Hayden: I loved Doom and I continue to enjoy my time with Overwatch. But if I had to pick the shooter I had the best time with this year, it’s Battlefield 1. Abandoning the tired modern war setting of Battlefield 4 and eschewing the near-future science fiction embraced by Call of Duty—a setting I was tired of even before this year’s Infinite Warfare—Battlefield 1 instead takes us back to 1914, to World War I, or The Great War, or the war to end all wars, or whatever you want to call it.
WWI was the beginning of “War As We Know It,” basically. Battlefield 1 explores this concept, particularly in its five vignette-style campaigns, each coming in around an hour and covering everything from a boastful (and dishonest) dogfighter to early tank warfare to a member of Lawrence of Arabia’s resistance. It’s a unique structure, but one I hope we see more of—it seems suited to Battlefield in particular, allowing the game to jump between different facets of the war without creating some absurd Forrest Gump-style character.
As for multiplayer? It’s Battlefield in bolt-action clothing. Loud, bombastic, and the complete antithesis of the campaign, it’s the most fun I’ve had in Battlefield since Bad Company 2—not least because the destruction in Battlefield 1 finally returns to pseudo- Bad Company 2 levels. Complete mayhem.
Brad: I love Battlefield 1 for all the reasons Hayden states, and because I can hide in bushes as a medic then hop out and murder my enemies with my supposedly life-giving revival syringe. Hippocratic Oath, my ass!
BF1’s sense of spectacle, scale, and destruction can’t be beat, and unlike Doom or Overwatch, it’s a complete package, with satisfying single-player and multiplayer. Okay, okay, Battlefield 1’s admittedly not the standout, slam-dunk pick that Witcher 3 was as last year’s Game of the Year, but it’s gorgeous, tons of fun, surprisingly respectful to the source material, and wonderfully addictive. See you in the trenches.