Mainstream, big-budget action games are known for their excitement and spectacle. Trailers usually have slickly-edited explosions, gunshots, face-punches and more to let you know that you’re spending $60 to engage in some virtual action.
“Battlefield 1,” on the surface, seems like another one of those games. The World War I variant on the long-running “Battlefield” series has all the same chaotic warfare you’d expect from a huge first-person shooter, but recent footage of the single-player campaign paints an entirely different picture.
Without dancing around it any longer, here’s what I’m talking about:
Yes, that is a scene from the single player campaign in which you play as a carrier pigeon. The British tank crew you’re a member of is under siege by enemy soldiers and it’s up to one heroic bird to deliver artillery coordinates to the other side of the battlefield.
It’s a fascinating thing to see in a game that will otherwise be marketed with gunshots and explosions, but it’s refreshing. The somber piano music almost makes you forget you’re flying around above one of the most devastating events in human history.
It doesn’t stop there, though. The opening sequence to the single-player campaign takes players on a crash course through various parts of the European battlefield, with one sequence in particular standing out.
During this sequence, this is what you see each time you die:
It actually gives a name and a date of birth to each otherwise faceless soldier you play as. When you die during this sequence, instead of starting over at the last checkpoint, you just transfer control over to another battlefield grunt and move on.
Again, this is a striking thing to see in a war-themed video game, as most of them treat war as nothing more than an action movie backdrop. It remains to be seen if little details like this will pop up over the course of the campaign in “Battlefield 1,” but the game looks more and more intriguing every time I see it.
“Battlefield 1” comes out on October 21 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.