Battlefield 1 full review
Battlefield 1 has been one of, if not the most discussed games of 2016. It created a huge hype at the initial announcement, and its’ open beta was the most popular game beta ever. Taking the FPS back to World War 1 was a risky choice for EA and DICE when you consider most FPS now take place in the present or future, but it seems the risk has paid off. We’ve sunk a good chunk of time into Battlefield 1, and here’s what we think. Read next: Best upcoming games of 2016 and 2017 and Nintendo Switch confirmed
Also see: Best Black Friday Games Deals
Battlefield 1 is about as different from its predecessor, Battlefield Hardline, as it’s possible to be. While Battlefield Hardline concentrated on the ongoing battle between the police and criminals, Battlefield 1 takes us back to “the war to end war” and the brutality that came with it. There were no drones, high-powered weapons or even that many vehicles in 1918, meaning you had to get up-close and personal with your enemies, something you also need to also do in Battlefield 1. The inclusion of bayonets on the end of weapons should tell you all you need to know about just how close range and brutal the fighting was – you had to look them in the eye and see that they were just like you, before killing them.
You see, Battlefield 1 isn’t a standard war game with a flimsy storyline and explosions everywhere - Battlefield 1 puts an emphasis on the inevitability of death in war, and the story of those that did perish. Small historical facts sprinkled throughout the game are a constant reminder that this isn’t fictional, and that it all really happened over 100 years ago - it’s a sobering feeling to have when playing a game, but not necessarily in a bad way.
Read next: Best PS4 games
Battlefield 1 UK pricing and availability: Where to buy Battlefield 1 - Battlefield 1 deals
Battlefield 1 goes on sale today (21 October 2016), although those who purchased the £69 Early Enlister Deluxe Edition have already had access the full game along with a few additional extras. Those who want to buy the standard edition of Battlefield can do so from the following retailers, with prices ranging from £40-50 depending on the platform and stockist:
Buy Battlefield 1 at Amazon from £39.99
Buy Battlefield 1 at GAME from £39.99
Buy Battlefield 1 at Origin from £49.99
Buy Battlefield 1 at Xbox Store from £54.99
Buy Battlefield 1 at PlayStation Store from £54.99
Following the initial release of Battlefield 1, sales monitor Chart-Track has announced that EA and DICE had sold more copies of Battlefield 1 during its first week than Battlefield 4 or Battlefield Hardline, combined. The company also notes that the sales are "just under the amount generated by Ubisoft's week one sales for Tom Clancy's The Division", and that the game dethroned EA's FIFA 17, sending it t the second spot.
Read next: Best gaming PCs
Battlefield 1 review: Single player campaign
The tales of heroism in Battlefield 1 are told via a series of War Stories rather than one long campaign, offering a more focused experience, especially in terms of narrative, when compared to older Battlefield games. The War Stories are based on a non-linear format, and can be played in any order without ruining the overall storyline. This is partly due to the fact that each War Story is its own campaign and the protagonists aren’t connected in any way apart from that they’re all fighting in the same war.
Each war story has a distinct narrative, and presents you with different perspectives and motivations. Take the exploits of the largely unlikeable pilot Clyde Blackburn for example – his character represents the stories that get confused in the chaos of war, and leaves you to interpret his adventure yourself. Was he a reckless thief and gambler, or was he trying his best to save his fellow man and survive the brutality of the first world war?
Read next: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare review
The story of Clyde Blackburn is just one of six stories, and is a world away from the post-war account of Luca Vincenzo Cocchiola, an armoured Italian soldier tasked with protecting his twin brother while pushing back approaching enemy forces. Amidst all the action is a sprinkling of heartfelt emotion, and it’s the emotional connection that you build with these characters that makes War Stories such an impressive and integral part of the Battlefield 1 experience.
War Stories also introduces you to the first generation of tanks and fighter planes, which were considered advanced warfare at the time. One story, “Through the Mud and Blood”, takes you through the early days of tank warfare, painting a picture of sheer destruction with a hint of panic whenever the notoriously unreliable tanks would break down mid-battle. It’s also where one of the game’s most emotional and hard-hitting scenes takes place with a carrier pigeon – but we won’t spoil that experience for you. Click here for more games news and reviews
Beyond the phenomenal storylines and characters that War Stories offers, it’s actually a fantastic training mode for Battlefield 1’s multiplayer mode. The six stories each have an emphasis, whether it’s on flight, operating tanks, stealth or surviving an all-out assault, all with helpful hints and tricks that can be carried over to the online multiplayer. Trying to fly on multiplayer before playing “Friends in High Places” was terrible but the helpful tips during the mission meant that we could take to the sky and have half a chance at inflicting some kind of damage to the enemy team.
NEXT PAGE: Battlefield 1 Multiplayer and BF1 verdict