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Modern console shooters usually follow the same sort of plot. You play an avenging hero, hell-bent on wiping out your sworn enemy in a hail of bullets and high tech weaponry. Battlefield developers Dice and EA have changed things around a bit.
Once the opening scenes of Battlefield 1 have played out you know you are in for a very different experience. From the very beginning it puts the emphasis on the horror and hopelessness of war rather than glorifying it or making killing “the evil opposition” the main focus.
Set in the Great War era, Battlefield 1’s campaign mode starts in the mud-filled trenches of western Europe. It is incredibly atmospheric, incredibly detailed and genuinely horrific in parts. battlefield1pack
Instead of taking you on a linear journey through a single story, Battlefield 1’s single player mode is made up of five different War Stories set in different locations and featuring soldiers of the various nationalities involved in the 14-18 War.
You are taken from from huge deserts to dense forests to foggy, muddy trenches all of which are presented absolutely beautifully, both visually and aurally.
Obviously, the weaponry is not exactly state-of-the-art – no laser guns to be seen here. The load-outs will be familiar to Battlefield players, you can choose from the usual classes; assault, sniper, medic etc and even though the guns are old, you soon get use to it. Pistols and automatic weapons generally behave the same, maybe with smaller ammo capacity, but if you’re a keen sniper, the bolt action rifles will have you frantically urging your soldier on while he reloads after every shot. It’s frustrating sometimes, but it is historically accurate and you learn to be a bit less trigger happy than you would be with a more modern auto-reloading rifle.
It’s not all about shooting – stealth is necessary in some of the missions, OK it’s not Splinter Cell sneaking, but it adds to the atmosphere and gives you a welcome break from flying shrapnel.
Playing the campaign mode is a pretty good training session for what most people love about Battlefield – multiplayer. You can learn to fly, drive etc, in effect on your own before diving in to play against human opposition.
Once you get into the range of online multiplayer games Battlefield just keeps getting better. The is something for everyone, from standard capture the flag fare to the epic Operations mode, where battles can easily go on for an hour. There’s even one featuring carrier pigeons, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself!
The maps can only be described as epic, they are huge, massively detailed and, most importantly, fun to play
Battlefield 4 had a few multiplayer issues but I’m pleased to say that, so far, EA Dice seemed to have all those well and truly ironed out. In fact the whole online experience is, from choosing the mode to getting into a game, about as polished and easy as it gets. The loading times can be a bit long, but it’s well worth the wait.
One thing is obvious, even after only a few minutes of play – Battlefield 1 is the best looking, best put together, most atmospheric shooter that has ever graced a console. The single player is a worthy game on it’s own, not just a bolt on to an epic multiplayer experience which is, as I had hoped, better than before and is now the benchmark for other games to try and reach.
Brilliant storytelling and superb game design make this one of the best games I’ve ever played on any platform. And where else can you ride a horse to a tank fight!