Reviews Paweł Musiolik
Review: Battlefield 1 - In the Name of Tsar DLC
Battlefield 1 in the game database
Review: Battlefield 1 - In the Name of Tsar DLC

Battlefield 1, compared to previous entries, is slower developed with paid content. DICE claimed that the reason is the desire to perfect the DLCs, while releasing free maps for Premium owners and developing online features. On paper everything sounds good but then "In the name of Tsar" DLC comes out and the game suffers from terrible bugs.

DICE and errors are an inseparable couple. Since the days of Battlefield 3, every update fixing one thing has ruined something else – online code problems, disconnecting from servers and at some point the disappearing sound in the game, which transferred to Battlefield 4. Besides, the fourth entry of the series had such a horrible start that the Swedish developers got more time to work on the new Battlefield (but in the meanwhile they did Battlefront). And around the time of the premiere of Battlefield 1, it didn’t look so bad. There are less mistakes and the connection is more stable, though everything was bought for a production with less content.

After that, the patches started trying to add the missing elements to the game, and ... unfortunately, the old DICE came back. Yes, the missing elements are added, new maps and modes appear, but along with it, in the second „In the name of Tsar” DLC, we got such a big number of errors that it exceeded the critical level and it was just too much for me. I can understand and forgive a lot, years of writing about games allowed me to learn the production process inside out, but sometimes I just can’t. Battlefield 1 is full of mistakes that simply ruin the fun of the game, which hurts twice, because I like maps from DLC like no other.

Let’s get back to the beginning, because not everyone knows what the “In the Name of Tsar” DLC is. The second expansion created by DICE brings another faction into the game (after cosmetic differences, it doesn’t matter who we play) – the Russians. And here comes the first surprise, because it’s not only the Tsar’s armies from the Great War but also disgusting bolshies who appear in one of the Operations set in the times of the October Revolution. I like this approach because… when playing the Whites you hear them talk about the Bolsheviks in an extremely negative manner, which is omitted in today’s world where Marxism isn’t referred to as something bad. On the other hand, when I had to play the Bolsheviks, I felt some slight inner disgust. But never mind that. Along with the Russian faction, women find their way into the game by means of Russian female battalions. And despite the unnecessary Internet drama that blew up after the announcement, I see no reason whatsoever for the women not to be in the game. Historically – they fit, and when it comes to the gameplay – it doesn’t make any difference, and the design of the female soldiers is simply appealing to me (especially in the scout class).

The choice of Russian soldiers for the second DLC allowed new winter locations to show up in the game, and they’re very refreshing. The first expansion didn’t have outstanding locations, it offered visually similar ones. Here, starting with Galicia’s broad terrains, through the Lupkow Pass and Volgograd, right up to the Volga river, Battlefield 1 spreads its wings. After spending a dozen hours with the DLC I’m amazed with the new maps. Galicia may look like a bad map, mainly due to its flatness and what follows – a campers’ paradise, but… that’s exactly this map’s goal. The attackers are like sitting ducks from the very beginning, so they need good synchronization, appropriate charge tactics and most of all – using every bomb crater to avoid being shot. The Lupkow Pass is a very vertical map, where you have to have your eyes in the back of your head and constantly be in the move if you don’t want to give up on your life too soon. Volgograd reminds me strongly of the WWII maps from… CoD’s, which actually is quite a compliment. Tons of destroyed buildings, fighting for every centimeter and constant suspense – this is what characterizes this map. Volga also looks good, with its ruins, trenches and remains of a church in the center. Every map not only defends itself as a separate piece in a given mode, but most of all – in Operations. In this mode they mix up really nicely and provide diversified experience. And they perfectly reflect how it is to be a Russian brutish soldier, whose life was considered so irrelevant because it was the biggest army in the world at the time.

Game modes? Well, there’s one – Supply Drop. I have one problem with it… it’s not bad, it’s just that I don’t like it, just like the Pigeons from the base game. The Drop is set to a tight cooperation and perfect communication of the team to pick the optimal drop point to take over and defend it from the enemy. As maps in this mode are appropriately cut and the drop falls down in a place that cannot be bunkered, one or two weak link in the team and we’re screwed. And we’ll be furious because of the spam from the mortars, who have the greatest fun here as the drop is taken over the quicker, the more people are within its range. And the mortar missile is easily able to take a few people with one shot. But as I mentioned before, it’s just something I don’t like. I prefer slower fighting on a much bigger scale. Whoever liked the Pigeons will be happy with the Supply Drop.

“In the name of Tsar” DLC, when it comes to content, is a better expansion than “They Shall Not Pass”, which does offer the great Front Line mode, but the maps are too similar to the base game. Here the snowy locations provide the much needed freshness, new weapon does the trick as well (especially Mosin Nagant), same as the new armored vehicle. I also like the class specialization added in the update, which comes with a possibility to equip the acquired perks, because it finally allows us to draw something more from various styles of playing a given class. On the other hand – the technical problems efficiently ruin the positive impression that the new content provided. The cracking or disappearing sound of explosions, getting disconnected from the server, a machine gun flying around the screen if someone revived us, strangely counted hitboxes – it’s just the tip of the iceberg. What’s funny (laughing through tears), the errors are present since the DLC’s debut in Premium, which is the beginning of the month. I started the expansion two weeks ago, so a month will pass soon and… they’re still there. Hence the rank. It’s a pity that DICE decided to remind themselves how to ruin a game in every new update.

Battlefield 1
Out rating: 7.0/10
Very good DLC with exceptionally great maps, but positive reception is killed by big technical problems. Winter locations bring a breath of freshness, and the Russians and Bolsheviks fit into the theme of the game perfectly.
  • Pros
  • New maps are very well done
  • The Russians and Bolsheviks bring freshness
  • Interesting new game mode
  • Cons
  • Sound problems (cracks or disappears)
  • Continuous disconnecting
  • A ton of other errors
battlefield 1 dice electronic arts playstation 4

Don't miss