Review

Battlefield 1 Review

  • First Released Oct 21, 2016
    released
  • PC
  • XONE
  • PS4

Rise of the Machines

Battlefield 1 wastes little time in conveying the savagery of World War 1. The inevitability of death is the focus of the bleak story prologue. A burning man’s screams can be heard at the start of every multiplayer match in the Argonne Forest. It’s ruination on a multi-continental scale, a conflict so large that its location menus showcase a large portion of the Earth. EA DICE splendidly interprets the early 20th century as a world in technological transition while humanizing the war's participants through well crafted, albeit fictional, narrative vignettes. Combined with an enthralling multiplayer component, the overall result is the studio’s best work since Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

The horrors and heroism of The Great War are well told in War Stories, Battlefield 1’s campaign. It’s a more focused experience compared to prior Battlefield story modes of globetrotting and one-note powderkeg narratives. These new tales are organized in a non-linear anthology format that doesn’t need to be played in any particular order. You are exposed to a variety of perspectives from the characters you play, each with their own motivations, from altruistic to self-serving. And each tale is presented with distinct narrative flavor. The exploits of the mostly unlikeable Clyde Blackburn, for example, represent the stories that get mixed up in the chaos of war. This gambler and swindler leaves the events of his alleged adventure open to interpretation. His tale is an effective contrast to the somber post-war account of Luca Vincenzo Cocchiola, an armored Italian soldier tasked with protecting his twin brother from everything from bombers, shock troopers, flamethrowers, and more.

The beauty of nature in the background, instruments of death in the foreground.
The beauty of nature in the background, instruments of death in the foreground.

Beyond these heartfelt tales of brotherhood and solemn reflection, War Stories gracefully complements the multiplayer scenarios as a glorified yet effective training mode. Along with practice time commanding vehicles and heavy artillery, it provides an opportunity to learn melee combat, as well as how to survive against high concentrations of enemy forces. It also presents scenarios that you wouldn't find online, such as valuable lessons in the ways of stalking enemies and how best to move wounded allies to the safety of cover.

The vehicular sections of War Stories introduce you to the first generation of tanks and fighter aircraft that were the advanced warfare of their time. In “Through the Mud and Blood,” a Mark V tank is its own character, endearingly nicknamed Bess by its crew. Short on space though tanks may be, a carrier pigeon joins you for the ride, and proves to be a valuable passenger during one of the campaign’s most touching scenes.

Battlefield 1’s multiplayer stays faithful to the series’ roots of open-space combat, now marvelously tailored with World War 1’s weapons, vehicles, and terrain. Its centerpiece, Operations, finds one side pushing forward while the other holds them back in conflicts that can last an hour. It’s not an emotionally draining endurance match, however; the changes in environments as the battle progresses keeps the fight fresh. A match can move across up to five areas across the same region, which is analogous to playing five different small maps. As a cavalry-inspired twist, the losing side gets two last ditch opportunities to win with the help of an airship, attack train, or a dreadnought.

EA DICE’s interpretation of T.E. Lawrence isn’t quite Peter O’Toole and that’s okay.
EA DICE’s interpretation of T.E. Lawrence isn’t quite Peter O’Toole and that’s okay.

Operations also offers a surprising amount of historical context thanks to informative pre- and post-match voice over. For instance, the Kaiserschlacht operation not only broadly educates players on the 1918 Spring Offensive, it also hypothesizes what could have happened had the Germans won.

Like a band of brothers reuniting, the reprise of Conquest, Domination, Rush, and Team Deathmatch delivers the goods for the Battlefield devotee. Beyond amassing the highest kill count or earning the best kill/death ratio, there’s a thrill in adapting to changing circumstances mid-battle. This is especially true for team players, who must constantly try to figure out how to be the best contributor. That could mean protecting a capture point or stopping an enemy charge by assaulting them from an airship. Lastly, War Pigeon--which has the hallmarks of a throwaway novelty mode--shares some fundamentals with Capture The Flag, where the bird serves as the flag. The challenge comes in finding a safe place to write a message for the bird to deliver, releasing the pigeon outdoors, and ensuring it doesn’t get shot down.

No Caption Provided

A mode is only as good as the map it's based in and Battlefield 1's maps are all smart and interesting in their own ways. Peronne, with its mix of small town in ruins and untended fields, requires bit more time to memorize its layouts and strategically advantageous points. From the vacant French palace in Ballroom Blitz to the labyrinthine streets of Amiens, every locale has its own sense of character. This is aided by the inclusion of armed gargantuan machines like the airship and train. The Argonne Forest in particular--with its light mist, detailed vegetation, and man-made ruins--is one of the most gorgeous multiplayer maps ever conceived. Compared to the many near-symmetrical maps in Battlefield: Hardline, these new fields of operations feel natural and, more importantly, inviting.

With Battlefield 1, EA and DICE have proven the viability of World War 1 as a time period worth revisiting.

The series’ best maps are those that encourage you to play outside your comfort zone, to spend time with things you typically ignore and to play around with the available vehicles. The FAO Fortress in Mesopotamia and Monte Grappa in the Alps, for instance, are ideal maps to acquaint yourself with the exhilaration of sniping. The outstanding expansiveness of the maps and the abundance of routes in a given area create myriad opportunities to circumvent bottlenecks and camping spots.

Challenges in navigation are found in the multiplayer menus. Getting into a match isn’t a problem, but the online UI isn’t very intuitive, particularly in defining some of the categories of unlockables. Furthermore, it’s disappointing that it’s not possible to leave the multiplayer mode in between matches; you actually have to wait until the next match starts before you can exit. But these minor issues do not dampen the overall experience.

A scene from ‘The Runner,’ which is set during the Gallipoli Campaign.
A scene from ‘The Runner,’ which is set during the Gallipoli Campaign.

The robust and satisfying progression system is how you customize your online experience, where much of your arsenal is built on whatever you spend your level upgrade rewards on. Growing a collection of firearms is rewarding for veterans while the simplicity of most of the antiquated weapons makes the conflicts accessible to newcomers. It’s meat-and-potatoes 20th century combat; no drones or heat seeking bullets to concern yourself with. Every meaningful action is recognized--even dealing a flesh wound earns you experience points. You’ll have more armaments to choose from than your average World War I soldier, though, which is indicative of the creative liberties Battlefield 1 takes.

However accurate or inaccurate Battlefield 1 is--lite J.J. Abrams lens effects notwithstanding--the immersive production values superbly amplify the sights and sounds that have previously existed in other war shooters. Examples include the distinct clatter of empty shells dropping on the metal floor of a tank and the delayed sound of an exploding balloon from far away. The brushed metal on a specific part of a revolver is the kind of eye-catching distraction that can get you killed. Beyond the usual cacophony of a 64-player match, salvos from tanks and artillery guns add bombast and bass to the large map match. And many vistas are accentuated with weather-affected lighting with dramatic results, like the blinding white sunlight that reflects off a lake after a rainstorm.

No Caption Provided

With Battlefield 1, EA and DICE have proven the viability of World War 1 as a time period worth revisiting in first-person shooters. It brings into focus countries and nationalities that do not exist today while also shedding light on how the outcome of that war has shaped our lives. As World War II shooters proved many years ago, no game can truly capture the entirety of a global conflict. This is why the focused structure of the War Stories anthology works well. Moreover, Operations succeeds as an effective educational primer on the battles that this gripping adversarial mode are based on. Battlefield 1 is just an introduction to one of the deadliest world events in history, but it is an outstanding, feature-rich package in both its emotional stories and strong multiplayer.

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The Good

  • Memorable campaign is impressively varied in objectives, stories, and characterizations
  • World War 1 setting is a perfect match for Battlefield-style gameplay
  • New Operations multiplayer mode is an instant classic that offers historical context
  • Multiplayer maps are as visually pleasing as they are engrossing
  • Rich progression system enhances the multiplayer’s strong replay value

The Bad

  • Unintuitive user interface is a blemish in an otherwise exquisite multiplayer mode

About the Author

Miguel amassed 35 hours of combat time in Battlefield 1’s multiplayer while spending six hours on the campaign. 12 of those multiplayer hours were spent at a two-day review event in Los Angeles in a closed online environment while the rest of the time was spent on live servers using final retail codes. He has played every mainline Battlefield release since Battlefield 1942, as well as the two Bad Company spin-offs. Codes for the game on Xbox One, PS4, and PC were provided by EA.
813 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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cgobeil

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Now that it's on sale, I'm very tempted to buy Battlefield 1 Revolution for my PC.

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Skittymiao

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One of the best shooter games of 2016!!! Highly recommend buying for non-Call of duty addicts.

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SingletreeAve

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10 minutes into the single player campaign I get a "return to mission area" countdown. Didn't make it. Game over. Devs obviously have zero craft or chops in game design. I'm out. It shouldn't f'n matter that I took two steps off the scripted path. Step up your game design EA.

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yeknomdab

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Most nags and complaints about the wonky nature of this...game...can be partially explained by remembering one simple fact: This is Star Wars Battlefront (DICE) with a WWI skin.

Don't expect much, ye who enter here.

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ecurl143

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The campaign mode was superb in it's own right and that would have been enough for most games in this genre but the fact that the multiplayer is stellar beyond words is quite an achievement.

Servers are always packed and I've had some epic matches with this game.

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JohanSWE

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It had so much potential, and i really wanted to love the game hoping it would be the 2016 version of bf1942, unfortunately it ended up being the worst (so far) of the BF series.
If the goal was to ruin what was left of the BF legacy, congratulations achievement unlocked.

Horrible match making with games OFTEN ending up being 20 vs 32, and of course the 20 player teams get pushed back to home and then the camping feast is on for the remainder of the game.

Huge amount of hackers, a good 3-4 every single round with KDR 78/0, worst I have seen so far was 120+/0.

The hit detection lag in BF4 feels like the best thing since sliced bread compared to BF1. You can run for cover into a building and 5-10sec later get killed by the sniper who was shooting at you when you were still in the open.

I could write more, but you get the picture, so long story short what ever they haden't fuped before they made sure to royally fup this time around.




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Joelrai135

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I like the graphics in battlefield 1 but there isn't enough features for my liking.

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Midnightmouse

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Totally a Piece Of S*** game. Should be 5 of 10 stars at best. Players are so unbalanced for kills it is pathetic and very frustrating. Riders on horses are almost invincible, charging straight into machine guns and getting the kill, I've tried it myself, just grab a horse and kill at will. I often empty a full machine gun clip into a player looking another direction only to have them turn around and get a one shot kill. I've even seen one person run into a group and while being shot by all 4 people kill all 4 of them. How realistic is that? And sniping can be done clear across the map, literally like a 20 mile snipe! As long as you see the enemies red dot moving just shoot at it, they will get hit. The designers really sucked on this one!

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Tyson8earzz

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I am confused with all the battlefield 1 editions available. Standard, Deluxe and Ultimate. The price gaps are pretty huge, so are they worth the extra money spent? If i get the standard, can I upgrade later to the higher tiered edition? I play on PC btw

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NoahRoalson

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@Tyson8earzz: Just buy the standard, the others pretty much only include various DLC.

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SsangyongKYRON

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Edited By SsangyongKYRON

This should have been called Medal Of Honor WW1 Chronicles.

What are you doing with MOH IP EA?

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Gravity_Slave

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Edited By Gravity_Slave

I'm loving this game so far but a few things just drive me nuts. Aside from the over portrayal of black soldiers plastered all over the game (Historically innaccurate, not racist) , here's a few gameplay issues.

1. Setting up your class. Seems the only time you can is when you are actively in a game. This makes zero sense.

2. You cant exit a game until the next game starts. Yeah you could quit as soon as the game ends but you won't see your after game stats. For some reason the option disappears. Stupid.

3. The game won't begin the 10 second countdown until ALL players ready up. So if you got just one slow dbag who forgets to hit the button or still doesn't know what he wants, everyone is forced to wait.

2. Hardcore mode. Seriously, where is it? It should have been ready at launch.

1. Smaller games like Domination need more diversity. Why only one small samey section for each map? Why not do multiple sections of these huge maps? The Foa Fortress map is bigger than that tiny confined castle, use a different part of that map!

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KrayzieStryker

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I know this is a Game but i really like how amazing they have put the terror of war into this Game. I get the feeling thats how it should be in a World War themed Shooter Game, someone is screaming because he is burning, the Squad leader is blowing his Whistle to signal his Soldiers to charge into the Enemy Defense Line. I get shot from a trained Sniper and don't know where he was and i get dirty in the muddy craters, because my house i took cover ended blowing up so i jumped into the dirt to avoid to stand in the open. This is really Amazing and deserves 10/10 from me. No other Game gives me this kinda feeling since BF1942 this is a World War Shooter that really hooked me and shows me a climpse of the terror of this Conflict in the past. I am a Fan of this kinda Game i even have Verdun but it isn't that awesome and immersive. I really love playing BF 1, thanks Dice for doing this kinda Game even though it seems we have much more Modern/Future Shooter Fans. And i am sick of this theme already every year we only got shooters that had more advanced Weapons more Wall Run kinda Gameplay. You took the Mainstream Shooter back into the Past thats how i love it. I really do hope Call of Duty will be back in the Past too. Thats why i started playing Pc Games because of CoD, BF both World War themed Shooters back than.

Man i hope you understand how i feel :D

2 • 
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Vuori2003

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campaign was short, but MP mode is amazing!!! Try to play it. Honestly I believe that this game was created for MP mode. It's so realistic..

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couly

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@vuori2003: of course it was. Battlefield is made for MP some don't have a campaign

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Arguyle

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this game is simply A-MA-ZING

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deactivated-5ed5ff7933d88

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Anybody interested in the history of WWI in a very entertaining format, look up Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast called "Blueprint for Armageddon I - VI". I'm not a history buff but...Jesus Christ that war was f-ing BRUTAL...and Dan Carlin presents it in such an entertaining way.

Spending years in the trenches on the Western Front while looking across no-mans land and seeing comrades who died yesterday AND 3 years ago just rotting. Making sandbags from soil and pieces of your fellow soldiers who you buried weeks ago...I can't imagine what that was like.

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Pyrosa

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The only game-breaking bug thus far is that if you squad-up with your friends before picking a game, and then let the host try to join your group to a game, it's flat-out broken.

It's the same broken methodology they first implemented with Star Wars Battlefront, which I hated since the beginning. ZERO people who play MP games have ever asked for the ability to be doing something else, other than what the game-host is doing, and expect to be separated from the group they just joined. It's flat-out bad game design, and they broke the standard methodology used since the beginning of squad-based MP games. (Most recent working examples: BF4 & BF:HL).

This post on the forum even points out that there are dozens of other threads with people complaining about the same thing:

https://forums.battlefield.com/en-us/discussion/48637/squads-of-friends-getting-split-up-when-joining-games-94-pages-of-posts-of-others-w-same-prob#latest

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Gravity_Slave

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Edited By Gravity_Slave

Don't know why everyone is complaining about the 5hr campaign. Let alone comparing it to a completely different game like GoW4. You sound like whiny children blubbering "but you let them do it!".

Honestly, what would you rather have, a so-so 12hr grind of a campaign or a really great 5 hr one? And for the record, you buy a BF game for the MP, not the SP. Or didn't you get the memo?

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dmblum1799

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@Gravity_Slave: Memo? Wtf are you talking about? Here is my memo. Wrote it myself. I will not pay 60 dollars for a game that has 5hr sp campaign.

Now you got the memo.

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memberberries

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Edited By memberberries

@dmblum1799: But will you pay $60 for the best online multiplayer experience? Because i did, i couldn't care less about the campaign.Ill probably check it out some rainy day when the line is down or something

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nikon133

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@dmblum1799: I think the only reason why they include SP these days is because they have enforced EA servers for MP. Back in the good old BF2 days, anyone could host server on his/her PC. We still play BF2 on lan parties occasionally, it is very convenient when server and clients are on same lan.

With this approach where server can be rented but not locally hosted, once EA decides to kill BF1 servers, multiplayer is dead. Without SP campaign, the whole game would be dead just as well. With campaign, they can still argue that gamers can replay SP regardless of MP demise.

I wonder if that is some kind of legal requirement, a loophole to avoid potential legal challenges in the future.

With that being said, I got BF1, enjoyed SP, and am enjoying MP. It is good game. But I'm not sure if I will be buying future BF games. I would if EA/Dice would promise to release home server patch (where applicable) once they decide to kill the game servers, and let people who enjoyed MP to keep enjoying it on their own; but I don't see that happening.

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memberberries

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@nikon133: If they screw us over with the servers i won't be giving them a second chance no matter how good their next game is

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nikon133

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@memberberries: Spot on. You have just reminded me why I have skipped BF4, Battlefront and Hardline.

I was really pissed with how bad EA dealt with servers in BF3. At some points later in the game, it was virtually impossible to find official server in Australia/NZ. I could connect to servers in Asia and US, but I would usually be kicked out because of poor latency. What remained were rented servers where little admins with God syndrome were enforcing all sort of craziness. Marathon-long matches. No shotguns. No explosives. No airplanes (except for admin, probably using scenario to train himself). I guess that was their right, but as someone who had purchased BF3 Premium on both PC and PS3, I would expect it was my right to play the game as intended by developers.

So basically, I'm giving another chance to BF franchise here.

But as I've said - I'm really enjoying it for now.

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deactivated-5ed5ff7933d88

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@dmblum1799: ...yep...we now have new cover sheets for all TPS reports...

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Gravity_Slave

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@cjtopspin: He kinda reminds me of that boss. An aloof-literal dipshit who doesn't realize that no one likes him.

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crazyintheface

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Edited By crazyintheface

I don't know what all the hype is about, I think this game deserves a 7 or 8 at the most. The campaign was alright at best and is short. The multiplayer is just alright too. Maybe I'm getting tired of this type of game.

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Gravity_Slave

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Edited By Gravity_Slave

@crazyintheface: I feel the same way about GTA games. I couldn't get enough of GTA3 and Vice City but after that it was more of the same. I only ever really played a lot of BF1942 and some BF3. So I guess this is still fresh for me.

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nikon133

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@Gravity_Slave: I guess that works for every franchise. I haven't completed last God of War on PS3. I have enjoyed U4 on PS4, and I think it was best Uncharted so far - but somehow, when I think Uncharted, U2 comes to my mind first. And let's not even talk about Assassin Creed.

I am enjoying BF1 right now, but I have skipped BF4, Hardline and SWBF... and I haven't played BF3 some years now, so I guess I did "refresh" myself on BF, just as you did.

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tarheelsforever

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i started to not buy this game because i prefer the modern day weapons of Battlefield 4. however, im so glad i decided to buy it anyway. this game is fantastic. now i plan on buying Titanfall 2, and then i will have more than enough top quality shooters at least for the next year.

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Arguyle

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@tarheelsforever: no dont buy Titanfall 2 its a waste of time/money man

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tarheelsforever

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Edited By tarheelsforever

@Arguyle: are you literally insane? lol. just kidding about that because i respect everyones opinion, but i bought TF2 Friday and you must just not enjoy a great shooter. i can tell you with complete honesty that IMO TF2 is one of the VERY BEST SHOOTERS i have played in my life! its silky smooth, has great graphics, and is just pure unadulterated fun! thats why i do my own thing and dont listen to someone elses opinion all the time. also i have let 3 different friends of mine come over and try TF2 out, and every one of them instantly fell in love with it and plan on buying it. like i said before, i respect everone's opinion, but this really is a case of "one man's trash is another man's treasure". this game is incredible. matter of fact, i bought and love BF1 as well, but if i had to say which one i like better, i would have to give the slightest of nods to TF2. but theyre both great in their own way. they are both of the utmost quality.

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bernie19

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@tarheelsforever: agreed. I haven't played stories all the way through on shooters for years, but the past few weeks I have played through GOW 4. It was pretty good, made me want to play cooperative on hardcore. Then I played Titanfall 2, AI is easy on normal, but the fluidity, graphics, parcore, and making me feel a connection with my titan was awesome and made me want more. Hopefully more focus is put into the story in Titanfall 3. For the past week I've been working on the BF1 campaign when time permits, each story is unique and some send chills down my spine. This is yet another game that wants me to play on hard, kind of wish there was a cooperative campaign with a different set of stories. Looking forward to MW Remastered tomorrow, but definitely not getting my hopes up for Infinite Warfare. Going to spend most of the winter replaying many games over. Might even try Dead Rising 4 with my Xbox Rewards money.

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Gelugon_baat

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Edited By Gelugon_baat

I want to make a query here: is it normal for the cellars in this particular multiplayer map to get so heavily laden with smoke, or is this a graphical glitch?

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tarheelsforever

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@Gelugon_baat: first of all i want to say that i love this game, and i know Dice wants the maps to give the true, authentic, gritty feel of combat in WW1, but i personally think they need to release a patch to tone down the environmental effects a little bit. on some of the maps, at certain times the fog and/or dust are so bad that they make visibility so bad that theyre almost unplayable.

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Starhopper4

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@tarheelsforever: What do you think it was like in trenches filled with gun smoke, dust, poisonous gas, etc? While bombs are falling around. Welcome to war.

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Gelugon_baat

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@tarheelsforever: Actually, I think that they should retain them (I don't remember seeing this in past Battlefield games) - but also include some scripts to make sure players can at least something ahead of them at least ten feet in-game.

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Gravity_Slave

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@Gelugon_baat: I think the idea is that the dust and dirt are falling from the ceiling due to the fighting and bombing above.

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Gelugon_baat

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@Gravity_Slave: I can see that. I want to know whether this is an intended design or a graphical glitch.

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Lazerbeak2125

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I was gonna skip BF1 cause the beta was pissed me off.Bought the game,lvl 20,best shooter I've ever played.Haven't even tried scout or assault classes yet nor the campaign everyone is raving about.

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tor_da_colas

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Not gonna ding the campaign for doing ANYTHING wrong Mr. Concepcion? How about the repetitiveness of the formula: 1) capture some objectives conquest-style, 2) sneak around behind enemy lines. Every. single. story.

First, the stealth mode is lazily borrowed from MGSV and Assassin's Creed games, and horribly executed. They half-assed it, of course making sure to tell you that you can toss lures to distract enemies, but the minute you kill someone in an overt way all of his buddies on the map are actively tracking where you are without line-of-sight to the murder.

Second, why so much stealth mode?? This was a *massive* war, a "war to end all wars." We're all intimately familiar with the trench warfare aspect and the millions dead on each side from primary school history lessons. The stealth missions feel forced since how often was that REALLY happening at all in this war? We should have been seeing much more of battalion-on-battalion fighting, not 5 different versions of a lone ranger taking on company-sized enemy elements behind their lines.

Third, I couldn't roll my eyes hard enough at the Aussie story where you had to get to the front lines, oh wait go back to the rear, oh man now you gotta go back up to the front, no wait we need you in the rear again, quick gotta save the kid at the front now!

BF4 had awful dialog and a cheesy story, but at least you got to *play* through that campaign instead of just watching the storyline and then grinding through copy-and-paste missions. You have nothing but praise for BF1, and yet someone like CinemaSins would have a FIELD DAY with this. Bro, do you even play?

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Gravity_Slave

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@tor_da_colas:

there are so many things wrong with your argument I don't even know where to begin. FYI no one buys a BF game for the SP story. Get over it.

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couly

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I was buying this for the MP but the campaign is fantastic, a complete surprise.

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ragethorn

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Damn. I played an hour of the campaign last night and I was blown away. Possibly, the most excited I've been to play a shooter again since MOH : AA

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couly

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@ragethorn: exactly how I felt. It was old school plus some new components, love it.

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smokeless_0225

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Great game...poss best battlefield I've seen yet. Judging by betas this should beat CoD this year...and I'm a CoD fan, lol!

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Atrax2k8

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Seriously Gamespot, fix your rotten web player. I've given up on this site for a long time because watching videos was a terrible experience. I come back, give it another shot and it's still miserable. It's 2016 ffs, this is like Youtube from 2005. The buffering is slow as hell, the video quality is awful even in HD, the player is laggy and unresponsive...it's just a mess. Switch to HTML or anything else for that matter, ditch Flash.

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Battlefield 1

First Released Oct 21, 2016
released
  • PC
  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One

Discover classic Battlefield gameplay with epic multiplayer and an adventure-filled campaign. Experience the Dawn of All-Out War, Only in Battlefield 1.

9
Superb

Average Rating

621 Rating(s)

8.1
Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Mature
Blood, Strong Language, Violence