Review: Battlefield 1 (PS4).

Bearing in mind the premiere of Battlefield 4 (PS4), I approached the latest installment of the DICE series with enormous caution. Four, despite losing several dozen hours in it, I never really liked them. Fortunately, in the case of Battlefield 1 (PS4), quite the opposite.

The choice of the Great War as the action time of Battlefield 1 (PS4) has surprised many. But Electronic Arts could afford such a surprising move. Faithful fans of the series, remembering the times of Battlefield 1942, were tired of presenting contemporary conflicts, and to this you need to add the general sentiment of players to the times of both world wars. Battlefield itself is such a strong brand that a casual player, even if he is not interested in the topic of a given conflict, will still be bought with beautiful graphics and cinematic approach to the game. Because let’s face it – Battlefield 1 (PS4) presents a typical cinematic image of war. In the name of spectacularity and accessibility, the pace of the game was increased and the action was focused on the end of military operations, which allowed the use of newer technologies of warfare.

Review: Battlefield 1 (PS4)

Of course, when we combine this decision with the single-player mode, which, in my opinion, unfortunately does not live up to the hopes placed in it, we will get a not very precise attempt to present a conflict that is so important for the history of mankind. I have already written more about this in a fairly extensive text on the single player mode, so here I will only remind you of the most important objections. I am very pained by the fact that despite the huge potential unexplored by serious games dealing with the period of World War I, Electronic Arts decided to make everything shallow and temporarily stuff it into the end of the theater of warfare. That the campaign focuses on individual soldiers rather than the entire front is not a problem. The first of five chapters is long enough and well written. But then we have a downward slope. We get stories in which the image of the war is shown as a story about the adventurous adventures of a crook-pilot, a chapter lasting only 30 minutes in Italy or the painfully well-worn thread of a mentor and student on the side of the Australian army, and the entire assault on the beach takes 5 minutes. In fact, only the last chapter is defended, in which we direct a woman working with TE Lawrence. The entire campaign can be concluded with the statement that the ideas were good, but the implementation was done headlong, quickly, just to throw something into the game and avoid criticism about ignoring people buying Battlefield for the campaign. And no matter how many people there are, EA should do the best for them.

Fortunately, it did its best in terms of graphics. DICE shows that what they can do with their Frostbite engine can be described as miracles. Although the PS4 game does not run at native 1080p, and operates on a dynamically changing resolution depending on what is happening (sometimes it results in pictures straight from the first PlayStation), the whole presentation is breathtaking. Yes, Battlefield 1 (PS4) is one of the nicest games on PlayStation 4, especially when we take into account the size of the maps, because they are much larger than we had so far in DICE productions. Beautiful views are combined with good animation and high-quality character models. As usual with Frostbite-based games, the lighting that adds color to the scene makes a great impression. The whole effect, however, can spoil the animation drops. In single player mode, they appear less often, but in online gameplay, if we are unlucky, the game can drop even from sixty target frames to thirty-odd frames.

Review: Battlefield 1 (PS4)

A sound setting is something else. And I’m not talking about all the sounds of war – explosions, screams of soldiers, the sound of a flamethrower or sniper bullets flying past our heads. We know that in this aspect, DICE really puts emphasis, which is confirmed by the sound of an overloaded weapon, the last cartridge case popping out from the magazine or even the sound that accompanies a hit in the head by a military helmet. The only thing that the previous parts of Battlefield could remember about music are the farting main theme. Here, the orchestral performance is returned, which is a plus in itself. But not one. Finally, I can say that from time immemorial the main installment of this series did not have such a good and memorable soundtrack. I have been playing this Battlefield for over a week and am already genuinely infatuated with the compositions, especially Zajdi Zajdi, which is a Macedonian folk song used for the last campaign in Arabia.

Okay, but how does this multiplayer fare? Why is it as good as I wrote about it before? First of all, DICE has learned to draw conclusions from the mistakes made before. The first thing – maps. The ones that were thrown into Battlefield 4 (PS4) were weak. In gusts – so-so. It was only Dragon Valley that made me want to play online again. Everything else available in the stand (just like the whole game) was completely lackluster. Not only are the maps here much larger, but also much more varied. Each of them is typically battlefield, even the Salon Blitzkrieg, which is much closer to the typical Call of Duty maps, has such well-placed flags in Conquest that it often pulls players out of one point. In short, we do not have a situation like in Operation Metro with BF3 and BF4. Apart from one map (present in the Sinai Desert beta), I like each board. If I had to choose, I think my most enjoyable games are the Argonian Forest, Monte Grappa, the Scar of Saint-Quentin and the Edge of the Monarchy. Some maps have problems with misplaced AA guns in Operation mode, elsewhere it is too easy to camp, making it difficult to get out of an enemy attack. However, in the end, we’ve got a giant leap from Battlefield 4 (PS4).

Review: Battlefield 1 (PS4)

Second point – game modes. It was decided to cut out the unnecessary fat and leave the basic game modes, adding two new ones. I don’t like the War Pigeons very much. They remind me a bit of CTF with a twisted pace. The goal is simple – we have to get a shipment with a bird that appears on the map in random places, and then hold it to send a pigeon. Three times. The whole thing is too dynamic for Battlefield and it just does not suit this type of gameplay. The same is with Domination – the mode may be good, but in my case it was limited to constantly flying between flags, which was reminiscent of another Call of Duty clone. Luckily, there’s both Assault and Conquest that haven’t changed their rules (which is good). However, there was a gem. The absolute best thing that has appeared on the gaming market since the first PlayStation (no, I’m hyperbolic) – Operations. A mode that combines Assault, Conquest and Team Deathmatch. The available maps are based on real war operations, the descriptions of which introduce us to the subject. Then we are assigned to attackers or defenders and we start having fun.

Operations are divided into three phases in each of the five sectors of the map. At the beginning, we have Assault, i.e. defense or attack on selected points. Later, just like in Conquest, we have to capture and hold the points, and then kill the enemy’s current soldiers. This opens up another sector for us. Of course, we have a limited number of respawns as in the Assault and three attacks for the entire operation (i.e. two, sometimes three maps). Additionally, if one of the teams is doing badly, it receives Behemoth support (it also works in Conquest), which is supposed to tip the scales of victory to the attacking side. And I do not hide – with a good team you can turn the fate of the duel. Well, it is often the case that the initial four points are scored quickly, and for the last sector of the fight are fierce, when the defenders defend themselves efficiently and repel the attack. Operations are the essence of Battlefield and the type of gameplay the series represents. Intensive action combined with good management and appropriate tactics. Requirement to know the maps and classes available in the game. Every detail matters here. Apparently nothing new, just a clump of three available modes, but how well combined.

Review: Battlefield 1 (PS4)

I mentioned behemoths and character classes. The first aspect of the gameplay may seem controversial on paper, but after spending more than 20 hours with the game, jumping on each one and smashing at least a few during the course of the game – it just seems to be. Yes, behemoths are powerful and can completely annihilate the enemy team. But first of all – in inexperienced hands they are useless and child’s play to break down, which happens very often. Players like flies cling to these vehicles, hoping that they will be indestructible and that they will get a lot of kills. In fact, all you need is a well-coordinated team and a few additional soldiers to take out such a behemoth in a maximum of two minutes. The advantage of these machines on the battlefield is that they force teams to change tactics. Even if someone digs into one point and the whole fight is focused on it, the presence of an airship, armored train or Dreadnought causes the dispersion of units and shifting the weight of fighting to another front.

At first, I had mixed feelings about the character classes. In the beta, I complained about the medic, and in the full version he became the class that I play best. I couldn’t play a sniper, but now, after switching weapons and a few rounds, this is my second class choice. I still have a problem with the stormtrooper though, which only makes sense on vehicle maps (and when the behemoths need to be smashed). The advantage of the new classes is the mixing of the available equipment. You have to learn everything anew. You can no longer play medics as offensively as in Battlefield 4 (PS4), where the First Aid Kits had a Stormtrooper. There is also no class typically focused on destroying vehicles. Only the support soldier remained the same, which is perfect for chasing away snipers camped in the bushes with a mortar. The addition of the driver and rider classes are a nice addition and make the number of people taking the vehicles decreased, only to abandon them anywhere in a moment. The vehicles themselves also gained importance. Initially, I thought the tanks were too strong, but it’s the players’ fault – hardly anyone wants to destroy these vehicles and use their low maneuverability against them. There are also special classes that are controversial, but they also do not make them indestructible. There is a suitable patent for all of them and they also have appropriate limitations so that they do not get too much advantage. Of course, a given class in good hands allows you to perform miracles, but … this can be applied to virtually all of them.

If you looked at the rating before reading the text, you are probably wondering why, despite my admiration, the mark is not higher. The matter is simple – there is no DICE game without things that would not require improvement. Playing a sniper is a bit too easy, which shakes the game’s balance. Some maps (Sinai Desert…) have badly placed flags in Conquest. Operations could act like a playlist, and after completing one, instead of being thrown into the menu, it should just join the next. The menu itself works very slowly and cuts frequently, which causes a lot of frustration. It is a stupid idea to change the equipment of our soldier only during the game or using the smartphone application. People, please. There are also some glitches in the game, although less than in previous installments. I have been shot several times through a closed door or wall. I’ve been stuck with textures two times and the most common is the inability to use the crosshair after a companion resurrects. However, these are not serious enough mistakes that I would have to give up playing Battlefield 1 (PS4). On the contrary – I am waiting for the moment when I have no other games to review and I will gladly return to this production. Because there was no such good multiplayer mode on this generation.

Review: Battlefield 1 (PS4)