Game Overview: Battlefield 1: In The Name of the Tsar

Date: 
Fri, 2017/09/15
By: 
Ethan Castro

The fifteenth installment by Electronic Arts Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment (more commonly referred to as DICE) in its critically acclaimed “Battlefield” series, "Battlefield 1," was released all the way back in October 2016. The game is a first-person shooter set during World War I, featuring multiple theaters of the war (including the Western Front, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean coast) and various combatants of the war (such as the United States, the German Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Kingdom of Italy) in a large-scale multiplayer experience.

However, the game is still only halfway through its full product launch, thanks to the regular releases of post-launch downloadable content and monthly updates.  These monthly updates take the form of game balance fixes among its existing weapons, vehicles, and maps. Community feedback and outsourced game testing allows DICE’s development team to address consumer issues with the game through these monthly updates. Meanwhile, the game has four planned downloadable content backs that add additional content (such as new playable factions, weapons, vehicles, soundtracks, and maps). The first piece of downloadable content, “They Shall Not Pass” was released in March 2017. This pack introduced the French Army, arguably one of WWI’s most prominent factions, into the game alongside six new maps (portraying the Battle of Verdun, the Nivelle Offensive, and the Aisne-Marne Offensive), six new weapons (including the infamous French Chauchat machine gun), and three new vehicles (including the massive Char 2C super-heavy tank).

As of September 19, 2017, the game’s second downloadable pack, “In the Name of the Tsar,” will be available for purchase by all owners of the game. As the name of this pack implies, it strongly features the Russian Empire and the Eastern Front of WWI. This pack features two new playable factions (the Imperial Russian White Army and the Communist Bolshevik Red Army), six new playable maps (with the names “Lupkow Pass,” “Albion,” “Galicia,” “Brusilov Keep,” “Tsaritsyn,” and “Volga River”) eleven new weapons (the game’s Assault class gains access to the Model 1900 shotgun and the SMG 08/18, the Medic class gains the Fedorov Avtomat and General Liu self-loading rifles, the Support class gains the Parabellum MG14/17 and Perino Model 1908 machine guns, the Scout class gains access to the famed Russian Mosin-Nagant M91 and the Vetterli-Vitali M1870/87, the Pilot and Tanker classes gain the C93 Carbine, and all classes gain access to the Nagant Revolver and the Obrez Pistol), four new vehicles (including the Ilya-Muromets Heavy Bomber, the Putilov-Garford Heavy Armored Car, the Y-Lighter Landing Craft, and the Coastal Gun Battery Emplacement), the new Cavalry Lance for use on horseback, and a plethora of in-game unlocks for all of this new content.

Two of the new maps, Tsaritsyn and Volga River, are not based on the Eastern Front of WWI at all, but instead portray the conflict between the White Guard (still loyal to the monarchy of Tsar Nicholas II) and the revolutionary Communist Red Army, with both of these factions being playable. Of particular note in this laundry list of new content is the pack’s portrayal of the Russian Civil War as well as its inclusion of playable female soldiers for the first time in the history of the series. When playing as the Scout class for the Russian Army or White Guard, the player’s character model will notably be female. This inclusion has historical backing behind it, with the famed Russian Women’s Battalions of Death being formed as a last-ditch effort to bolster the empire’s combat potential in the late stages of the war.

“In the Name of the Tsar” is available now for owners of the Battlefield 1’s Season Pass, but it can also be digitally bought separately by owners of the game on September 19, 2017.