Battlefield 1 Review: Secret Weapons of WWI

Our Rating

7 Our Rating

Henry Neiberlien/News Editor

Battlefield is a series that prides itself on authentic large scale combined arms warfare. Unfortunately, it has lost its way in recent releases. Battlefield 4 was a disappointing rehash of Battlefield 3 that was arguably worse than its predecessor, and Battlefield Hardline just felt unnecessary and small scale police warfare went against the series’ hallmarks. DICE returns this year with another entry in the franchise and thankfully it is a return to form, taking the setting back to the first world war. Battlefield 1, except for EA forgetting how to count, is a good first step in the right direction for the franchise.

Battlefield 1 claims to be set during 1918, but the game is laughably bad regarding historical accuracy. I am sorry, but Juggernaut armor, assault rifles, suppressors, fore grips, tactical scopes, and rocket guns simply did not exist or were not even close to being deployed during the war.

It is almost like they tried to make the gameplay as close to modern war as possible despite its historical setting. One could argue this makes the game more fun and a historically authentic game would not be as fun. However, I think seeing gamers used to modern and futuristic warfare to be thrown into a muddy trench with nothing but a bolt-action rifle would be a fun fish out of water chaotic experience.

Now this does not make the game terrible; if you ignore its setting the game is fantastic and has some mind-blowing, action-packed moments. The multiplayer is the best it has been since Battlefield Bad Company 2. You will find yourself desperately trying to attack an object while putting on a gas mask and bayonet charging into a cloud of mustard gas, and at the same time a massive zeppelin blocks out the sun and rains down hellfire on your fellow brothers in arms.

Every engagement is a lot more intense and requires more skill than the point and click style gunplay of Battlefield 4. Destruction is finally back as well, with dynamic destruction of houses and buildings and persistent damage to the environment throughout the match. Not to mention horses are game changers; being the Cavalry is awesome, riding straight towards enemy lines with saber in hand dodging artillery shells left and right. 

The multiplayer gameplay has been improved, although it tends to lack the depth and progression seen in past Battlefield titles. Most classes only have three or four different guns, only different variants of those firearms being used as unlocks for that class. The four different classes area also the same of those of previous Battlefield games, however, they have been tweaked. The assault class is now the engineer class, and the medic class is a totally separate class from assault. I have also found some of the new mechanics such as the bayonet charging mechanic, which is triggered while sprinting, to be somewhat broken and unresponsive. I often found myself charging past the enemy I was aiming for and running into a wall only to be killed. Hopefully, they can patch this so you are given more control while charging instead of being locked to an extremely slow turning radius.

Battlefield 1 also offers a campaign, if you can even call it that, in the form of short, concentrated “war stories” about different parts of the first world war. These stories fall flat as they are too short, and seem rushed with poor writing and character development. It is a shame as the campaign could have been a great place to show off real historical battles of WWI and teach people what is was really like.

Unfortunately, they try to maintain a serious tone, but the gameplay and high-tech equipment for the period turn them into a mediocre camp-fest.They can be enjoyable, and contain some memorable set-pieces, but your time is better spent in the multiplayer.

Battlefield 1 is a great multiplayer game, although it lacks content and depth. The game offers great gameplay and creates awe-inspiring multiplayer experiences. The graphics are fantastic, although not as good as last year’s Battlefront (also by DICE).

The game at times feels like a WWI skin on Battlefront. It looks like a World War I shooter, but its soul is somewhere else. It is a good step in the right direction in returning the franchise back to its roots, but it still fails to recapture the magic of Battlefield 1942, or even Bad Company 2. However, it is still a pretty good game and would recommend picking it up, its definitely one of the best shooters this year. Hopefully, the expansions and DLC they are planning can flesh out the experience and make this a great entry in the Battlefield franchise.

I also to hope see battlefield continues its pursuit of its heritage and former glory, while still innovating and exploring news areas and time periods. Battlefield 1 is a great game, and most of its flaws are minor. It is definitely a must buy title this holiday season.