I reviewed Battlefield 1 for our site back in October when it launched. Now, like then, the game has failed to capture my attention in the way that previous games in the series has. I don’t hate it or anything, but coming back to the game to look at the “They Shall Not Pass” DLC hasn’t brought about any huge revelations for me. I still hold to my opinion that multiplayer is less ambitious than we’ve seen from previous games, that it feels less like Battlefield and more like “Battlefront” with the addition of Behemoths. I also am not a huge fan of the World War I weapons as the game feels far less fast and exciting. However, if there’s one thing that stands out to me in the They Shall Not Pass DLC is that DICE continues to be best in class in regards to their expansions. As far back as I remember, DICE has been putting out quality DLC for this series, and They Shall Not Pass is no exception.
Frontlines is an incredible new multiplayer mode
Levying whatever complaints that I can against the main game, I can’t seem to find a single thing wrong with They Shall Not Pass. For those that have become invested in Battlefield 1, They Shall Not Pass is a worthy expansion for the game. DICE unabashedly expands on the gameplay and setting, giving the players that like Battlefield 1 more Battlefield 1. New multiplayer maps, and a standout multiplayer mode in Frontlines are going to be the main draw for most, but there’s also two new cinematic Operations missions, as well as alot of other new content that changes the landscape for multiplayer — including a new elite type, weapons, vehicles and more.
They Shall Not Pass is based around the French pushback against Germany in World War I. The map selection by DICE for this expansion leans on the history of the war. Bringing players to real world locations where the fighting between Germany and France took place in a tug of war battle for the land. The four maps, Verdun Heights, Fort De Vaux, Soissons, and Rupture are all welcome additions. Verdun Heights is a smoldering hole in the earth that was bombarded by Germany during the war, leaving its uphill surface scorched and pocked with holes from an artillery barrage. Fort Devaux is almost all inside a maze-like fortress, which sets up some pretty intense firefights around key chokepoints. Soissons is a more wide-open map, which DICE gives players more vehicles to play with, namely tanks. Rupture was my least favorite of the bunch, as it felt like a generic wide open map without any real distinguishing traits other than its lush landscape.
Operations continues to be one of the best new ways to play Battlefield
The two new Operations in They Shall Not Pass utilize all four maps, and if you want a more cinematic experience in multiplayer this is the way to do it. DICE serves up a side of history with its multiplayer madness in the Operations mode, giving players the opporunity to play on both sides of the war. The Devil’s Anvil has the German army looking to advance on the French through Verdun Heights and Fort Vaux. While Beyond the Marne, features the French taking back key points of their country with an all out tank assault in Soissons and Rupture. Operations continues to be pretty great, and one of the best new ways to play Battlefield.
Speaking of new ways to play Battlefield, Frontlines is a brand new addition to Battlefield 1 and it’s also pretty great… if you like long back and forth battles. It’s like a mixture of Conquest and Rush. Tiered, Conquest style control points must be won, and when a team gets to the opposing team’s HQ they must take out two more key telegraph points to win the game. The kicker is that attackers on the last points have a limited number of forces to deploy before they are pushed back to the last Conquest point at which point the process starts again. During my review of this mode, each game I played felt intense, each one had a back and forth action that no other mode in Battlefield has ever had. DICE has struck an incredible balance with this mode that really plays to the strengths of Battlefield 1 in both gameplay and the use of the World War I setting.
In these new maps and modes you’ll find a bunch of new stuff as well. The French Army is of course a new addition, but alongside the soldiers a couple of new tanks, a new elite class called the Trench Raider, new stationary weapons, and a variety of other additions can be found throughout. The new Behemoth is a massive French tank that can certainly give the losing team a huge advantage once called in. For those that have maxed out their progression in Battlefield 1, 10 new ranks are now available with the expansion. In addition to new service medals, dog tags, and codex entries for those that like unlocking all there is in the game.
Battlefield 1: They Shall Not Pass DLC is another impressive expansion from DICE. Ultimately worth the wait, the inclusion of the French army, weaponry and historical maps fit perfectly into the game. This DLC has something for everyone, whether you just wanted new maps to play your favorite modes, something new to sink your teeth into in Frontlines, or more World War I lore in the Operations mode.