It twas labor day weekend, so for some people, that’s 3 days of not working and playing Battlefield 1’s Open Beta.
While there are still a few bugs to work out, it’s amazing. It’s back to basics as first person shooters go: No titanfalling. No energy shields. No using a mil-spec laptop to coordinate Predator drone strikes. But that’s a good thing. It’s World War I-based, which is a refreshingly historical setting in comparison to not only the crazy amount of World War II shooters, but also futuristic, often gimmicky shooters. Not to say that games like Titanfall and Overwatch haven’t been amazing, but it’s taken us quite a while to get something quite like this.
Both sides seen so far, the British Empire and the Ottoman Empire, rely on nearly everything we read about in High School World History; bayonets are at the end of every rifle, everyone gets a gasmask, and the world’s first tanks are all usable. You can ride around on horseback, quickly getting around the battle area, getting close to enemies, and use your sword to skewer them as your horse gallops. However, the targeting system is somewhat laggy, except for the melee components. Perhaps it’s intended to resemble the accuracy of close combat versus firearms 100 years ago? Or will it be fixed by the time the full version’s released?
Anyways, most of the kills I see people making are melee weapons: You can fight with a trench shovel, which many actual soldiers started using during WW1. If you read All Quiet on the Western Front, remember the part where the French were talking about not using bayonets, and using trench shovels instead? If you want to go full-on Tjaden and do it for Kemmerich, you can do it. Just not in the Open Beta, because the Germans aren’t playable yet.
Most of the game’s aesthetics are great. It’s a brutal, raw, fast-paced, close quarters combat experience, with only Conquest and Rush modes available now, but they’re fun. And the Open Beta is great for being free for the time being, and a great way to get your feet wet with the game without getting full-on trench foot from days of playing the full game when it’s out October 21st.
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