Content Type: Gaming Reviews
Date: September 23, 2017
Battlefield 1 Revolution is an expanded release of Battlefield 1 which is a first-person shooter game available from retail stores and for download from the PlayStation Store for the PS4. The Battlefield series is created and developed by the legendary developer Digital Illusions most commonly known as DICE who was actually founded in Vaxjo, Sweden all the way back in 1992 with their first game being Pinball Dreams which was originally released for Amiga, DOS and NES in 1992 followed by sequels including Pinball Fantasies, Pinball Illusions and True Pinball for varying platforms such as Amiga and PS1 until 1997. DICE began carving a career in racing games with S40 Racing for PC in 1997 followed by the classic ambitious split-screen multiplayer racer Motorhead on PS1 in 1998, while Swedish Touring Car Championship 1 and 2 released on PC in 1999 and 2000 respectively and Rally Masters on PC in 2000 before returning to PS1 by co-developing NASCAR Heat in 2000 and continued on PS1 until 2002 with the release of The Land Before Time: Big Water Adventure. DICE began to diversify themselves further beyond the Battlefield series with the release of Mirror’s Edge on PS3 in 2008 before collaborating with Criterion Games on Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and developing the online multiplayer component for Medal of Honor in 2010 respectively. 2015 saw a renaissance of DICE’s creativity outside of the Battlefield series with the release of Star Wars: Battlefront on PS4 and Mirror’s Edge made a sensational return in 2016 in the form of Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst due to popular demand with a Star Wars: Battlefront sequel in development for release in 2017.
The Battlefield series originated with the release of Battlefield 1942 for PC in September 2002 which was followed by expansions and Battlefield Vietnam in 2003 and 2004 respectively, although it was not until October 2005 that the Battlefield series made not only its console debut, but also its PlayStation debut with Battlefield 2: Modern Combat. Despite the release of Battlefield 2142 in 2006; it was quite surprisingly not until Battlefield: Bad Company released in June 2008 that the series actually returned to home consoles and PlayStation, but this time on PS3. Home console ports arriving on PS3 become a tradition for the series from then onwards for Battlefield 1943 in July 2009, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 in March 2010, Battlefield 3 in October 2011 and Battlefield 4 in October 2013 followed by the introduction of the Battlefield series to PS4 with a port of Battlefield 4 in November 2013, while the spin-off Battlefield: Hardline by Visceral Games that released in March 2015 will most likely be the final Battlefield game on PS3 as PS4 is the only PlayStation console Battlefield 1 has released on. How does the Revolution edition build upon Battlefield 1 and has DICE utilised the Frostbite 3.0 engine, PS4 and current generation of home consoles to take the experience of the Battlefield series to the next level of quality and in doing so, deliver the best Battlefield game to date?
The story of the campaign begins on the frontline trenches covering the harrowing realism of how young the majority of those who died in World War I actually were. There are 18 levels spread across six war stories including a volunteer pilot battling for air supremacy in the British Flying Corps; British Mk. V tanks attempting to shatter enemy lines; storming the beaches of Gallipoli; fighting alongside Lawrence of Arabia in his desert campaign opposing the Ottoman Empire; and more besides. You can play the first chapter of any of the war stories in any order you prefer which makes the game far more accessible as players do not have to wait to pilot a plane for instance.
Codex Entries consist of 53 challenges which include completing primary mission objectives by finishing each war story and the chapters contained within them. However, there are a variety of secondary objectives that make up the vast majority of the 53 challenges such as having at least four bombers survive a bombing run in Total War; reaching no man’s land undetected in Fall from Grace; destroying 10 aircraft within 30 seconds using the stationary weapon in Forte et Fidele; finding the book without being detected in Hidden in Plain Sight; and much more besides. The majority of the chapters contain a challenge in which the player must collect every field manual within the level with a total of 66 Field Manual collectibles scattered throughout the war stories.
There is a huge variety in vehicles that are realistic to their time period as diverse war stories will situate a different playable character and their allies on varying modes of transportation such as piloting a plane as you fire at enemy planes and ground based artillery, driving and firing at enemy artillery from within a tank, riding horseback and much more besides.
Weaponry is authentic to the period of World War I, although some may believe that rockets fired from planes are unrealistic; they were actually a feature of biplanes that electrically fired Le Prieur air-to-air rockets via a cockpit switch launching the rockets from interplane struts, but they were inaccurate against moving targets resulting in increased effectiveness against observation balloons and airships as accurately reflected during gameplay. Weapon crates contain powerful weaponry for on-foot soldiers including machine guns, sniper rifles, bolt action rifles and pistols, while there are also melee weapons such as a bayonet, a trench spade and a spiked mace. There are further items of interest such as a gas mask as well as a variety of grenades including anti-tank, smoke and mustard gas as well as dynamite.
The character design is rather quite varied as players will meet a lot of important characters throughout the duration of each of the six war stories and their respective chapters. There are many allies with their own unique personalities and approaches to the pressurised situations they find themselves in that you become attached to as they are your band of brothers in a team focused to protecting each other in the face of their enemies’ evil plans. Elsewhere, enemies look and sound as aggressive as you would anticipate, while uniforms look realistic to the period.
The environment design is incredibly varied as missions range from the frontline trenches of World War I to piloting a plane in aerial dogfights or driving a tank through complicated terrain and even riding horseback through fields or overlooking the surrounding environments from a third-person perspective from behind a carrier pigeon. Battlefield 1 possesses destructible environments on a similar scale to Battlefield: Bad Company by providing believable destruction such as opposing artillery and vehicles, trees, buildings, objects, furniture and more besides. However, even though you can mostly see for miles around; if you leave the combat area you will receive a warning to return to it within 10 seconds which results in the far distant scenery not being accessible regardless of your mode of transportation.
There are 4 core downloadable content expansions with the Battlefield 1: Revolution containing the original game, all updates to the point of release and the Premium Pass which includes They Shall Not Pass expansion featuring 6 maps including Nivelle Nights and Prise de Tahure; the first maps to be set at night, while In the Name of the Tsar focuses on the Russian Army and Women’s Battalion of Death in the Eastern Front spanning 6 maps such as the brutal snow covered conditions of the Kupkow Pass; experience amphibious warfare in Turning Tides and the Apocalypse expansion introduces the most infamous battles of the Great War. Battlefield 1 Revolution also comprises all of the Deluxe Edition and Ultimate Edition content including the Red Baron Pack, Lawrence of Arabia Pack and Hellfighter Pack which contain themed weapons, vehicles and emblems which are authentic to their famous heroes and units. If you prefer to purchase the standard edition of Battlefield 1, then the Premium Pass is available separately for £39.99.
Despite there originally being concrete plans for a PSP version of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat that was later cancelled; there has unfortunately never been a portable Battlefield game on PlayStation, therefore the best consolation is remote play on Vita. Battlefield 1’s performance during remote play is incredible as it possesses the same quality of graphics, audio and general performance as the PS4 version. Optimised controls see firing re-mapped from R2 to R and aiming moved from L2 to L, performing a melee attack or alternative fire is re-mapped from R3 to the right of the rear touch pad and throwing lures naturally moves from the touch pad to the touch screen; resulting in a comfortable and exciting remote play experience whether you are on-foot or in any vehicle as though Battlefield 1 had been developed specifically for the Vita.
The controls are well mapped to the DualShock 4 controller with the default control scheme for an on-foot soldier consisting of pressing R2 to fire a weapon; pressing L2 to aim down sight; pressing R1 to spot or engage in communication via commo rose; pressing L1 to throw a grenade; pressing X to jump or deploy a parachute; pressing square to reload or interact with an object; pressing O to crouch or holding O to go prone; pressing triangle to switch between your primary and secondary weapons; pressing left or right on the d-pad to utilise your first or second gadget respectively; pressing down on the d-pad switches your fire mode; pressing up on the d-pad to use a gas mask; pressing L3 to steady your scope or holding L3 to sprint; pressing R3 to perform a melee attack on an enemy; changing the direction of the left analogue stick to move forward or backward and strafe left or right; changing the direction of the right analogue stick to look up or down and rotating left or right; pressing the share button takes you to the share feature menu; and pressing the options button to display the pause menu or holding the options button to display the scoreboard during online multiplayer.
Tapping the touch pad throws lures to distract enemies or displaying a full map of your surroundings, while vibration occurs to resemble recoil from your weaponry as it is being fired by your on-foot soldier or vehicle and explosions in close proximity to your on-foot soldier or vehicle. There is no light bar functionality which could have been utilised to display the health of your on-foot soldier or your vehicle. Differences between controlling an on-foot soldier and being seated within a vehicle consist of pressing X to switch seat; pressing square to enter or exit the vehicle; pressing L1 or down on the d-pad to self-repair your vehicle; pressing up on the d-pad to zoom; and pressing R3 or L3 to view from the chase camera depending upon the vehicle.
There are a number of alternative control schemes to change the feel of the controls to precisely how you prefer them with four options for the button and stick layouts respectively for individual customisation of on-foot soldiers, ground vehicles, transportation, horses and aerial vehicles. Such a quantity of customisation as well as varying basic and advanced settings is an excellent design choice as it provides the player with the confidence of knowing that there is a definitive control scheme that will perfectly match their respective play style.
The Battlefield series has never looked as good as Battlefield 1 with the continuous progression and refinement of the Frostbite engine really showcasing exceptional graphical fidelity with ally and enemy animations, vehicles, surrounding environments, explosions and more besides all look amazing, while for the vast majority of the time achieving 60 frames-per-second on PS4. A PS4 Pro patch increases the resolution from 1080p to a varying resolution of between 1440p and 1656p in single player, while retaining a steady 60 frames-per-second.
The presentation of the game is solid with a great user interface across various menus such as the main menu, campaign menu, multiplayer menus, options menus and gameplay menus with support for navigation via the left analogue stick, directional pad and face buttons, although it does not include support for navigation via the right analogue stick and touch pad. The background of the main menu sets the scene for the battles that are about to commence during the story campaign with dilapidated buildings, while the campaign menu shows just how global the conflict really is.
Battlefield 1 possesses amazing voice-over artists including Jeff Berg as Clyde Blackburn having previously voiced Icarus in Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, Mark Bonnar voices Townsend having voiced Blackbeard in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Peter O’Brien voicing Frederick Bishop having starred in The Return and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Jack Lowden voices T.E. Lawrence and Michael Jibson voicing Wilson with both having starred in a variety of television series and films, alongside an immensely talented cast of actors and actresses throughout the entire cast of Battlefield 1. Sound effects include walking, running, heavy breathing, firing weaponry from on-foot as well as ground and aerial vehicles, enemies firing back at your character and allies, vehicle engines and more besides which is accompanied by cinematic music from the experienced pairing of Patrik Andren and Johan Soderqvist. There is no DualShock 4 speaker implementation which is surprising as it could have been utilised to produce a subtle sound such as collecting a field manual and a codex entry or a more important element of audio such as the ricochet of a nearby bullet, when a bullet hits your character or voice-overs from your allies.
The trophy list includes 32 trophies with 16 bronze trophies, 9 silver trophies, 6 gold trophies and 1 platinum trophy. Easier trophies include the Catching up on Some Reading bronze trophy for collecting one Field Manual in the campaign and the Up to the Challenge bronze trophy for completing a challenge in the campaign. Harder trophies include The War to End All Wars silver trophy for completing the campaign on hard difficulty; the Enough for a Library gold trophy for collecting all Field Manuals in the campaign; and the Master of Adaptation gold trophy for completing all 53 challenges in the campaign. There are 10 online multiplayer trophies with 6 of them revolving around reaching a specific rank within a class such as the Corporal bronze trophy for reaching rank 10 overall and the Medic Enlistment gold trophy for reaching medic rank 2. It is estimated that depending upon skill and a good trophy guide to provide some helpful tips that it would take between 20 to 30 hours to platinum the trophy list.
There are three difficulty levels including easy, normal and hard with the major differences between each difficulty level particularly being evident during missions involving tanks as they will take far more damage per shot with as few as three hits from certain tanks before being destroyed on hard difficulty. On-foot missions will require players to attempt to remain as silent as possible during movement and to stick to cover as much as possible to avoid being overcrowded by enemies from flanking and attacking you from every direction which occurs on hard difficulty in certain areas of the story campaign.
Split-screen competitive multiplayer was widely anticipated to finally be introduced into the Battlefield series in Battlefield 1 given the inclusion of the much requested feature in DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront on home consoles, although split-screen competitive multiplayer is rather disappointingly still nowhere to be found.
Battlefield 1 has an incredible quality of performance during online multiplayer; especially considering the maximum of 64 players in which every map has a dynamic weather system that has the capability to potentially affect combat efficiency, while combat takes place on land on-foot, riding horseback and a variety of ground vehicles as well as aerial combat which really showcases a pushing of the envelope. Battlefield 1 juggles so much simultaneously yet somehow manages to retain balanced multiplayer gameplay. Behemoths are perfect examples of balanced gameplay as they provide the losing team with a special vehicle to assist them in gaining in on their opposition such as an airship, armoured train or dreadnought depending upon the map.
Battlefield 1 initially launched with a variety of online multiplayer modes that are new, returning or updated to be compatible with the change of setting. However, the extensive online multiplayer modes are increasing in quantity; for instance the Incursions mode is an upcoming all-new mode developed in harmony with constructive feedback from the Battlefield community in which tight maps create even more intensive battles for two teams of 5 players, bringing fast strategic competitive gameplay and vehicular combat to the forefront.
Operations is a new mode in which an attacking team of up to 32 players attempt to push the frontline back, while the defending team try to hold the frontline in historically accurate objectives spanning multiple sectors through as many as two or even three consecutive maps with the attacking team being required to capture and hold every control point before progressing onto the next sector of a map. War Pigeons mode is another all-new mode to the Battlefield series as both teams contest to collect a pigeon and start writing their team’s message, although writing will take longer if the player who has the pigeon is moving around a lot, therefore the entire team need to protect the player who has collected the pigeon in order for the message to be written as fast as possible.
As expected the classic mode of the Battlefield series returns with some small changes to adapt to the World War I settings. Conquest mode began in the original game Battlefield 1942 and has remained ever since; providing a large scale battle across on-foot soldiers, ground vehicles and even aerial combat between two teams of up to 32 players per team as both teams vie for control of major locations within the map. Domination mode returns as a variant of Conquest mode by providing a similar experience, but on a much smaller scale as each team consists of 12 players competing for control and defence of three capture zones positioned throughout the map. Rush mode sees two teams of 12 players attempting to achieve their respective objectives in which the defending team must push the attacking team back from the defending team’s telegraph posts, while the defending team can utilise the telegraph posts to call in artillery strikes if anyone from the attacking team is spotted, although the attacking team’s objective is to plant and detonate explosives to destroy every telegraph post situated within the map. Team Deathmatch mode sees both teams locked in combat contained within smaller arena style maps as they attempt to reach the score limit by gradually killing more of the opposing team. A variant of Team Deathmatch titled Fog of War was released in a post-launch patch; containing such subtle differences as heavy fog on every map, players are not informed if a nearby player is a friendly or an enemy until a player has aimed directly at that player as well as disabling the HUD, primary weapons, explosives and everything on the minimap other than establishing area boundaries.
Every class has an advantage by possessing a unique skill set that plays a part in the team resulting in every player being relied upon to fulfil their respective skill. Assault class is specified for close quarters combat with shotguns or submachine guns available as a primary weapon and explosives for destroying dangerous nearby tanks; Medic class is focused upon healing and reviving your allies to be able to return to combat; Support class is equipped with light machine guns and supporting allies by resupplying their ammo; and Scout class is equipped with bolt-action and lever-action rifles for high accuracy at long range, K bullets for combat against armoured enemies and a flare gun spots enemies underneath it. Tanker and Pilot classes spawn players directly into a tank or plane respectively with a repair hammer to fix the vehicle which is important as the vehicle is considered to naturally be the primary weapon of the Tanker and Pilot classes, although players also have a semi-automatic pistol carbine, hand grenades and a survival knife to protect themselves when repairing the vehicle as well as a flare gun to spot enemies. Some modes have elite class pick-ups contained within wooden crates located in specific areas on certain maps that will help the team who obtains it by upgrading the player who found it with the kit to become a Flame Trooper, Sentry or Tank Hunter.
Replayability is significant in Battlefield 1’s standard edition with six War Stories containing a huge amount of combat scenarios and vehicles with three difficulty levels to tailor the gameplay to your skill level, while Codex Entries present 53 challenges, 66 Field Manual collectibles and massive battles of up to 64 players in online competitive multiplayer that will collectively keep players returning to Battlefield 1 for a long period of time after initially completing the single player story campaign. However, Battlefield 1 Revolution’s replayability has a lot more online multiplayer content provided from the inclusion of the Premium Pass.
• Title: Battlefield 1
• Developer: DICE
• Publisher: Electronic Arts
• System: PS4
• Format: Retail/PSN Download
• Cross-Buy: No
• Cross-Play: No
• Players: 1/2-64 (Online Competitive Multiplayer)
• Hard Drive Space Required: 46.6GB