A Weekend of Games and Some Good News for Battlefield Fans

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox, Xbox One with 17 Comments

A Weekend of Games and Some Good News for Battlefield Fans

Having just spent the past weekend testing both Battlefield 1 and the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Beta, I have reached some uncomfortable conclusions. Uncomfortable, that is, because I am a Call of Duty fan.

And it goes something like this.

Battlefield 1 single-player is incredible. While I haven’t yet tried the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare single player campaign, as it’s not available yet, this much is clear: It will never be as good as what Battlefield 1 offers. Call of Duty hasn’t offered up a single player campaign this intriguing since the Modern Warfare games, and the presentation is simply incredible. Forget Gears of War 4, which is a pretender: Battlefield 1 is the real thing, an epic, interactive story. It’s beautiful.

Infinite Warfare Beta is unimpressive. The COD games are a series of ups and downs, from a multiplayer perspective. So Advanced Warfare was a bust, a game with multiplayer so unimpressive I spent the subsequent year playing old COD games on my Xbox 360 instead. But Black Ops III is arguably the best COD multiplayer experience yet, and aside from a general lack of creativity in some of the map packs, it’s held up well over the past year. Infinite Warfare, as seen in the Beta, is more of the same—that is, it is very much based on BO3 multiplayer, but with only small enhancements—and it just rings hollow. It’s repetitive, uninteresting, and most of the (admittedly few) maps we’ve seen so far are pretty terrible. Obviously, I’ll revise this when the full game is out and I can access more maps and play modes, but … eh.

Modern Warfare Remastered may be better than both of them. In a good news/bad news sense, the remastered version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare that Activision is providing with the more expensive versions of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is incredible, and reason enough to purchase the new title. The single player campaign will almost certainly be better than the IW single player experience, though Battlefield 1 is arguably even more impressive. But if Modern Warfare’s multiplayer holds up to the original, and of course it will, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare may very well emerge as the gotta-have-it military shooter of 2016. Which, again, is both good and bad.

Battlefield 1 multiplayer is … weird. My son texted me on Saturday, excited by the Battlefield 1 multiplayer experience and its huge 64-player matches. So I gave it a shot, but it still has that weird old-school Battlefield vibe, with mostly huge maps, lots of running over empty ground to rejoin the battle, and, curious in 2016, old-style server browsers. I will keep trying, but I’m going to spend more time with single player first. And I haven’t been able to say that about this kind of game in … several years? At least.

I’d still rather play Black Ops III. Given the available options—Modern Warfare Remastered multiplayer won’t arrive until November when Infinite Warfare ships—my favorite mulitplayer shooter right now is still Black Ops III. The game is just so well balanced, and it feels and looks better than Infinite Warfare Beta. (For now. Again, we’ll see how/if things change for the final release.) But when forcing myself to try and enjoy the other games, I kept wanting to return to BO3. Granted, some of that is familiarity, and some is that it has the game modes I prefer. But part of it, surely, is that BO3 is just the better multiplayer experience.

If you’re in the Infinite Warfare Beta, you have until 1:00 pm ET today to player. After that, the servers gets shut down, and we have to wait about a week and a half for the full game to arrive. Surely, I can finish Battlefield 1 by then.


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  1. 1 | Reply
    Polycrastinator Alpha Member #163 - 2 months ago

    I'm glad to hear that Battlefield 1's single player is good. I've never been one for playing first person shooters online: I don't have the time to get good at them, so it just turns into a frustrating exercise in being a target for other people. But I enjoy the games, if there's a good single player campaign, I might be into that.

    1. Paul Thurrott
      0 | Reply
      Paul Thurrott Alpha Member #1 - 2 months ago
      In reply to Polycrastinator:

      Yeah, it's an impressive presentation, and quite immersive.

  2. 1 | Reply
    richardbottiglieri Alpha Member #898 - 2 months ago

    Paul, have you tried Overwatch yet on Xbox One?  I find it a nice change of pace from the COD series, and I can see why it grabbed excellent reviews and a huge online community playing it.  Agree with you on Gears: nice graphics, but it has that "been there, done that" feel.

  3. 1 | Reply
    dougkinzinger Alpha Member #1212 - 2 months ago

    Picking up BF1 for PC just for the single player campaign. Can't wait.

  4. 1 | Reply
    Sailordude9980 Alpha Member #1243 - 2 months ago

    I am about 25 percent done with BF1. At first I thought this would just glorify ww1.  Its quite the opposite, it makes me hate war even more.  Every cut scene I am just shaking head, "wow, this really happened".  

    Its my game of the year pic for pc.  

  5. 1 | Reply
    mebby Alpha Member #219 - 2 months ago

    I am about 70 percent through the BF1 single player campaign. At this point I wish it was longer as I agree with Paul - thumbs up onf the BF1 single player!

    1. Paul Thurrott
      0 | Reply
      Paul Thurrott Alpha Member #1 - 2 months ago
    2. 0 | Reply
      dspeterson Alpha Member #130 - 2 months ago
      In reply to mebby:

      Sadly, it seemed like that was a big part of the season pass/DLC plans, 2 new single player campaigns?

  6. 0 | Reply
    FreeJAC Alpha Member #1723 - 2 months ago

    Now we know why the new one is bundled with the old one. Many on PS4 were planning on getting IW with the MWR digital code and then just re-sell / turn in IW to gamestop. They found out recently however that they can't, because the disc (DRM) is required to play both titles! The best plan of all I think is to vote with your wallet. Don't purcahse and wait for MWR remastred to be released as a standalone at a more reasonable price for a remaster.

  7. 0 | Reply
    dave0 Alpha Member #2010 - 2 months ago

    Server browser, as God intended.

  8. 0 | Reply
    Narg Alpha Member #420 - 2 months ago

    I usually rate a game by the single player side first.  If that excites, then the multiplayer only adds to the game.  Rarely have I enjoyed a game solely on it's multiplayer ability.  Thanks for the insight Paul!

    But, I still wish developers would focus on a game for single or multiplayer, not both.  Release two versions.  Price appropriately.  Better World would ensue... ;)

  9. 0 | Reply
    david.miller Alpha Member #1001 - 2 months ago

    I loved modern warfare when it first came out. But over the years I've grown a bit tired of Call of Duty. I've started to really enjoy the games where team work forms a big part - which has drawn me over to Battlefield (and Rainbow Six Seige). The maps don't feel that big when you've got a good squad and working towards the objective. I don't find that Call of Duty's deathmatch 'run n gun' enough any more.

  10. 0 | Reply
    Sailordude9980 Alpha Member #1243 - 2 months ago

    Side note for the community:

    We should get together and start a xbox / steam group.

    All the more reason to subscribe to premium:p


  11. 0 | Reply
    CrazedVic Alpha Member #1941 - 2 months ago

    I agree with you on bf1 single player campaign, hands down simply the best story in a very long time. I yelped with excitement when my plane crash landed on the blimp.  Its just ridiculous how awesome the bf1 campaigns are.