Battlefield 1 was praised at its launch, delivering one of the top gaming experiences of the year. Nearly two years later it’s received a steady stream of support and sits among the biggest names in the shooter genre. But with so many competitors in the market, how does the game hold up in 2018?
Battlefield 1 for Xbox One review: a franchise reborn through the crucible of WWI
The state of Battlefield 1 in 2018
Since Battlefield 1’s October 2016 release, the game has seen a steady stream of both paid and free content, while maintaining an active player base. Like previous entries to the franchise, Electronic Arts has established a strong roadmap of post-launch expansions, alongside additional updates delivering further features and tweaks.
At the core of the game’s post-launch support were four themed expansions, each delivering significant drops of new content to buyers. Despite that many of today’s top shooters offer free content backed by microtransactions, Battlefield 1 is one of the few embracing paid, standalone expansions. Battlefield 1’s “Premium Pass” also remained a major method of monetization, promising access to all future additions for a single fee.
Throughout Battlefield 1’s expansions, players saw new maps, game modes, weapons, and vehicles. These explored various theaters of the First World War, spanning Eurasia to Africa and their infamous battles. This not only brought variations in themes – new maps and equipment delivered changes to gameplay flow too. Building on the strong foundation at launch, this capitalized solely on the strengths of its brutal multiplayer gameplay. Battlefield 1 now has 31 multiplayer maps – 22 of these added since launch.
Battlefield 1 has seen updates bridging the gap between major expansions too, adding new features outside of the core multiplayer sandbox. Among these was deeper progression seen in previous Battlefield games like Assignments and Ribbons and deeper loadouts through Specializations.
Electronic Arts has also begun to establish the groundwork for deeper competitive multiplayer within Battlefield 1, introducing a five versus five “Incursions” game mode. Paired with its cinematic Spectator Mode, a new accommodation for competitive scenes is being established.
Despite committing to set expansions, the delivery of these has evolved through Battlefield 1’s lifespan. Moving away from the structured nature of earlier games, Electronic Arts began to break these into intermittent content drops. While the first expansion, “They Shall Not Pass” was rolled out as a major update, later expansions were often stretched over multiple months. This provided a regular flow of content but also left distribution feeling somewhat erratic. Having seen this shift, post-launch support for future Battlefield games could be changing.
Ultimately, Battlefield 1 has seen some significant evolutions as a shooter since its launch nearly two years ago. While its expansions provided similar experiences, each delivered some unique twists to the core formula. And with additional free updates, the game feels richer and more cohesive than ever.
Battlefield 1 still has a healthy following
Battlefield 1’s popularity has fallen among many competing shooters but the game maintains an active player base. According to Battlefield Tracker, the game secures tens of thousands of players daily during peak times. PlayStation 4 sees average peaks of 50,000 players, while Xbox One and PC see 30,000 and 20,000 respectively.
Revisiting Battlefield 1, you won’t struggle to find a game. While matches for some downloadable content (DLC) maps are hard to find, you’ll still see a healthy rotation across different modes. Expect the player count to remain close to this until the next series entry releases.
The cost of Battlefield 1 in 2018
For those looking to jump into Battlefield 1 today, “Battlefield 1 Revolution” is pitched as the ideal purchase for newcomers. Compiling the base game and Premium Pass at a discount, this grants access to the complete experience from the outset. Battlefield 1 Revolution for Xbox One retails for $59.99 from the Microsoft Store and $39.99 from Amazon.
Electronic Arts’ EA Access and Origin Access subscription services are also a great way to play Battlefield 1 on Xbox One or PC. For a flat monthly fee, both services grant access to a growing library of digital titles. These provide unlimited access to the standard edition of Battlefield 1 or other top-titles like Titanfall 2 and Mass Effect: Andromeda. Granting access to Battlefield 1 for as low as $4.99, this is a great way to play on a budget.
For existing players, Battlefield 1’s Premium Pass is the best route for playing DLC. While usually priced at $49.99 on the Microsoft Store, regular discounts drop the pass to significantly less. Alternatively, all expansions are available for standalone purchase, retailing for $14.99 each. Official events called “Premium Trials” can also grant limited-time access for free.
What lies ahead for Battlefield 1
With the four major expansions for Battlefield 1 now available, mainstream support for the game appears to have wrapped up. Although updates are still being issued, we can assume efforts will soon shift to its developer’s next project.
While news on the future of Battlefield is limited, Electronic Arts has confirmed a new game is in the pipeline. A full reveal for the next Battlefield is set for the coming months, with the opportunity to get hands-on at EA Play from June 9 to June 11. The game is expected to hit store shelves later this year, as a major component of the publisher’s lineup.
Several rumors have indicated the next Battlefield game will take place in a Second World War setting, under the title “Battlefield V.” If correct, a similar pacing to the historical warfare of Battlefield 1 can be assumed, with new locations and technologies. Unlike recent titles where a huge disparity laid between timelines, Battlefield V may cut into the population of Battlefield 1.
The bottom line
Since Battlefield 1’s launch, Electronic Arts has significantly expanded upon the game’s original offerings. Still offering a memorable single-player campaign and intense multiplayer combat, there are few shooters quite like it. Post-launch support has built upon already strong mechanics, taking players to new locales with new stories to tell. While it’s more of the same, combat still remains fresh after hours of play.
Battlefield 1 is still a great shooter but with a successor on the horizon, it’s time as the Battlefield game is ending. Several months still remaining until then, making now a great time to revisit (or visit) the merciless warfare of last century.
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