Having played only 3 or 4 hours of the Battlefield multiplayer, I feel less than qualified to give a full opinion on the experience as a whole. However I could tell from the moment I picked up my rifle that this was going to be a difficult one to put down.
From the offset I struggled with the gameplay because I was physically awed by the graphics and the attention to detail on every map. It took an immense amount of concentration not to gawp at the breathtaking verticality of the Venetian Alps on the MONTE GRAPPA map; or the incredibly atmospheric weather and lighting effects.
Gameplay was smooth, but with a certain gritty rigidity introduced by the less effective historical weaponry. The sound effects of the weapons, especially the bolt action rifles, made each kill feel glorious. The individuality of each weapon makes up for any lack of variety compared to Battlefield 4. SMGs can no-longer be used to take out snipers and rifles feel much more vulnerable at closer ranges. It means you have to consider which path to take and how you’re playing based on what weaponry you’re packing. The sniper sweet spot distance is also a welcome addition, so now snipers not only feel different and sound different – they ARE different. Some will do 100 damage at 30m, some at 60m, it really depends on the weapon, and this alters the way you play with each.
The pacing is faster than expected, and I’m getting a significant amount of Call of Duty: World at War nostalgia, but that’s a good thing because the maps are so big – they need an equal amount of chaos to properly recreate WW1. Authenticity is attributed to the visuals and sounds. This was most evident in the trenches with men screaming and running at each other in a crazy melee of bayonets and blunt instruments, I was just getting my bearings when a huge landship (tank) roared into existence above my head.
Much like previous Battlefield games the emphasis is on scale, and the sense of scale has never been quite so impressive. The new Operations mode is gigantic, spanning several maps and requiring effective team work; something which I was happy to experience (I got revived plenty anyway…). Having the game mode on more than one map really brings to mind the phrase: “We’ve won the battle but not the war”. It further sets Battlefield apart from other first person shooters as its own entity, the true war simulator.