Oh happy day: EA’s intriguing new first person shooter Battlefield 1 is now available as an open beta for gamers on Xbox One and Windows PCs, offering a thrilling if limited first glimpse at some of the game’s multiplayer modes.
Before diving into what we’re getting here, be sure to run, not walk, to get the download started. On Xbox One, that means a bit of navigation unless you use search: Store, Browse Games, and then down to Game Demos. It should be the first choice (at least today).
On PC, visit the Battlefield 1 Beta web site. You can access the game through EA’s Origin service.
OK, now that the humongous download (6.2 GB on Xbox One) is happening, here’s what’s up.
The Battlefield 1 Open Beta starts today and runs through … some day. EA hasn’t decided yet. But we know it will be at least four days, because they’re offering an exclusive dog tag in the full game to anyone who plays the beta on four different days and reaches level 15.
If you’re playing on Xbox One, you will need an Xbox Live Gold account.
The beta is multiplayer-only and is limited to a single maps, called Sinai Desert, which is very reminiscent of some of the desert locations in Call of Duty 2, but is of course much more detailed. Too, only two play modes are available:
Conquest. A staple of the Battlefield series of games, Conquest is an objective-based mode that provides gigantic maps with up to 64 players. As a COD player, this is the kind of thing I hate about Battlefield, where you spend all of your time running to get anywhere near the fighting and then get wiped out by a sniper, only to have to repeat this process again and again. But Battlefield players love this kind of thing.
Rush. This is a 24-player mode with offensive and defensive teams. The offensive, or attacking, force is tasked with finding and destroying the defending force’s telegraph posts, which are used to call in artillery strikes. Attackers set explosives and defenders disarm them. As the telegraph posts are destroyed, the defenders fall back to the next sector and protect the telegraph Posts there. From what I’ve seen, this game is less enormous, so there’s less running around like an idiot.
Put simply, while the World War I setting for this game continues to be controversial to some, I’m excited by it, and as noted above, it has a real COD2 vibe to it, which I like. (Yes, COD2 was set in World War II.) But it appears to retain the things I don’t like about Battlefield as well, meaning that it should really please Battlefield fans.
I’m almost certainly going to buy this game regardless, just because the presentation is amazing and I’m really interested in the time/setting.
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