Battlefield 1

We have captured objective butta

Where do I begin? We have all been waiting the last few years for a new pure Battlefield experience, another military based BF without cops or jedis, and at the end of last October it arrived, and it shot right past my heart. I consider myself a Battlefield veteran, having played 1942, BF2, BC2, BF3 and 4, and I've never felt so let down by this series. A quote of mine from back in March of this year went like this, let's see how it turned out:

Don't just build and engine with maps and then throw everything from your brain storm session in it.



First of all, full disclosure; I haven't read a single article about Battlefield 1 after its release, meaning that my opinion about it hasn't been influenced by any means. This is exactly how I see and feel about Battlefield 1 after having played part of the single player campaign and about 20h of multiplayer. Now, I know that I'm supposed to play through the whole thing before giving my opinion on it but you'll see in a moment why this wasn't really necessary, and this piece is more of a critique than a review so, lets move on.


Single-player a.k.a.

 

"What is this, why is this even in the game?"


From the beginning, from that first announcement trailer back in June at E3 2016, we knew that Battlefield 1 wasn't going to be a WW1 re-enactment, nor a game that would take place in the real battles that were fought 100 years ago. To be honest, World War 1 is a pretty difficult war to put a Battlefield game in, specially because we don't want another Verdun, which could be called realistic, but wouldn't work at all as a Battlefield game. We are used to work with all the different tactics, vehicles and weapons they've put to our disposal over the course of the series so I kind of understand their approach when trying to combine the WW1 setting with the Battlefield style of gameplay. I say this because one of the main concerns Stealthkilla confronted me with over this new game, was that they completely butchered history, and this isn't how WW1 should be remembered by today's kids. I completely agree with him on this one, even though I've always been on the side of preferring engaging and fun gameplay over realism and historic accuracy. I'm not saying you have to throw it all over board, but you have to find the perfect balance, which in my opinion has always been achieved in past iterations.

It's okay not to be super realistic, but this only applies to the multiplayer. There's two ways of creating a single-player campaign for a Battlefield title; You can either recreate the multiplayer feeling by creating huge battles with tons of AI friendlies and enemies, or you can create a side story that may give you some background information on why you are fighting in the different scenarios you'll find yourself in the multiplayer. I personally prefer the later, because if I wanted to play huge maps with tons of people on them I would actually join a multiplayer game, with and against real people, instead of having to shoot AI.


So here I am, about to start the campaign from the last game of a series that isn't specially known for its good single-player, the only exception being the Bad Company games. I boot up the game for the first time and it immediately puts me into no man's land, rifle in hand. Already being shot at, I jump into cover and start picking out targets with my bolt action rifle. One down. Another one. I have to reload, but they keep coming. My brothers in arms are dying around me, but I keep shooting until I'm taken down myself and the camera pans out over my lifeless body now laying in the mud. A name appears on the screen, with the year of my birth, and death, the current one. The camera switches to another soldier, which I now take control over, and keep shooting Germans charging at us until I run out of ammunition and die again trying to defend myself with my pistol. Again, name and years of birth and death appear while showing me the chaos around my carcass in the middle of no man's land. I now get in control of a side cannon inside a tank that drives past the lines of charging and screaming allies, my driver is shouting commands and damning every enemy he sees in his cross-hair. We push farther and farther, shooting at everything that moves until we finally get shot down.

Damn. This is actually very good. It really gave me that feeling of disorganized warfare, how (sadly) worthless a single soldier was in that war, where the sheer amount of man power you could send forward would be the decisive factor when deciding if you could win a few meters over the enemy, just to take over the next trench-line. I want more of this, I can't wait to see how the life of a soldier sitting in a trench was, getting pounded by artillery every other hour, having to survive in those harsh conditions, maybe jumping from man to man in a platoon as they fall during a push. It sounds macabre but it very well makes sense to portray it this way in a game about World War 1.


I can now choose between different war stories to play, some with two missions, some with five. I want to start light and choose the two chapter story of an Italian soldier fighting in what seem to be the Alps. After a short cutscene I appear on a street at the base of the mountains surrounded by other soldiers of my regiment , but my is vision impaired, am I wearing a suit of armour? I don't recall the Italians having an Iron-Man, even less an Iron-Man able to hold a 24Kg heavy machine-gun with a 1000 rounds on him. I load my weapon and I immediately find myself shooting down waves and waves of German soldiers as the invincible murder machine I am, completely immune to all the bullets that just ricochet off of my armour. I'm like a space-marine that just obliterated around 200 German soldiers, including a dozen flamethrower guys that happen to wear the same armour as I do. And this is not even the most ridiculous thing yet, for some reason they decided to send the slowest dude in the unit up a mountain full of Germans on is own, at this point my mates are non-present, me being the point man always 100m ahead of everybody. Once on top of the mountain I'm supposed to take out an AA emplacement when, over the horizon, I see a huge fleet of bombers heading my way, so I hop on the gun and start blasting HE shells over my head.


Bombs hitting all around me from the attacking German planes, I shoot down one after another until one crashes right into me while I'm manning the turret. Lucky to have my armour - he says, and while putting every piece away mutters - I can't do this without my armour plates. What? Then why the fuck are you getting rid of them? And why does it even matter when you are now going down the hill to destroy the second half of the German army single handedly, for a SECOND TIME!? Because your squad mates are poop since they can't hit shit and disappear halfway through any ways, so don't expect it to look like some kind of big scale offensive as you would expect from a Battlefield game, nor any kind of realistic war scenario depicting the death and despair in WW1 battles. No, this isn't even worth the meme of it's like a Call of Duty campaign, no, that would be an insult to CoD. This is just ridiculous, twenty minutes of running up a mountain while invincible with a laser accurate machine-gun that never runs out of bullets and killing brain dead AI, this is DICE and EA selling Serious Sam with a WW1 makeover and making us believe it is a realistic and immersive story. What a huge pile of bullshit.


Well damn, they had to come up for a reason to implement the hero pick-ups from Battlefront into their new Battlefield I suppose. Let's try another war story, lets see what this one has to offer. This time you hop into the suit of a rookie pilot, of course, and you start off with a little training, flying around over the top of some snowy mountains, shooting some targets and practice a few manoeuvres, until you get attacked by a squad of German Double-deckers. At this point you've already noticed that the flying is absolute shit, not that the controls are difficult, but because how restrictive they are. If you played Battlefront you know that feeling of "flying on rails", where even a simple roll is only possible through activating a skill, well, they copied this mechanic into the BF1 campaign. After the training, during the mission where you fly above and over the battlefield with your friend in the gunner seat, one of your first objectives is to destroy some Anti-Air trucks behind the enemy lines. What? Why the fuck would you send a plane to deal with "Anti-Plane" guns? You have infantry, tanks, a shitload of artillery and heck, even an Iron-Man for fucks sake, but no, let's send the most vulnerable of our units to deal with the threat, really smart. But hey, who cares? You are the hero in this story so you just again plough through everything, destroy around ten AA guns, all of the observation balloons (which for some reason are RAF Caquot balloons with German markings on them, floating 50m over the trenches instead of a 1000m and 5km behind the front-line)  and take down every single German plane by yourself (the friendly AI is just there for show) all to clear the path for your bombers. Once the bombers arrive and deliver their payload you enter a cutscene where you do something even more stupid than attack AAs with a plane, you decide to make a low-pass over the objective that is at this exact moment being bombed and lo and behold, you get shot down.


Not much to worry about, you have a parachute (which pilots didn't use to carry by the way), and while your plane plummets down somewhere ahead of you, you land right behind the German trenches. Time to find your way back and out of enemy territory, now comes the stealth section of the game, good thing it is suddenly in the middle of the night. Look! You can pick up and throw empty bullet casings around to distract the before mentioned brainless AI which will then walk towards the sound, stand on top of the cartridge wondering about the meaning of life until BLAM! Knocked out by shovel. Now you have to sneak through, as your character mentions, half of the population of Berlin to get to no man's land, which ends up being a piece of cake. First the Germans seem to be deaf, probably from all the shelling they've been getting, and completely blind from inhaling to much of their own mustard gas, because they can neither hear you running through mud nor see you even though it's as bright as the Vegas Strip at night. Twenty (!) Germans and a blunt entrenching tool later you arrive at no man's land, where you rapidly find your crashed plane and your still alive but badly hurt gunner mate. After one of the most stupid dialogues I've seen in quite some time (a ridiculous back and forth between caring and not caring about each other, first caring, then wanting to leave him, then he gets you into a guilt trip, then asks you to finish him, then a how dare you to even think about killing me, he doesn't recognize me any more, but then he actually DOES FEEL THE CONNECTION! DRAMA! What the fuck...)  I pick him up, run along German troops charging towards British MG fire and make it alive over into the allied trenches. This mission was about 15min long and I'm sitting here like, what the shit did I just play..

In the last chapter things get even more ridiculous. You are in London on some kind of battleship when a German bombing raid appears, you hop into your B.E.2 plane and take it up into the clouds. Now you are shooting down some enemy planes with your aerodynamically impaired bird like you did in the first two missions, then you shoot down some bombers and then the reveal, Zeppelins, gunships, Behemoths, how ever you want to call them. I'm now just flying around, shooting rockets at them while they burn down until a cutscene decides I get shot down and crash into the Zeppelin. The gunship isn't falling out of the skies even though half of it is burning (yes, hydrogen filled Zeppelins are quite flammable), so I jump out of my wrecked plane, walk and shoot my way through the inside of the still hydrogen filled aircraft on my way to disable an AA turret on its tail, which I don't even get to do myself because it's part of another cutscene, shoot a little bit with the AA cannon, and jump off the burning Behemoth in the subsequent cutscene, surviving a jump into the Thames from around 2000m. Okay so... yeah. I'm done with this nonsense.


I haven't even bothered checking out the other war stories because this just feels stupid. I get the fact that they didn't want to make the multiplayer an exact recreation of World War 1 for obvious reasons, but they had the chance of creating an awesome single-player true to history and make up for the lack of it in the multiplayer, but they decided to fuck history in the ass by creating this bullshit cinematic Frostbite tech-demo. A campaign like this, that isn't accurate to history in the slightest, has zero character development, has chaotic pace and is absolutely ridiculous is just, I don't know, it's really hard to find the words to describe it. It absolutely blows my mind how some dude at DICE thought hey, since we are doing a WW1 game, we should totally go for the over powered god like invincible one man army hero type of shooter gameplay because that's what makes you immerse into what the first World War was really about. Let's do some cheap five minute research about the World War to know what planes looked like and then build our own story and gameplay around them. Again, the single player was full of potential, yet you decided to go with the brain dead epileptic version. Fuck you DICE for not respecting neither history nor the customers loyal to the series.


Multiplayer a.k.a.

 

Dying Simulator 2016


Good lord thank you, I'm done with single player, what a nightmare, it's time for some multiplayer action with my friends Titandioxid, KingB00 and Stealthkilla. Thanks to KingB00 I was already able to play Battlefield 1 back when the Closed Alpha was running, since he received an access code. The first thing I noticed when I got into my first game was how pretty and detailed the game is, they have done an amazing job with the Frostbite engine and it's worth mentioning it. I had some decent matches but was mostly impressed by the beauty of it all and didn't pay much attention to the core gameplay, with some moderate fun I supposed it would be a completely different world as soon as I could play with my friends as squad mates. Then the game got released, going through a great launch compared to the Battlefield 4 disaster without any noticeable "netcode" problems.

One of the first things I've got to mention right off the bat is, why is the customisation screen only available inside a match? This doesn't make sense by any stretch of the imagination. I personally don't care about the menu either being in-game or on the Battlelog website, like in the previous games, but now you can't neither see nor customize your load-out without being inside an ongoing match. It just boggles my mind that this is a thing because, if you remember from Battlefield 4, in one of the updates DICE introduced the countdown timer at the beginning of a round in order for everybody to be able to start the round at the same time. Now there will always be a bunch of people customizing their character while the round has already started. You may think that it is not much of an issue, but to me, from a gameplay aspect, it's completely wrong to force you to do this passive stuff during a live match, and only shows the laziness when designing an optimal experience.


I am very used to the medic role in our squad since that was my most played class in Battlefield 4, so I chose it again for BF1. The medic in this game has access to a variety of semi-automatic rifles with different scopes, a medpack and a syringe for reviving fallen team-mates, pretty standard. The other classes are the scout, obviously with a scoped long-range rifle, the support with a machine-gun and ammo packs, and the assault, which now carries SMGs and shotguns and takes over the role of an engineer when dealing with armoured vehicles. We play for a few hours and start getting a feeling for the game and got around to knowing the maps. This is where I begin to notice the many flaws the gameplay has in this new iteration of Battlefield.


I have a list of things which I am really concerned with in this game and I don't really know the order in which I should present them here, maybe I should go with the order in which I grew aware of them. One of the biggest selling points of the game, as once was the Levolution mechanic, are the Behemoths. Those are a form of reinforcements the losing team gets, and depending on the map you are playing on, these could come as a massive Zeppelin gunship, an armoured train with cannons or a battleship. Though it looks extremely cool when you shoot down the Zeppelin from the sky, the mechanic is inherently flawed and from a gameplay aspect a complete bullshit. First, it is extremely overpowered and you will die from it over and over and over again. It's like an AC-130 from BF4 but ten times worse. Second, it is useless for the losing team, because now instead of capping flags in order to turn the game around in your favour, half of your team just spawns on the Zeppelin in order to get some easy kills to climb up in the score board and recover their K/D ratio, while people trying to play normally get mercilessly annihilated on the ground. Then, there's this new game-mode called operations, which works somewhat like rush, but with capping two flags within a sector, and then pushing forwards towards the next pair of objectives. But if you manage to hold their advance and deny them the flag captures in the give time limit, the round will restart from where you left off, but they now get one of those Behemoths to help them out. Now you are playing the same map again, from the same side, against the same team but now half of their team is obliterating you from the sky. The same thing I just played but with more bullshit.


We stay on the topic of dying. One thing that's quickly apparent is how much time you spend on the deployment screen. This game is, compared to its two predecessors, which were heavily based on vehicular warfare, strongly built around infantry combat, and there are some design reasons behind that but we'll get to later. Most of the time you'll be running around on foot, which obviously is the most vulnerable form of movement, so the question here is, which are the different hazards you have to fight against? We've already talked about the greatest hazard of them all, the Behemoths, so let's continue with the smaller calibre. For some reason there's an insane amount of automatic weapons in the game, even though in real World War 1 every soldier was equipped with a standard issue bolt-action or (rarely) a semi-automatic rifle. Side note here, the only class in BF1 wielding bolt-action rifles is the scout, which you could consider a special unit, so imagine how far from reality we are already. The water-cooled machine-guns were between 25-30Kg heavy without the tripod and were usually manned by 3 to 6 soldiers, the support in BF1 can carry it in his hands, run and shoot at the same time, and on top of that he does it accurately. And then you have the assault class, which can carry a shotgun, which is OK, or an SMG like the MP 18, which was probably the only SMG that actually came into service before the end of the war. The scout, as mentioned before, uses deadly accurate scoped bolt-action rifles, the hardware not being any different from the normal foot soldier since they just attached a scope to a standard issue rifle. A new mechanic for this class is the "one-hit kill range". In past Battlefield games you were able to one-hit an enemy if you were close enough to him, for example being under 10m away from him and hitting any part of the body would kill him. This time every rifle has a specific range within which a hit can result in a one-hit kill, for example between 40-60m.


Once you are out in the middle of the battle you start to notice the chaos. The first problem I face is my own rifle. I despised DMRs in BF3 and 4 because of how inconsistent they were, both in fire-rate and accuracy, and now had to deal with it all over again, gotta get used to it I suppose. Why does this rifle even have a switch between semi and automatic? This didn't exist back then, and why do I have less recoil when shooting full auto? You know what, I don't care, I wont be using automatic fire any ways since the reload animation isn't just a quick mag swap. Next would be how DICE balanced the rifles accuracy. Instead of just increasing the recoil, they added random bullet deviation (RBD), basically it's an exponential increase of the bullet spread while holding down the trigger. While this could be glanced over when using automatic guns, it is a huge problem when using semi-automatic rifles. In video games, you always hold your guns perfectly accurate, the sights are always aligned. For this reason, every bullet you fire out of a semi rifle should land exactly where your sights were at the moment of firing. Not with RBD, where the first bullet is accurate, but if you keep pulling the trigger each shot will be slightly off, exponentially, and the effect gets multiplied over distance. I've found myself many times shooting a target running across 10m in front of me in rapid succession , aligning the sight with his movement path and seeing the tracers fly far over his head even though I had my sights perfectly aligned with his upper body. Then, after desperately trying to kill that one guy, I get shot, because after so many missed shots the whole enemy team knows where I'm at.


At this point I would like to highlight a couple of things about the medic class and its role on the battlefield. We have seen that it clearly lacks firepower compared to the other classes on the one side and compared to the Battlefield 4 medic on the other, which was an absolute murder machine. I'm not sure if they nerfed it intentionally, which would be understandable, or if it's just a by-product of the class system overhaul. The way I see the four classes now is that the assault is the point man having that close range firepower, the medic and the support classes are there for backup, and the scout does overwatch, pretty basic. Now, how do their abilities contribute to team-play? The assault, as said before, is the CQBeast, and is also the one class that can engage armoured vehicles, the medic can heal and revive fallen team-mates and the support can replenish their ammo. The scout, well, he's just the scout. So we have the guy that can kill everything that moves, the guy that kills what is out of reach of the first one, and the medic and support that can actually contribute something to the squad-mates but, do they really? In case of the support class, I very rarely find myself in the need of extra ammo since I never live long enough to spend the amount I spawn with. The medic is the one that keeps the offensive push going, by healing and reviving his team-mates. While the medpack or pouches work as intended, the medical syringe is broken, well not the syringe itself but the revive mechanic. This is heavily affected by the "skip revive" button, which was implemented in the newest Battlefront. This function is okay in that game if you don't want to see who killed you and hop back right into the action, but completely ruins the experience for the medic. How many times have I seen myself running over to a fallen team-mate that just died a second ago only to see him vanish as soon as I got to him two seconds after his death. This has made it so that medics stop going for revives of fallen soldiers that are further than a few meter away, because they risk being shot only for the dead player to disappear a few seconds after dying. In turn this leads to the dead players not wanting to wait for a medic, because they get ignored for what I just mentioned, thus holding the space-bar to skip the revive becomes second nature. This shouldn't be a feature at all, period.


Then, Battlefield 1 is a snipers paradise. Since they are so accurate, have massive range and that one-hit kill potential without a head-shot, half of each team will always be scouts. This impacts the gameplay in two massive ways; on one side you have a decent chunk of your team not playing the objective and generally not being of any help at all. You could argue that they are helping by killing enemies from afar and clearing the way for their own troops, but here's were we get to the other half of the problem. The enemy team also has snipers, a ton of them, so currently every one that even dares to peek his head out into the open is going to get a Picasso with his brains on the wall behind him. There are maps like this big one in the desert, or the one in the Alps where this ruins the fun completely. In the case of the Alps, 90% of the action happens on one side of the mountain, but as a sniper you can set up yourself either all the way down in the valley and shoot upwards, or shoot down from the top. Either way, if you run into the open you will get shot immediately, and of course you wont even see it coming, you face-plant into the ground and that's it, back to the spawn screen.


You can't really do anything against those snipers without switching to a sniper yourself, instinct tells you to stay away from open fields, hug every possible cover and stay around or inside buildings. Here is where you start to feel the pain of the abundance of automatic weapons in this game. Every second encounter with an enemy ends with me dying because my semi-automatic rifle is absolutely no match against MGs or SMGs. Even pistols outmatch my rifle in close quarters, you would think that the strong punch of a rifle cartridge could deal with a little surprise encounter but no, so switching over to the secondary weapon is often more viable than aiming down the sights of your rifle. All in all, I find myself in a situation where my rifle can't compete against long range shooters I more often than not can't even see, can't compete against the overwhelming amount of automatic guns and it's also rubbish against somebody charging at me with a pistol. The ideal engagement distance is medium to long range but then again, in those situations I get destroyed by all the snipers.


I hope this doesn't sound like an excuse for me being bad at the game, I must have over 2000h of playtime through all the Battlefield titles combined, so I consider myself able to overcome the task of getting used to a new game. This is more supposed to highlight the obvious problems with the games mechanics and how they affect the core gameplay. This is why the next step is testing the game while playing in a squad with friends, people you are directly communicating with, and with whom you can now develop new coordinated tactics. The initial euphoria about being united again in a Battlefield game quickly vanished when we realized there's nothing really holding us together as a squad. Yes, of course we can go cap a flag, hop into a tank or just camp out a building together but that's pretty much it. The whole problem starts with the maps; In Battlefield 4 you had kind of chaotic conquest rounds, but you would always have those virtual front lines, where you knew where the enemy is coming from, thus also being able to plan out the approach to an objective or initiate a flank. I haven't yet pinpointed the source of this problem, but the reason is probably the layout of the maps in combination with the absurdly high awards of capping flags (over 1200 points if your squad-leader marked it as an objective!). A good example is Amiens, which incidently reminds me of Seine Crossing from Battlefield 3, but instead of having that nice flow of moving fronts through the city, in BF1 it's just a huge cluster fuck of enemies everywhere you look, and the flags are constantly contested on both sides of the railway. I've lost my squad mates so many times on that map because everyone is getting distracted by something else, and unless we are all defending a position, commonly referred as camping, the flow of the game automatically tears us apart. Squad play is near impossible in the desert map mentioned before, Sinai Desert, because you get shot from everywhere whenever you want to move from one flag to the other through the desert; snipers you don't see, tanks that never get destroyed, an armoured train that can cover nearly all the flags with its cannons except E. E is the only flag that for no apparent reason sits lonely on the bottom part of the map, the rest of the objectives are all crammed together in the North. What kind of map design is this? Once more, maps are here to look pretty instead of offering a balanced and diverse gameplay experience.


Another issue I have in this game is with the gas grenades, not only because that didn't exist in WW1, but because they get used everywhere. OK, so this grenade works fairly similar to a smoke grenade, but it also hurts you, impairs your ability to aim and has this distinctive green-yellowy tone. Since every class can select and equip this grenade, every time there's a choke-point, a contested objective  or somebody ready to fuck your day up you will see the ground covered in toxic fog. This is extremely annoying for different reasons. The first one has already been mentioned, that whenever a little fight between more than 3 people breaks out one of them is going to throw a gas grenade, they are omnipresent on the battlefield. Then there's the range they have, and by that I don't mean how big the smoke cloud can get, but the actual area of effect, and yes, they are different. In more competitive games like CS:GO, the smoke has very clear silhouette but looks a bit less realistic, for the gas grenade in Battlefield 1 I would very much prefer the Counter Strike version. This is because, since the smoke dissipates at the edges (thus looking more realistic), you can't accurately tell where the area of effect begins when moving around these hazardous clouds. I've found myself so many times in the situation of running out of a gas cloud and into cover again, only to notice that even though I can't see smoke any more, I'm still in its range and taking damage over time. Then put on your gas mask - you would say, but there resides the rest of the problem. Sure the mechanic may seem interesting at first, but once you look into it you realize how frustrating it is and how badly it's implemented. Not only are you limited to hip-fire when wearing the gas mask, but you stop seeing the smoke! What? If it was already difficult to estimate where the range ends now you see yourself running away even further than you would have without the mask, just to make sure you are, hopefully, out of danger, probably to just run into the next gas cloud any ways. It's over-powered, over-used, completely annoying and therefore loses every tactical application that could have been attributed to it.


So far I haven't yet talked about the vehicles in Battlefield 1, mostly because I'm pretty fine with how they were implemented and balanced. If you happened to read and article I posted back in March, before we knew the setting of this new BF title and where I talked about possible improvements to the BF3 and 4 formula, you may remember that I talked a fair bit about the abundance of vehicles and how they had lost that individual value since there were so many of them. This has been turned around in Battlefield 1, cramming five people into a massive moving fortress of destruction and I like that, the tank feels meaningful again and you want to keep yours alive for as long as possible, because you know there aren't other four empty tanks waiting in your main base for you to hop into. When I played after release they felt somehow over-powered, but that's a good thing, just wait until everybody gets used to the fact that there are not 15 engineers running around as we used to see in BF4, so it will balance itself out eventually. The only thing that I still don't like about the tanks in BF1, and like from every Battlefield game ever, are the drivers that just bail whenever they feel like it. Tank drivers should get the same system as the piloting planes get where, to avoid them being used just as a taxi, the pilots get to be like a fifth class with lower firepower and no gadgets. If you start in a combat vehicle, you should go down with it, that's my opinion about it. The planes themselves are also all right I suppose, the controls are not the greatest but at least they didn't port the garbage Battlefront mechanics from the single-player into multi-player. Something they really have to work on, and I'm sure it will be fixed, is that vehicles tend to rubber-band, specially the planes.



Conclusion a.k.a.

 

TL;DR this massive wall of text


The super-short conclusion is, if you enjoyed Battlefront you will presumably like this game as well. The a little longer-short conclusion is, if you are a Battlefield veteran that likes the series for it's tactical aspects and realistic representation of weaponry, team-play, large scale warfare and diverse gameplay, you will probably not find it in this title.

For some reason I have all these fan-boy voices in my head shouting things at me like You just have no idea how to play the game and As if Battlefield 4 would ever represent war in a realistic way or War is hell and a game is supposed to be fun, it doesn't need to be realistic. This game isn't realistic, it never has been. It's an arcade shooter, but it has always been true to the period in history it was set in, even in BF4 which takes place in the near future, weapon attributes for example were near identical to its real-life counterparts. In BF1 they just said fuck you history and instead of creating a Battlefield game set in WW1, they took Battlefront, reskinned it, crammed everything they could find on the Wikipedia page for WW1 into it and presented it as the next first person shooter masterpiece, with complete disregard of what made the series so great.

If you take your time to read through the bunch of articles I've written about Battlefield, you would know what concerns me about the direction this series has been heading the last few years and I've got to say, we have reached the point I was most scared of. Not only have they dumbed down the game to an abysmal low point, but also have made it so there's no chance for you to maybe find an alternate way of enjoying it. Doesn't matter which map and which game-mode you play you get constantly shot from everywhere, mortars wasting every objective, gas asphyxiating and blinding you every other step you take, and then that son of a bitch of a Zeppelin fucks you from above. It's absolute chaos and don't even dare to tell me Well WW1 felt pretty much like chaos too because you are probably the same guy that a paragraph ago said it needs to be fun. The complete anarchy that rules in this Battlefield is neither fun nor brings any compelling game-play to the table, it's nothing more than running forward until either you or the guy in front of you dies, if the later happens then you may get another chance, maybe you get a third one. Team-work? Fucking forget it, the assault is running around like a madman, the medic is either dead or ignoring the fact that you are down, the support can't hear you over the sound of all the automatic weapons firing at the same time and the scout an antisocial bastard that nobody cares about any ways so... Take all that, mix it with some weapons that were never used in WW1, including some that straight out didn't exist, throw it all on some generic maps with layouts as boring as a blank sheet of paper, add a Zeppelin with the firepower of an AC-130, particles, smoke and some other random pretty shit that doesn't contribute to the game-play in the slightest  et voilà! Battlefield 1 Ladies and Gentlemen.


It makes me sad. I love Battlefield and I really tried to give it a shot, but every time I play it gets more and more apparent what a huge cluster-fuck of a game this is, and I can't get myself to enjoy it. I'm not sure where this comes from, but I have the suspicion that it has to with wanting to make the game more accessible, where EA and DICE took the wrong route by just making it easier removing every form of complexity, adding tons of "cool" stuff with a complete disregard for game-play in order to reach a wider audience, and thus increasing their sales. Requiring tactical and team oriented game-play in order to achieve your goal can seem to be a factor that increases the difficultly of the game, but getting rid of it completely is as wrong as removing the tires from a car because it's dangerous when it's moving. Instead they should have found ways to make these tactics more intuitive and accessible to new players. I like to compare it to Rocket League, I know you can't directly translate this into battlefield but hear me out. Rocket League has an extremely high skill ceiling to the point where it's nearly non-existent, and everybody that first tries out the game would never be able to hit an aerial without enough training. What did the developers do? They created a matchmaking system that ensures that all the players who can't fly play together, keeping it fair and making it accessible to everybody. As I said I'm not talking about any matchmaking system like the one from Rocket League to be implemented in Battlefield, what I'm saying is that DICE, instead of building a ramp for the inexperienced, they removed the rocket boost completely and left it like that. That makes me sad.


If you've made it all the way down here, thank you very much for reading, and I wouldn't mind discussing the problems I have with Battlefield one either here or over on the Battlefield Subreddit. Thank you again and have a nice one.

Cheers

DHR_000x

Comments

  1. Completely agree - the game has been dumb down to the max - and the worst direction it can head towards. Everything has been diminished or scaled back. Lack of tactics or moving the franchise forward.

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    Replies
    1. Pretty much this. I mean I am happy for the players that like this kind of big TDM arenas BF has evolved into, but it's just not engaging any more, even to the point of frustration.

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