The Battlefield 1 single player trailer is here, and the DICE magic is cranked to 11. Watch The Great War unfold from different perspectives and characters across Africa and Europe.

Wow. I’m going to play the single-player of Battlefield 1 before I jump into multiplayer. I never expected to write that about a Battlefield game.

You can see how DICE is changing their approach with Battlefield 1. Instead of following a one protagonist, DICE will take us through World War 1 in a series of War Stories. The people of these War Stories are the story. Not the entire war. World War 1 is the backdrop.

When tackling The Great War, DICE wanted to embrace the variety it offered. Not only the weapons and battles but the people who fought.

The developers highlight one of these War Stories – Through Mud and Blood, as an example. You’ll play as Danny Edwards. Danny isn’t an elite soldier. He isn’t used to shooting guns. He’s a former chauffeur who volunteered to fight. Danny is assigned to a British Mark V Tank crew as its driver. By focusing on this snapshot of World War 1, and a specific character that isn’t “you” – DICE hopes to bring more “emotional engagement” to a Battlefield story.

The changes to the single player don’t stop at story telling. As DICE began designing Battlefield 1’s single player gameplay, they looked to their greatest strength. Multiplayer. The developer writes:

“One key inspiration for single player has been how people think, act, and play in Battlefield 1 multiplayer. Playing Battlefield games, you usually have an objective, a loadout, and a plan. That plan often comes apart as you’re realizing it, and then you have to improvise to make do based on the enemies and vehicles you might be facing.”

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They want to take the same open-ended gameplay that made the Battlefield series so popular and bring it into the single player. In one part of Through Mud and Blood, you are scouting ahead of your tank on foot through a foggy forest. Enemies are up ahead, but how you take them out is up to you. Do you blow up their anti-tank weapons to ensure you get through with no problems? Or, do you take the sneak approach and clear the camp with a shovel?

This freedom only expands as you stumble across a large base with field guns. We’ve seen these guns depicted in the Battlefield 1 reveal trailer. Do you destroy them to ensure the enemy doesn’t use them against you? Or, use them against the enemy? There’s also an option to take out an enemy tank crew which gives you another vehicle to help tackle the encounter.

It sounds fantastic on paper. If DICE executes, it could add a healthy dose of replayability most shooter campaigns lack.

DICE is trading the singular focus of recent Battlefield 1 campaigns for a broader, but at the same time, narrower focus. War Stories are a perfect way to tell the stories of an Arab rebel, a fighter pilot or a Harlem Hellfighter. We won’t know if DICE can nail it until October 21, but that trailer is doing a damn good job of getting me hyped to play it.

Battlefield 1 story leak confirmed

Yesterday, I wrote about a handful of new Battlefield 1 story details released thanks to an ESRB rating. I also touched on the campaign leak from just before Battlefield 1’s reveal event. Here’s the tweet again.

Notice anything? Through Mud and Blood is the name of one of the missions. It looks like this leak was spot on. But it appears each War Story has multiple parts. DICE mentioned one part of Through Mud and Blood called The Fog of War. It’ll be interesting to see how the collection of War Stories last. Are we looking at a traditional 5-7 hour single player?

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What do you think of DICE’s approach to Battlefield 1’s single player? Do you like the idea of War Stories? Or, do you prefer a story told from just one perspective?

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