Community Review: Battlefield 1 Beta

Image: Berdu

After about a full week, which wasn't as long as people were probably expecting, the Battlefield 1 beta finally signed off.

And, for all intents and purposes, it was a success. At least in the sense that, yes, taking the Battlefield series back to WW1 was Not A Bad Idea.

I wasn't wholly surprised to see how exceptionally pretty the game was: it's from DICE, after all. They make stunning games; it's part of their MO.

Only Sinai Desert was available throughout the beta, so it's difficult to make too many judgements. But it took me several hours before I stopped feeling quite so exposed, so vulnerable just travelling from one point to another.

The vehicles, horses and aircraft were all fun to control, although I can imagine you'll have specialist pilots and drivers just like every other Battlefield game.

Another thing that caught me off guard was how much time I had to spend getting comfortable with the different rifles, particularly as the Scout class. I'm used to finding a sniper rifle with a high amount of damage, working out the bullet drop in about 5 to 10 minutes, and then going from there.

But the massive size of Sinai and how exposed everything was meant that I was constantly misjudging the lead time on my shots. It really threw me around for a bit, until I started restricting myself to certain areas of the map.

That's probably a sensible thing to do anyway — concentrating on, say, around the objective point — but it was a nice problem to be presented with. It's something that I haven't had to actively think about before, although we'll have to see how the other maps are laid out.

And it was nice to have server browsers built into the in-game client again. No more Battlelog! That's probably one of the best parts of the beta for me, seeing what a post-Battlelog (which is really a pre-Battlelog) future looked like. The transitions between menus are far too long for my liking; you want that experience to be snappy.

But as someone who enjoys the Battlefield series, I liked it. It did what I expected and the servers held up strong, that one massive outage aside. I'll be keen to see what the campaign missions are like too.

What did you think?


    Every BF game seems to keep going further and further away from instinctive teamplay. Oh, its certainly still there, but mostly you feel pretty lonesome as you sit there and rack up kills. Like seriously, press q to signal a medic? That should just be bloody automatic.

      I think it's more people aren't so much used to playing as a team these days and are more concerned about their own k/d or score.

        Having open classes doesn't help though. I hate to sound like the old fogey, but having 8 classes in BF2 made sure that each person was fulfilling a role rather than say, BF4, with Assault pulling duty (sometimes) as a medic, but never really knowing.

          I think that was my main problem with the combination of classes into dual roles; every medic having the capacity to revive/heal teammates AND be a capable rifleman. It's an improvement in that they have now separated the roles once more.

            Definitely agreed on that. Even if it feels like 'we need four roles, and Engineer (cough AT) doesn't make any sense in 1918 :P.

      I think you have to call a medic cause some players don't want to be revived. Back in BF3 some people would complain when they were revived, usually into a hailstorm of bullets. They switched it to giving the dead player the option to revive. However, I can see a medic player getting annoyed that they would revive someone, probably even dying in the process, only to have them respawn anyways. So now the dead player isn't automatically seen by the medic, or even available for a revive, until that player signals for it.

    I thought it was excellent. It felt a bit more gritty, and the gun play is challenging. To be honest it gave me a lot of nostalgia for when CoD was good. You know CoD1 and CoD2.

    Can't wait to get into some more varied maps. I think the teamplay will get better with time as people realize that if you wan't to do better you have to play as a squad because if you come across and tank or anything else alone that your class cant deal with you will spend a lot of time watching the respawn count down.

    I think a big balance problem they are going to have is which gadget goes on which class and realism vs fun. The support class felt very meh with its gadgets and the damage that tanks could sustain through only self heal felt extremely strong.

      I think support is getting a mortar, which will help clear out sniper nests and help teamwork.

    I'm missing it now, but back to playing Overwatch season 2. It was quite fun to play with a friend. We could get in a tank or plane together, or multiple vehicles or just on the ground and cover each other. I've found some teamwork as the game works via a point score so if you're a squad leader and you indicate a point to cap, you and everyone get bonus points for doing it.

    The team play seems to be just running to a point under attack and mobbing it with the team. But I made a habit of sometimes playing support and dropping ammo off where some people were holding a building near a cap point, or carpet bombing points under attack by enemies, or shooting down enemy planes to give us clear skies.

    Aside from the bugs which I assume they'll fix before release, I had issues with getting revives from medics, who were often near me or even walking over me but not doing it. I hit Q but nothing unless it's one on your team generally. I hope they make it a bit more obvious and rewarding to do it.

    The game ran well but I think it panders too much to the COD audience, way too fast paced.

      Really? it felt very very slow (dont mean that as bad thing) and it didn't feel anything like COD to me.

    I enjoyed it way more than BF4.

      Really? What did you find were the positives that would draw you away from BF4? I didn't play the beta but am interested in what the difference is.

        I'll be honest, I really don't know. I've thought about it a lot and the only conclusion I can come to is its the setting. Could also be that the map they used for the beta was a lot more condensed which kept people together better and created more fronts on the battlefield.

          I find that BF4 everyone was too spread out. looking forward to checking it out!

    I didnt like it when I first started but by the end I loved. But something needs to be done about snipers. Normally I dont mind them in PVP games but here they can literally camp on the other side of the map here. Sure it makes sense in the setting but in gameplay terms its a bit rubbish. Likewise the tanks are too much. Though cant quite put my finger on how to change them.

    So many games were just cycles of death, especially given so many people were just spawn camping with snipers.

    As a medic there needs to be prompts or something. So sort of UI features that helps with healing (bigger health bars?) and something to show you how close fallen soldiers are and how long left to revive. And even if you fall something clear to say medic is close. There was a prompt but it wasnt that clear.

    Last edited 12/09/16 1:05 pm

      They needed more trenches to counter the snipers, so you didn't have to spend so much time out in the open as tank and sniper fodder, but could lay down smoke to make crossings in certain exposed sections. Hopefully this would influence people to use a bit more strategy in their play, rather than Rambo runs towards objectives. Unfortunately if they leave the map the way it is (which I have no doubt they will) all we will end up needing (and I think Colonel Trautman summed it up the best) is a "good supply of body bags" :-P

    I was afraid they would dumb it down too much, but I was pleasantly surprised. It feels...right.

    I like how they reflect the savagery of WW1 in the gameplay. The screams and battle-cries are a "nice" touch, especially the bayonet charge. Brutal.

    Loved it! so excited for full release now, reminded me of CoD2 which I use to thrash with @Adamantium NZ 10 years ago. I liked how not everyone is running around with SMG's spraying bullets, loved the old rifles, went back to BF4 for the weekend and it felt terrible compared.

    Last edited 12/09/16 1:17 pm

    After about a full week, which wasn’t as long as people were probably expecting, the Battlefield 1 beta finally signed off.

    Ah damn I downloaded this but didn't play it yet because of Overwatch free weekend. Oops!

    I liked it and it's done enough to convince myself and my group to buy it, main points of topic: tanks feel WAY too powerful, even on my worst runs I'd get at least 4 or 5 kills. But I would imagine (hope) once the game releases and tanks really start to become an issue, more people will take in AT, plus on maps that require the tanks to get more CQ, a lot more people will be within throwing range, that's another thing too, even though the AT grenade throwers are fresh from the Rio Olympics, I still think we need more powerful AT firing weapons to grief a tank at range, rather than 4 damage from a K bullet.
    Only other thing that I found stupid, was removing the visual indicator of dead bodies when a Medic. I was following a friend who ran around the corer maybe 20 meters in front, died and I couldn't even find the body in time for it to disappear (was hanging off a wall), how is a random squad mate going to revive me when I couldn't find my mate who was trying to give me verbal instructions.

      Assault has an anti tank Rocket Gun that disables anything under heavy in one hit to the rear.

        oh sweet I missed that. Didn't see anyone using one either, hence why I'm assuming once the game is released, the tank issue will resolve itself.

          Yeah you have to be prone to fire it but it "pops" on impact so it works well for taking out buildings too. I think tanks will be less popular one blimps and battleships are put in to be honest.

            Yeah I don't think tanks will be as much of an issue as people think. They got a slight repair nerf near the end of the beta that I think is perfect already

        This was also good for taking out snipers too :)

    I didn't enjoy it at all. Most people picked Sniper and were just picking people off from a distance or were spawn camping with tanks that blow you up in one hit. Of course you could spawn off into the distance, but that leaves you open to snipers and getting back where the action is takes a while.

    I have a hard time enjoying Battlefield because the components of the game seem well suited to playing with a slow, calculated approach with good team communication (like Battlefield Vietnam etc.). However, it becomes this disorganised A.D.D game where people are running from capture point to capture point all over the map with no organisation whatsoever. I feel like it would be a great game if played more like Insurgency, but instead it's played like a more open version of Call of Duty. Battlefield 4 also has this problem.

    There's nothing wrong with crazy, disorganised, chaotic gameplay but I think that type is better suited to games like Unreal Tournament and Call of Duty that are less open and less focused on actual teamwork.

    I just another Battlefield game. That's not to say it's bad, it's really good. It's just another by the numbers BF game.

    The last Battlefield I played was Vietnam so jumping into BF1 was a very enjoyable time. The visual effects are fabulous; seeing the dust storm roll in, running through a gas attack and hearing the pings and pangs of gunfire off the tanks hull all helped my experience.

    The support class is not so effective now, but its fun placing incendiary rounds in small buildings and watch three soldiers run in, only to run out on fire and then drop.

    The Medic was fun only after unlocking the better rifles.

    HVY Weapons was enjoyable, especially when you landed well placed anti-tank grenades

    Sniper, well nuff said, they can be the bane of the battlefield, but I had a few rounds of sniping, but its not my cup of tea.

    The extra "classes"
    Calvary was fun, you can be a slaughtering machine with that sabre and those horses a nigh on indestructible.

    The pilot and tank crews gear seemed a little worse for wear, but I guess if you jump out of your war machine don't expect to be carrying a full set of gun-ho gear.

    Loved my time in the light tank, and the heavier tanks can be very effective if the driver always remembers to repair.

    The train showing up was a big pleasant surprise for me.

    The deformable terrain from shells can make driving the trucks a fun ride if you hit a few of them in a row.

    I feel like what battlefield needs next is to introduce an objective marker into the game, expanding on what the squad leader can
    already do.
    Maybe the game could notify the 10 nearest players to a flag getting captured with some voice over and make it their objective to hold that position.
    The game tries to do this already in some ways and good players already use these cues, but it needs to be a lot more 'in your face' for beginners and 'casuals'

    For me they need to deal with the snipers.
    1. Have an option for no snipers - In the battelfield not all battles had snipers
    2. Snipers need to be in prone to fire.

    I loved it. But I should point out it was an absolute buggy mess with rounds that start immediately (for some), menus that were unresponsive at best and unusable at worst and, my personalk favourite, tanks that dissapear right from under you as you drive along.

    If DICE can fix all the bugs they'll have an absolute blockbuster on their hands.

    why would they change there core game mode after 14 years. there was nothing wrong with conquest why change it.

    if i could sum up the experience its like those participation certificates they give to kids at school now for fun runs so they don't feel left out for not coming 1st 2nd or 3rd. Thats what bf1 has become, its like we have to make the shit players feel included, by changing he whole game. I mean they actually have an end of round stat for who fired the most rounds. like gives a fk who fired the most rounds, thats such a retard award.

    maybe its just me but when i play online i dont want to participate in some team hand holding kumbaya, i want to kill every mofo on the battlefield and be known for it, gaming is my competitive outlet.

    Last edited 13/09/16 8:52 am

    The sniping is a little crazy and way too easy to dominate but not sure how to fix it. Also there sure are an awful lot of automatic weapons and people seem to ditch any bolt action rifles as soon as they can. It's a game, I get it, but it's turned into modern war with a 1915 lick of paint.

    I liked it , I was playing aggressive recon , so close quarters sniping and pistol kills , also I used the flair gun to cut of doorways .
    But as most people day I couldn't do nothing when a tank rolled up, I just ran.
    I did see a lot of people sniping from ridges but they did not get much points for that and I think they won't do it for long as they won't progress fast that way. Also they are an easy target once spotted .
    The game runs really smooth also , great hit reg most of the time but I did find the snipers a little funny with head shots at times.
    I would be lined up perfectly on a still target and I would miss , that was like 1 in 20 though.
    Can't wait to play a forest type map.

    Battlefield 1 sucks

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