Battlefield 1 – Moving forward by moving back [OPINION]

I have no doubts that people are excited for Battlefield 1. I’m ecstatic to see a World War 1 game after so many years of futuristic and modern FPS. Now, don’t get me wrong, flying around with thruster packs, crazy future-tech weapons and high speed jets is a whole ton of fun, but sometimes, it’s nice to take a step back.


Simple, Yet Elegant

Now, this is going to be a really odd comparison, and I’m not an expert on this, but think of games as works of art (paintings, because games already are works of art in their own right). When I think of a game set in the future, it feels very complicated with all of the little gadgets, combat possibilities, and fancy parkour all over the busy setting of a robot or weapons factory. The endless outcomes are pretty crazy. Just like some works of art, it can cover a lot of ground, and show a lot of things. It’s intricate, and every detail is there. I’m still finding things I haven’t noticed in the first couple looks at it, and I might actually come back and look at it more. It’s quite a piece if you care to take a look, and clicking on it will take you to a site that has a zoomed in version with info as you hover over everybody:

Discussing the Divine Comedy with Dante – by Dai Dudu, Li Tiezi, and Zhang An (2006, oil on canvas)

Looks pretty fantastic, right? It may be a very busy piece, but you can get some enjoyment by looking at it for a good amount of time, like the upgrades and features of Battlefield 4 and the latest Call of Duty. Now, let’s look at another painting.

Van Gogh's "Starry Night"
Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”

I’m sure almost everybody knows this one. It’s fairly simple, a picture of a cypress tree overlooking a small town under a crescent moon. There isn’t much to look at, but somehow it’s easy to stare for a while. It’s just nice to follow the swirls, wonder what exactly that brownish-green blob is before frustratedly looking it up, and imagine what the scene would be like in real life. Like a game, if done properly, you don’t have to throw every card up your sleeve. Take a small idea, and make it extravagant. Engage the imagination of your players and give them a bit of a canvas for it to run wild.

I’m sure you’re asking, “But how is this supposed to relate to Battlefield 1 at all?” Well, World War 1 was a simpler time. Everything was gritty, guns didn’t have selective fire, and EOD bots couldn’t ruin your day. Don’t worry about pulling off your epic knee-slide-to-360-melon-kidney-shot. Leave the parkour and free running to Faith. Enjoy the satisfaction of blasting your powerful-feeling single-shot rifle, and use your trench-raiding club the way it was meant to be used: Giving people high fives. In the face.


And the Vehicles?

Vehicles are very accurate for the era we’re thrown into, so that means teamwork. Operating a tank will require a few of you in order to be efficient. Planes are no exception either, with the addition of mounted MG cockpits. No more flares or locking missiles for your jets, either. If you’re familiar with any Battlefield game, you’ll know that flying a jet is hard. You’ve got to spend a lot of time practicing in order to shoot and fly at the same time. World War 1 is going to test your skills as a fighter pilot now, as the planes are going to be much less aerodynamic, meaning harder to control.

What are we trying to get at here?

Because this is a game set in the early 1900’s, that means the developers have to work a little harder than using their imagination to whip up some new vehicles and weapon ideas. Research has to be done in order for everything to be historically accurate. Hopefully, because of this, the attention to detail will be better, and as a result the game will benefit. We know how Battlefield 4 fared, and to be honest, I can’t say anything about Hardline because those results stopped me from getting it. This time around, we may see a little deviation from the regular Battlefield formula, even if it’s still Battlefield at its core. And that could be a very good thing. We just have to wait and see.



Are you excited to see Battlefield 1 set during WW1?

Do you plan to play the beta?

Let us know in the comments below, or on our subreddit!