Battlefield 1 is six years old, and still worth buying

Battlefield 1 is six years old, and still worth buying

Javier Centellas, staff writer

Recently, I booted up Battlefield 1 for the first time in a while, and to my surprise, the servers were quite active! After playing a few rounds, I could quickly tell why: despite being released six years ago, this game by EA/DICE still easily outshines the latest Call of Duty titles. 

Why does this game serve the test of time? First the setting. Unlike most first person shooter games, which are: modern, futuristic, or set in World War Two; Battlefield takes you back to the trenches of World War One. The only big budget game to do so in recent history. 

The game also has a large geographic setting, as you not only fight the Germans in France, but you can fight the Ottomans in the Suez Canal, crash against the beaches of Gallipoli, fight the Austro-Hungarians in the Italian Alps, partake in the Brusilov Offensive, even able to find combat in the Russian Civil War of 1919. 

The massive setting is much needed, given the massive scale of the game. Unlike Call of Duty, with 9v9 infantry only games (with the occasional scorestreak), Battlefield 1 has 32v32 games, including tanks, planes, and transports, along with stationary weapons. 

Along with the classic game modes, such as Conquest, a new game mode is available for this game, known as Operations. These take place over multiple maps, with one team attacking and one team defending. If the attacking team manages to win on the first map, the game moves to the next map, until the attacking team has reached all objectives or lost all its spawn points. 

These operations are based on real campaigns, and the game came with 4 operations, these being “Conquer Hell”, based on the American Meuse-Argonne offensive of 1918, “Iron Walls”, based on the Italian assaults of 1918, “Kaiserschlacht”, based on the German offensive into Amiens during 1918, and “Oil of Empires”, about the British counterattack on the Suez Canal and subsequent chase of the Ottomans into the middle east in 1915.

Four DLCs were released post-launch, with the first being the They Shall Not Pass expansion, which focuses on the French army, adding various maps, weapons, the St. Chamond and Char 2C tanks, and the operations “Beyond the Marne”, based on French assaults in 1918, and “Devil’s Anvil”, based on the German assault on Verdun and the French defense of Fort Vaux in 1916.

Next released was the In The Name of the Tsar DLC, focusing on the Eastern Front, as well as the Russian Civil War. It added new maps, weapons, the Putilov-Garford armoured truck, the Ilya Moroments heavy bomber, and the operations “Brusilov Offensive”, based on the Russian Brusilov offensive of 1916, and “Red Tide”, based on the Red Army assault on Tsaritsyn during the Civil War of 1919. 

The third DLC was Turning Tides, which features naval content, including new maps, new weapons, the C Class airship, the L class destroyer, the Y-lighter landing craft, and the “Gallipoli” operation, which features the ill-fated British/ANZAC beach landings at Gallipoli in 1915.

The fourth and final DLC was Apocalypse, which focuses on maps that look and feel like hell on earth. For example, the map Passchendaele is completely engulfed in flames on the east out of bounds side, and on the west it is engulfed in a cloud of chlorine gas, with the playable area being completely reduced to rubble. The game introduced no new operations, however it introduced the game mode Air Assault. 

All DLCs are included in the “Revolution” edition of the game, which has a MSRP of $39.99, however it is easy to find the game listed at around $10. 

It gets even better, because unlike previous Battlefield titles, it has 5 single player campaigns, along with a short prologue, known as War Stories, a feature that would be included in the next Battlefield release, Battlefield V.

The Prologue is the best of these. It starts with a cutscene of a man laying on a hospital bed, while “Dream a Little Dream of Me” by Dorris Day plays. However, as someone puts their hand on his shoulder to wake him up, he has a flashback to World War 1, where he fought as a member of the famous 369th Infantry Regiment, better known as the Harlem Hellfighters. 

You take the role of several soldiers in this mission, dying every time, until you take the role of the man from the opening cutscene. As a German soldier attacks you with a shovel, artillery hits your position, causing the screen to go black.

 The game transitions into a cutscene, where your character stands up amid the waste of no-man’s land, and a German soldier does the same. Both aim their rifles at each other, before both deciding not to shoot.  This single mission alone is more than enough, however, there are 5 more, each with multiple missions and a plot line. 

The first of these is the four-mission “Through Mud and Blood”, where you become the driver of a British Mk. V landship attempting to break through German defenses near Cambrai during late 1918. Thankfully, you can do more than just drive, and there are two dismounted missions. 

The second is a four-mission  “Friends in High Places”, where you play as American Clyde Blackburn, who cheats a British pilot named George Rackam, and takes his place as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps. All but one of the missions are in a plane, but in one of them you need to make your way back to British trenches after crashing in no man’s land. 

The shortest of the campaigns is “Avanti Savoia”, which has two missions. In the campaign, you play as Luca, an Italian soldier in the Arditi. You and your brother, Mattaeo, are sent on separate missions. In order to support your brother’s unit, you have to fight the Austro Hungarians in the Alps, wearing a full suit of plate armor while wielding a heavy machine gun. 

The fourth is called “The Runner”, with three missions. In them, you play as Frederick Bishop, a renowned Australian war hero, who takes part in the assault on Gallipoli during 1915.  

The final campaign, also with three missions, is “Nothing is Written” where you play as a Bedouin rebel fighting the Ottoman Empire in 1918, with the help of Thomas Edward Laurence, better known as Laurence of Arabia.

All in all, this game is great, continuing the legacy left by Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4. The later Battlefield V tried to replicate the games success, with debatable results, and in 2022 EA/DICE made extremely poor decisions with the latest title, Battlefield 2042, bringing the future of these great games into question.