Battlefield 1 – First Impressions & Why I Refunded It

Battlefield 1 – First Impressions & Why I Refunded It
Battlefield 1 (PC [Reviewed], PS4, Xbox One)
Developer: DICE
Publisher: Electronic Arts

Battlefield 1 is a first person shooter set during the period of World War 1. It has both a single player campaign and multiplayer.

After I played a third of the single player campaign, and over 7.5 hours of multiplayer during the 10 hour trial period of the game, I decided to refund my pre-order.

Multiplayer:

The multiplayer is really good, and those who enjoyed Battlefield 3 & 4 will certainly like Battlefield 1 as well. There are different maps, and game modes available. Some games can have up with up to 32 players on each team.

The vehicles, air crafts, and horses are really fun to use, and when they’re used correctly can easily turn the tide of combat. Fighting in the trenches, and in close quarters feels intense with so many players. I also like that the losing team spawns an extremely powerful vehicle to help them put up more of a fight. It results in a lot of very close scores by the end of the game, and players need to keep up their efforts to secure a win. For the most part I really enjoyed the multiplayer, and it’s definitely a quality game experience. With that being said, I have a hard time getting passed a couple things that keep me from wanting to come back to the game in the long term.

The first of them being the season pass content after already buying the full priced game. It really frustrates me that this has more or less become a standard practice, but I can’t stand feeling like I’m forced to buy it for fear of being dropped from servers for not having the proper map packs. I might be a little more tolerant of the high cost of the game + season pass if it wasn’t for the fact that spending that much doesn’t even unlock all the in-game weapons. It pisses me off that even after paying full price for a first-person shooter game, you still have to play a lot to farm up and unlock all of the weapons that are completely relevant and sometimes necessary to gameplay.

I just can’t support this greedy business model, and it’s truly unfortunate because the game is exceptionally good. I really miss the good old days of Battlefield: Bad Company 2, where you got all the items, and could just jump in at anytime, be on equal footing, and play all the same maps as everyone else without having to pay out the wazoo or grind up levels.

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Campaign:

The single player campaign is broken down into 6 separate war stories that are each focused on completely unrelated characters. I finished the first 2 war stories in less than 2 hours. I liked what I played of the campaign. When I played the first war story, I was immediately  shocked by it. When you die, you don’t respawn, but you take control of another soldier. To think of how each of those deaths on the battlefield was somebody, it was very disheartening. I actually felt pretty bad when the soldiers I was playing as died.

The second war story was focused around a small group of soldiers, and I liked the story there as well, but it didn’t evoke as much of an emotional response as the first mission. I think because it was so short, and focused on the same few characters, I just didn’t get enough time or backstory to really feel a strong connection with them. I still want to play the rest of the war stories in the campaign, but I will wait for a substantial sale before thinking about purchasing this game again.

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Pros:
  • superb multiplayer; fun vehicles, intense combat, and a system that helps compensate the losing team with a strong vehicle spawn to help them stay in the game, and keep the scorelines closer, and more exciting until the end of the match
  • the single player campaign stories are interesting, and while they may not live up to their full potential, they may still evoke an emotional response at times
  • the game looks fantastic; the environments are gorgeous, and the vehicle, aircraft, and character designs are all excellent
  • the audio is amazing as well; the music, and voice acting are great
  • the sound effects are phenomenal, with all the bombs and shots going off around you, it feels very immersive
  • game has solid performance (even in the 64 player multiplayer, where I only recall lagging very briefly less than a handful of times)
Cons:
  • season pass with map content paywalls potentially pressure players into spending more, or just avoid coming back to the game in the long term
  • even though you buy the full game, you still have to work to unlock all of the items (some people will enjoy unlocking things, but I personally don’t) – after an absence or delayed start into the game, it is harder for players to jump back in to the game and be on equal footing
  • the war stories are short, and you don’t get a lot of character development, and it may be difficult to connect with the characters
  • (nitpick) more destructible buildings and terrain would have been awesome (was still a fair amount of structures that you could destroy though)
Conclusion:

I refunded the game because I was turned off by the need to spend more or grind more in the multiplayer, and the campaign alone didn’t feel like it would have enough substance to justify the cost of the game. If you have thought about getting Battlefield 1 for only the campaign, I highly suggest waiting decent sale. If you are looking to play some excellent multiplayer with vehicles, horses, and old school weapons from the World War 1 era, and you don’t mind paying for the season pass, or having to play or pay to get all of the available weapons, then Battlefield 1 is a very good game that’s worth playing.