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Editorial

Battlefield 1’s New Approach In Its Single Player Campaign Could Be Extremely Effective

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The newest trailer for Battlefield 1’s single player campaign dropped yesterday and, suffice it to say, the game looks spectacular. The two-minute trailer was packed with high octane action sequences and a surprising amount of heart.

The action looking spectacular is a given, this is a Battlefield game after all and one thing that modern first- person shooters can do is look cool. What really shocked me was the emphasis on the personal effects of the Great War.

It was an all-around cinematic feast that coupled some lifelike cinematography with a beautiful swooning score thrown in that sent my emotions into high gear. The monologue that accompanies it all is a well written, well-acted (albeit a bit mushy) speech on the humanity and heroism of the people that fought in the War. I don’t say this very often but I truly felt chills run up my back as the trailer progressed.

The actual gameplay looked fantastic, combining the visceral gunplay of the previous Battlefield titles with the gorgeous visual fidelity of DICE’s previous game, Star Wars Battlefront. While I haven’t played Battlefield 1 first hand just yet, I expect it to be a great playing game. I sunk a hundred or so hours into Battlefield 3 and sixty hours into Battlefield 4, so I’ve definitely had my fair share of fun with the franchise and Battlefield 1 is definitely revitalizing my interest which is an exciting prospect.

What is proving to be the most interesting element of the Battlefield 1’s campaign is the episodic narrative. The campaign will involve seven episodes, each of which will revolve around a different character. You can read more about it here but I find that to be an extremely effective storytelling method. It also allows for a more complex view of the war that, for all intents and purposes, involved many of the powerhouse nations of the twentieth century.

Personally, I wish that more first person shooters allowed us to play a conflict from multiple perspectives. We saw this occur in the Modern Warfare series, and it was powerfully utilized there, but every successive version of that mechanic has been either mishandled or ineffective. I’m fascinated to see what comes of the game’s narrative since it’s shaping up to be one of the hottest releases of the year.

I’m loving the ultraviolent Tarantino-esque approach DICE is using to depict World War 1. I know going into it that it won’t be a realistic take on the war or anything of the sort. What I am expecting is blockbuster, popcorn flick levels of depth with a charming enough story to go along with it, and I’m perfectly good with that.

I don’t need every game to adhere to complete authenticity and tackle the War and all of its complexities. There’s a place for that, of course, but it’s not anything I’ve ever expected out of the Battlefield series, nor will I ever expect. It’s like watching Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor and expecting a subdued and quiet study on the ramifications of Pearl Harbor. My only hope is that it doesn’t stoop to Battlefield 3 and 4’s level of true dreadfulness.

You can watch the single player trailer for the game at the bottom of this article.

Battlefield 1 releases on October 21, 2016 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Stay tuned to OnlySP on Facebook and Twitter for more details regarding Battlefield 1 and more.

The opinions in this editorial are the author’s and do not represent OnlySP as an organization.

Editorial

Three Single-Player Games to Watch Out for in July 2019

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Three Single Player Games (July 2019) - Sea of Solitude, Fire Emblem Three Houses, Wolfenstein Youngblood

July, the middle of winter down here in Australia. Even in the bizarre New South Wales climate, the biting cold makes for a great excuse to stay inside and play games. 

Weirdly for single players, quite a few prestige games this month include additional co-op modes. With acclaimed designers behind them, such games will hopefully avoid the pitfalls of accommodating multiple players, as too many games have done in the past.

Sea of Solitude

Release Date: July 5, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

At first blush, Sea of Solitude looks like yet another story of a young adult struggling with questions of identity and mental health while exploring a beautiful but harsh fantasy world.

Actually, that’s what it is. ‘Quirky, life affirming indie adventure’ is a whole cottage industry these days, but the fact that such games are now more prevalent should never dismay.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was a masterpiece of refined design and storytelling, and Sea of Solitude appears be something similar—this time dealing with a fantastical vision of depression that turns ordinary people into literal monsters.

Players take charge of Kay, who has sought out the eponymous Sea—or rather, a flooded city based on Berlin—in the hope that there is a cure for monstrosity. However, despite its name, she is not the only person in the Sea. Avoiding the other monsters of the Sea seems to be a major part of the gameplay. These tense encounters are likely to provide rhythm and variety to the adventure and keep it from being a just walking simulator. (Not that being a walking simulator is inherently a problem.)

Although published by EA Originals, one would do well to remember that EA the company does not actually profit off the Originals that they publish. With a focused story and themes that still are not often explored in bigger games, Sea of Solitude should be of great interest to single player fans in a month otherwise dominated by multiplayer titles.

 

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Release Date: July 26, 2019
Platform: Nintendo Switch

Almost certainly the biggest single player release of the month, and tied with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 as another massive Switch exclusive, Fire Emblem: Three Houses might be exactly what single players need right now.

Lately the Fire Emblem franchise has exploded in both its popular profile and sales success, buoyed by a hunger for both deep anime RPGs and polished tactics games. Three Houses seems to have doubled down on exciting trends and features in both genres: particularly a Persona/Harry Potter inspired magic school setting and an even deeper tactical battle system that ditches the rock-paper-scissors for more nuanced character progression options. As with many Japanese RPGs, the story is also a major focus and hinges upon a time-jump.

The early part casts the player as a teacher at the Officer’s Academy, situated in the center of the game world and attended by students from the three most powerful nations. Five years later, the second and likely larger part concerns the drama between the player’s teacher and their former students, whose nations are now locked in a massive three-way conflict.

As is to be expected for a series finally coming back to consoles after a long time on the 3DS, Three Houses is a massive technical leap over its predecessors. The game boasts better realised battlefields, more detailed armies, and a slick animated style that appears much more consistent compared with the three or four different art styles on the 3DS.

With such improvements, as well as the overall pedigree of the Fire Emblem brand, Three Houses should have no trouble satisfying single player fans looking for a meaty middle-of-the-year RPG.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Release Date: July 26, 2019
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

The recent Wolfenstein revival series is such a remarkable achievement in traditional shooter design and great, if goofy, sci-fi worldbuilding that the co-op focus of this latest instalment is somewhat disappointing.

Yes, as with F.E.A.R. 3 and Dead Space 3, following a well-received second chapter the Wolfenstein series now pivots to a co-operative focused chapter. Though the game is not a mandatory multiplayer experience, combat encounters and puzzles have been redesigned to accommodate the two player mode, giving single players an AI-controlled partner and bullet sponge enemies.

However, all hope is not lost for Wolfenstein: why else would it be the third game on the list? The narrative has been pushed forward in time, as B.J.’s twin daughters are now in their adolescence, now giving players a glimpse at the 1980s of Wolfenstein‘s skewed universe. Additionally, the level design itself is more freeform thanks to development assistance from Arkane, the developers of the Dishonored series.

Will Wolfenstein: Youngblood successfully deliver more of the series’s goofy charm and crazy alternate reality? Almost certainly. On the other hand, will the game be as fun to play alone as in multiplayer? That remains to be seen. Last month’s E3 demo that raised such concerns was naturally only a snapshot of a game in development, so MachineGames and Arkane have had plenty of time to resolve these potential downsides to a co-op focused game.

Those are our three big single player games to look out for this month. Other interesting titles coming soon include Stranger Things 3 on July 4 and Attack on Titan 2 on July 5, both games hitting Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

On July 12 we will see the sequel to an almost-fantastic Minecraft-like RPG spinoff, Dragon Quest Builders 2 on Switch and PlayStation 4, as well as the Switch port of “anime Monster Hunter”, God Eater 3

The week after, July 19 brings us Switch-exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, and at an undetermined time during the month Klei Entertainment’s anticipated survival-sim Oxygen Not Included will finally leave early access on PC.

Have we missed anything that you’re looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below and be sure bookmark OnlySP and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. You can also join the discussion in our community Discord server.

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