Battlefield 1 Beta Impressions

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

For the past week I've jumped head first into the open beta of Battlefield 1. I got invited to the early access for the PC version, giving me an extra day with it. My PC is an old boy now and only just kept up with all the new graphic fidelity DICE has shoved into the game. Therefore for the rest of the beta time I switched to the PS4 version. Also for some reason the Battlefield series is the one shooter that I'm better at on console then PC. No idea why but I ain't complaining.

Source: EA / DICE / LevelCapGaming (via)

The beta included the map Sinai Desert, and could be played in the conquest and rush game modes. I jumped right into a few games of conquest first of all. If you haven't played battlefield before conquest is basically a team based capture the point style game, it is probably the most popular game mode in the Battlefield games. Jumping in the first thing I noticed was just how pretty the game looks. Even though I was just playing in a desert - somewhere you may think of as having a boring aesthetic - the colours and lighting just made everything look so vibrant. The map itself is the largest in battlefield history, perfect for the epic battles you can have in conquest. 

Because this game is set in World War 1, the weapons are very different from what we have been used to in previous games. With exception of the sniper rifles every class of weapon has had a noticeable downgrade in range and damage. This I think I'm ok with. I am not one of those people who need their games to be 100% realistic, but I am enjoying having to learn how to handle these more antique guns. Also the way they look is really cool and weird. This is because it was the first war that people were experimenting with automatic guns for the first time.

Source: EA / DICE

The same goes with the vehicles, the very early aircraft are awesome to fly and look like wooden death traps. Using a plane feels like your totally absent and not involved with the game on the ground. So you feel pretty much useless but they sure are fun to fly about in. As for the tanks you are basically a wrecking machine and can destroy a large number of people before you get taken down. Tanks have become a real force to be reckoned with. I think this has come from one of the big changes to tank combat, that is that tanks can now repair themselves from within the tanks. In previous games you had to get out to repair a vehicle, leaving you in a vulnerable position. But now with this new system you have a slight shell around you while you sort yourself out. I imagine that tanks will definitely decrease in power when the game finally comes out. They have also included for the first time horses! Unfortunately I didn't have much time to play with them. :( 

Also another new entry is the introduction of behemoths. These are extremely powerful vehicles that are given to the loosing team that could change the course of the battle. The one available in this map was the armored train. However I rarely got the chance to see it, because it only is available when the point gap between teams reached a certain point, and it very rarely did. Hopefully they can balance this out in the future because it looks like a really interesting way to change up the game-play.

Source: EA / DICE

Playing through the map itself on the ground is superb. In the center of the map is a small village with a bunch of buildings with tiny alleyways and different elevations. This is super fun to sneak about in and contains the most intense combat. On the outskirts are a few other points that are more open with ruins and military outposts. These are also very fun to assault when another team is hunkered down in them. At various points in a match a sandstorm will disrupt the combat. This, apart from looking and feeling awesome, changes up the combat significantly. The storm drops your vision to only a few meters. This makes both planes and snipers pretty much useless, and forces combat into close range encounters. 

The map is perfect for large scale conquest matches and provides the 64 players a nice amount of variation. However it is not as well rounded for the Rush game mode. In the rush game mode one team defends two points and the other team is tasked with attacking them. Once the two points have been captured the defending team moves back to two more points further into the map. I really enjoyed Rush in Battlefield 3, even though it was not one of the most popular modes. The main problem I had in rush in the beta was that it was limited to 24 players. This wouldn't normally be a problem but because the map was so big that the defending team always found it hard to cover the whole area. I'm pretty sure this could be fixed by simply increasing the number of players in a match. 

Overall my experience with the beta has been a superb one. The visuals and game-play offer me just what I want in a battlefield game and I have very high hopes for when it's released on October 21st.

Source: EA / DICE

Did you play the Battlefield 1 Beta? What did you think? 
Let me know in the comments. :)

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