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L1fe3looD

Battlefield 1

     I'll start by saying I'm a huge battlefield fan, ever since getting Battlefield 2 ( time travel? ) way back when I was a wee lad. To that end, I believe I have a pretty high standard for quality when it comes to battlefield games. The battlefield series is built upon "open warfare", with two huge teams generally fighting over points, or objectives. The variation of kits, vehicles, options, and loadouts make for some truly varied game play, which means that the game generally has a ton of replayability. The game also gets rather tense at times. One man defenses of a critical flag, or a single squad holding down a peninsula against overwhelming odds, or a massive armor push, create what have become known as "battlefield moments". These are situations where you get so engrossed in the game, so deeply invested in the moment, that your immersion levels go through the roof. Your adrenaline surges and your gut ties itself into knots over the outcome. These are by far some of the most entertaining and enjoyable moments of the game.

 

     Personally I find that creating these moments is a tonic best mixed by each individual player. For some it's bullets whipping by your face as you stare down iron sights and throw hot lead back at your enemy to keep your bloody fingernails on that goddamn point while your armor makes that last push against their front lines. For others it's the teamwork, the meshing that comes from a group of friends, or in some cases complete strangers, banding together to hold the line, and stand against the hordes, or die trying together. Still others love the rush of plowing through piles of bodies and dirt to reach the objective, clearing the way for your air assets and ground troops to settle in and make the most of the wedge you've driven into the enemies defenses. I can recall several of these moments from various battlefield games in the past, going back years, and the fact that they truly stand out in my memory for so long is a testament to the possibility of a game like this to be really amazing.

 

     But does Battlefield 1 stack up? Can you get those Battlefield moments, and can you truly find yourself remembering the game play, once bf1.exe is no longer running? Let's take a look at some different viewpoints. First the good, then the bad.

 

     DICE ( Developer of the Battlefield series, owned by EA ) has always been known to provide very visceral sound to their games. They go to extreme lengths to make the weapon in your hand feel meaningful, while making the 16 inch cannon that fired a few feet away feel awe inspiring or terrifying, depending on which end of the shells you're at. Battlefield 1 certainly has this. Everything down to the bits of dirt and stones kicked up by running soldiers and explosions going off shines in a realistic, and immersive way. Tank shell hits the lip of the trench you're firing from, narrowly missing you? You're losing hearing for a bit, while roar of the cannon and the rush of the explosion still rings deeply for a long time. Your friends yelling to you becomes muffled and confusing, while the bullets whipping past the trench don't stop, but sound somehow distant, and syrupy, rather than sharp and deadly lances like they really are.

 

     Frostbite. No, not something you get from cold exposure, but the graphics engine. This is the in-house engine developed by DICE, for Battlefield. It's disgustingly powerful. They've cranked up the quality options, and spent some well thought out time on optimization. Even on cards who are two or three generations old, this game looks amazing, and plays like silk. At a time where games ( especially AAA titles ) are known to be poorly optimized at launch, they've instead opted to make the game perform insanely well on many systems, despite falling well into the "next gen hardware requirement" area in terms of graphics quality.

 

     Balance. The great enemy. Developers have been fighting this behemoth for a long time. I'm not going to say that Battlefield is perfectly balanced, and that there are no cases of imbalance currently, but I'm still counting this as a win. They've balanced the weaponry ( in part, by their choice of weaponry). The game takes place during WWI, so we're not dealing with .50 Sniper Rifles, FLIR Scopes, and Drone warfare, which can seriously be trouble to balance. This shines when playing, as there's always a tool for the job, and they're spread out fairly evenly, with clear and obvious benefits to using them, which means balance is not only present, but there's incentive for all players to take part, which really goes a long way. DICE also took a look at overall balance, and snowballing game play, and came up with Behemoths. These mammoth weapons are one of two types of "levolutions" (The other is extreme weather) that change the face of the battlefield dramatically. They're not invulnerable, and in fact they're quite reasonably limited, but they ARE powerful, and who gets to control them? The losing team. This gives them a chance to rally, while forcing the winning team to really redouble their efforts to keep their win squarely in place. These take the form of either a massive armored, offensively armed train, a battleship, or an armored airship. All three are controllable by players, and have numerous weapons emplacements, but also have specific drawbacks. They're all limited in how they move, be it stuck on a track, stuck in deep water, or floating directly above the entire enemy team, and only being able to move ponderously. They are also vulnerable to engine damage, turret knock-outs, etc.. so they're by no means invulnerable.

 

     Game play is arguably the most important piece of the puzzle. How does the game flow? Does it feel "cheap"? DICE has added a few new game modes, and put some serious polish into them, however they've also held true to the original Battlefield Conquest game mode, and aside from brushing up the superficial elements of the game, haven't done much to mess with the core design of the game. This provides a solid, consistent feel to the matches, that can be directly influenced by even individual players. A dedicated group will enjoy targeted goals, and a broad overview of the map that gives you clear indications of the fighting lines, as well as a broad picture of the greater ebb and flow of the battle. This all comes together nicely, and quickly without any hitches, to make the games smooth, action packed, and very clear.

 

     At this point it seems like the game is pretty flawless, and admittedly the extra polish and optimizing they've done has gone a long way, but the game is just like any other, and has it's drawbacks just the same. Let's take a look at some of those.

 

     Bugs. The game does have a few bugs, and they seem to focus around the menu and friend systems. Servers aren't showing up like they should in the browser, achievements don't show for several hours, and groups and friends seem to show up if and when they feel like it. Often times for only one person in the group, or another. Matchmaking can fail quite regularly, which compounded with the laggy/buggy server browser can be frustrating. This again seems to be more of an issue when playing with a group. Also notifications seem to be a bit on the lacking side. This focuses more on Origin, but since the game is tied deeply to it, I'd be wrong by saying it's not relevant to the game itself. Sometimes you can invite or speak with friends in game, something you have to use origin, sometimes invites, or joins work through on but not the other, despite the fact that your in game friends list is just a copy of your origin friends list. This is silly and with all of the insane things they've pulled off with this game this should not be the case.

 

     Fat soldiers. This has been a problem with Battlefield since day 1. All battlefields. Soldiers can climb moving vehicles, and paratroop off pretty much anything, but climbing over that 3 inch log in front of you? Forget it. Running over a few pieces of rubble when getting shot at? 50/50 at best. The movement in this game is rather fluid, but in certain situations you sometimes come to a dead stop. Often quite literally. This is likely a much more complicated issue than it seems to fix, but frankly, they've had several iterations of the game to work it out, and I have to include it, despite the fact that overall it's a really rather small issue.

 

     In game glitches. Often enough, you'll find when you're revived, you can't move or shoot. For several rounds in a row, you may not be able to move or control any mountable objects. Occasionally you'll reload or switch weapons when firing. These are bugs which were present in the alpha, and really should've been cleared up. Are they aware of them? Certainly. Could they have been fixed by release? I'm not 100% sure, and I wont say they're totally debilitating, so long as a fix is on the way shortly.

 

     To summarize, the game has a very large pool of redeeming features, and a few small glitches. In totally I believe it to be one of the more successful Battlefield launches so far, and from what I've seen of the new game modes and play styles, the game has a lot to offer, with loads of replayability in store. Of course it wouldn't be associated with EA if they didn't have planned DLC, but at least we know that several expansions are coming, and if they continue the quality in those, they should be welcome additions to the game. I would personally highly recommend the game, having played a decent amount of hours so far on stream and off stream, and thing that whether you're a sniper, a tanker, a flyer, a run and gunner, or a slow and tactical lone wolf, the game truly has something for you to do, and a place for you to fit in. Now that the early access Shtick has worn off, the game's price has dropped to the standard $60, however if you want the season pass for all of the DLC to come, that will run you an additional $50, or $110 in total. I hope this painted something of a picture for anyone looking at the game, and of course I'd be happy to provide any further information if you have any questions below. Thanks!

 

    

Edited by L1fe3looD
Kavawuvi and Tucker933 like this

I stream 7 Days a week on Twitch! Come play some games with me!

www.twitch.tv/L1fe3looD - My main channel

www.twitch.tv/OCNet - I stream here on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well!

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Great review!

 

I've been enjoying the infantry combat quite a bit with this Battlefield, which was never much of a draw for me previously. The gametypes are a lot more fun, too.

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I feel like BF4 was designed around the vehicles. Or at least the vehicles and the infantry combat were designed separately. It just felt like once you got in a tank, get ready for being a god. Sadly they made this worse by providing an entire armored division to each team lol. At least in BF1, even though the tanks are strong, there's only a few per map. I noticed last night that people are getting more and more aware of explosives, so I think those vehicle strengths will go from being a bit strong, but balanced due to vehicle count, to being required to even survive for a few seconds.


I stream 7 Days a week on Twitch! Come play some games with me!

www.twitch.tv/L1fe3looD - My main channel

www.twitch.tv/OCNet - I stream here on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well!

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I can confirm that optimization is off the charts.  I originally was expecting to need another 980Ti to get the best experience with this monitor but the default preset was ultra across the board with TAA enabled and it's pretty much 60fps throughout the game.  I didn't have any crashes or slowdowns and could even alt+tab out and back into the game reliably which is honestly a miracle considering how many games shit themselves when I do that, despite having had five+ patches.  Towards the end I started getting some strange artifacts on screen, and was expecting a game crash and I'm pretty sure my driver did crash twice (temporary black screen) but the game didn't even hiccup.  I actually didn't even need to exit the game, I just tabbed out, opened afterburner and dropped my OC a tittle and went back to it good as new.

Tucker933 likes this

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My very aged 1100T and 7970 ran this on ultra at 1440p like it was absolutely nothing. The Frostbite engine is fantastical, and almost looks like those OP graphics mods for Crysis 1 in a few places.

Skeezix the Cat likes this

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I myself have played quite a few FPS, including "America's Army", which is quite realistic in terms of parameters. Battlefield, by far has the best realistic immersion I've ever seen, with rare exception. 

 

Unlike similar titles, such as Call of Duty, Battlefield has both tactical and strategic aspects, with superb team orientation and cohesion to help you maximize your squad and team. The combined arms aspect is unparalleled (with again, few exceptions). The ability to lase targets, while a team mate engages them, while another provides marksman over-watch, and another covers the flanks with a GPMG... you get the fast paced rush, but also that camaraderie and cohesion. 

 

  It's one of the few titles I've doled out more than just the title for. All DLC and add-ons with BF3 and BF4, and soon BF1. 

Skeezix the Cat and Tucker933 like this

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