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Battlefield 1 review: Game’s WWI setting sets it apart

Battlefield 1 gives a bloody, realistic World War

Battlefield 1 gives a bloody, realistic World War I experience, complete with cinematic short stories. Photo Credit: Electronic Arts

PLOT All is anything but quiet on the Western front.

RATED M for Mature

DETAILS PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC; $59.99

BOTTOM LINE A bloody good depiction of World War I.

The World War I setting adds a refreshing touch to Battlefield 1, which may be the bloodiest game in the Battlefield franchise to date, but it presents a realistic portrait of the conflict fought by more than 70 million people across the globe.

Weather plays a serious role in forcing tactical flexibility. When dense fog or intense sandstorms set in, sniping and lobbing tank shells from afar lose their value, and you must venture closer to the objectives to turn the tides of battle. Battlefield is at its best when large numbers of infantry vie for control with support from various vehicles, which is why Operations and Conquest are the best modes of the bunch.

It wouldn’t be a Battlefield launch without some quality-of-life issues, and Battlefield 1 has its share of minor but niggling annoyances. The ability to customize your loadouts from the main menu or between rounds has inexplicably been left out, forcing players to waste valuable time perusing unlockable options instead of capturing flags.

One perennial problem game developers DICE have solved with Battlefield 1 is the quality of its campaign, which has been broken into six cinematic short stories that explore different experiences from the Great War. The tone of these shifts from somber vignettes that speak to the magnitude of the tragedy to more lighthearted affairs focused on daring heroics. It would be great if these chapters told real stories of a war so many know so little about, but in execution they are still much more enjoyable than the past few campaigns and do a great job of introducing players to the Battlefield basics that carry over into multiplayer mode.

In an era dominated by modern and sci-fi shooters, Battlefield 1 going back to the Great War is a refreshing change of pace.

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