Written by: Morten Haugen

Developer: DICE, Uprise
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: 21.10.2016
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
I have been running in the dangerous streets of Amiens, the beautiful mountains of Monte Grappa, the dark and misty Forest of Argonne and the broken grounds of St,Quentin Scar.

The last week I have been sucked into this amazing and brutal world that is Battlefield. There has clearly been a big focus to also have a strong campaign element in the game this time. Which is paying of, this release is turning out to be one of their best releases to date. So without further delay let us dive into the specifics, without too much spoilers.

STORY

The story mode in Battlefield differs from all earlier games in the series, except maybe Bad Company, and relies heavily on emotional settings and a lot of action set pieces.

It is told over 5 different story lines following different destinies. The human side in this horrific war is highlighted and effectively made this writer a little teary eyed at some points.

The stories are very well written at times and they manage to make you care for the people you play as and the outcome of their path. Some might feel it is a little bit short and I can see that if you are not playing for the multiplayer at all, maybe then it is not for you.

Storylines in this series have never been particularly strong so this a good change.

Although this is not a very challenging story, even on hard it is pretty straight forward with maybe a couple retries. The A.I is very stupid and poorly designed and is clearly something they did not focus on and the gameplay suffers a bit from that.   

MULTIPLAYER

This is where Battlefield shines, and shine it does. We are given 9 maps on release including St.Quentin Scar and Sinai Desert from the alpha and beta.

Not every map plays well on every game mode but some play very well and the rest is pretty good also. We have all the familiar game modes like “Rush”, “Conquest”, “Domination” and “Team Deathmatch”, including two new ones called “Operations” and “War Pigeons”.

“Operations” is an epic new mode that is essentially a mix between “Conquest” and “Rush” that progresses through different maps and provides players with mini cutscenes and somewhat historic settings. The map is split into sections that the attacking team must control one by one in order to progress through the map. Your team starts on one side of the map and you have from 1 to 3 flag areas you need to take and hold like in “Conquest” before you control that section of the map, once you are successful you open up the next section. The defending side is basically trying to prevent the attacking side to control the zones instead of defusing M-coms in “Rush”.

The attacking team has 3 attacks to make through all the sections and to the next map, if they fail, and loses all tickets before completing the map they get a Behemoth reinforcement the next round and if they plough through the defenders on the first map in one attack, the defenders get the reinforcement.

This plays out really well on all the maps in my opinion with my only complaint being that the Behemoths must be balanced, on some levels they are so dominant and very powerful yet on others they are almost useless to a degree.

The whole “Operation” can take from 1 to 3 hours depending on the development of the rounds.

“War Pigeons” is a silly game mode that makes each team chase after the Pigeon, holding onto it long enough to write a message and then releasing that Pigeon, after which it can be shot down.

Silly and chaotic, something i think will be a forgotten thing in a few months. Probably a lot more fun in a lobby full of friends.

And I must say DICE has been careful to make sure this launch has been painless and bugfree.

Although some minor flaws and legacy bugs do appear from time to time it has been an excellent experience playing this last week. The connection was good considering the major flow of players.

I had some issues from time to time with tanks shells dusting on vehicles, bullets not registering despite clearly hitting the target and invisible edges, but it is nothing compared to the disastrous release of BF4.  

Gameplay in general stays true to the Battlefield formula with minor tweaks to certain game mechanics. Spotting has been greatly reduced on the minimap, players only showing up for a short while when spotted directly by another enemy player or a sniper flare.

Weapons in general are not so accurate and the tanks are slow and heavy compared to modern weaponry and forcing the player to really get to know his weapon to best utilize it. No fancy gadgets or self guided weaponry makes more unpredictable and fun gunfights. Playing the objective is as important as ever and it rewards huge points for completing this. Teamplay is heavily rewarded and also a major contributor to a good team score.

Some balancing is required, but what to balance and how it’s needed is still a little early to judge in my opinion.

WEAPONS and VEHICLES

Battlefields arsenal of weaponry and war machines have always been impressive and abundant in variation, almost too much in BF4. This time around the number of guns are significantly less but rather different variations of a weapon. That variation can be a scope/optics, fire modes or different magazine size depending on each weapon type to name a few. This narrows the choices drastically from previous titles but it is still quite a selection of weapons and they all work great in each of their specific ways of using them. In contrast to modern weapons they require some more skill to use but they can be really effective in the right hands.

The classes you choose from are basically the same as before with some name changes and swapping some of the gear available between the classes. Also three more classes have been added, which are Pilot,Tanker and Cavalry. These three classes only come into play if you spawn in a vehicle or on a horse. Each class has now a much more specific playstyle and area of use best suited to wreck havoc or aid teammates. No longer can you use just one or two weapons for every situation and that is all you need, no instead each class and arsenal is catered to specific areas of the battlefield and this forces players to adapt to different situations and maps to make weapons work effectively.

GRAPHICS & SOUND

The graphics in Battlefield 1 are the most beautiful i have ever seen in this franchise, and that is saying a lot when you look back at the previous titles who also were stunning in both the audio and visual aspect. The details that goes into every part of the map from the leaves on the trees to the raindrops that fall on your weapon, it is simply gorgeous.

And talking about the sound. Stunning soundtrack with so much depth and authenticity in ambient sound, gun noises and inspirational music. And they fit perfectly for each setting.

I want to point out i especially enjoyed the added warcries and generally all the noises and shouting from the players running around which helps get you in the zone.

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Overall
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Verdict

This is possibly one of the best Battlefield games ever to come out. Needless to say it is the best graphics and sound ever for a Battlefield game and certainly in the elite among the genre.

That being said, it is not a perfect game.

There are some bugs that need to be fixed. Like classes being reset all the time, not being able to quit in the loadscreen between online matches, Shots clearly hitting their target but no hit marker, tank shots dusting when hitting armored vehicles and some other minor stuff.

And balancing the game, certain aspects of the game really need it. The Heavy tank is way too powerful and needs nerfing, it is not uncommon for me to go on a 30-40 man kill spree every time I use it. As does the Zeppelin in my opinion. But it is mostly minor bugs and tweaking that is needed.

As for fun and excitement it has got it all.

Pros

  • Good Story
  • Amazing Multiplayer
  • Graphics and Audio are superb

Cons

  • Short story
  • Needs some balancing

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