I purchased Battlefield 1 the other day. In my defense, it seemed like a good idea at the time. My usual contacts in the world of console gaming had assured me that it was a fine addition to the series, and did an excellent job of capturing the horrors of one of history's most monstrous and misunderstood wars.
It's been two days now, and I must commend BF1 on inspiring loads more creative swears than any other game in recent memory.
Now, let me preface this by saying that it's not necessarily a bad game. Despite the numerous things that make me grind my teeth down to stumps on a regular basis, it really is a good Battlefield game. Whether or not that means it's a good game is a matter of personal opinion, but if you're a fan of the series and can overlook the numerous anachronisms, you'll probably enjoy it.
For the purpose of this rant, I'm going to focus solely on the guns. Because, let's be honest, that's sort of my thing. I know guns. I've yet to play a first person shooter set at any point in the last 200 years where I haven't at least played with a majority of the weapons in real life, and I've owned a fair few of them.
I can laugh at the popularity of the Desert Eagle in games, because I've owned one, and it was crap. I know how a Remington 870 is supposed to feel, because I put well over a 1000 rounds through one. I can just about write my name with the M240B, and I've long complained that the M4 felt like a toy. My collection over the years has included multiple variants of the Lee Enfield, and 2 different Mosin Nagants. 1903 Springfield? Mauser? 1911? Nagant revolver? Webley? I know a guy. I nearly wept when he broke out his P08 Luger.
Battlefield 1 should have felt a lot like coming home. Instead, it was like stepping into a parallel dimension where the weapons manufacturers of the error had lost their damn minds.
Nothing feels right. Battlefield games have always been lacking in the gun feel department compared to the competition, but this goes beyond the pale.
Take, for instance, the Lee Enfield. I am of the opinion that the .303 British is one of the finest rifle rounds ever made. The rimmed case has its issues, but accuracy and stopping power aren't among them. When coupled with what is probably my favorite bolt action of all time (buttery smooth cock on close action with a trigger feel that modern rifles could learn a thing or two from,) it is, without a doubt, a manstopper. The factory iron sights are, assuming they haven't been too heavily abused, more than adequate for engaging targets several hundred meters away, and if you put a scope on one, you can hit just about anything you can see. There's a reason the Brits used the damn things for so long. Hell, they're still in use today all across the world, and in a variety of roles.
In BF1, however, trying to hit a moving target at any sort of distance is as a matter of much black magic as skill, and like as not, you're going to have to hit it at least twice to get the kill. Good freaking luck with that, though, because you're apparently incapable of cycling the bolt while looking through the scope. Which, by the way, is malarkey of the highest order. If you can take a 100 year old antique and shoot a sub-MOA grouping at 100 meters without ever losing the sight picture, surely some poor bastard on the frontlines of World War 1 can do the same with a brand new one, especially if his life depends on it.
On the other end of the spectrum we have the Mosin Nagant. If there ever was a distilled form of pure Russian bloodymindedness, the Mosin Nagant is it. The 7.62x54r is a monster of a round that can drill a hole through a redwood tree from three counties over. You just about need a 2x4 and a sledgehammer to cycle the bolt once it warms up. You never quite know what you're going to get, either. I had one that could just about shoot around corners, and another that could pick a gnat off a tick's ass on a windy day. Mighty Russian lead cares not about your puny gale force winds.
Firing one isn't an experience to be enjoyed, it's a hardship to be endured. The muzzle blast slaps you in the face like Boris after downing a liter of vodka and deciding he doesn't like the shape of your nose. The recoil leaves a permanent indentation on your shoulder, and God help you if you don't have it held tightly enough, because you're probably going to need a trip to the ER to get Mother Russia surgically removed. But, in exchange for all that, you get a bullet that could not only put a hole through a charging T-Rex, it'll keep on going and seize the means of production while it's at it.
Look. I don't care what you're hopped up on or what sort of armor you're wearing. If you get shot with a Mosin Nagant, you stay shot. Unless, of course, you're playing BF1, in which case you get a pop gun that's functionally identical to just about every other bolt action in the game.
Oh, and can we take a minute to talk about the Obrez variant? Bonus points for obscure historical reference, but Jesus Christ, the real deal is as likely to kill you with the fireball that passes for muzzle blast as it is with the bullet that comes careening out like a greyhound with a stick up its arse.
But then again, sidearms in general have always been something of a joke in Battlefield games, and BF1 is no exception.
You want to know what happens when you shoot something with a 1911? Let's put it this way: if you have to shoot it twice, you might as well apologize to Mr. Norris, because you've just pissed him off big time. Sure, the 7+1 ammo capacity is a bit lacking compared to modern firearms, but if you need more than 8 rounds of .45 ACP, it's time to reconsider your life's choices. If you're playing BF1 though, you'll probably have to reload at least once before the other guy lays down and dies. That's assuming he doesn't shove a bayonet between your ribs for wasting his time.
And don't even get me started on the machine guns. You hear the joke about the 3 Germans who walked into a BAR? They didn't either, because they were dead before they hit the ground. The 20 round magazine was always a bit of a letdown, but the .30-06 doesn't screw around, kids. It's a shame BF1 decided to go with the Airsoft version of the BAR.
The Lewis Gun in particular is a letdown, because it was one of the finest weapons of the era. Like I said before, the .303 British plays no games. They put the damn things on aircraft for a reason, that reason being it will mess you up. Meanwhile, in BF1, I have to dump half the pan in someone just to make them realize they've been shot.
And who the hell thought it would be a good idea to make the Chauchat something you had to earn? The French might be hell on wheels when it comes to fine dining, but their contribution to the development of the machine gun was the single biggest embarrassment they suffered as a nation until the Maginot Line proved to be little more than a speed bump. Oh, you're fighting a brutal campaign of trench warfare, where mud and dirt are facts of life? Let's make a gun that jams if you even think about getting it dirty. The only thing the Chauchat was good for was a paperweight, and it would probably suck at that.
Ugh. I think that's about all for now. I'll probably think of more stuff that annoys me later. In the meantime, the comments section and my inbox are open. Please note that I reserve the right to delete comments of overwhelming stupidity. If you're wondering why comments you've made in the past vanished, that's probably the cause.