Battlefield 1 Open Beta Impressions: Not Quite Leading the (Bayonet) Charge

Battlefield 1's Open Beta showcases some of the game's upcoming multiplayer mode. Our impressions from our time with the game. 

10

Battlefield 1 has been intriguing to me since its reveal. Going back to World War 1 wasn't exactly something I could have expected for the series given Call of Duty's inclination to look into the future, but I was pleased to see how things might turn out.

Enter the Battlefield 1 open beta, which isn't exactly open right at the moment -- not to everyone, anyway, who didn't happen to get a key. I would have preferred to experience the campaign mode, but given all the time I spent with Battlefield 3's Conquest in the past, I was more than eager to jump in and annihilate the competition -- the best I could, anyway.

I was able to jump into games easily enough, with hardly any wait time between selecting a class (I chose Assault for my first game) and was slotted into Conquest, siding with the Ottoman Empire. Although there were options for loadouts, I didn't have enough in-game currency (or any for that matter) to purchase a different weapon beyond the two I could select as the default options, and after I sped through the customization screens, I was finally ready to go. 

Immediately my first reaction was "Ugh, sand" upon being spawned in the Sinai Desert map. The coppery sands and wide expanses of land didn't speak to me in terms of aesthetic, but the massive map offered plenty of hiding places even when I found myself charging forward to capture points by my lonesome since my teammates didn't quite seem to understand the point of the game, circling flags without waiting for the point to be taken and then zooming away in a tank. The gameplay videos sprinkled within aren't mine, they're our own Daniel Perez's, but I'm really lamenting that I don't have this gameplay captured. 

Flying solo wasn't awful, though, which is what I preferred to do in the beginning anyway. I noticed right away a certain, tasteful heaviness to the weapons. I had been outfitted with period-appropriate attire, armaments and squad. Sprinting felt great, and I was able to gain plenty of ground when moving from one point to another. Unfortunately, when players began to swarm around capture points the enormous desert map started feeling empty rather than full of potential for tons of players and satisfying firefights.

More often than not I'd find myself taken out by a quick bayonet charge from an unidentified player, often behind me when I hadn't even seen anyone in my area before then. Either that, or one of the lumbering tanks edging my way ended up cutting my play time short. Neither would be an issue if it weren't for the awkward wait to respawn since I couldn't get a medic to revive me for love or money. I saw several scurrying around me as I requested assistance and then them leaving me behind as the screen faded and I realized the revive had automatically been canceled. I was sent to choose a spawn point over and over either from tanks or players charging toward me with their bayonets at the ready.

Conquest felt very much like a tank and sniper party, with vehicles obviously the way to go, but by the time I found my way into one either by hopping on a horse and jetting toward teammates, I was down for the count, spawning into the path of a tank or dropping from yet another bayonet charge. This probably all speaks to my lack of ability, but I'm hoping the tanks are nerfed a bit before the game is fully available with all of the maps, loadouts and weapons available. 

I didn't get to play as much of the beta as much as I would have liked just yet and primarily played Conquest modes during my time before having to rush off to pick up dinner for the night, but I'm going to continue to evaluate it as it wears on. As a Battlefield 3 fan, I'm not as impressed with it just yet as I thought I'd be, but there's a lot more to experience, and I'll update this post as I've completed additional matches going forward.

Senior Editor

Fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games, Brittany is a freelancer who thrives on surrealism and ultraviolence. Follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake and check out her portfolio for more. Like a fabulous shooter once, said, get psyched!

From The Chatty

  • reply
    August 30, 2016 7:35 PM

    Brittany Vincent posted a new article, Battlefield 1 Open Beta Impressions: Not Quit Leading the (Bayonet) Charge

      • reply
        August 31, 2016 5:00 AM

        sounds like someone's about to get a good ol' fashion whoopin

    • reply
      August 31, 2016 3:15 AM

      The game seems to be as optimized as Battlefront which is a pretty good thing

    • reply
      August 31, 2016 5:42 AM

      I played it a bit more last night. Feels about the same as the Alpha, except Rush is a way better gamemode as usual.

      The downside of course is dynamic weather. I really don't like the dust storms that much. In BF4 they were somewhat predictable and could be tactically countered. In BF1 they seem to just drastically change the map. It is like playing in a smoke grenade all the time.

      • reply
        August 31, 2016 6:35 AM

        I also enjoyed Rush. I'm glad DICE gives us the option to play a quick Battlefield game when we only have a few minutes between things.

        • reply
          August 31, 2016 7:16 AM

          I have always felt Rush was the more tactical of the gamemodes in general pubs anyway. Conquest works with organized squads, but often in general pubs it becomes battlefield tags where somenoe back caps and then gets chased to another point ad nauseum. Rush makes you work as a team to overcome a presented line. The main problems with this are that working as a team is hard and it can make Rush rounds be very polar in the stomp or stagnate outcomes.

          But, I think DICE consistently misses how to improve this because they put vehicles on defense. Defensive tanks are a terrible idea. More emplaced weapons fine, but defensive vehicles almost always cause stagnation.

        • reply
          September 3, 2016 5:28 AM

          That's definitely a problem for me so I tend to go for the shorter modes usually too.

      • reply
        August 31, 2016 6:40 AM

        I kinda like the dust storm, it eliminates alot of the snipers and draws everyone into random encounters.

        • reply
          August 31, 2016 7:10 AM

          Which would be fine if it happened once in a while to mix things up. On the Rush map I was playing it lasted over half the round. That meant it was very easy for attackers. We had dust cover for our movements all game. Made it very boring.

      • reply
        August 31, 2016 8:07 AM

        the dust storms are neat. it really jacks with the airplanes too.

        • reply
          August 31, 2016 8:55 AM

          They do. And it is mildly interesting until you realize it is pretty pointless if you didn't already have a target. Just fly off and hope to run into something or bomb the icons on the ground.

          I get the need to spice it up and show some variety, I just don't think it makes for good sustained game play.

      • reply
        August 31, 2016 8:26 AM

        So does the map fit Rush? I did not. In general, I liked RUSH in bc2 but in bf3 and bf4 it was really shoehorned into many of the maps and it was terrible. So does the game mode actually work with the map without either being full holds on defense or ROFL copter steam rolls?

        • reply
          August 31, 2016 8:48 AM

          What I could see of it fit, but with the dust storm it is really a different map. It pretty much only exists about 4 feet in front of you at all times.

      • reply
        August 31, 2016 9:07 AM

        It's to encourage you from not staying in the spawn and sniping all the damn live long day.

    • reply
      August 31, 2016 8:31 AM

      As a battlefield 3 fan, your first impression of the sinai desert map was "ugh,sand"? Not wow this game looks really, really good and performs well too. Wow, they did a great job redesigning the UI from the old battlelog. Did you see that dust storm? It's an impressive environment upgrade from even BF4.

      • reply
        August 31, 2016 9:07 AM

        It's not a very good article.

      • reply
        September 3, 2016 5:27 AM

        You're damn right it was "ugh, sand." Just because I enjoy BF3 that doesn't mean I'm beholden to enjoy desert environments just because it looks and performs well. That was my first thought. So I said it. Dust storm was cool and all, but I'm not a huge fan of that type of terrain in ANY game, let alone shooters.