Battlefield 1’s latest DLC pack doesn’t quite get everything right.
If you’ve been playing Battlefield 1 for some time now and have been enjoying it, you won’t find much wrong with Turning Tides. It delivers on a lot of the same fronts that the base game does, checking a lot of the same boxes, and generally providing the same strong multiplayer gameplay that fans have come to love Battlefield 1 for. However, it does have some issues that hold it back in some respects. For example, not all of the maps are top-notch, while the DLC also brings with it some weapon balancing issues.
Turning Tides has been released in a staggered manner, with the first part of its content launching in December, and the second dropping in late January. Collectively, both parts consist of four new main maps, a new Operation, a new game mode, and the Infiltrator Elite class, among other things (those being just the headline additions). And it is, most likely, this area where Turning Tides shows one of its biggest weaknesses.
"The Turning Tides DLC is a little different from everything that has come before it, in that it has a much heavier focus on naval battles."
While Battlefield 1’s previous DLC, In the Name of the Tsar, was absolutely brimming with content, with a lot more maps and new weapons, Turning Tides is relatively lacking content. It is, in fact, more like They Shall Not Pass in terms of how much content it has, however that, unlike Turning Tides, launched in one go. Given its relative shortage of content, it’s a little perplexing to see DICE and EA splitting the launch of this pack’s contents in such a manner.
Let’s get to the major talking points, though. The Turning Tides DLC is a little different from everything that has come before it, in that it has a much heavier focus on naval battles. Vehicular sections have long been an important foundation of the Battlefield gameplay loop, and Turning Tides makes it a concerted effort to have players traversing through the seas a lot more than usual. And for the most part, that’s a lot of fun, especially with the inclusion of destroyers and, more importantly, dreadnoughts. Rarely before in Battlefield 1 has the balance between vehicular sections across all land, sea, and air been so fine, and Turning Tides has to be commended for that.
It is, of course, the maps that really determine just how successfully the game can do that. Heligoland Bight is the map that is the most naval focused, for instance. It puts a dreadnought each in control of both teams, and the fate of matches on this map can often be decided by which team loses control of their dreadnought first. Similarly naval focused is the map Cape Helles, and it’s also quite a vast and open map.
The map design is, thankfully enough, generally strong, especially Zeebrugge, which has to be the best new map in the DLC. Visually, all the new locations look great, while the maps also have to be commended for their sheer sizes. Additionally, maps such as Heligoland Bight and Zeebrugge have excellent visual design, with certain spots and locations on both maps with striking visual features that, in true Battlefield fashion, are also intricately tied with the map’s function itself.
"Beyond the maps, notably enough Turning Tides also includes an all new class, the Infiltrator Elite, which gives players greater mobility thanks to infinite sprinting abilities."
But of course it’s not without its issues. Some maps in the game feel rather familiar in nature, either to things that we’ve already seen in Battlefield 1 itself, or to things DICE have tried in the not so distant future with other entries in the franchise. To say that there is absolutely no creativity or originality here would be very unfair- it’s not just a lazy copy-paste job. But the originality here is certainly a lot less than what I was expecting.
Beyond the maps, notably enough Turning Tides also includes an all new class, the Infiltrator Elite, which gives players greater mobility thanks to infinite sprinting abilities. Playing with the Infiltrator Elite class is a great deal of fun, lending a kind of dynamism and kinetic nature to the moment-to-moment gameplay that what veteran players might be used to. Infiltrator Elites can also, in fact, call down the support of heavy artillery, and adding to their already heavy firepower, this is surely a class that more offensive players will surely have a blast with.
Also part of the Turning Tides DLC is the new Operation, which is played across Cape Helles, and though it’s far from being among the best Operations of the game, it’s still quite enjoyable, and fans of the game will surely enjoy tackling it a few times. Meanwhile, the new multiplayer mode, Conquest Assault (which is basically an amped up and more urgent version of Conquest) is also a joy to play through.
What’s notable about Turning Tides, though, is that it doesn’t just bring extra new content to Battlefield 1. No, it changes the base game in some pretty big ways thanks to some tuning and tweaking done by the developers, which results in some noticeable balancing issues. DICE have made it so that classes are better to suited to some weapons and worse to others, while they have also changed the Time To Kill (TTK). What this means is that rather than being relative bullet sponges up until now, players in Battlefield 1 will now die of much less damage.
"Battlefield 1- Turning Tides is a DLC pack that plays it safe in many regards."
This is the sort of change that many players might not notice at first, but if you’ve been playing Battlefield 1 for a while, you will definitely notice this. The moment-to-moment gameplay is now a lot more in line with Battlefield 3 and 4, and that doesn’t necessarily work in the game’s favour. It’s not a huge issue, especially not one that breaks the game or anything like that, but there are times where these subtle tweaks hinder the match’s momentum a little bit, especially if you get caught in a cycle of bad respawn points.
Battlefield 1- Turning Tides is a DLC pack that plays it safe in many regards. For starters, it has a lot less content than its predecessor, In the Name of the Tsar did. Beyond that, the content it does have is mostly solid- but it doesn’t really ever go beyond that, while some balancing issues are also a little hard to ignore. People who have been playing Battlefeld 1 for some time now will surely find a lot to like here, but we’re hoping DICE will choose to be a little more ambitious with the upcoming Apocalypse DLC.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 4.
Focus on naval combat mixes things up a little; The Intruder Elite class is a great addition; Generally solid map design.
A few balancing issues; Somewhat lacking in content; Not a lot we haven't already seen before.
Fans of Battlefield 1 will surely find a lot to enjoy in this latest DLC, but its lack of ambition is a little disappointing.