The newest trailer for Battlefield 1’s single player campaign dropped recently and, suffice it to say, the game looks spectacular. The two-minute trailer was packed with high octane action sequences and a surprising amount of heart.
The action looking spectacular is a given, this is a Battlefield game after all and one thing that modern first- person shooters can do is look cool. What really shocked me was the emphasis on the personal effects of the Great War.
It was an all-around cinematic feast that coupled some lifelike cinematography with a beautiful swooning score thrown in that sent my emotions into high gear. The monologue that accompanies it all is a well written, well-acted (albeit a bit mushy) speech on the humanity and heroism of the people that fought in the War. I don’t say this very often but I truly felt chills run up my back as the trailer progressed.
The actual gameplay looked fantastic, combining the visceral gunplay of the previous Battlefield titles with the gorgeous visual fidelity of DICE’s previous game, Star Wars Battlefront. While I haven’t played Battlefield 1 first hand just yet, I expect it to be a great playing game. I sunk a hundred or so hours into Battlefield 3 and sixty hours into Battlefield 4, so I’ve definitely had my fair share of fun with the franchise and Battlefield 1 is definitely revitalizing my interest which is an exciting prospect.
What is proving to be the most interesting element of the Battlefield 1’s campaign is the episodic narrative. The campaign will involve seven episodes, each of which will revolve around a different character. It also allows for a more complex view of the war that, for all intents and purposes, involved many of the powerhouse nations of the twentieth century.
Personally, I wish that more first person shooters allowed us to play a conflict from multiple perspectives. We saw this occur in the Modern Warfare series, and it was powerfully utilized there, but every successive version of that mechanic has been either mishandled or ineffective. I’m fascinated to see what comes of the game’s narrative since it’s shaping up to be one of the hottest releases of the year.
I’m loving the ultraviolent Tarantino-esque approach DICE is using to depict World War 1. I know going into it that it won’t be a realistic take on the war or anything of the sort. What I am expecting is blockbuster, popcorn flick levels of depth with a charming enough story to go along with it, and I’m perfectly good with that.
I don’t need every game to adhere to complete authenticity and tackle the War and all of its complexities. There’s a place for that, of course, but it’s not anything I’ve ever expected out of the Battlefield series, nor will I ever expect. It’s like watching Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor and expecting a subdued and quiet study on the ramifications of Pearl Harbor. My only hope is that it doesn’t stoop to Battlefield 3 and 4’s level of true dreadfulness.