Last week DICE and EA finally opened up the floodgates as the public was introduced to Battlefield 1, DICE’s newest installment in the franchise, which takes players all the way back to World War I. Looking back at the announcement, and after having set the trailer to repeat at least a dozen times, let me tell you why DICE just put up a new high roller on my most-anticipated list of games for this fall.
The past few years most flagship multiplayer shooters have been set in either present day or the future, which has pretty much been the progression of the genre in the past few years following the over-saturation of World War II shooters a few years back. Now fans have been clamoring for the franchise to turn back to its roots in the likes of Battlefield 1942 for example, and whilst a return to World War II would’ve been a great deal for many, I’d go as far into saying that when it comes to decisions, DICE couldn’t have done any better than they have with the decision to take the franchise into this old but new territory.The first and most noteworthy argument for this is the fact that World War I was pretty much the turning point for the development of warfare, as the war was pretty much modern society’s introduction to a worldwide conflict, which was a concept that before that time was pretty much unthinkable due to its scale and the technological limitations, and warfare was fundamentally different in that regard during that period of time. Guns were much more simplistic (in comparison to their modern counterparts, of course) and technology was all over the place at the time, which creates unique opportunities for combat scenarios considering the fact that we’ll most likely have to adapt to alternative strategies as we learn about the potential fundementals of the game.
What has me most excited about all of this is because Battlefield 1 is that it’s so fundamentally different than the expectations and wishes that were set ahead of its reveal. Having grown accustomed to Battlefield 4’s gameplay over the years, it has become my go-to multiplayer experience in between games, and despite that I still enjoy it to a great extent, the fact that we’re being thrown into a completely different era and even gameplay experience is something that I think gamers need more than they want it, and that’s a good thing.I personally believe that amongst military shooters creativity has been shelved in exchange for popularity for quite some time, and whilst many are well-produced, there is the matter of fact that thematically we have come at kind of a stand-still. Now, World War I wouldn’t have been my first idea in DICE’s position, but in retrospect it is a strategy that makes so much sense. Whilst some may argue that the presentation so far may seem a bit glorified in regards to the actual brutalities that occurred roughly a 100 years ago, it does properly showcase the possibilities and chaos that this theme could bring not only the franchise, but the genre as a whole.
Another thing that I have grown incredibly attatched to over the years is weapon customization, but considering the time period this’ll be a huge change when it comes to that mechanic within the game. DICE has noted that the game will have the mechanic present in some form, though considering how guns really worked it’s really tough to say what form this will take. This is accompanied by the fact that for all intended purposes this installment could be a huge back-to-basics moment for both the developers and the players. I can’t say I won’t miss my constant testing of different attatchments in the test range for multiplayer in Battlefield 4, but it’ll be an interesting experience.Now, all of this is obviously hypothetical, as to this point the public have only seen so much of what the game will be like, but what we’ve seen so far is incredibly promising at that. Battlefield 1 could be everything the franchise needs, or it could be a failed experiment, but if there’s one thing to be said, it’s that EA and DICE are taking much needed risks in a market that is already at the verge of over-saturation. Safe to say, even though we haven’t seen that much as of yet, it’s starting to look likely that I’ll be there on the battlefield day 1 this coming October.