I have been playing Activision’s Call of Duty series for a very long time, I remember joining the hype train when Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare came out. I spent countless hours in the multiplayer lobby rising rank after rank with my buddies. My fondness for these games has never really gone away, but I grew weary of each title every year. Activision kept selling us slightly tweaked versions of Call of Duty and we happily dropped our money on each title. I own every Call of Duty game from 3 all the way to Black Ops III and I’ve played through them all, which really makes me surprised that I’m more excited for EA’s Battlefield 1 than Infinite Warfare. Now, don’t get me wrong, I also have played through all of the Battlefield games, sans Hardline, and enjoyed the campaigns (mostly Bad Company‘s campaigns because those were flat out funny). I enjoy both franchises immensely but EA has my interest piqued this year.
The future of warfare is starting to bore me; I’ve had a sweet exoskeleton that Kevin Spacey loaned me and I had new robot limbs attached to my body after a gentle mishap with a robot. Two games is enough; I get that Infinite Warfare allows us to have space battles, unlike a certain space themed game that came out last year, and I can get behind that. However, history is something that I’ve always been obsessed with, and World War I and World War II top that obsession. Infinite Warfare looks like a sequel to Black Ops III to me with the robot soldiers, all the tech, the huge walled in cites and so on. The trailer is extremely pretty and did pique my interest but what really got my heart pumping was when I saw Soap in gorgeous HD. I rarely buy special editions or limited editions, but I might just have to so I can play the best Call of Duty game again on my Xbox One.
Let us get back to history; I’m tired of being thrown into the future (technically we live in the future), and personally, I’m not too impressed; history is where it is at. Before the Battlefield 1 trailer, there were only two games that I could think of where players could witness the horror of The First World War. The first one is the obvious one: Valiant Hearts: The Great War. The second not so obvious: The Darkness. Let us talk about the second title first: obviously The Darkness is a weird game to house a World War I level, but it does. Basically the darkness takes Jackie into their minds as they heal him; oddly enough their mind is trapped in World War 1 due to the fact that the first of Estacado’s punishments was to relive his time in that war. The developers didn’t skimp though, I knew immediately I was stuck in the trenches, trying to avoid mustard gas and staying out of the dreaded “no man’s land.” After completing the level, I knew that someone must create a game like this, but with a fully realized and a full campaign; thank you EA.
The other World War I game that I played was not a first-person shooter; it was a side scrolling puzzle game, but I still fell in love with it. The tale is told through several characters whose stories intertwine and truly show the horrors of the First World War. You got to see first-hand how the torture of living in the tunnels was, how at any moment a mustard gas attack could end your existence. The biggest draw to this title after I began to play it was the fact that it educated me on World War I. I knew a lot of tidbits about the war that I had read or watched on the History Channel, but Valiant Hearts really did some research. Every time you find a certain item while playing you can look at it and read the history about it. At the beginning of each level, you can also read about the zeppelins, the mustard gas, how the war began, how it ended and so on. I know that Battlefield 1 won’t be insanely historical, but hopefully it can peak the interest of a generation to learn about the war that tore the world apart.
Battlefield 1 looks like that World War I game that I wished for after playing The Darkness. There’s flamethrowers, the first generation of tanks, The Red Baron planes, trench warfare, and so much more. I honestly cannot wait to dogfight in those planes; I’m sure I’ll need some Dramamine. Hopefully I’ll learn more about the war from this game, like I learned quite a bit from playing Assassin’s Creed, and then went out and researched. I’m also very curious how DICE are able to make the combat quick paced; the weapons were not known for their accuracy, speed or reliability. The tanks were death traps if they were stopped, and the trench warfare had more hand to hand than anything. If they can pull this off, this may be the title that dethrones Call of Duty as the go-to shooter in the Fall. I know that I’ll be getting a copy and visiting 1916 France.