GameSpot's The Lobby: How good is Battlefield 1?After spending some quality time with the Battlefield 1 closed alpha build, the crew discusses class playability, level destruction, and just how good this title is shaping up to be.
[MUSIC] Let's talk a bit about a video game, which a bunch of people are playing in [UNKNOWN] right now. Which is great and posting video content and all that sort of stuff. And we've had collectively over the past couple of months enough time to play, past couple of weeks as well to sort of get to grips with it. Aaron yourself and Ryan you're basically the Battlefield experts here in the office. Mikey plays a bunch as well. You're our World War 1 expert. Expert as well. [CROSSTALK] I love Battlefield series. I used to play in a Vietnam clan. I haven't been too into, what's this, Battlefield 3, I'll say. But I thought it'd be cool to get the three of us here together, and just sort of talk shop, like say, what do we think about [UNKNOWN]. We've put hours into it at this stage, some of us more than others And what we feel about it. Aaron, first of all, what's your take on Battlefield One? My first impression when I fired up Battlefield One, and we played it at 83, it was the closed alpha build, so there's a lot that can still change between now and when they're done. Was they listened to fan feedback and they got it this time. I think they understand How to make classes different, they understand how to make objectives more fun, they understand finally that people when they said destruction, they ment building destruction, ground deformation, just everything at this stage feels so competent and awesome. The setting itself it's a little funny, it's [UNKNOWN] when he pointed out a piece. It's definitely fantasy World War I, like it's World War II in World War I, which is probably was necessary to appeal to the core battlefield fans, because they couldn't slap scopes and automatic rifles in authentic World War I. And I think that just wouldn't have worked for this audience, but it feels very familiar. Some of the Things will feel like reskins to you but not in a bad way at all. So I'm interested to hear you say that because you are somebody who has been very critical of Dice with Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 in sort of different ways. What were the core things you think they needed to change with Battlefield one? Like, what were the things coming out of Battlefield four that you were particularly grievous about? I actually really did like three, I thought it was a good compromise although that was the moment when they started caring more about graphics than destruction. And then that carried through to four. I thought four was very conceptually weak. It just had no identity. They kind of through everything at it. Like 3.5 it kind of felt like. It did feel like 3.5, and also nothing felt very unique in that game. One of my biggest problems is that I think that they put Thought into evolution, Yes. But what they put their thought into is the spectacle of levolution and not the way that levolution plays. And a lot of the maps, including Siege of Shanghai got real boring after the levolution happened. Or the levolution was crazy underwhelming. So I think again, that was another case where they didn't understand, people said they wanted destruction but they didn't Understand that they weren't just talking about the spectacle of destruction, they were talking about meaningful destruction. And there's a lot of that in this. I was really surprised, Mike. I remember you came on a couple weeks ago and talked about your experience, hiding in a bunker shell, basically while everything else is going on around you. Using that little hole to gain back your health, or whatever. I played a couple of matches recently and couldn't believe how vastly, it's what they were promising forever, but like the levels do actually change. By the end of it, it's just like the zeppelins crush this town, there's potholes where there weren't potholes before. It looked Looks almost indistinguishable. And once you take on this sort of the evolution, the revolution, in other word, in the game like had actually manifests like in terms of gameplay. Yeah, to speak of what Aaron was just saying, it's not just an aesthetic thing anymore, it's an actually, there's functionality to it, right. I Yeah I told that story about how like there's five of us holding out in this out post. You can hear artillery coming in. The sound that's on this game even in the alpha is unreal. It's very integral on how you play and what you know you are doing and what you think you should do next and what not but. You hear the whistle of the artillery come in. Four other people get killed, I'm half dead. But the artillery itself created a crater that I crawled into. Didn't even have to fire my gun. I just waited there to hold down the outpost until more people could get there in armored trucks Mm-hm. And then there's footage of me from when I'm sniping. I'm the scout. Rob and I were playing Mash back at E3 And went into the loft of the barn. There's a small window with a little window sill over it. It's like, aw ****. I can't see anything. All of the sudden half the place gets torn away by the enemy team cuz he knew I was in there so he was just pummeling it. So I went prone, killed a few people. The window itself got torn out. So I had a sight line all the sudden that wasn't there. Five seconds ago. Yeah, it's a game of those types of stories. Like, we're all exchanging those stories, which, like, reminds me of kind of a bit like Bad Company where you have, people were talking about this, you go back to Bad Company for years. This feels really close to it. We were talking about it earlier. I had a situation earlier which felt like I was taken right [UNKNOWN] where it was like I'm in a clock tower sniping people. I've had real trouble on the ground artillery learning the pace of the battlefield again. But up in this clock tower and this windmill, I guess it was. I was feeling really confident. There was a bit of the wall broken off and it was a good spot and I was facing two control points and I killed like seven dudes in a row. Where it was like leading scope, where you are just shooting where they are going to be, which is so satisfying. They also had it in bullet drag this time, which is really fascinating. So the bullets actually slow down over distance. Wow, That's incredible. I didn't realize that actually So it'll make it so people who are snipers or scouts or even support will have to be a little bit more skilled. Yeah, I probably can't murder you from halfway across the mountain necessarily. Yeah. And yeah, I was killing all these guys and then as what happens when you're a sniper eventually they turn on you and start knowing where you are and firing on you. And they were firing on me and suppressing me, but I was still not getting killed. And then I heard that whistle. And then I see the whole thing just blew up. You know what? That was all right. I don't mind getting killed that way. How do you feel the vehicles are turning out this time around? The vehicles will feel very familiar to Battlefield 3 and 4 fans. You have a car which is essentially the same as the MRAB. Right. Which is just the light, fast vehicle. You have, I think, a heavy tank which is very similar to the Amtrak from [CROSSTALK]. Right. So you'll feel right at home if you play Battlefield. And I'm assuming one of the things they wanted to accomplish with this World War setting was not to alienate Battlefield fans. Mm-hm. And they wanted things to still feel familiar to them. So the vehicles feel good. They feel familiar. There's nothing. We haven't seen the horse yet. Right, yeah, yeah. Which is the one thing where I don't think they could, I mean unless they make it exactly like the motorcycle. Right. [CROSSTALK] You know what I'm wondering about the horse though, this is kind of funny. I haven't noticed on this one yet but usually when you walk away from vehicles [UNKNOWN] in Battelfield, like 30 feet they explode. [LAUGH] Right>> So are you just like what did you do with the horse, did they explode in a bunch of guts. You've seen enough Bessie. [LAUGH] Go off into the pasture. I mean if you played enough Red Death Redemption you just shoot them in the head right. [LAUGH] Walker, watch him, watch him flop down. There's something about this which feels very reminiscent of [INAUDIBLE] in 1942 where there are these massive battles and in a way, I, maybe it's because I'm playing a lot of Overwatch recently and you feel like you're so engaged in the victory. But there's so much in this game where you do feel like you're a small cog in a big battlefield and is that okay do you think, Mike? Because obviously like, feeling like, you're engaged in like your importance to success is pretty important in itself. Yeah I mean there's more than, there are so many ways to be integral to your team, just today there. Just like I was watching someone on YouTube or whatever. Sorry we were like at E3, I was playing and I was a scout and I spent like maybe three total minutes running around the edge of the map to get to the monastery. It's like the map that Close Alpha had, San Quentin scar And I spent about three minutes just running around the edge. Didn't see anybody. Nobody saw me from what I know. But then I got to the monastery, locked it down. I didn't fire a single shot for like five total minutes but it's still a capture point which is huge deal. Right yeah. I mean like it's so impressive how the The scale of these battles changes. Despite the fact that they are massive, I prefer playing at the scale if I haven't hinted at that yet. So, I'll be trying to hit someone from across the map, I'll be waiting for them to stand still from hundred yards away so I get the shot. But then I'll go into a farmhouse with my pistol out, some guy with a hatchet will just smoke me. The actual scale, like switching from close quarters to long range to, this tank was coming at me and I ran behind a wall. I still wasn't used to this jungle environment yet, so I'm like all right, I'm safe. I'm just going to try to play cat and mouse around this wall. No, he just blew it up and I was staring him in the face. It's just the different encounters that you come across and, like you said, the stories you come out from these matches with. It's closed [UNKNOWN] insisting, it's kind of encouraging. I like the fact that, it's not the steal thing you jump into every time. Like call of duty, I haven't played [UNKNOWN] yet, obviously. Yeah. But, you jump into these matches and it's the same thing over and over. It's just which game play you're trying to get. Like, Trying to get this many kills. Trying to be number one in the ranks. But then this, there are so many different ways to get points for your team and kind of aid the effort. Whether it's just contributing fire to an air ship, or Guiding a tank into the right outpost, at the right time, to just lock it down for just ten seconds more. Or, stuff like that. Right. It's so cool to see how these battles can unfold, with you in different roles. Yeah, and that's the way it kinda feels different to me. Is that we look at a lot of Footage of this game. I certainly felt this way until I got hands on with it was that I get it. It looks like a reskin, the bowels are slightly bigger but there is a totally different pace to this. I feel like my time to death is way longer, like I am existing in the world a lot more. In a way that reminds me of like. Battlefield 2 I liked as well. Yeah, on that point, I think a lot of this is a return to what was good about previous Battlefields. I feel like they went through the line and just picked out the good bits of everything and then put it into this game. So Time to Kill is longer, which is refreshing given More modern games. They went back to at least in the outlook, classed based. So you don't have the carbines of four that make everybody do everything. You really do have to stick within your class and role and if a tank rolls up on you as a medic, there's not a lot you can do about it. [LAUGH] You've got to choose better and move better. the zeppelin is interesting actually. That was the first time in this game where, and it is similar to the AC 130 but as opposed to being tied to a base, it's tied to the losing team. Yeah. And it is the first time I think they have done something to try and help match the balance better. It's interesting though because it's a decision you have to make. If you get into the Devlin. You can destroy most of the map. But you can't capture points. So you'll still loose from on high. It's a balance, it's there to help you but it won't win the match for you. I liked how when it happen As the sort of attacking team, it was almost like. God, I have to stop with all the Overwatch references but, it reminds me of when tracer runs into the back of your team where suddenly you have this thing you have to worry about. You didn't have to worry about before. There's this massive hulking thing that's making its way across the map and Even if you are not attacking it all the time, you're like getting to it. You're like, I'm right beside it, like a big standing gun, I should go take a couple shots. It's like on you're mind the whole time. Like a menace. Yea like a menace, exactly. And there were times when im running along and the whole time I'm like dont hit me. And you can see it's kind of going boom boom, like hitting near you. Another thing and then it made me change the direction I was going in to try and get to the objective. So, yeah it's a really interesting, intimidating sort of factor there. It's one of those moments where I think it was maybe, it wasn't Caspian Border, what was the one with the large telephone pole in the middle of it? That was Caspian Border. Yeah, yeah. So, I remember seeing that fall down for the first time was like wow and just sitting back and going that's awesome. Man, when that definitely blew up it was like, hell, it was like raining down and I saw cars driving down, trying to get away from us and it's just awful. It's just this flaming like mass. And then the fact that later then in that map I was trying to like get one of the objectives with a little battalion or squad And we were just literally jumping over parts of the thing that had torn this village apart. It just. Yeah. It's interesting in so many ways that I wasn't expecting. Yeah, Rob Handler had mentioned the idea that if you're driving the zeppelin and you know it's about to go down, try to position it in a way that. You know, you're losing airship, you might as well try to make it more difficult for the other team to like get to a crucial checkpoint, if possible. You know, like position it so it's going to be like this choke point, be this almost, like, new trench. Like a new trench. And that's the thing, most shooters nowadays are very reactionary, right? There's more forethought in this now. Just based on the closed alpha, it feels like the placement is so much more important it's not necessarily lining up the right shot I don't know. I'm reminded of the Wayne Gretzky quote. He says, good players go where the puck is. Great players go where the puck's gonna be. So I feel like battle field. It's returning to those roots like Aaron said, it's more about thinking through a few moves and where you can be, not necessarily to get two or three kills but where you can be to kinda actually impact the flow of the battle in the next five minutes, and that's a really refreshing thing in the modern shooter landscape. It's gonna be super interesting to see what they do with the single player aspect of this. Last thought on this, Aaron, what do you think, what else do you want to see from this? Obviously, closed alpha is running at the moment. They're probably gonna do more betas and reveal more multi-player stuff, what else would you like them to introduce? Or what would you like them to focus on? I think this map, in the closed alpha, is technically extremely competent, and everything Mostly like feels great to play with. Sounds great. I haven't seen I mean we've only seen one map. I want to see a map that gives me that sensation we got the first time we jumped off Gamma Van Peak. My God yes. Like. I don't think battlefields has done that since Gamma Van Peak. Right. Why not? Something that just Like blows you away that you've never seen before. Yeah. I think you always want that from a game. So I think at this stage, they have technical competence, they've taken the best bits of other Battlefields and put them in place. Everything's in line right now for them to really just blow you away with something. And I haven't seen that something just yet. The zeppelin is probably the closest thing to that. But I'm excited to see what else they have up their sleeve. That's be cool, yeah. Some messed up maps, we'll have to see. It's been a lot of diversity in the maps and in what they show in the trailers so I don't know. Maybe we'll get something cool there. Thank you both for coming on and talking about The Battlefield, I don't think it will be the last time we're gonna be talking about this year. To talk about.