Battlefield 1 Open Beta – Review

All really is quiet on the Western Front…

I’m not really a First Person Shooter fan and haven’t been since the days of Medal of Honour. I fully appreciate the genre, but recent shooters just lack the atmosphere or authenticity I need. However I signed up to the Battlefield 1 Beta because I really thought this could be different. Taking the FPS genre back to the birth of big-scale industrialized warfare – how could this not be an all out atmospheric blast? Well…

Firstly I need to point out that this is a Beta. Of course it should be an accurate reflection of how the game will feel, look and play, but there’s always room for improvement. The full game could well be a different experience. I certainly hope that the single player features a creative and emotionally driven story, but this review is solely based on the online play available from the Open Beta.

battlefield_1_screenshot_4The actual gameplay is solid. It is what you would expect from a modern FPS. It feels very similar to Star Wars Battlefront, in fact I feel as if I have just reinstalled Dice’s previous FPS. A major change from Star Wars Battlefront (and maybe the only) is how vehicles are included much more fluidly. The cars are dotted around the map, horses are great for going head first into battle, and the planes fluidly allow you to focus on both the warfare on ground and in the skies. But if you have played Battlefront before you will be completely at home with Battlefield. 

Although Star Wars Battlefront really captured the essence of what makes the franchise so great. They incorporated the iconic sounds and music from the franchise while creating character types based on beloved figures from Star Wars. Battlefield lacks any atmosphere. There’s just nothing. It genuinely feels like just any other shooter. You choose your character type, then search a lifeless battlefield to shoot at the enemy. No iconic moments, no character in the setting, just nothing.

I am being harsh on Battlefield 1 here when it comes to the lack of atmosphere, but this is a serious oversight. The whole reason Battlefield-1-gameplay-1-684x385the game’s trailer received so much love is because it’s meant to capture the feel of World War One. Battlefield is meant to take us away from soulless battling in space; to take us back to when it was more meaningful. WW1 is something that can never be removed from our consciousness. The emotional stories of the soldiers, the hell they went through, the literature written by them and about them are all imprinted into our history. Yet none of this is built on by Battlefield. 

Quite frankly Battlefield 1 could be about any war. That’s the biggest criticism of the game. Dice haven’t produced a game anywhere near the hype called for. It’s a solid shooter, maybe even a good shooter. But with all the history of World War One, all the potential for something completely different, it plays like any other online shooter.

What are your thoughts on the Battlefield 1 Open Beta? Do you agree with my review? Will you be preordering this or Call of DutyComment below and have your say!

Written by Stan Cohen (follow me on Twitter for all my latest articles: stancohen37)

Maybe the single player storymode will be better…

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