Visceral is perhaps the best way to describe Battlefield 1. With bated breath you will dive into one of the least explored and tread era's in gaming and the places, people, and issues that you discover are stunning in their breadth and resonance.
In a brilliant and innovative choice, Battlefield 1 tells its story through a series of five short vignettes that place players into the lives of radically different characters, in places spread across the globe, and in circumstances that couldn't be further apart. Yet, the stories are strikingly similar in their sense of loss and chaos brought by the war.
Indeed in many ways Battlefield 1 represents one of the most diverse and culturally rich games in recent memory. Featuring people from countless different nations and creed's it is a tale that feels like a breath of fresh air, after so many FPS games take the same tired approach when it comes to characters and narrative. Battlefield proudly seeks to bust this trend though, placing a female Bedouin freedom fighter at the heart of one of it's most compelling and captivating stories for example. Indeed those worried that the game would focus heavily on the American side of the war to the detriment of those who were engaged for far longer have nothing to worry about. This is the war as told by the major participants and those involved in the fighting from some of it's earliest days.
Battlefield 1 is a game that seeks to tell the whole broad story of the war in a way that is ambitious, grand, and in the truest sense of the word, epic. Multiple fronts, motives, and themes are explored, yet nearly all can be lead back to the tragedy and senselessness of the War to End All Wars.
That's to say nothing of the game's excellent and masterful multiplayer that grabbed me in ways very few online games do. Giant sprawling maps featuring dozens and dozens of players smashing into each other helps to provide a small window into the harrowing affects of the war. From the air, to the armored beasts of machines, to finally the regular grunt on the ground the true scale of the war can be grasped in some small way by playing in a giant multi-part mode called Operations that is far and away the star of multiplayer.
Frantic, frenzied, chaotic and yet oddly organized Battlefield's multiplayer is a beacon for the game, signaling just how impressive it is from a visual, environmental story-telling, and mechanics level. Very few things feel as good as playing Battlefield and nowhere is this shown off more then in the games online section.
There is just an underlaying feeling of sorrow, of tragedy, and melancholy to the whole proceedings. World War One was the conflict that blew apart the old mythology of wars being things of valor and glory. It was in the blood-stained fields of France, in the far away and ancient sands of Arabia, and in the skies of Europe that this myth passed away in the face of machines of terror and death the likes of which humanity had never seen before. Battlefield 1 beautifully and movingly captures the sense of loss, of despair in the face of the pointlessness of the war, and conveys the little known stories of the war that remain just as poignant and powerful a century after the guns of November fell silent, this is a game like few others. The thrills, breathlessness, and adrenaline that will fill you during your time with it will leave behind something even more impressive and notable, an emotionally resonate and striking experience that will sit with you long after the credits roll.