EA & DICE really hit the nail when they announced Battlefield 1 at E3, when we already knew another Call of Duty game would be released the same year – this one set in space. There were moans and groans from veteran COD players, praying for Activision to release another World War era shooter. Well, little did they know, their prayers were answered – albeit by EA & DICE with Battlefield 1. They showed the trailer. Everybody wept with tears of joy that we were going to get a new World war shooter in the new gen console. Memes were then created to mock the battle between the 2 FPS giants and how EA took Activision by the scruff of the neck and beat it senseless with a shovel.
As we entered September, EA announced the open beta for all platforms. Origin members that were part of EA Insider would be able to play the game, a few days earlier. I’m sure this marketing tactic received a lot of new subscriptions to their newsletter and probably a lot un-subscriptions afterwards.
The open beta was the first time the mass audience could try out the game and get their taste of World War 1 combat. 2 modes (Conquest, Rush) were available to play over the single map Sinai Desert – a barren sandscape with some ruined buildings scattered across the map – acting as the capture points in Conquest. Mountains ran through the map, which offered many high sniping spots. It would have been nice if we had at least another map to play with, as after a few rounds, the game started to feel a bit stale.
With Battlefield 4, the levels would deliver huge set pieces that altered the map in some state and with Sinai Desert, this was the same. I have encountered 2 different types of weather effects: sandstorm and fog. A new feature has been the inclusion of the Train, which is spawned once the opposing team has reached halfway point to victory. The train can be occupied by at least 6 people; 1 to drive and 5 to man the weapons. As with betas, there have been many bugs resulting in sometimes hilarious results. Light tanks would often feel invulnerable and easy ways to score some points. So far, the game has been fairly enjoyable and I’m looking forward to when they announce further maps.
Playing Sinai Desert, there was a feeling of similarity, as it could have seemed to a passerby that we were playing Star Wars Battlefront TM. Hopefully, other maps will have more battlefield feeling. Since both games are using the same engine, both games will often feel similar.
The open beta has been reported to end on 8th September, as well as a new update released that removes the timer from conquest mode.