The latest installment of the Battlefield franchise brings a lot of new content to the table. But, regardless of whether you prefer the changes to vehicles, the new arsenal of weaponry to play with, or the excellent maps, Operations are the true star of Battlefield 1.
One of the two new game modes in Battlefield 1, Operations are essentially a combination of Battlefield’s Rush and Conquest multiplayer modes with a focus on large-scale narrative combat. The idea behind each operation is to tell the story of one of the many historical battles that took place in World War I, placing you and your friends in the shoes of a soldier fighting for one of the nations present.
Each of the four distinct Operations in Battlefield 1 span across multiple maps (usually in groups of two or three) and feature a series of cut scenes, dialogue, and background information about how the battle played out per the history books. Here’s the four you have access to:
Conquer Hell: This operation follows the United States and German Empire during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in 1918, where nearly 1.2 million American soldiers engaged the Germans with help from French armor.
Kaiserschlacht: During the spring of 1918, the German Empire pushed against the Western Front, starting with a cataclysmic artillery barrage that was heard in London — this operation follows their offensive against the British Empire and allied forces.
Iron Walls: Here, you’ll be following the final chapter in the conflict between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy within the Venetian Alps and Adriatic Coast.
Oil of Empires: When World War I first broke out, every major player needed fuel to power their war machines, which could be found in the lands controlled by the Ottoman Empire. They didn’t go down without a fight though, and you’ll soon see that in this operation between them and the British Empire.
Every operation places you on the attacking or defending team, determined by the historical context within said operation. The attacking team must push against multiple defensive positions to capture a sector, which will then unlock the next sector on the map being played. Once every sector has been captured by the attacking team, they’ll have successfully taken that map within the playlist, and once every map has been taken, the attackers can claim victory.
As attackers, you’ll have a set of tickets just like you would in traditional Rush that tick down every time one of your teammates spawns back into battle. Once these tickets have been depleted, you’ll lose a battalion and the game will restart, placing you at the sector you last took and ushering you onwards. When you lose a battalion as the attacking team, you’ll also be given one of the three behemoths present in Battlefield 1 to assist your next attempt. These mechanical beasts are absolutely necessary to winning as the attacking team on maps like as Fao Fortress or Monte Grappa due to hefty amount of defensible positions present on each.
While playing defense, your only goal is to defend the objectives in each sector from the attacking team by any means necessary. Often, then means grouping up and making sure to focus on the enemy behemoths trying to push through your lines and cover the attackers working to move up to the objective. As a defender, you’re going to have a much easier time winning in Operations. Even with an enemy behemoth present, defenders have access to the well-fortified lines that DICE has built into every map present in each operation. Every line is covered with stationary emplacements, concrete bunkers and choke points that you can easily lock down.
What’s great is the positions the defenders are working to hold aren’t your one-and-done objectives like in previous incarnations’ Rush mode, meaning that if you lose a position, you’ll be able to capture it once again provided you do it quickly. This leads to some excellent combat in Battlefield 1 where the true nature of World War I starts to show. It’s absolute chaos, and that’s something few shooters handle well.
This chaos can get a little frustrating, namely when you’re working to push against enemy defensive positions underground. But, it’s something that’s easily remedied by playing with a coordinated group of friends in a squad. 9 out of 10 times, we failed to take an objective as the attacking team because of our lack of communication while pushing against enemy defensive positions which, while upsetting, is understandable considering the focus of Operations as a game type.
It’s this level of team coordination that make Operations the best multiplayer mode present in Battlefield 1’s offering despite the frustrating tendencies of those who refuse to organize against an objective. Like previous installments of Battlefield, Operations works to create the 64-player chaos the franchise is known for. But, instead of leaving that chaos uncontrolled, DICE built maps and equipment for coordinated groups of players to fight through it together as a team. I can’t tell you how many times my squad of friends and I have made it through situations we clearly weren’t supposed to in Operations because we worked together — and that type of experience is what Battlefield is all about.
Photos via Nicholas Bashore