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What Battlefield 1 Needs to Get Right

By: Sean Ridgeley | Editorials in Gaming | Posted: May 16, 2016 1:10 pm
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Make Rush Great Again


The invention of Rush mode for the Bad Company series was one of DICE's greatest moves in series history. At long last, players had the perfect accompaniment to the large scale Conquest mode thanks to tightly designed maps featuring one objective: blow up the crates or defend the crates. The gameplay was hectic, thrilling, and unlike Conquest, was cohesive whether played with voice chat or none at all, which made it a hit with casual and hardcore players alike.


Unfortunately, with the new plethora of content in Battlefield 3 and 4, Rush took a big hit to balance and fun. Suddenly, most matches were lopsided, maps were a headache to progress through, and before long, the community at large left it behind. Though DICE improved it with patches, it was too little too late.


If DICE is to make Battlefield 1 all it can be, it needs to fix Rush, and of course, adapt it for the setting. The best fit: Combat Mission from Medal of Honor (credit to Reddit user MartianGeneral for this great idea). If you haven't played the game or don't remember it, it's essentially Rush except MCOMs/gold crates are replaced with authentic objectives like "Secure the beach", much as they would appear in real war.



Apart from making sense for the setting, Combat Mission also works as an opportunity to further enlighten the public on events that occurred during World War I, one of the less intimately known wars. And with DICE saying it wants to single player a little more like multiplayer, why not make multiplayer a little more like single player too? Take the best of both in each case and knock people's socks off.



All Battlefield 1 truly needs is these two modes, and including only them would allow DICE to focus on making them and the maps the best they can be instead of designing and optimizing 30+ maps for 10+ different modes and having the quality of all of it suffer as a result.


That said, one or two small-scale modes aimed at competitive play in addition to Conquest and Combat Mission would be welcome, provided DICE is willing to put real work in to have Battlefield 1 be taken seriously on the competitive stage. If not, they're best left out entirely. As my father used to say: if you're not going to do it right, don't do it at all.



Back to Basics


At the very least, Battlefield 1 needs to go back to the Bad Company 2 style of spotting where you only show up spotted for enemies if you were spotted manually; shooting your weapon should not make you automatically highlight you to other players.


It's understandable that DICE implemented this revised approach starting in Battlefield 3 to make suppressors more attractive (whether or not it was worth it is another topic), but suppressors were not used in World War I and communications technology was less advanced as well, so it's only reasonable this mechanic is toned down this go-round. A side effect of this is it emphasizes the harrowing atmosphere the game is rightly going for.




I also expect fewer attachments this time. While quite a few attachments were in use during WWI, they were certainly more limited, and most were simply different sights. This is great news for gameplay as it makes unlocks much more exciting again (nobody cares about scope #241 for gun #3012).



Final Thoughts


As the old saying goes: less is more. While my suggestions may make this look like a gutted game, that's just on the surface; underneath lies superior gameplay and polish. More guns in a game doesn't necessarily mean more fun gameplay; often it just means more guns.


Given DICE is already advertising DLC packs and Battlepacks for the game and EA is talking about "macro and micro monetization", I'm expecting it to turn out more like Battlefield 3 and 4 than Bad Company 2, but even something halfway between could go a long way.




Whatever happens, I have no doubt the game will be epic and fun, as DICE's Battlefield games always are.


See you on the battlefield, soldier.

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