Battlefield One Campaign Review
So, Battlefield One was released not too long ago and has received excellent reviews across the board. Not just for its amazing multiplayer which truly is amazing but a lot of praise has been given to its single player as well. Having now played though its entirety twice here are some thoughts and feelings on why the campaign isn’t all that great.
Unlike most single player campaigns Battlefield One tells a series of smaller unconnected story’s from around the globe, from the trenches of France to the Mountains of Italy. This both works for and against it. First, some positives, on one hand this allows the player to see the war from multiple viewpoints with characters from different walks of life, from a traditional tribeswoman fighting a guerrilla war against the ottoman empire to a chauffeur turned tank driver taking on the might of German defences. This of course also means that gameplay is very varied from vehicle focussed missions to all out-infantry combat to sneaky open ended stealth affairs. There are five war stories to play though (six including a short prologue) each with multiple missions to play though. There are some great moments to be had here particularly on the tank and aeroplane missions, featuring some truly awesome battles and cinematic moments and with the more interesting and personal stories to boot.
Of course, the actual production values of the game are nothing short of amazing. With some truly amazing facial animations and for the most part some authentic, believable and great voice acting. The graphics and sound design are overall truly incredible from the thundering sound of shell being fired to the echo of a sniper round, the game also features an appropriately themed and rousing soundtrack used to great effect in both epic and quieter moments.
However, while there are great moments to be had there are plenty of downsides to the campaign. Most notably its length is a major issue. The player only gets to experience one set of characters for a short time, notably not nearly enough time to grow attached or care for the characters, and not all the war stories are equal with two of them being pretty spectacular and the other three somewhat average both story and gameplay wise. Often there are stealth sections that are often tedious and boring, partly due to the very by the books and uninspired stealth gameplay. At other times the player will often feel like an action hero, single handily taking on ridiculous situations, you could argue there’s nothing wrong with that but it certainly doesn’t sit well with the WW1 setting, particularly when enemies will often stand out in the open to be shot at. At other times the campaign will often feel like a missed opportunity, there is certainly limitless potential in the War Stories format which players can only dream of. At other times one can only wish that they decided to flesh out a few select stories rather than having multiple or even focused on having a fully-fledged traditional campaign.
Overall the campaign is by no means bad, what’s on offer here certainly adds value to the overall package with collectables and challenges for those wanting to squeeze out all the content the campaign has to offer. Unfortunately, the length, the often tedious and boring gameplay and the overall direction of the narrative holds this back on what could have been something truly special. Let’s hope that in the future we will see more single player games set during WW1.