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NEWS

Battlefield 1 Review in Progress

10/18/16
Battlefield 1’s formula for large-scale, objective-driven warfare is as intense and theatrical as ever against the haunting, archaic backdrop of World War I. Its single-player campaign is a pleasantly surprising anthology of small, human stories that do a good job capturing the tone of the era and showcasing some of its most iconic weaponry and vehicles.

But it’s the exhilarating multiplayer that most strongly capitalizes on the potential of this old-school arsenal, bringing a number of subtle changes that keep the combat balanced and smart while still allowing for the hallmark chaos that makes Battlefield such a fantastic first-person shooter series.

The Battlefield series has not been known for the quality of its single-player campaigns in recent years, but Battlefield 1’s campaign is a pleasant surprise. Its objectives are simple, but it still does a good job of showcasing some of the era’s most iconic weaponry and vehicles.

Rather than restricting itself to one time, place, and character, Battlefield 1’s vignette-style approach to single-player allows it to touch on under-explored theatres of war that made up the nightmarish global campaign of World War I. Its short prologue and five “war stories,” each lasting about 30 minutes to an hour, took me on a harrowing journey from the bleak, muddy fields of the Western front to the sun-baked deserts of North Africa. Because of the wide leaps in both geography and chronology, Battlefield 1’s campaign never delves too deeply into the political complexities of The Great War. But interesting storytelling prevents it from feeling superficial — these vignettes are more interested in telling the human stories of World War I than delivering a bombastic history lesson, and they do so with mostly effective power and grace.

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