“We have taken objective Butter”
When I received an email eariler this week from EA containing an Alpha code for Battlefield 1, I was ecstatic! I had signed up for their newsletter pertaining to EA Play on day 1, and it paid off.
This shooter is quite unique, and there has not been a AAA game like this before. DICE has done some fine tweaking to the Battlefield formula, and it creates an experience like none other.
The first thing I noticed when starting my first match was that this is a beautiful game. The graphics on this entry are the nicest I have seen on any PS4 game, and it is still in Alpha. DICE has truly outdone themselves graphically. The environments are rich with detail, the guns show wear and use and the soldiers are uniquely designed per class; and if Battlefront is any indication, the character customization will be deep. The UI is incredibly clean in design. Everything is done in white and black text with solid color highlights, strong imagery in thumbnails and a large realistic render of Earth as your hub between map travel. A new feature to the series was dynamic weather. This would be random upon starting a game and ranged anywhere from sunny sky to torrential downpour and even heavy fog, a favorite of mine as a sniper. Being able to pick off peeking heads in the brief transparency of fog was a joy as a player.
Destructible environments have been a staple of the Battlefield series since Bad Company glorified the destruction a grenade launcher could do, and Battlefield 1 is a highlight of the series in that aspect. Upon starting a game, the map is near crisp in areas and looks like a battle has just begun. About 5 minutes into your match, buildings have been leveled, ground heights changed and a haze of smoke covers the land. I did run into a small issue where the floor boards of buildings destroyed created gaps in the ground that were a little troublesome to maneuver in. Still, being a lonely sniper encamped in a windmill and having the entire building destroyed by an oncoming tank is well worth the hit to your K/D ratio.
Matchmaking for Conquest, capturing and holding positions, was quick, and I was in a game moments after selecting the option. Domination, Conquest on a smaller map without vehicles, gave me a few issues as my search timed out twice, deterring me from the mode for quite a bit as I had no issues in finding a game of Conquest. I found the most exhilaration in playing Conquest. Having two teams of 32 players duking it out with fighter planes, tanks, jeeps, small arms and massive zeppelins is like nothing you can find in any other online shooter on current gen.
When it came to the classes, I did find some issues in balancing. Let me start by thanking the brave men and women who play Medic; I salute you. The four current classes available are Assault (Machine Gun/Anti-Tank), Medic (Rifle/Healing), Support (Heavy Weapons/Ammo Restock) and Scout (Marksman/Marksman?). So my issue comes in the limitations of classes to have versatility. The modes presented all require players to capture points and certain classes are not constructed to be able to adapt to close quarters combat. It seems as though any class can fire across the map, though. This makes removing enemies from a distance effective but when it comes to charging a point, snipers have to rely on small arms, making them ineffective at capturing points. Medics, who are needed on the frontline, have to make due with small ammo capacity on rifles and extended reload time. While I appreciate the realism in the weaponry, it makes capturing points a hassle if a squad is not communicating constantly and coordinating who is playing what class.
Communication is extremely important in this game. With the class limitations and such an expansive map, for a team to do well, every squad needs to be on point. The game assists in this by constantly bringing notice to points that are being captured. It can get annoying and there is an option to turn off this notification. I do find the naming for the points a little humorous. Having the phrase “we have taken objective butter” repeated throughout a mission seems a little odd. I am not sure where the newer terms came from, and a quick Google search does not provide an answer. Please let me know if an answer exists. A nice feature that I am unsure if it is fully new to the series is that players can assigns orders to squads. Positions can be marked as priorities, and the entire team gets notified and a bonus in points is awarded for capturing these positions within a time limit. This feature created some of the most interesting and action packed moments for me as a player. I would make my way to the point and soon realize there was about 15-20 players charging a point held by a handful of enemies. Bullets come flying at us as we charged up the hill with vehicles in tow and bombers dropping explosives on the point. It was quite incredible to play, and in moments like this, I would forget I was playing an online shooter as the battles would create small narratives.
Since it is in Alpha still, I will not stick heavy to the glitches, but there were a few. Sound would cut out at times, especially when switching in and out of vehicles and after explosions. There was a glitch that happened about six or seven times where, after death, my body would fall through the ground infinitely until I chose to respawn,and I did get booted a couple of times from a game. Again, this is an Alpha, so I am not holding this against my experience with the game.
Overall, my time so far with the Alpha has been amazing. The battles are intense and the idea of playing in a World War 1 shooter is intriguing enough to set this game apart from everything else on the market. I am looking forward to picking it up at launch and continuing the battle.
- Domination is not as fun as Conquest, just saying.
- The Zeppelins, while cool, do not seem to do much to the game state besides being a distraction for fighter planes.
- Respawns sometimes do not account for enemies near by, and I spawned a few times literally in someone’s cross-hairs.
- “We have lost objective Apples”