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November 09, 2016

Battlefield 1 Review


We merry few.

Reviewed By: KVR (Head Writer)

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

Published By: Electronic Arts

Developed By: DICE

Content Verdict: Caution Advised (C) (For War Violence and Strong Language

I'm probably not the first to say it, but I'm tired of shooter games. I'm tired of all the "impactful" and "emotional" scenes which are as impactful as a piece of crumbled paper and as emotional as a plank of solid wood.

My journey with shooters started pretty early in my teenage years, after seeing a friend play Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault. A game with genuine impact. It really made you feel the intensity of the Pacific Theatre during WW2. I sought that intensity, and eventually found it delivered at its fullest in the Call of Duty series.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a masterpiece. End of story. It's also what killed shooters, unfortunately, due to the impact it had being so enormous that all which came after tried to emulate it so badly that they sacrificed what made them special in the first place (the challenge), in favour of sheer shock and spectacle.

Shooter games basically sold their souls in order to strike a deal with the devil. It worked: Sales are sky high, but at the cost of real emotional depth. Scenes of violence are oriented more towards tabloid headlines instead of educating us about the horrors of war and the loss of innocence it brings.

This doesn't mean that certain games don't bring about a flicker of hope for the shooter genre. Wolfenstein: The New Order, was a surprising hit when it came out, presenting us with a bit more punch than what we were used to. With likeable characters and an intriguing, if not particularly groundbreaking, story.

Its sales didn't break through the ceiling, unfortunately, but it did manage to subtly nudge the path of the overrated shooter genre slightly more in the right direction. Slightly. Maybe. I don't know.

Battlefield 1 wants to set itself apart. That much is evident from the beginning. Even if it plays it safe and sticks to tried and true shooter mechanics, even in the face of the archaic World War 1 setting, it still tries to do something new. 

The game spans a couple of short campaigns, lasting 30-60 minutes individually. The stories are presented a la Band of Brothers, trying to evoke the intensity of the war through the eyes of the human soldiers which fight in it.

Presented in a way that makes it easy for one to play, and one that is over too quickly to grow stale, Battlefield 1 does a serviceable job of presenting a forgotten war in it's full intensity and impact.

While it may not be a masterpiece, Battlefield 1 genuinely tries to do something unique in a universe full of imitators. It may only touch base superficially, but it's still worth checking out.   

War Violence: (7)

--Explosions are shown, destroying the environment, throwing soldiers around and killing them with the shrapnel, blood shown as they slump to the ground. These sequences are highlighted by loud sound effects, camera shaking and cries of pain from fallen soldiers. 

Players are able to man turrets, tanks and planes, gunning down other related vehicles, dropping bombs and firing projectiles at enemies, destroying countless houses and environments, and vehicles, with explosions depicted. (8)

--Gun violence: Enemies and allies alike are gunned down, with impact sounds, sprays of blood, staining the environment, and cries of pain. Blood pools out beneath fallen soldiers. 

Flamethrowers can be wielded to burn up enemy soldiers, setting them alight, the soldiers flailing around whilst screaming. The flamethrower can be shot, causing it to explode, consuming the wielder in the flames. (7)

--Sword violence: players are able to use swords, knives, bayonets and spade shovels to slice and impale enemies, with sprays of arterial blood, slicing/crunching sound effects, and cries of pain. (7)

-A man is stabbed up-close through the throat; we see blood leaking out and his shocked expression, as he chokes and dies. 

Language: (7)

God's name is used in vain.

Several uses of F**k, s**t, b**ch, and other related swear words. 

Conclusion:

Presented in an undeniably intense manner, Battlefield 1 plays it relatively safe. Nothing in the game pushes the boundaries of good taste, honouring the lives of soldiers who fought in an almost hundred-year-old war.

As you can quickly glance, the violence is relatively tame compared to other shooters. Sure, it's still strong, and involves blood and such, but it's still not nearly as bad as it could've been.

The only reason why this game has a Caution Advised, other than the stabbing scenes, is the language. Frequent uses of the F-word and related swear words are heard. Jesus' name is used in vain several times.

All in all, not a game I'd recommend to a very young audience, but somebody over the age of 16 might not have too much of a problem with it.


For War Violence and Strong Language. 

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