Friday, April 05, 2024

Best Battlefield!?

 Jack Frags published a recent video going over the Battlefield Reddit communities vote for "Best Battlefield game ever".  Surprisingly the winner was Battlefield 1 which happened to also be available on Steam for the low sales price of $5.99.  Having not played BF1 and being apparently the "best one" I had to give it a go.

 Before I jump into my initial impressions let's review my last personal "favorite Battlefield" list (at least as far as I can find in my 20 years of blog content):

My list at the time in 2011:

1. Battlefield 2
2. Battlefield 1942
3. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
4. Battlefield Heroes
5. Battlefield 3 

  Since that is 13 years (yikes) old let me update it:

1. Battlefield 2
2. Battlefield 1942
3. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
4. Battlefield 2042
5. Battlefield Heroes

 There.  All is right with the world.  The community has a different opinion with Battlefield 1, Battlefield 3, and Battlefield 4 being the top three.  Personally, I didn't jive with Battlefield 3.  I played a good bit of it but it didn't supplant the others.  I never played Battlefield 4 (because of my feelings about 3) and originally the theme of Battlefield 1 was not attractive so I skipped it.

 More recently I've had a side addiction to Battlefield 2042.  I didn't get it at launch so missed all the launch drama and came in well after the game had significant changes to make it more Battlefield-like.  I am in the minority listing this as one of my favorite Battlefield games.  2042 has a bad reputation from that launch drama.  For me though it hits a sweet spot in theme (near future) and a good balance between infantry and vehicle.  I really enjoy it and haven't enjoyed a Battlefield game this much since BFBC2.

 Battlefield 1

 On to Battlefield 1 then. I've put about 3 hours in so far and it is definitely a different experience than other Battlefields.  Part of it is the setting being World War 1 but also that the game seems stuck between the old days of server browsers and the new days of "quick match" push button experiences.

 Personally I couldn't get quick match to work as there was never enough players to start the matches.  The campaign mode also didn't seem to work.  This pushed me into the server browser and there were only a few servers to pick from with reasonable ping.

 Once in a match the visuals are top notch.  I grabbed some screenshots riding around on a horse as cavalry and for a game that is seven years old it looks pretty good.  The maps are also visually stunning and some feature a grand scope.  I stopped a few times to look at something.

A screenshot from Battlefield 1 showing horse cavalary

A screenshot from Battlefield 1 showing horse cavalary

 I can't say I've ever played a WW1 themed game so some of the aspects caught me by surprise such as the horse cavalry, the biplanes, and coolest of all: the armored train!  The first time I was on a map when the train came rolling through was pretty dang cool.

 With those surprises it made me realize there is a lot I don't understand about this Battlefield.  Sure there are points on the map to conquer and the classic Battlefield classes to pick from, but as far as how stuff like the train works I don't know.  The maps are also proving difficult for me to grok and some rounds are really rough learning where you can and can't stick your head out.

 I think I'll put a few more hours into the game but it's not grabbing me like 2042 did.  Its a good break from the faster pace and more technically capable vehicles of 2042 though so has a slot currently with New World being on the slow down.

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