Well, well, well… Would ya look what the cat dragged in. Battle-‘freaking’-Field 1! As a personal ‘CoD fan boy,’ I was nervous about playing this game. I felt like I was betraying my own child. But, in the last few years, my child has let themselves go and turned into a dad-gum drug addict. Just kidding… But, seriously, the last Battlefield game I played was ‘Bad Company’ and I wasn’t too impressed with it (sorry Battlefield lovers). So, as you may guess, I was a bit nervous to play Battlefield 1 for a variety of reasons. Did I regret this decision? Were my decision-making skills as bad as they are in my dating game? Time to find out!
Blue Ball Score: 20 out of 25 balls
I must admit that the gameplay was solid… I will kick off this section by talking about the controls. With any modern day first person shooter (FPS), you have some standard controls. These will come naturally to just about any FPS gamer. But what about those Battlefield-exclusive controls? Good question! Every game puts their own ‘spin’ on the controls and adds a few things here and there. Battlefield 1 allows the gamer to use a wide range of tools and equipment – especially in the multiplayer (to be discussed later). In general, most classes/soldiers have a primary gun, secondary gun, melee weapon, primary grenade, secondary grenade, and a few other tools at their disposal. I was afraid that the controls would be super hard to use and remember, but they weren’t. Battlefield 1 utilized the ‘D’ pad in a very simplistic manner and after a few attempts I started to get the hang of it. After all, it is the simplest ‘D’ that gets the most ‘usage,’ right?
The second thing I noticed within 5 minutes of playing the game is how realistic it actually is. Admittedly, I have never been in a real war… or shot a big ass flak gun on a Behemoth… or even died for that matter. But, I would imagine it would be something like the experience in Battlefield 1. Let’s admit it, even as a Call of Duty fanboy, Call of Duty games aren’t realistic in any sense (the campaign or the multiplayer). Everything about Battlefield 1 felt a lot more real. When you were surrounded by explosions and warfare, your character would start to breathe harder and the edges of the screen may start to go dark. The guns had more realistic recoil, muzzle flash, and accuracy. The characters themselves even felt more real.
Finally, the environments even looked and acted realistic. What do you mean acted? How can an environment act, Tasty? Why my goodness you are just full of good questions today! As I mentioned the ‘realism’ factor above, the environment was no exception. When you shot a building with a tank, you could blow a huge hole in the side of it. When you ran over some sandbags with a tank, the sandbags would get pushed out of the way and scatter around you. The environment and terrain reacted to your actions in a remarkable way. And the environments looked realistic. The way they were laid out from the trenches, foxholes, general layout of ‘No man’s land,’ and so much more. I can’t possibly talk about all of it.
I have explained myself too much as it is. Battlefield 1 gameplay was nothing less than phenomenal. It gets a perfect 5/5 balls.
But, fo’ realizzle do’, the campaign did not disappoint me. I would even go out on a limb and say it was one of the best campaigns I have played in a long time. I would even be so bold (see what I did there) to say that I would purchase this game solely for the campaign. Battlefield 1 did a phenomenal job of making me feel connected to their characters. It sent me back to my Call of Duty 4 days where I felt what the characters felt. The pain – the emotions.
Speaking of characters!? You did not play as one character throughout the entire campaign. The campaign was split into 6 chapters (or War Stories as they are called in the game). This may not sound like a lot, but these War Stories took a while to complete. Why, you may ask? Well, each War Story was split into a few different missions that entailed a few unique styles of gameplay. For example, if you watch BBR’s Battlefield 1 Gameplay videos on YouTube, you will notice that the War Story we put on display takes place primarily in the skies, but there are a few parts (missions) where you are on the ground as well. In general, each War Story may involve the use of equipment, all-out-war tactics, stealth tactics, and so much more. It helped to keep the me, the gamer, engaged through the entirety of the War Story.
Battlefield 1 also did an excellent job of explaining the story and giving you factual explanations of what happened in the real battle(s). Each mission would begin with a quick background story of the actual battle, how it happened in real life, and may also even do some foreshadowing of what is to come in the mission itself. For example, the prologue flat out told you that “You are not expected to survive.” I thought this seemed a bit ominous for the first mission, but as I started to play this mission I realized that there was no hope even without the text having to tell me. So, the way the ‘facts’ were presented to you helped to add more emotion and gamer-to-character connection.
Finally, the campaign had some awesome cut scenes. The cut scenes helped to add even more depth, understanding, and connection to the characters. They not only contributed to the mission’s plot, but they also helped you to understand some core traits and values the character you were playing as had.
All-in-all, the campaign was nothing short of extraordinary. Battlefield 1 blended facts, cinematics, gaming, and topped it off with allowing gamers to connect with and understand each character. Another perfect 5/5 balls.
To begin, I will admit that the multiplayer was indeed what I expected it to be – realistic. Unlike the unrealistic ‘Call of Duty’ mechanics, Battlefield 1’s multiplayer seemed all too real at times. As I mentioned earlier in the ‘Campaign’ section, the maps reacted to your every move and the guns seemed to be more realistic in how they responded to you shooting them. Your health healed much slower and you had to have pinpoint accuracy with just about any gun. If you missed a shot or darted out of cover too early, you were toast. And, the sniping system in Battlefield 1 was everything I was told it would be. As if I am not bad enough with a sniper in an UNREALISTIC game, you can pretty much guess how my sniping skills were in Battlefield 1 (or lack thereof). You had to account for distance, direction, and even lead the shot if the person you were trying to shoot was moving.
Now, that alone did not cause me to dislike the multiplayer because a gamer could grow accustomed to this realistic style of play. I was disappointed in the spawning system as well. Obviously, on the larger maps this wasn’t an issue; But, as I was playing Team Deathmatch where the teams and maps are much smaller, I noticed exactly why the spawns seemed bad. To give a quick summary here, I am more of a “Put a silencer on my gun and run around by myself because my teammates suck” kind of gamer. Unfortunately, Battlefield 1 requires you to have good team tactics. You must create squads, have good team communication, and work as a team to take objectives and key positions on the map. Otherwise, you will just get sniped and be surrounded by enemies within seconds. Once again, this is just another way Battlefield 1 adds a lot more ‘realistic’ experience.
Finally, I want to add a special mention about the ‘all-out war’ game modes. These game modes included: Conquest and Operations. I did not play operations myself, but I did play conquest. These maps are enormous with team sizes of 32. They emphasize the strong use of equipment that includes: Armored tanks, light tanks, fighter jets, armored vehicles, and so much more. Personally, since I am extremely bad at this game, I enjoyed the Conquest game mode because it was more ‘fun’ to me. I could jump in a tank and just shoot anything that moves. I also did not have to worry about getting spawn killed… At the primary points of battle (objectives, etc.) it just seemed like pure chaos and that was highly enjoyable for me.
In conclusion, the multiplayer was something you would expect from a Battlefield game. If you are looking for a realistic FPS that emphasizes teamwork and offers a variety of game modes, then Battlefield 1 multiplayer is for you. So, it accomplishes its goal, but the primary issue is lack of audience appeal. It appeals to a very narrow group of gamers (those looking for a very realistic FPS game). For these reasons, I give it a 3.5/5 balls.
The graphics were good overall, but inconsistent. They did not have that extra layer of crisp and detail that I always yearn for, but overall, they were good. In some scenes, the graphics were outstanding (such as when you are running through the German trenches at night or flying above some snowy mountains). But, in other scenes, it seems like the graphics were half-baked. Also, I wish the graphics in the cut scenes were better. And, before any of you all start shouting at me to get a better TV, I have a 60” Samsung 4K HDTV. So, don’t start with me… I will mention that the special effects, such as: screen darkening when explosions were happening, screen going red and dark when you are about to die, clothes catching fire when you walk through fire, etc. were awesome. It is always the little things that can really help and elevate a game to the next level.
Moving on to the audio portion, it was awesome. The way the guns sound off as you pull the trigger to take off some German’s head, the crisp and sharp sound of a knife getting plunged into a German’s heart, or even the sound of victory. What does victory sound like, Tasty? You will know soon enough son, you will know soon enough… The music and soundtrack? Oh, my goodness, even that was Heavenly. The menu music was perfectly EPIC and the in-game tracks always seemed to fit the mood. If you were in a tank and just took out an entire squadron of Germans, then some heroic and inspiriting s@#t would play. If you were trying to be silent to creep around a village, got caught, and the Germans called in reinforcements, then some ‘Oh s@#t!’ music would play. In any scenario, the music fit perfectly.
Although the graphics were inconsistent at times, they were solid overall and the sound was perfect across the board. For these reasons, I give Battlefield 1’s graphics and sound a 4/5 balls.
The upgrading and customization system in the Battlefield 1 multiplayer is.. confusing to put it politely. I didn’t quite understand it. It was almost as if each gun had different ‘stages’ and you could level up or upgrade each stage. It was the same gun, but distinct stages, so I was confused as to why the upgrading system was totally different for each stage. And, there were only 4 primary custom ‘classes’ that you could setup (Assault, Medic, Support and Scout). There seemed to be ways to setup a few variants of each class, such as: Assault (1), Assault (2), etc., but this was confusing and slightly hidden in the user interface.
The classes themselves were even frustrating to setup. Why? Because you could only set them up in the game. To make this even worse, you had extremely long loading and wait times in between games. And, what else better to do while waiting, than setup and adjust your classes for the next game? Welp, too bad Tasty! You must do it in the game as your teammates are getting slaughtered. Oh, by the way, this also takes away from actual in-game gameplay time.
Finally, the ‘challenges’ in this game were confusing as well. It didn’t seem like there were any gun-specific challenges or game mode specific challenges.
Final verdict? The upgrading system on this game was confusing and hard to understand. Perhaps it is just my lack of Battlefield knowledge, but I spent quite a while just clicking into things trying to figure it out. There were plenty of opportunities and times to setup custom classes or view the challenges you need to do, but it wasn’t clear how to do this. Therefore, I give this a 2.5/5 balls.
In conclusion, Battlefield 1 was a solid game. The gameplay was awesome and the controls were easy to learn (especially if you are used to standard FPS controls). I can’t say enough about the campaign and its ability to wed facts with an outstanding gaming experience and its strong character-to-gamer connection. The multiplayer, and specifically, the upgrading system, were a bit disappointing and confusing. But, the graphics and audio were outstanding. If you are looking for a realistic and team-based FPS that you can consistently play for hours every day, then Battlefield 1 is a must-buy! There was still a ton of things to do in the game that I did not get to, so I want to hear your thoughts and opinions. But, for now, Battlefield 1 gets a grand total of 20/25 balls.