Battlefield 1 (Zero Punctuation)


Regular viewers will know that I have a bit
of a wasp in my urethra about illogical sequel numbering. Mainly I worry that after the apocalyptic
global conflict that will accompany the new American presidency the future scholars of
gaming will be terribly confused. “We’ve found Battlefield 1, 2, 3, 4 and 1942. So by my count we’re missing 1,938 episodes.” But there is a slim justification for the
titling of Battlefield 1. Firstly it’s sort of a play on words. Battlefield Won, you see. Congratulations, you have won a battlefield. Hope you like shell casings and entrails. And of course it’s a clever reference to the
game being set in World War 1. Which, in the runup to release, many pundits
and players rightly thought could be just the kind of fresh thinking that would breathe
new life into the genre. For one thing, it’ll mean that battles will
be taking place in literal fields and the whole affair won’t be infused by an inescapable
air of dishonesty. And without the benefits of modern weaponry
the gameplay would call for a wholly different, more thoughtful approach to – “What was that?” cries Battlefield 1. “Sorry, we were busy giving automatic machine
guns to every motherfucker on the planet.” Oh. Well, World War 1 was a conflict without clear
heroes or villains, just millions upon millions of young men being sent to tragic, pointless
deaths in the name of nothing but an international game of political bum-bouncing, so there’ll
need to be a thoughtful, more morally complex approach to the storytelling. “What was that?” cries Battlefield 1 again. “Sorry, we were busy making a story campaign
about rugged English-speaking fancyboys squinting heroically into the middle distance as they
mow down dastardly jabbering Krauts by the hundreds.” I wouldn’t harp, but there’s this whole bit
in the introduction where an American and a German soldier lock gaze over a field strewn
with bodies and both lower their weapons in recognition of their inner humanity that can
never be erased by a system that sees them as naught but expendable cogs, and then five
minutes later it’s back to “Phwoar, massacring expendable cogs sure is fun, eh lads?” Even if you’re playing as the German side
in the multiplayer the bloke on the briefing menu talks viz zat fery smug and evil German
vay as ve vill punish zees stupid American cowboys for the ze glory of ze Kaiser mmmm. Battlefield 1, what on Earth was the bloody
point in the setting change if you’re just going to treat World War 1 like it’s World
War 2 but with slightly sillier hats? Anyway, the campaign is split into a number
of short War Stories. Some very short indeed. So while we can enjoy a variety of highlights
from multiple theatres of conflict, we’ve also got about eleven seconds to get attached
enough to our temporary protagonists to give a shit. The first one is about a British tank crew
consisting of the traditional joke scenario of an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman,
and begins a running theme in the war stories in that all of them could have been renamed
“What the fuck happened to the backup?” We start off joining a big push against German
forces alongside a load of other tanks and infantry, and then one seamless transition
later our tank’s trundling through a haunted forest by itself. Sarge, we did tell someone we were going this
way, didn’t we? And we didn’t get the directions wrong and
the rest of the British army aren’t having a picnic in the Hundred Acre Wood next door? While I appreciate the overall intention to
focus on the personal struggles of the people caught up in the war, the arcs here are even
more predictable than they are on the Champs Elysee. The rookie protagonist has to take charge,
the commander gets wounded and sacrifices himself to destroy Germans who have taken
to crawling all over the tank like Giger’s Aliens. The asshole guy deserts but comes back to
save the day and get redeemed, conveniently right after I’ve finished doing all the important
murdering. So that episode defies expectations like a
bowl of porridge. Next we play a cocky American pilot and aching
great ponce who steals a plane but redeems himself the usual way, i.e. murders a whole
bunch of Prussians. And this is the chapter where the dimestore
novel heroics are at their most at odds with the overall tone of the enterprise, but it’s
alright, because at the end the protagonist goes “Psych! Unreliable narrator, bitch!” Which is one step up from ‘it was all a dream’
for creating a sense of “Hey viewer! We just wasted your fucking time!” Not that there aren’t good unreliable narrator
stories but Battlefield 1 is no One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and I suspect used the
device less out of high literary ambitions and more out of really liking consequence
free violence. The third story is about Italian war heroes,
and as one might reasonably expect is the shortest of the campaigns, a ha ha ha. Then there’s one about Gallipoli where an
Australian war hero goes from treating his green young sidekick with naked hostility
to surrogate father figure over the course of a sparrow fart. And finally the action moves to the middle
East where Lawrence of Arabia and the Bedouin nomads are recast as Robin Hood and his Merry
Men, complete with cartoonishly villainous Sheriff of Nottingham. So overall the whole campaign has a tone wavering
madly between World at War documentary and Christmas Panto. Look, I’m not expecting a war game to have
me sit in a wet hole getting trench foot for eight hours while composing sad poetry about
man’s inhumanity to man, emphasis is on ‘game’ after all, but don’t pretend like you’re giving
us a serious history lesson in between the cathartic video game fun. It’s like you threw a gin-soaked raunchy Christmas
party in the Playboy mansion and then sat in the middle of it getting chin-strokey maudlin
about the true message of Jesus Christ. But the campaign intends to serve a purpose
besides engaging storytelling, which is probably for the best – it is of course preparation
for the multiplayer. We’ve done the standard shooter bit, some
guerrilla warfare and some tank and plane piloting, and we’ve had to deal with blimps
and an armoured train, all of which come up again in multiplayer, although sadly there’s
no rideable Lawrence of Arabia. ”
Now, I really am a lot less down on multiplayer than I used to be. I know it serves a purpose, it’s important
we know who’s the best at this sort of thing in case the army invents an assault rifle
shaped like an Xbox controller. But I still just can’t fathom the appeal of
Battlefield multiplayer, because I don’t want to spend one third of my time getting shot
at by people I can’t see and the other two thirds with my face in the dirt hoping to
be noticed by the medic standing two feet away working his underpants out of his bumcrack. And then after a while my team either wins
or loses, which was nothing to do with my or any individual soldier’s efforts and therefore
as significant as the football results from the International Space Station. And then everyone goes “Ooh! GG! Look at how close the scores were!” The scores were close because we’ve been smashing
random particles together for forty fucking minutes, of course they’re going to average
out with a sample that size. Still, the multiplayer is where Battlefield
1 finally captures the true spirit of the first World War. Just imagine that every soldier whose life
you briefly control and just as quickly squander had six months of training, a home to which
they will never return, grieving parents and perhaps a puppy sitting pining on the doormat
making noises like this (whine whine whine) YOU BASTARDS

100 thoughts on “Battlefield 1 (Zero Punctuation)

  1. I like the game but if they wanted the story to convey meaning, have us play as some of the Central Powers and make us feel guilty like Spec Ops The Line did when you do the bad thing. that'll knock you in the feels

  2. For the record, we are very close to creating a weapon system that is controlled by a game controller.

    They are called Drones. I just hope that they will still be flying drones. The terrifying drones are ground based systems (think bomb squad drones, but designed for direct combat)

  3. just finished the fuckin: train. fuck the stealth in this game.
    a stray pube spotted me two towns away and the enire world learned where i was

  4. You know, I can't figure out why the single-player even has a plot if it's going to be so bland, ignorant, and somewhat offensive. They could just make it kinda like the old Doom games, except with directions for where to go and what to do.

  5. I'm not going to lie, the operations in multiplayer were true-to-life when it came to warfare. Chaos and soldiers dying left it right, I felt like I was in "Saving Private Ryan" except it was set in WW1.

    The main issue is that they gave real, experimental weapons to everyone when in reality they were few and far between. Also, the special classes felt like the special characters from EA's Battlefront.

    Other than that, the game was incredibly fun when it goes well, problem is with multiplayer the experience is impossible to keep consistent because it relies on the players. All I'm saying is, the game can be incredible.

  6. Not to be a dick but I'm the guy shooting you from nowhere lmao. I laughed so hard at this I shot cherry 7 up out my nose xD

  7. Really good criticisms but I do have 1 problem. When you said that in the multiplayer ‘nothing to do with mine or any individuals help’ I was puzzled. In maps like Fort de Voux or that one operation where you either play Italy or Germany, you can turn the tide by pretty easily by:Step 1: look at the map for where people are fighting the thickestStep 2: look at the map for where the objectives areStep 2: get from current location to objective without going anywhere near the thick fighting

    or just equip the 10 A hunter and run at them, I dunno

  8. You forgot about the part where you have to play for hours to unlock weapons and gear you actually want to play with … I hate when fps games do that , just let me play the damn game the way I want

  9. "six months training"

    Try six weeks training, by 1915 most of the new troops sent to the front were trained just long enough to be proficient at shooting and then they were sent off to the slaughter.

  10. Judging by this video, yahtzee knows literally nothing about historic firearms. Step your game up yahtz, you're an American now.

  11. Remember when the people behind this game were all "the 1 in the title has nothing to do with WW1" like that makes any fucking sense

  12. At 4:25, Yahtzee mentions that multiplayer is important in case the military invents an Xbox shaped Assault rifle. On Sept 17th of this year, the US Navy announced that the large, clunky, expensive joysticks used to control the periscope of submarines are going to be replaced with Xbox controllers.

    It's only a matter of time, now!

  13. I used to love this game but even though I bought the French DLC I can't play it until I shell out more for the season pass. Fuck YOU

  14. When will game developers have the balls to make a shooter with primarily semiautomatic or repeating weaponry, rather than giving everyone the machine gun.
    I can see that in modern shooters automatic is the way to go, however close or far that is from real modern war. (i think modern soldiers rarely use automatic fire, but correct me if i'm wrong). I was really excited for BF1 because i thought this would finally spare me from the ever present cumball of runnig around and unleashing a wall of lead on everything that moves, and rather a more somber thoughtful approach. Then I saw gameplay and immediatly thought this is a game that me, my PC and my wallet can't handle.

  15. with the ending i got an idea for a proper "charity challange", if you play any war like fps, for every death you take, you must donate 5 bucks of your home currency into charity.

  16. I actually had the same thought that he mentioned at the end. Imagining that every single life in a multiplayer match was an actual human being that died that way made me turn it off for a while.

  17. That was a disappointment. The only automatic machine gun you should have gotten was the Chauchat. Don't like the constant jamming? Pick up an Enfield/Mauser/Springfield and learn to play with a bolt action you n00b.

  18. I only would have had more fun if there was a mode where you and Captain Blackadder have to get Leftenant George's finger out of his bum and get out of the trench while not getting sick from Baldrick's plumduff while dealing with Darling trying to court marshal you as you hear footsteps and BAAAAAAH every so often.

  19. It's kind of funny that Yahtzee has an issue with the tank scenario playing out that way when it's one of the more historically accurate moments of the game. All of that happened to a few dudes in the first tank campaign in WW1. There's a pretty decent portrayal of it on some historical drama on Netflix. Full disclosure the entirety of my knowledge on the matter is based on that episode (didn't even know the operation was a thing before I got drunk one night and played Netflix Roulette), plus I'm an ignorant American so I may very well be talking out of my ass here.

  20. there is some good news there is a hardcore mode where you can only use standers issue rifles pistols and all machine guns are stationary.

  21. 0:59 "without clear heroes or villains"
    cough Ottoman Empire cough Armenian Genocide cough

    Also, loving that "Lions led by donkeys" myth you got going there, ignoring the fact that World War I was possibly the most innovative war in terms of strategy and tactics in all of history, and is the foundation of all modern warfare. The war was not just "millions upon millions of young men being sent to tragic, pointless deaths." It was, you know, a war that would determine the landscape of Europe and the fate of several countries/empires (German, Ottoman, Austrian, and Russian Empires fell) for the next fucking century. It's not like if Germany won they would've crippled France forever and democracy might've been pushed back several decades in Europe.

    Also also, they did have automatic rifles in World War I. No, not every soldier had them, obviously, but given it's a video game, and playing with a fucking bolt action rifle would be boring as fuck, it's not that historically inaccurate to give them automatic rifles, especially since Stormtrooper units were usually equipped with submachine guns.

    You know, if you're going to criticize a game for historical inaccuracy, you should probably have some knowledge of World War I other than movies and pop culture in general.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide
    https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/military_developments_of_world_war_i
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septemberprogramm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lions_led_by_donkeys
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_rifle
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stormtrooper
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP_18
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1918_Browning_Automatic_Rifle

  22. Yatzee's description of multi player here is why I don't play battlefield or cod, and also everything is too generic there.

  23. They should have had German campaigns if they really wanted to play the whole moral ambiguity of WW1, but psshhh, as if they'd make the non-English speakers heroic.

  24. When you come for some laughs.
    And go away again with massive guilt.
    (Not that I played this garbage but I have played other war games.)

  25. sadest thing is that the WW I was not called that, they dod not know it will have much more suxcesfull sequell yet so they called it "great war"
    which is annoying because Riussuans called the WW2 "great partriotic war" (for obvious reasons). thats why i guess they changed the name accidentally, as to clarify it.

    Annyways looking forward to see weather WW 3 will be called that or peacock's bollocks.

  26. num num, I got comment on the carrion-rich post battle environment. Nobody will be left here, they are busy not liking Fallout 76. num num, again.

  27. When the British make fun of the American president but you remember how they lost the entire subcontinent of India to a man who wouldn’t eat

  28. Making WWI era German soldiers proto-nazis really irks me. It's not only historically inaccurate but more than a tad disrespectful. Most of them were just drafted boys wanting nothing to do with the conflict, not a whole army of vicious war criminals. Hell, thousands of them didn't even fire a shot! And of course when and if they got home a lot of them became the victims of the ACTUAL nazis… but no let's make them cartoon villains lol. Fuck that noise so hard.

  29. I love how everyone complains about the latest Battlefail not being 'historically accurate' because it has weemens – but come the FUCK on!!! This game was WAY worse about it 😛

  30. I found it very jarring that this game uses the Gallipoli campaign as an action set-piece. Gallipoli was a horrific nightmare even within the context of the first world war. Hundreds of thousands of thinking, feeling human beings (largely young men conscripted from Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia facing off against young men conscripted from the Levant) got violently killed and maimed in an offensive that ultimately ended up being for nothing. Using that as the backdrop of an action-packed first-person shooter does a disservice to the sheer scale of the human misery Gallipoli generated. I get that the plot of that section is meant to illustrate how terrible war is, but that's severely undercut when the cinematics end and you go straight back to mowing down those dastardly Ottomans en masse like a badass action hero. It irritates me that the devs even bothered with the anti-war pretension. It would be less offensive if they just made the game a dumb, straight-forward action shooter, but the veneer of being socially conscious makes the whole thing feel crass and manipulative. It's a big entertainment corporation taking real human suffering and making a farce out of it. It's all so they can sell copies of this awful game to an ignorant majority audience that just wants stuff to explode on-screen.

  31. is it weird that i wonder, who still plays games like this, i bought medal of honor and no one was really playing, a dead server really, so it makes me question if anyone really plays games like battlefield 1, you know, the military shooter type of games, its perplexing, i would think such games would get samey and boring,and only useful for swearing a blue streak at "bs deaths" and reaction/commentary for no real reason, i wonder who plays these type of games anymore, dont see the appeal of them really, just a mindless military shooter, whats so interesting about that, other than seeing what hilarious bugs or glitches occur 😛

  32. The villain of WWI is everyone responsible for it happening and the hero is everyone who died for the most half-assed reasons in world history.

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