BF1: They Shall Not Pass: Review

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The French Army arrives.

Scrambling across the war-torn, fiery, trench ridden landscape of Verdun Heights is amazing. It’s easy to see the hell that was the Battle of Verdun, and feel some sort of inspiration from the battle: In real life, the french army gave their all to defend the fortified city of Verdun. They gave it their best  at both the Devil’s Anvil and at Fort de Vaux, villages and towns like Samogneux disappeared overnight, the land became so rotten that nothing can be built anymore, not even a century later could nothing be built on the land that once stood at the village of Samogneux. Forts like Douaumont and Vaux fell and the garrison at Fort de Vaux held out until June of 1916 when they had to surrender because they fell short of supplies, the entire battle of Verdun is a testament to the resilience and courage of the human spirit and what these  men had. The story of Verdun should never be forgotten.

They Shall Not Pass is the first expansion to Battlefield 1 has the making of a really good expansion, one that doesn’t ever leave you when you finally wrap up the game. They Shall Not Pass is the first of four expansions that are coming to Battlefield 1, the big question is that if is this new expansion is worth your time and it is worth your money.

The actual content is extremely first class, there’s nothing new here except for some new maps, new classes, and the courageous french army make their debut here. Even the new game mode, Frontlines, is a hybrid of Operations, Conquest, and Rush– there’s nothing new but it’s really good.

What really impresses me is the four new maps, especially Verdun Heights. Verdun Heights is the large-scale map, offering more of that iconic trench warfare that The Great War was so known for: Verdun Heights is similar to Hamburger Hill from Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam  and the first section of St. Quentin Scar on Operations, the map is on fire and it’s just hell. The forest at Verdun burns in the background, and the fog from the fire descends on the map and everything turns dark and takes on a eerie beauty that only war can pull off. Fort de Vaux is small scale, it offers close-quarters combat and flat areas where trenches, bunkers, and pillboxs reign supreme. However, on Operations and Conquest, Fort de Vaux suffers from bottleneck and grind that Operation Metro and Operation Locker had from Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 suffered from but luckily, that doesn’t really happen because the map isn’t linear like those two are.

In contrast to the hellish landscape of Verdun, Soissons is perhaps the most anonymous of the four new maps in the DLC: It’s a pretty French village that is surrounded by that beautiful french countryside that is seen on the Western Front: At the heart of the map is the best designed close-quarter area in any BF1 map and captures the massive French and American tank assaults in late summer of 1918. There’s a river that runs through the map, and treehouses that are set up in certain areas that will make use of snipers and machine-gunners. The map isn’t like Sinai Desert where you have snipers on every single corner, it’s asymmertrical.  Finally, Rupture is the most beautiful map outside of Amiens and Argonne: It’s hills and ridges cut through trenches, pillboxes, and machine-gun emplacements and is overgrown with poppies. Rusted tanks and previous equipment from previous engagements in the area rest around the landscape as the battle returns for the third and final time.

Rupture takes place on the Aisne-Vesles river and the fighting revolves around bridges and beautiful french countryside. It’s a wonderful map, with few places to hide from snipers and mortar fire which is a trend in maps like Sinai Desert, and Giant’s Shadow.

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There are brand new guns to unlock in the new expansion: The Assault class receives the Swedish Sjogren Inertial Factory Shotgun, the Ribeyrolles 1918 SMG that plays similar to an Assault Rifle, the Medic receives the RSC 1917, the Support receives one of the most infamous LMG’s of the Great War: The Chauchat LMG which is one of the world’s most unreliable, useless, and fire-rate guns but in BF1, it is one of the best LMG’s within the game outside of the Browning Automatic Rifle and the gun itself offers quite a punch. Lastly, the Scout receives the Lebel Model 1886 Sniper Rifle which is good but is nowhere compared to the OP sniper that is the Lee-Enfield.

They Shall Not Pass chips in to two new tanks, the Saint Chamond and the Char 2C tank that is the new behemoth for Soissons and Rupture. The Char 2C is an absolute monster, it’s a beast of a tank: It can take numerous tanks with 2 hits and it’s a great addition to the already stellar behemoth lineup.

It’s little brother, the Saint Chamond is also a beast of a tank. It’s a powerhouse, although not on the scale of it’s big brother but it’s still a force to be reckoned with. It presents a new playstyle that we haven’t seen yet in Battlefield 1, the St. Chamond is fast and is meant to rush the enemy defenses.

Finally, I’m very content with They Shall Not Pass, it’s a great addition to the already stellar game. Battlefield 1 remains one of the best shooters that I’ve played in recent memory, and this only adds to that experience. They Shall not Pass will be available on Tuesday for non-Season Pass holders.

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