a single-player campaign, but BF1 is DICE's best effort yet.

[Spleen vent]

I don't mean to be rude, but has anyone reviewing BF1 actually played the single player?

It's 4 hours of sub Call of Duty by the numbers crap. A whole chunk of it takes place within the multiplayer maps, the AI is barely scripted, the vehicle controls are inexplicably simplified over the multiplayer, the writing is the worst in any Battlefield game (yes, worse than BF4) and the whole thing is insultingly easy. I didn't realise the Allied Powers fielded Spartan IIs in 1918.

It's better than BF4 on account of it being functional, but Bad Company, Bad Company 2, BF Hardline and even BF3 have better single player experiences than this drivel. Even Battlefield 2: Modern Combat had a better single player mode that communicated the idea of being a single disposable grunt within a much larger conflict effectively. That came out in 2005.

I take issue with people calling it a tribute to anything when it's entirely set in fictional battles with fictional characters that treat the mass slaughter with such trivial glee.

I get the impression a lot reviewers have played the first twenty minute of Through Mud and Blood and called it done, that very much represents the high point of BF1's single player and for the rest of it DICE clearly weren't trying.

[/Spleen Vent]

On a more positive note, the multiplayer is far more functional the BF4's infamous release and has far more in it than Battlefront. Give them a few months to iron out the balance a bit more (as far as DICE ever do) and it's shaping up very well.

Cowabungaa:
A Dutch tech website I frequent said similar things about the single player mode. It called it a 'beautiful tribute to the heroes of WW1'.

I find that a bold statement for very different reasons. I'm not sure a video game can qualify as a tribute to "heroes" of war. We play war games for fun and diversion, but of course, real war, is something terrible, the stuff of nightmares. Nobody who has experienced war wants to be in a real war. I think the "heroes of WW1" would probably be dismayed that we have trivialized the murder and horror of that war into a game we engage in for fun.

I'm getting very conflicting news on this game. Several gaming publications are calling a great tribute to WWI and yet some key reviewers I'm following are calling it anything but that - TotalBiscuit's review called the campaign a joke and suffers from "every problem in modern military shooters". And after seeing quite a bit of the campaign in videos and streams, I don't think I could agree with the latter reviews more - the game looks so ridiculously over-the-top and unrepresentative of actual WWI events that I have to wonder what game that those former publications are praising because I don't see it anywhere.

Also, I find it both hilarious and depressing that there has to be an entire paragraph dedicated to saying how the game is not buggy - as if this is a noteworthy thing and not something that's supposed to be the norm.

I'm pretty much only interested in this for the single player campaign and I've been annoyed that there hasn't been much talk about it. The reviews I've seen have been glowing on that account but now I'm seeing there's more to the story. And frankly, the talk about jumping into different people on different fronts for different campaigns reminds me that Call of Duty 2 did the same thing 10 years ago.

It's starting to look like Valiant Hearts might be the only game that actually "gets" WW1, which is pretty amazing considering it's an adventure/puzzle/plaformer with cartoonish graphics.

Dalisclock:
I'm pretty much only interested in this for the single player campaign and I've been annoyed that there hasn't been much talk about it. The reviews I've seen have been glowing on that account but now I'm seeing there's more to the story.

Dear god, do not buy this game for the campaign.

At least not at anything close to full price. I wouldn't suggest paying anything more than $10. Depends how much money you have to throw around. Certainly spend no more than you would mind losing down a storm drain.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on the game. I bought it at full price and I'm happy with my purchase. I'm having a ton of fun... with the multiplayer.

But the single player is garbage. It plays like a linear, half-arsed version of Farcry with occasional Call of Duty-esque scripted sequences. The best I can say about it is that the intro gimmick is okay, I caught myself almost having fun in the last two desert missions, the plane missions are kinda fun if you squint and pretend you're playing a casual X-Wing game instead of something supposedly based on WWI aviation.

The writing is garbage too. At its best it's just absent. At its worst it's cliche piled onto cliche. If you've been waiting for a game to explore WWI then keep waiting. Battlefield 1 is a game in which a lone ANZAC storms an entire Ottoman fortress at Galipolli. (No exaggeration, that happens. As an Australian I was initially pleased to see that they'd included a playable ANZAC segment. By the time I'd finished I was wishing they hadn't.) It's a game where an Italian soldier wears armour that basically makes him the Terminator.

I have no idea where the praise for the BF1 campaign is coming from. I'm not even annoyed, I'm just at a loss. It's like watching someone spoon down mouthfuls of cat turds and then tell me with complete sincerity that it tastes good.

Huh, you still work here.

I don't buy it, Ron. The campaign looks like recoloured crap, all crammed into the last year of the war to make it seem slightly more plausible for there to be American super-soldiers running around and stealthily murdering their way through the entire German army. Four and a half stars? Pass me one of those Carlsbergs; I could use some after that ten-hour shift.

Tiamat666:

Cowabungaa:
A Dutch tech website I frequent said similar things about the single player mode. It called it a 'beautiful tribute to the heroes of WW1'.

I find that a bold statement for very different reasons. I'm not sure a video game can qualify as a tribute to "heroes" of war. We play war games for fun and diversion, but of course, real war, is something terrible, the stuff of nightmares. Nobody who has experienced war wants to be in a real war. I think the "heroes of WW1" would probably be dismayed that we have trivialized the murder and horror of that war into a game we engage in for fun.

That depends on whether you think the videogame as a medium can serve as a serious narrative medium that goes beyond 'mere fun'. I believe it can. For war as well, as shown by This War Of Mine and perhaps Valiant Hearts. BF1 doesn't do it regardless though.

Zhukov:

Dalisclock:
I'm pretty much only interested in this for the single player campaign and I've been annoyed that there hasn't been much talk about it. The reviews I've seen have been glowing on that account but now I'm seeing there's more to the story.

Dear god, do not buy this game for the campaign.[SNIP]

Thank you for that. I was seriously starting to consider buying it based off the reviews I'd been reading, which all said "This is the best campaign in a BF game". This probably saved me a bit of change.

Dalisclock:

Zhukov:

Dalisclock:
I'm pretty much only interested in this for the single player campaign and I've been annoyed that there hasn't been much talk about it. The reviews I've seen have been glowing on that account but now I'm seeing there's more to the story.

Dear god, do not buy this game for the campaign.[SNIP]

Thank you for that. I was seriously starting to consider buying it based off the reviews I'd been reading, which all said "This is the best campaign in a BF game". This probably saved me a bit of change.

You should probably wait for Battlefield's famous sales. I think Hardline was up for sale for 4 bucks a couple of weeks ago.

It's weird seeing people praising Battlefield 1 campaign. But it's weirder to read people criticizing it like it should be on par in seriousness with Spec Ops: The Line or something. Like WTF! It's a Battlefield game, people!

PS: Brewster Body Armor[1], the Iron Man suit of WWI. It was resistant against bullets as the game portrays it, but unsuitable for the requirement of life in the trenches. So no mass production was made.

Cowabungaa:

Tiamat666:

Cowabungaa:
A Dutch tech website I frequent said similar things about the single player mode. It called it a 'beautiful tribute to the heroes of WW1'.

I find that a bold statement for very different reasons. I'm not sure a video game can qualify as a tribute to "heroes" of war. We play war games for fun and diversion, but of course, real war, is something terrible, the stuff of nightmares. Nobody who has experienced war wants to be in a real war. I think the "heroes of WW1" would probably be dismayed that we have trivialized the murder and horror of that war into a game we engage in for fun.

That depends on whether you think the videogame as a medium can serve as a serious narrative medium that goes beyond 'mere fun'. I believe it can. For war as well, as shown by This War Of Mine and perhaps Valiant Hearts. BF1 doesn't do it regardless though.

Yes. Almost immediately after posting that, "This War of Mine" came to mind as a good example of a videogame that can actually be considered something of a "tribute" to the victims of war. I guess the difference lies in that Battlefield mainly glorifies war whereas This War of Mine reveals it for what it really is. For something to be a tribute, it must be honest, and practically all war games are not really honest, but more like pro-war propaganda posters.

CaitSeith:
It's weird seeing people praising Battlefield 1 campaign. But it's weirder to read people criticizing it like it should be on par in seriousness with Spec Ops: The Line or something. Like WTF! It's a Battlefield game, people!

PS: Brewster Body Armor[1], the Iron Man suit of WWI. It was resistant against bullets as the game portrays it, but unsuitable for the requirement of life in the trenches. So no mass production was made.

Except that it portrayed itself as being super serious and dramatically intense. If it hadn't done that our criticism would've been different. But DICE put that standard there themselves and they failed to reach that by miles.

As for the armour, that's the wrong one. It's the Italian Arditi armour that Battlefield 1 put us in. See how it's utterly unsuitable to transform someone into a walking tank? Oh and you know what those motherfuckers really did? Storm trenches with just a dagger and some grenades like you see in that picture. You know what would've been really awesome? Accurately portraying that, akin to the incredibly awesome Stalingrad mission in the first Call of Duty. You know what's not awesome? Making us play the 982th incarnation of the neigh-indestructible super-soldier.

And that's Battlefield 1 in a nutshell, really; one big missed opportunity.

Cowabungaa:

As for the armour, that's the wrong one. It's the Italian Arditi armour that Battlefield 1 put us in.

It doesn't seem so to me.

CaitSeith:

Cowabungaa:

As for the armour, that's the wrong one. It's the Italian Arditi armour that Battlefield 1 put us in.

It doesn't seem so to me.

Goes to show how bullshit that part is, you literally play an Arditi member in that part. The helmet in the photograph I sent has a the face shield slid up like an old Medieval helmet and you carry a few extra bits of armour in the game but that's about it. It's not the thick, angular encasing like that experiment that wasn't even ever used, unlike the Arditi squads who did use some armour. And instead of throwing you into trenches with a knife and some grenades like they actually did you play a space marine. A wasted opportunity.

Tiamat666:

Yes. Almost immediately after posting that, "This War of Mine" came to mind as a good example of a videogame that can actually be considered something of a "tribute" to the victims of war. I guess the difference lies in that Battlefield mainly glorifies war whereas This War of Mine reveals it for what it really is. For something to be a tribute, it must be honest, and practically all war games are not really honest, but more like pro-war propaganda posters.

Yeah, I guess I was hoping for something a little bit more like "This War of Mine". What's weird is that I still haven't been able to finish a game of "This War of Mine" because it does it's job too well. I end up getting just fucking depressed before I get more then 10 days in(and believe me this is saying something because I've read/played/watched a lot of dark stuff).

Hell, even the first few CoD games leaned a little bit more towards the "War is Bad but sometimes necessary" side, even if they sanitized the civilian deaths out of the game.

Cowabungaa:
That depends on whether you think the videogame as a medium can serve as a serious narrative medium that goes beyond 'mere fun'. I believe it can. For war as well, as shown by This War Of Mine and perhaps Valiant Hearts. BF1 doesn't do it regardless though.

An accurate Battlefield-esque depiction of life in the trenches would not sell. The whole survival being largely down to luck thing would not go down well with the 13 year old audience. Even the eastern fronts would have been fairly dull, given that there is no real opportunity for fps style heroics with a single shot rifle and a dozen rounds of ammunition (or a horse and sabre).

There probably is an audience for it, just not enough for the AAA gaming industry.

Catnip1024:

An accurate Battlefield-esque depiction of life in the trenches would not sell. The whole survival being largely down to luck thing would not go down well with the 13 year old audience. Even the eastern fronts would have been fairly dull, given that there is no real opportunity for fps style heroics with a single shot rifle and a dozen rounds of ammunition (or a horse and sabre).

There probably is an audience for it, just not enough for the AAA gaming industry.

Except that I never asked for that. I never asked for accuracy as such, neither would I ask for life in the trenches to be depicted as such. What I ask for is exactly what DICE supposedly wanted; authenticity. Making another shooting gallery game is not that. I also don't believe that there wouldn't be an audience for a proper, authentic WW1 experience. There was plenty of crazy shit going on, the real Arditi are only one example.

That's perhaps the most tragic thing, the "epic-ification" wasn't even necessary. Like I said, those Arditi motherfuckers took trenches with knives and grenades. Like, holy shit. Just running through machine gun fire and jumping in. Like, holy shit. We could've had an air campaign that wasn't complete bullshit. We could've had a genuinely terrifying tank campaign instead of the power trip we were given. It was all so unnecessary to do what they did.

And y'know what? It would've been one thing if they'd owe up to making a game like that from the start. But DICE never did. And I'm not going to excuse such bullshittery no matter how often it happens, no matter how normal it gets.

Wow you guys really don't like the Battlefield/Cod series huh?

I actually really enjoyed the campaign, probably one of the few FPS campaign's i have actually enjoyed. Are some liberties taken? Yes. But it's a friggin AAA FPS, liberties will be taken and some things (Like the armor of the Arditi) will be changed and made more exciting because that is how you sell a game.

The 3rd mission where you play the pilot and get shot down, pretty much in no mans land carrying your friend on your back, seeing all the body's and getting shot at from behind and in front, Seeing the character you played in the suit of armor brake down in tears because of the loss of his brother, sneaking into German territory to acquire parts to fix your tank, storming the beach of an island while taking heavy machine gun fire and barely been able to get a shot out? It really hit home that these battles actually happened, something not even the WW2 shooters have done to me if i'm honest.

Is the campaign perfect? Hell no, of course it isn't, but it certainly isn't as bad as everyone in this chat seems to think. I'm actually kind of surprised so many here hate it.

 

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