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Battlefield 1: Campaign Review

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Electronic Arts and DICE have teamed together once again to release the latest title in the Battlefield Series, Battlefield 1. While most First Person Shooters of the genre lately have been looking into the future for their content, Battlefield 1 takes place in the “War to End All Wars” World War 1, and introduces gamers into the horror show that inflicted the world over 100 years ago.


From the opening sequence tutorial introducing players to the game, it is quickly evident that survival is near impossible and with each death a name is shown across the screen with a date of birth, before taking up the weapon of another soldier. Throughout the game, the ruined remains of buildings, the dark barren landscape filled with barb wire and smoke, Battlefield 1 within the first few moments successfully recreates the Western Front Battlefield of World War 1 and continues to do so throughout all of the campaign as well as multiplayer. It excels at bringing the horror of World War 1 to the gaming world and is often a dark and grim adventure with landscapes littered with the corpses of dead soldiers and destroyed buildings making you realise the hell these men and women faced during the conflicts, and their battles just to stay alive, let alone complete their objectives.


Battlefield 1 has kept the single player campaign element, albeit with a slightly different twist. Whilst many gamers will mainly show interest in the Multiplayer modes on offer, the campaign of Battlefield 1 is told through a series of short stories which can be played in any order, each focusing on a different soldier’s story during World War 1. From the campaign menu, Battlefield 1 highlights the geographical spread across the globe World War 1 actually was, and the impact it had on so many countries. With a multinational cast of well written characters these short stories each take place across different battlefields from Europe to the Middle East. Battlefield 1 also pays it respects to the historical events that took place during World War 1, with each loading screen littered with education information about the scale of this so called Great War. Each part of the campaign is based upon real events and battles, even though the characters and their part are fictional.


With each story of the campaign, DICE has done well to introduce players to the different vehicles and fighting styles of gameplay that Battlefield 1 has to offer. From driving tanks through the muddy trenches of the Western Front in France, to flying planes over London, and riding across the battlefield on horseback, as well as the normal aspect of running and gunning FPS, each story brings with it a distinctive different style of gameplay. The stories themselves are broken down into chapters, which flow smoothly from objective to objective with detailed cut scenes in between.


The disappointing element to having the campaign split across these individual stories is that not one is ever given much time to develop and shine, often finishing all too quickly just as you are getting drawn into the action. Each story’s protagonist is well deserving of their own full game, and whilst there isn’t a single story to dislike, the shortness of the fight does get a little frustrating. The story involving the Australians and their march upon the beaches of Gallipoli is one that draws things to a close well before they should. Peter O’Brien the Australian actor is brilliantly placed into the cut scenes of the game, as  veteran Aussie Digger "Bishop", and his character immerses you into what the ANZAC's faced, and the harsh expendable treatment they faced at the hands of the British Forces. But just as pace and action builds up the time spent in the Dardanelles is cut way to short and the climax comes well before it should.

Campaigns have been a weak and forgotten element in recent years for DICE, so much so that Star Wars Battlefront never even had one, and for Battlefield 1, the campaign comes across as a small side show for the multiplayer game modes on offer. Whilst the content and characters of each story is great, the time spent with each character and story is cut way too short, being just over 5 hours long in total, really isn’t good enough for a game of this calibre and triple AAA title. Even though the contents of Battlefield 1's campaign are of top quality, it is a tale of not enough quantity.



RoyBoy

Aussie Gamers Express 
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