Battlefield 1 review - the best Battlefield since Bad Company 2
Almost 20 years ago, when space shooters like Quake 2 and Dark Forces 2 reigned on the market, Steven Spielberg insisted, despite opposition from industry people, to create a game with an action set in the Second World War. The subsequent editions of the Medal of Honor published by Electronic Arts turned out to be a great success, starting a real flood of titles in these climates. Today, history has come full circle. Amid the huge number of shootings competing each year to present the most futuristic conflict, "Electronics" again come out in front of a game set in historical realities - this time World War I.
Battlefield 1 does not try to turn the known and liked gameplay scheme upside down, adapting it forcibly to the specifics of the positional war. Instead, it cleverly navigates around the final years of the depicted military operations, eagerly taking advantage of already existing military inventions. It still serves the series' sweep of a total battle on land, water and air, but efficiently transferred to the beginning of the 20th century. The first tanks, planes, machine guns, and above all, incredibly suggestive battlefields were enough to bring the expected freshness into the well-known game. With a pretty successful single player campaign, a strong emphasis on the history of World War I, and an amazing setting, "One" is the best Battlefield since Bad Company 2 !
War never changes
Are you fed up with futuristic exoskeletons, drones and all this infinite "advanced warfare"? Did you miss the shooters set during the Second World War? Battlefield 1 is for you. It's practically Medal of Honor: Allied Assault or Call of Duty 2 with graphics on the level of the Vanishing of Ethan Carter , but without Thompson, Garand and Normandy. Educational chats by a lector who introduces us to the course of well-known battles can even be found in multiplayer games, and moreover, we come across historical places, names, equipment and curiosities. On the other hand, people who are used mainly to modern warfare with Battlefield 3 and 4 will also feel at home here. The authors made sure that all the popular and convenient tools of extermination also appeared during the First World War. So we have the ubiquitous clatter of machine guns, attack planes, fast motorboats, portable mortars, and even "lenses" or sight collimators!
Exaggeration? Fantastic? Not completely. From a certain stage in history, armed conflicts have really not changed much, only perfecting the means of extermination, and it was during World War I that the war technique that accompanies soldiers to this day was born. Moreover, the creators mainly present the final period of this confrontation, when many inventions, in the form of unguided rockets fired from airplanes or a "dot" sight, actually existed. True, sometimes this Virtual War I may seem too dynamic or too chaotic, but fighting in the narrow streets of city ruins in the Battle of Amiens or on scorched earth in St. Quentin, we immediately feel that despite the familiar mechanisms, it's a completely different atmosphere. The majestic airship, bayonet charges, dirty trenches, biplane planes - all this makes it easy for us to move into the years 1914–1918 and to the moment when the era of maneuvering war and the domination of armored forces began.
It cannot be denied that the Swedish studio DICE not so much wanted, but even had to bend some facts from the history of the weapon and tactics to fit them into the realities of the Battlefield series. World War I looks a bit like the work of an archaeologist by Indiana Jones - not entirely real, but incredibly spectacular and addictive. After playing a few rounds online, we will quickly understand the motives of the authors. A group of sixty random people on the server has no chance to behave like an army, being one organism, blindly listening to its commander. Battlefield 1 is a Battlefield like its predecessors, and the battlefield is even more convincing than before - full of dirt, mud and blood. As in the title of the first mission of the story campaign.
The single does it!
Bad memories of the badly told stories in Battlefield 4 or Hardlin raised a lot of concerns about whether the authors would be up to the task this time and "make it", but it turned out that ... they did. The single-player campaign may not be as heart-touching as in Valiant Hearts and will not be remembered for long, but it must be admitted that it has its moments, and even a rather unusual plot twist, which will leave you a little stunned in one of the episodes.
Everything is arranged like a series in which each part tells about something else, constituting a short, closed story. We accompany a young tank driver from England, an impetuous pilot from Canada, a walker from Italy, a scout from Australia and a brave woman in the Arabian desert, each time watching really well-made cutscenes, although sometimes with too much pathos and predictable dialogues.
Cannon or a silenced weapon?
In addition to the well-realized concept of the war series, there is also the gameplay itself, in which the creators did not manage to avoid certain disadvantages . The artificial intelligence of the opponents is the most painful, or rather its complete lack. Enemy soldiers are ordinary puppets pushing against the barrel, just to delay our march through the map a bit. The impression is also returned that in the great war we are a lonely wolf with an army against us. Many times we feel doomed to our own strength, and if the entire unit starts the action - our companions turn out to be only an impersonal crowd, sometimes fighting somewhere in the background, which would not do anything without us.
We defeat a large part of each mission alone, and the authors justified it with more emphasis on ... stealth. There are disengaging alarms, traditional ranged alert indicators from yellow to red, and even Battlefield Hardline's distraction shells and silenced weapons. Playing Sam Fisher, although strongly suggested, is optional and you may as well decide to fight openly and use stationary cannons or any small arms set up everywhere. The announced inclusion of elements from the multiplayer game is limited to the occasional need to wait a moment at the flag and capture a point - just like in the conquest mode, but it is also worth paying attention to quite large levels with hidden collectibles, not resembling standard corridors. We always come across some alternative paths to reach the goal, and in one of the episodes we even decide on the order of implementation of several tasks.
"Only in Battlefield"
However, we do not buy Battlefield for the story campaign, but for multiplayer games that are played over the next years. Fighting dozens of battles in all modes and locations did not allow me to learn the secrets of each map or unlock all types of weapons, but it already gave some idea about the good and weak points of this installment of the series. Battlefield 1 is not too revolutionary - it's still the same dynamic BF with amazing "only in Battlefield " style actions where the medic kills half of the enemy team with a syringe and a horse standing in the palace lounge is killed after crashing into an airplane. It is also BF with its standard flaws - sometimes too much chaos, lack of teamwork of random teams or domination of snipers on the map.
After several hours of frags and death from a bullet out of nowhere, positive feelings prevail. Great maps, completely different tanks and planes, changeable weather, an amazing impression of an authentic battlefield vibrant with combat - these and other elements make up the unusual atmosphere of the whole and the breath of freshness expected so much, encouraging you to play the next rounds. The authors also attempted a few surprises, such as new gameplay modes and a changed Battlepack formula. These now only contain weapon cosmetics (skins of different "legendary" levels) and are awarded randomly at the end of the round. Although painting weapons did happen in those days, the "sophistication" of some designs is surprising. Using them, however, is completely optional.
Operation "Catch the pigeon"
As if in complete opposition to long and tactical operations is the second of the new modes, or " war pigeons". This is quite a strange variation on capture the flag . We look for randomly placed cages with pigeons, take over the bird and write a secret message with information about the location of enemy soldiers. We write not literally, of course, because everything is about standing still for some time and not attracting enemy fire. When we start running, "writing" slows down considerably, and we risk losing valuable prey. Finally, we still need to release the pigeon in the open and its safe flight to the target - after that, a hail of artillery shells falls on the positions of the revealed enemies. The mode as such is not particularly addictive, and everything focuses on the team protection of the "writing" companion, which is sometimes difficult among random players. However, it can be an interesting springboard for well-coordinated and communicating teams and after long and exhausting conquests, because here the round sometimes ends after six or seven minutes.
Epochal armament causes more mixed feelings. The behemoths are of course the most impressive! The sight of a burning airship is one of those moments that will make us remember Battlefield 1 for a long time. Their arrival, however, does not immediately herald the defeat of the opposing team - like any other vehicle, they require skill in piloting and accurate shooting. Airplanes remain a curiosity for some, but I must admit that if we have a pad next to the mouse and keyboard - it's worth giving aviation a chance. The period biplanes are quite fun to fly, and controlling them with a controller is not that difficult.
The tanks of that time and a novelty in the series - horses were also exceptional for the First World War. The latter somehow are not popular as a means of combat. A rushing soldier is always a standout target and usually dies quickly. But Tanki is different. Armor and a good driver guarantee survival for a long time and a lot of frags, and since there are probably a little less tanks than during the beta-tests, places in them are always at a price.
Not as terrible as dubbing is painted
Finally, I left a few technical notes, because Battlefield 1 is a model for other titles in this respect. By browsing the options, we will discover great freedom in adjusting the gameplay parameters to our preferences. We will not only decide on the presence of individual elements of the screen interface, their color or size, but also choose whether the nations should speak their native languages! Turkish or German-speaking Turks create a really great atmosphere and you don't necessarily need to know these languages to understand the signals on the battlefield. Add to this the extremely extensive observer mode with the ability to apply filters while recording the game, and the whole thing will start to resemble another film set from the mentioned Spielberg movie!
Polish dubbing in the fictional campaign was quite good. The success of Bad Company 2 will not be repeated, but the ears do not hurt too much, and it is worth noting that the original path does not captivate in many parts. Its strength lies in the fact that the English language sounds here with a large number of accents and it is certainly much more credible and authentic than the Polish language in the case of each nation. Another issue is the very controversial announcement that famous Youtubers will appear in the multiplayer mode. All voices and concerns about the corruption of the game turned out to be wrong. One is that they sound completely neutral, which is listened to much better than professional actors who usually strive for theatrical drama, and two - we can choose the aforementioned option of a national language for each nation.