Planes, Trains, and Horses. Battlefield 1 Open Beta Impressions

This past weekend I played the Battlefield 1 open beta. I had some expectations since the Battlefield games are usually nothing short of great (for at least the multiplayer mode). But I had no idea just how much I would enjoy this, here are my impressions.

Battlefield 1 takes place during World War 1, which might be off-putting for some players, especially those that are used to more modern military shooters. There were two game modes available during the beta; Conquest and Rush. These will feel familiar to anyone that has played any previous Battlefield game.

In Conquest, players have to capture control points and make sure the other team doesn’t capture them. This mode is all out warfare. There are 64 players in this mode so there were people riding horses, planes battling in the sky, and tanks everywhere. The action starts building up when everyone is trying to capture the same points. If a team is losing by a large margin then they will have access to an armored train. The train is very powerful because it is difficult to destroy and it has an artillery attached that can be fired pretty far.  

In Rush, the attacking forces have to destroy telegraph posts by planting explosives on them. While the defending forces can disarm the explosives and use the telegraph posts to call in an artillery strike. If the telegraph posts are destroyed then the defenders have to retreat to defend another section of the map. When the attackers destroy all the posts then they win, but if the defenders defeat enough reinforcements then they win.

Rush is the mode that I enjoyed playing the most because of its more infantry based combat and less vehicle base, although there were tanks that players used. The biggest issue that I hope will be fixed before the game is released is balancing. It feels like the attackers always have the advantage because they have access to tanks throughout the entire match.

Both of these game modes are set on the same map, Sinai Desert, but they couldn’t play more differently. In Conquest, the map is large and very open, making it easier for snipers to find their target. In Rush, the action is more fast-paced with the attackers throwing themselves at the defenders in order to destroy their targets. At random moments during the matches, a sandstorm will start up which will make it difficult to see more than a few feet in front of you. You have to change up your playstyle when this happens, as sniping will be near to impossible.

The weapons here are the ones that soldiers would use during World War 1, so some of them feel a little clunky and unreliable. But that’s what adds to the fun of it, this game doesn’t feel like every other military shooter available right now because of the era it takes place in.

Even though this was a beta and many of the games bugs and issues will be (hopefully) sorted out, this is still a gorgeous looking game. The amount of things that are happening on screen at once never make the framerate drop or made the game unplayable. Of course, Battlefield games are known for having a destructible environment, and Battlefield 1 is no exception. The ground and buildings would get destroyed and eventually crumble. But since the only map here was a desert there weren’t a lot of buildings here to show off just how much things can get destroyed.

Overall, I had a lot of fun playing the beta and it makes me excited for the full game release. The only issues that need to be fixed with the game are balancing and a few graphical bugs, but other than that the game feels fine. You can read my full review of the game when it is released on October 21, 2016.