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Battlefield 1 Beta First Impressions

As you likely know, the Battlefield 1 open beta launched yesterday, and the reviews are already starting to stream in around the web.  What can you expect if you join?  Here are some first impressions.

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  • There are a ton of customization options right off the bat.  The screens are fast and intuitive though and you will soon be dropped into the action.
  • The Sinai Desert map is characterized by wide open spaces, but there are a lot of hiding places too (sometimes out in the open).  Amazingly enough, however, even in a 64-player mode, this map is arguably too big for its own good (par the course with FPS, right?).  Still, it is beautiful and dynamic and offers plenty of action.
  • Weapons are old-fashioned and have a clunky (but delightful) feel to them.  Don’t expect historical accuracy here—these weapons are WWI-inspired, but include a lot of funky anachronisms.  This isn’t real, gritty WWI; it has a Hollywood look and feel.
  • The Frostbite engine is doing a dazzling job with all the effects.  Combined with a dynamic, destructible environment, it means an immersive and equally dynamic game play experience.  There is actually so much environmental detail that you will end up missing a lot of it, but you’ll catch it out of the corner of your eye, which adds to the sense of realism.
  • You’ll notice the Sinai Desert map layout changes depending on which mode you are in—Rush or Conquest.  Rush has a narrower path while Conquest is a lot more open.
  • Expect a lot of silliness from other players in the beta—though you can hardly blame them.  You will find a lot of players dancing around the objectives without actually pursuing them, rushing by refusing to heal you (in the case of Medics), and so on.  This may be annoying if you are actually trying to play a match, but the weird behavior is completely understandable.  Everyone is distracted just exploring the environment and checking out the weapons and seeing what BF1 has to offer.  You probably will be too.

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If you haven’t yet downloaded the beta, here is how to do it:

  • PlayStation 4: Use this link in North America, or this link in Europe.  You do not need PlayStation Plus membership.
  • Xbox One: Go here.  You must have an Xbox Live Gold membership.
  • Windows PC: Open the Origin client, navigate to Free Games, then to the beta subsection where you will find Battlefield 1.

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As of right now, we do not know how long the beta will be open, but it could be as briefly as 4 days.  So get in there while you can, and make sure you pre-order Battlefield 1, due for release on October 21st!