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I’m not having fun with Battlefield 1’s multiplayer, and I blame Overwatch

by Joey Davidson | October 31, 2016October 31, 2016 11:00 am PDT

Before you fly into the comments to defend the honor of your favorite video game franchise, wait. Do me that favor. Please.

Battlefield 1 is a good game. Its multiplayer is a good iteration of the franchise. It’s not perfect, but nothing really is. My actual complaints stem from UI clutter and the inability to customize soldiers from the main menu.

I’m not looking to slam DICE or Battlefield here. Instead, I’ll offer my perspective up for conversation.

I can’t have fun with Battlefield 1‘s multiplayer.

It’s massive, even when you scale it down to the smaller game types. It’s loud. It’s confusing. It’s unfocused. It’s probably a great representation of genuine war, without all the real dying and grief.

I ripped through the vignettes that make up the campaign, and I loved that experience. Online? I don’t think this type of multiplayer is for me anymore. The crazy bit is that I previously loved the multiplayer in Battlefield. I’m talking years and years of digging this stuff.

Now? I don’t think I like it. I blame Overwatch.

With more than 250 hours dumped into Overwatch since May of this year, it’s safe to say that I enjoy the game. It’s what I play to decompress. It’s the game my friends play when we hang out, though our interest is only now beginning to wane. Overwatch has been a constant for me since its release.

Blizzard created a new standard for the feel of a multiplayer shooter with Overwatch for me. It’s focused and tight. Its UI is vivid and perfectly expressive. It offers a clear and concise roster of heroes with specific abilities. Overwatch is simple.

When I play Battlefield 1 and find myself on teams of 20 or 30 where only a handful is playing the objective, I think of Overwatch. When I find that the other dozen or so of my team are randomly riding in vehicles or camping in the same spot to snipe, I think of Overwatch.

It’s with frustration that I mumble “play the ****ing objective” to myself over and over in Battlefield 1.

It’s completely ridiculous to compare Overwatch to Battlefield. I know that. What I’m suggesting here is that the design of Overwatch has created a community of objective-focused players. The fact that there’s no team scoreboard in Overwatch should tell you that the only thing that matters is capturing a point or escorting the payload.

In Battlefield 1? It seems like the vast spaces and diverse equipment encourage people to ignore the objectives. Overwatch has spoiled that type of game for me.

I’ve been that guy yelling about the objective since CTF in Tribes or UnrealOverwatch works for me because it fosters a community that plays in the same way, though it can be quite toxic at times.

I can’t deny the quality of Battlefield 1. It’s great. Overwatch has managed to set a new standard for how a community plays multiplayer games. I blame that for why I’m having a hard time with Battlefield 1.

I’m hoping to get some of my friends online with Battlefield 1. Maybe rolling in a squad and focusing objectives will help. For now? Solo-queuing in BF1 is killing me.

Back to Overwatch.


Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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