EA DICE's Battlefield 1 is total mayhem, a massive firefight fought not only with guns but also with horses, trains and blimps.
I tried the open beta, which ended last Thursday. The next time that gamers will be able to step into the trenches is on Oct 21, when the game is released.
There are two modes available, the 24-man Rush and Battlefield's signature game mode Conquest. The latter is an all-out 64-man capture-the-point festival of dirt and destruction.
Because the game was still in beta, I faced problems from the get-go. I failed to join a Conquest server multiple times, and it took me 10 minutes to find a playable match. However, this may have been because the servers were the target of a DDoS attack on the day the beta launched. Either way, hopefully this gets fixed before the game comes out.
When I finally deployed, I was dropped into the middle of Sinai Desert, the only map in the beta. It had astoundingly life-like terrain, with swirling sand punctuated only by shrubs and crumbling stone buildings.
All those buildings did not last long. though. The environment in Battlefield 1 is reactive, so a few minutes into the game, many of the houses were pounded into oblivion by fire from tanks and planes.
The openness of the Sinai Desert, coupled with my cover getting blown to bits, left my poor Assault soldier quite vulnerable to fire from enemy snipers as I tried to move between capture points.
Battlefield 1 has four classes: Assault, a tough close-range soldier; Support, who can resupply allies with ammunition; Medic, who can heal and revive; and Sniper, who has a long-range sniper rifle.
What really made Battlefield 1 epic, though, were not the soldiers but the vehicles and horses. Tanks prowled the battlefield, blowing everything to smithereens.
Horses were even better. The first time I was mowed down by a sabre-wielding soldier astride a horse, I was surprised. But after I spawned on a horse, it became my turn to rain equestrian death down on flat-footed soldiers.
Behemoths, massive vehicles like airships and trains, can also turn the tide of battle. As a foot soldier, nothing puts the fear of God in me quite like seeing a heavily armoured train hurtling across the desert.
Battlefield 1 is definitely not the most realistic trench experience. There have been other bugs reported, like different weather effects spawning for different players, and players spawning without weapons.
I really hope these issues are sorted about before release, as Battlefield 1's great variety of gameplay and gorgeous graphics have the potential to make it a truly fantastic game.