Andrew Whitehead misses his lock-on missiles and infrared scopes
I never understood why some gamers insisted Battlefield was the more realistic shooter when compared to its rival Call of Duty, let alone why that was a positive. I admit I enjoy the little touches of realism, like muzzle velocity and bullet drop, but it’s the crazy action that keeps me hooked on Battlefield. Jeeps strapped with C4, attack helicopters crashing into tanks. Realism be damned; I like my shooters big, loud and dumb.
Battlefield 1 feels like DICE dialled back the madness and pushed forward a truer sense of what it feels like to be in a warzone. Well, as best a videogame of this type can. There’s less random craziness, and more atmosphere and dread. For example, during one of my play sessions on a map set in rural France, my squad and I captured a flag at the beginning of the round in a small town. The houses provided good cover from enemies, and the surrounding shrubs were used as hiding spots from snipers. But towards the end of the round the village was a shouldering mess of rubble and craters from relentless shelling and grenades. What impressed me the most was after my second play-through the destruction of this same town looked very different. Buildings didn’t collapse like they did in the previous round, even the landscape deformed in new ways. And these weren’t just superficial divots from tank shells, either. These deep scars cut into the ground that we ended up using as trenches for cover.
Another dynamic element affecting the battlefield was the changing weather. Both of our rounds started on a bright sunny day that turned into a freezing rainstorm. It dramatically altered who and what I could see and hear. I spent more time hiding and firing from cover with my squad than I ever did in the recent Battlefields.
Literally, the biggest addition to the series in Battlefield 1 is the behemoth vehicles. These massive monsters spawn in for the losing side and can flip a battle late in the game if not taken care of quickly. DICE was only showing off a zeppelin in this play test, and I can assure you that bastard rained down hell on us. Pilots and soldiers on the ground had to work together to take it down. Two other behemoths confirmed but not detailed just yet are the dreadnought warship and the armoured train.
A lot has changed in Battlefield 1, not the least of which is the tone of the game. As I mentioned before, I love Battlefield for being a big, dumb action game. And I’m going to miss slamming burning jets into tanks. But, frankly, the series needs this game. It needs a return to pure combat. Battlefield 1 may not be the exact sequel I was hoping for as I unapologetically still enjoy modern military shooters, but it did get its hooks into me deep enough that I’m keen to get my hands on it again.
Battlefield 1 feels like diCe dialled BaCk the madness and pushed forward a truer sense of Being in a warzone