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Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1

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#1 Virgil Vox

Virgil Vox
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Posted 25 November 2017 - 10:21 PM

I bought this game fairly cheap thanks to the Black Friday sale on Xbox Live as well as the fact that I had some Microsoft points left that I had completely forgotten about. I'm glad I got it cheap. I'm not saying it itsn't a good game. The opposite, in fact. The single player campaign is fantastic and full of win. It is just incredibly short. I can't judge the multi-player aspect because I don't play multi-player and because I can't even if I wanted to since I don't have Xbox Live Gold or whatever it is you need.

There are five war campaigns (plus a short intro) to the single player campaign. Each focuses on a different character and aspect of the war. The game does its best to have you sympathize with the various protagonists and to make them unique from one another.

The World War I setting worked in this game's favor. It is a war that is often overlooked in movies and video games and the setting makes the game feel fresh.

The intro campaign is rather unique. It tells you that you are a Harlem Hellfighter and not expected to survive. Which you don't. I died pretty quickly, and it displayed the soldier's name and date of birth and date of death. I then took over as another soldier until that soldier died, and so on.

The first full campaign is Through Mud and Blood and sees players take control of Edwards, a young chauffeur who is now driving a tank called Old Bess. The campaign alternates between driving the tank and Edwards on foot. Both sections are well done.

The tank drives well, or as well as its supposed to. I never had trouble controlling it nor did I have any cheap deaths because the tank wouldn't turn the way I wanted it to. I felt pretty powerful in the tank, but not invulnerable.

Playing as Edwards was fun. He has to scout ahead when the tank hits a fog bank and most of this area is in dense woods. Stealth is mainly the name of the game, though there were times I just went ahead and shot my way through.

I will say the frustrating thing (and this is true of the entire game) is that the game does a poor job of actually explaining how the game mechanics work. At one point the tank gets damaged and Edwards has to go out and fix it. I am told by an on screen prompt that this is the quickest way to repair the tank but also the deadliest since Edwards is exposed. I learned that real quick because I died almost immediately after. What it didn't tell me was how I was actually supposed to fix the dang tank. It took some trial and error to get that right.

The next campaign is Friends In High Places. This time the main character is Clyde Blackburn, an American who is a liar, thief, and con artist. He cons his way into piloting a plane when we first meet him.

The controls for the plane are excellent. Aerial combat is a lot of fun. I wanted way more of it than what we got. Shooting down enemy planes or attacking missile installations on the ground or going after giant zeppelins; it was all great and there wasn't enough of it.

Unfortunately the middle portion of this campaign sees Clyde grounded and sneaking through German trenches and then No Man's Land. It's a cool sequence but I wanted to be back in my plane.

Clyde makes for a different character than Edwards. Whereas Edwards was young and fresh faced and full of can do attitude Clyde is a professional liar out for number one. There's a nice twist to his story at the end that made me gasp.

The third campaign is Avanti Savoia. It sees a man named Luca telling his daughter about his twin brother, Matteo, and how he died during the war. The two brothers were part of an assault on Austro-Hungarian forces in the Dolomites. Matteo was part of the main force while Luca was an Arditi, a special forces member. He slaps on a suit of armor and goes to work.

That first section was awesome because Luca felt almost invincible in his armor and with his giant gun. Eventually he loses both and the campaign becomes harder. This is the first campaign where don't drive a tank or a plane.

The ending is gut wrenching, even though I knew that Luca's quest to find his twin brother was doomed from the start. The game managed to wring quite a bit of emotion from me with that ending.

The Runner takes place during the Gallipoli campaign. This time the character is Frederick Bishop, an older fighter and a veteran from the Second Boer War. When the campaign begins he is assigned an eager young assistant named Jack Foster. Foster lied about his age so he could enlist, thinking the war a grand adventure. Bishop takes Foster under his wing and tries to protect the boy as best he can.

This was a hard campaign. There was one section where I kept dying over and over. There were just a lot of enemies plus machine gun nests and the like. The fighting starts on the beach and then segues to a town and finally to a fortress.

This was overall a fun campaign and I became invested in the relationship between Bishop and Foster. Yet again, we are given a bittersweet ending.

The final campaign, Nothing Is Written, is probably the weakest. It's a lot of fun but I had higher hopes. You play as a woman named Zara, working with Lawrence of Arabia. They are wanting to take down an Ottoman armored train called Canavar.

The main sequence sees Zara infiltrate three different Ottoman camps to retrieve special codes that are needed to lure the train into a trap. The final sequence sees the train weakened and then you have to finish it off in a very hard fight.

My main problem with this one is that I had no real connection to Zara. The previous campaigns got me quite invested in the characters despite the short length. Here though Zara remains largely a cipher.

I was also expecting more to be done with the train.

Overall it took me about 8-10 hours to finish the entire campaign. That's not bad, but I do wish they had either lengthened the existing campaigns or added a few more. I also wish they had done at least one campaign from the perspective of a soldier with the Central Powers. Instead everyone you play as is part of the Allied Powers.

I found myself loving this game more than I thought I would, especially since I'm not a fan of FPS games or war games like this in general. I can see myself definitely playing these campaigns over and over again because they are just a lot of fun.
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