Why BattleBit is the Battlefield game you’ve always wanted
If you play games via Steam on PC, then it’s very hard to have missed the uprising of BattleBit Remastered in these last few weeks. Peaking at almost 90,000 active users, this low-poly first-person title has the shooter community caught in an iron grasp, scratching an itch that’s been left unsatisfied for years. More specifically, it fills the hole that the Battlefield series has left behind.
Developed by a team of just three people, it’s difficult to imagine how this indie title has managed to get so much right in such a short space of time. If you haven’t picked it up yet, here’s why BattleBit Remastered is the Battlefield game you’ve always wanted to play.
- Here's how you can use a controller with BattleBit Remastered.
What is BattleBit Remastered?
BattleBit Remastered is an online first-person shooter that borrows from both the tactical shooter and objective shooter subgenres. There are three main modes of play, each with varying player counts. At its most hectic, 254 players can occupy a server at one time, although this can be toned down to just 64 if you’re looking for something more calm.
As soon as you load up BattleBit, you’ll notice a striking resemblance to Battlefield titles like 4 and Bad Company 2. Glossing over the blatant cover art rip-off, game modes are pulled straight from the source material, with Conquest, Rush, Domination, and even Frontlines all working as you’d expect them to.
Even weapons and customisation are familiar, with modern weapons unlocked after reaching a certain level. These can then be customised with new sights, barrels, magazines, and more attachments to adjust their stats.
Oh, and did I mention that levels feature destructible environments? Vehicular combat? Classes that tie the weapons and gadgets together? You might be starting to think that BattleBit doesn’t have an original bone in its body, but it actually has several tricks up its sleeve to separate itself from the competition.
- BattleBit Remastered has a lengthy list of weapon and gadget unlocks - here they all are.
Something borrowed, something new
BattleBit has released with a plethora of features that Battlefield fans have been clamouring after for over a decade.
Take reviving squadmates, for example. Just like in Battlefield, soldiers end up in a down-but-not-out state when they take too much damage. They can’t move, but they can look around and speak via proximity chat.
Any other player, including both teammates and enemies, can drag enemies that are downed by the wrist. This means that, in huge firefights, medics can focus on pulling downed teammates into the safety of cover before reviving them back into the fray.
What’s more, the proximity chat feature is heavily pushed upon players when they first launch the game. This encourages an absurd amount of teamwork that Battlefield has never quite managed to wholly capture. It might just be because there are more players on the map, but it certainly feels like teammates are more willing to work together here than in any other shooter.
- Check out the best weapons to use in our BattleBit Remastered gun tier list.
A beautiful blend of genres
BattleBit also has an air of hardcore realism about it, too. Not only does the game not feature a mini-map of any sort, but players can reload their weapon at any time, even with a full magazine. This simply swaps the mag out for the next one in the queue, so you can end up with six magazines all with different numbers of rounds in them.
Ultimately, this means players have to be more intentional during gunfights - spamming reload after every kill means you’ll need to eventually slow down and shuffle all your bullets into one magazine to stay in the fight. It sounds arduous, but the process is tied to one simple button press. While the idea sounds like it’s borrowed from something like Escape from Tarkov or Squad, it retains an arcade feel that fits the genre perfectly.
The list of quality-of-life features goes on. Weapon menus give a detailed breakdown of the damage output and fall-off ranges, letting you fine-tune a build that works for you. The amount of weapons, maps, and customisation unlocks is staggering, ensuring that you always have something new to work towards.
The thing is, Battlefield 2042 has introduced some of these quality-of-life features during its lifespan. But what is it that BattleBit does differently to make it so much more enjoyable? The answer lies in its unapologetic simplicity.
- Want to know what we thought of Battlefield 2042 at launch? Check out our review.
Nail in the coffin for realistic graphics
I’ve barely mentioned the art style of BattleBit throughout this piece, because it’s not something that you end up noticing while playing. Character models and maps largely resemble something out of Roblox, with low-poly models and simple textures that have the potential to look straight out of a 2003 PS2 game.
However, it’s this simplistic art style that gives BattleBit the upper hand. If you own a slightly older PC, this game will likely still run like butter, even with 254 players in the match. Explosions and buildings crumbling all around you aren’t enough to make BattleBit drop even a minor frame.
This has a knock-on effect, as it also means that the gunplay remains ridiculously tight. Almost on the same level as a modern Call of Duty title, flicking between targets and nailing headshots feels satisfying and accurate. And don’t even get me started on the way that sniping feels - it’s a dream come true for those who love to sit back and pop heads all evening.
The most important takeaway from this art style is that, during the vast majority of gameplay, you forget that BattleBit is made up of voxels. Shadows and environmental effects do a small amount of lifting to keep it looking modern, but the smooth-as-butter gameplay and excellent teamplay mechanics completely distract you from the fact this could run on your Nan’s old Dell.
It makes you wonder why games like Call of Duty and Battlefield are constantly striving to break that next barrier of the uncanny valley. If all shiny graphics are going to do is stunt the ambition of the gameplay, then are they really worth it? BattleBit Remastered is certainly a prime example that realistic graphics are sometimes not worth the hassle at all.
BattleBit Remastered is currently available on Steam for £12.79 in early access. It's almost certainly worth a try if, like me, you’re after a breath of fresh air in the shooter genre that you didn’t even know you needed.