These games are always overpowering at first. The spawn-die-repeat nature of large scale warfare can feel as frustrating as any game you've played before but soon enough you'll start to remember that this isn't a run-and-gun game. You'll settle into a class, work out what weapons work for you and start utilising your squad to stay alive longer and team up to rush an objective.
Once you're a few hours in you'll be hooked and those feelings will start to come back.
Not much has changed under the hood. You still pick from four classes. Assault, Support, Medic and Scout. At the time of writing the Medic class seems to be the most popular, mainly because their default rifle is insanely powerful and points can easily be wracked up by healing and reviving team mates, but DICE has good form in balancing through patches based on data received so I can't see this lasting too long.
Your favourite game modes have returned. Conquest is as manic as ever, Rush as genius. In fact Rush seems to be better than it's ever been, with each map offering unique strategies and incredible surroundings that provide various options to both attackers and defenders. For me, this is where Battlefield 1
Domination and Team Deathmatch return, neither offering the epic feeling of the larger scale game modes, but offering a nice change to break things up before going back to the game modes you fall in love with.
This time we're introduced to two new modes of play. War Pigeons is like Halo
's oddball. Both teams try to capture a pigeon and hold onto it for long enough to attach a message and release it into the air. It's the better of the smaller team-based game modes but won't hold your attention for too long.
Operations is Battlefield
's equivalent to Battlefront
's Walker Assault but expands the idea to create something special. You're taken through a series of game modes based on real-life battles, injecting a little history between rounds. Objectives change, maps change and at times you'll be fighting off armoured trains and huge airships. It's not my favourite expression but I'm finding the whole thing hard describe in any way other than 'epic'.
A round of Operation will last around 45 minutes so won't be playable on a regular basis, but by the end of a full run it leaves you with no doubt that you've got your money's worth.
There are still the odd niggles lurking that fans will be familiar with. The slightest moment of lag can result in the game feeling like it's cheating you and you'll want to switch off the moment you realise you're in a bad run of being killed over and over.
There's a lot of work needed on the new unlock system based around opening crates, and setting up your character can be a pain in the arse when you consider that you can only really kit out while a game is up and running, but considering how Battlefield 3
fared during their first week these small gripes pale in comparison.
Any issues you have with Battlefield 1
will be overshadowed by just how good looks, sounds and feels to play though, and while there might be a few tweaks needed to get a few problems ironed out there's no doubt that this is the best the series has been.
The new setting helps keep things fresh but it's the tried and tested core of Battlefield
that will keep you coming back. That means that if you failed to get into the series previously then this won't do enough to change your mind, but those who are on board will fall back in love and those that haven't given the series a chance should definitely jump on
+ Looks incredible
+ Sounds Incredible
+ Battlefield at its best
- Can feel a tad familiar
SPOnG Score: 9/10