Opinion: Battlefield 1 Will Not Be “Number 1”

[As Written on GIO.]

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There’s no denying that DICE’s latest foray into war is looking much better than the hellish world it is portraying. We’ve been to World War II, we’ve seen Vietnam, we’ve experienced modern combat- now it’s time for the first war that changed it all. I’ll admit, I’ve been pumped to see the moving trailers and the interesting storylines being presented for EA’s next series shooter, however I still haven’t let that change the one thought ever-present in the back of my mind: Battlefield 1 will not be the best Battlefield game yet.

No, instead I expect it to appeal its case somewhere between Battlefield 3 and 4, even potentially moving into Hardline territory. Basically, it seems to be a beast of its own and hard to pin into any other category short of tossing it in with like-minded 1942 and 1943 based on general time period alone. I have no doubt that it will sell well and be rated accordingly, however some things still worry me a bit. And I have no doubt that Infinite Warfare and by token Modern Warfare Remastered will easily outpace it.

Battlefield 3 was at one point in time the pinnacle of Battlefield game besides the spinoff Bad Company 2. They’ve all had their share of glitches and bugs and sadly that’s come to be expected, but 3 rose above all else. Then came Battlefield 4 which was a continuation of the same old same old but injected some new things and brought a whole host of new glitches. Bigger wasn’t necessarily better, but it wasn’t worse. And then came Hardline which was a different breed entirely and not great but not terrible.

Battlefield has struggled with its narrative component for the last however many entries, but ironically that’s something Hardline didn’t do too poorly with. It toyed with some new ideas and opened things up more significantly than the largely linear exploits of 3 and 4. So that is why I say Battlefield 1 look to draw some inspiring elements from the much faster paced Hardline. I’m not sure whether or not this new approach to a solo campaign will pay off or not, as it sounds Call of Duty-esque in its attempt to jump from character point of view to character POV.

However, the multiplayer is looking as solid as ever even with its own host of sure to be there bugs. Many modes are returning and feel fresher than ever thanks to the new timeframe and new global perspective. But Battlefield 1 looks to be more than just a fresh coat of paint- it looks to be an entirely new and vivid experience in its own right. Whereas 4 was virtually an extended update on 3, Hardline was a breath of fresh air even if it changed the formula to the point that it was nearly unrecognizable. Battlefield 1 looks to not only return the series to its warzone roots but to catapult it higher as well.

I do not think Battlefield 1 will be as polarized as Hardline was with the fanbase, nor do I think it’ll be the best Battlefield game yet, but I do think it will bring the series’ name back where it belongs and I do think it’ll fare well enough in reviews. Unsurprisingly Infinite Warfare will outcompete, but that may be as much for its solid ideas as for the Remastered MW1. So without comparing the two juggernaut series, I think Battlefield 1 has a chance at quickly becoming one of the most popular games of 2016 regardless.

Battlefield 1 releases 10.21.16 for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

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