Battlefield 1’s Open Beta Is A Blast From The Past

Guns, gas, and grenades…

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I told myself at the announcement of Battlefield 1 that I wouldn’t be interested in it, that the World War I setting wouldn’t work, and that DICE was grasping at straws. I was extremely glad to find out that Battlefield 1’s open beta is packed with action, and the retail release appears to be primed to make a big impact when it is unleashed on consoles and PC.

More Of The Same?

The Battlefield franchise has been a staple of the first-person shooter genre, providing players with large-scale combat and a teamwork focus for some time. Battlefield 1doesn’t appear to be groundbreaking in that regard, but the WWI setting is absolutely fantastic. The framework hasn’t changed and the basics of how it operates isn’t different, but there’s something to be said about how the atmosphere sucks you in and makes you claw for every inch of territory.

Combat seems more balanced as a result. Vehicles are present, as always, but they’re precious commodities that are even more dangerous in the hands of a skilled operator. Melee combat has made a push forward into the game as well, and DICE has even included the option of performing a Bayonet Charge when sprinting forward while carrying a bayonet-equipped rifle.

Weapons have the ideal level of oomph to them. Like all other Battlefield games, great care seems to have been put into making sure the firearms have a satisfying noise associated with them, and the developers even made sure to include the telltale crack of a sniper’s round whizzing by your head.

This all will likely sound very familiar to those that play the series, but there’s something that Battlefield 1 has that hasn’t been present since the Battlefield license graduated from WWII to the modern era.

No Fancy Gadgets Here

Since Battlefield 1 is set in a fictional version of WWI, combat flows differently. There aren’t any the same types of gadgets to help out; reflex scopes, drones, and missiles aren’t present here. Battlefield 1 is all guns, gas, and grenades.

In my time with it, I played primarily on the Conquest mode, wading through the sand and bullets to each objective. I had my fair share of losses in the beginning, though after finding a good squad, the tide began to turn. This is where Battlefield tends to shine. Teamwork makes a comeback from the weakly received Battlefield Hardline, where being a lone wolf seemed to pay off more.

The Battlefield 1 beta runs at a far slower pace than the most recent previous entries. With firearms becoming the primary method of combat, and melee taking the passenger seat, each firefight requires more deliberate action. The battle I remember best still is one where I had to face off against a lone soldier…

We were both face down in the sand, firing back and forth for some time. He had found cover near a bombed out house, and I had the misfortune of being in the open. Over the dunes flew a potato masher, fuse sizzling. I had only moments to react, so I stood and dodged out of the way.

The explosion scrambled my head for a while. Blood smeared all over my face.I fumbled for my rifle and shook the sand from it. The crater left by the detonation looked to be just the right fit for me, so I threw myself in. Our spat felt like it had been going on for hours and I knew that I’d be dead in a matter of moments if I didn’t end it myself.

So I stood tall and took aim. I could see him shuffling closer, trying to find his mark. I knew we were far from each other but I swear I could see the glint in his eyes. We both fired…

And here I am…

I don’t mean to sound too dramatic, but this is how I felt while playing. Of course not every fight is so glorious. I’ve had my share of awkward failures.

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Battlefield 1 just seems to have a certain charm about it. It feels weighted with history, something that the modern Battlefield games are missing. Fights feel like there’s more at stake, but that may be just me.

Ugliness Rears Its Head

That’s not to say that it’s all good news. The menus are hopelessly sluggish on the Xbox One and I’ve witnessed multiple glitches with player’s equipment as they’re on the move.

I made the mistake of attempting to change my settings mid-battle and got locked up in the menu as the game attempted to comprehend what I wanted to do. Trying to exit the menu only resulted in me staring at my HUD for over 30 seconds, while another player shot me in the face.

Luckily issues on my end have been fairly uncommon, but DICE seriously needs to address the sluggish menus.

Once More Unto The Breach, Dear Friends, Once More…

Battlefield 1 may be part of a long running series of games, but this reinvention appears to be on the right track. I found myself getting invested in battles, cheering alongside my fellow players, and trying to keep us all alive (I always play as a Medic). The fights brought with them a little adrenaline surge as my fireteams drew a line in the sand, and managed to hold it.

In time, everyone will get to play the full game and see for themselves. In the meantime, I’d recommend everyone interested in the game take a chance to play the open beta, which will be accessible until September 8th.

I may have been wrong in my initial assumptions about Battlefield 1. Does anyone know a doctor that specializes in removing feet from mouths?

The retail release of Battlefield 1 is set for an October 21st debut, this year on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Have you had the chance to play the open beta? What are your thoughts? Are you ready to report for duty?

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15 thoughts on “Battlefield 1’s Open Beta Is A Blast From The Past

  1. This means you liked it, yes? I am so glad! I think that is why I got so sucked into this one. Normally I don’t do the whole shooters thing ; This has me changing my mind. And I can rock a mean sniper at times.

    And you are on xBox One? Dang it! How am I to play with/against you if you are on a different console!

    But yes, having the guns be the main weapon, not too many confusing other gadgets have made this a blast. And YES TO A GOOD TANK DRIVER! Makes all the difference in the world! I got 4 kills, many Objectives …. err… finished (taking over places? Let’s go with that). It was fantastic. I hate being against them though. I run for my life and hope a tank comes along!

    Oh, my thoughts? I think I have raved enough. Glad to see other “Non-shooters” are enjoying it as much as I am. OMG That blasted – I need to go get some revenge. ;P

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting. I’ve never played a Battlefield game, but I guess that’s because I didn’t like shooters much until about a year or so ago! Maybe I’ll pick this up, especially if it happens to have co-op as my boyfriend and I are anyways trying to find things to play together and shooters tend to top the list.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Battlefield 1 doesn’t take place in a fictional version of the Great War. It takes place in the actual setting, the war was fought all across the world, including the beta map which is in modern day Iraq.

    But yeah, Battlefield 1 looks and plays great. It might be my GOTY.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fictional might have been too strong; alternative is more correct. Much of the technology in the game never existed in the way it is shown, or not at all. The Sinai Desert is also in Egypt. I don’t mind any of that though since a realistic interpretation would probably be less fun and I’ve been loving the beta. Can’t wait to see what the main game looks like.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Alternative sure, of course the technology didn’t exist then, we’re in the age of attachments and stuff like that so it’s more akin to that. Yeah, it’s a dramatization which is fine by me because I wouldn’t play a ultra realistic WW1 game. I mean if you want to play something like that, play Verdun: 1914-1918. But yeah, it’s a dramatization to make it more fun. This is the first time that I feel excited for a First Person shooter. I’m really liking the beta now, it’s great.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been playing it on PS4 and for never playing the Battlefield games I am having a pretty good time! Teamwork is the name of the game like you said and I find myself only playing if I know I will have friends to play with.

    The glitches you mentioned are the same for PS4. Crazy slow menu!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey, so remember when I said that there weren’t a whole lot of WWI games, and you suggested giving Battlefield 1 a try? I wasn’t go to buy it, but my room mate did, and we had a blast passing the paddles back and forth between matches. I wrote a quick first impression piece on it, though now that I’ve read yours I wish I had elaborated on the game more:

    I know exactly what you mean about getting invested in those intense moments. I’ve had my fair share of dud games (to be expected in Battlefield), but when you get find that one match where you fight tooth and nail for every inch of ground, it just feels amazing.


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