Isn't Battlefield supposed to go head-to-head with Call of Duty in a fight to the bloodied stumps over their take on realistic present-day conflict?

Well that's how it used to be. This year, however, EA have come over all First World War.

And it's quite the piece of work.

Survival only takes you so far. In fact, death is part of the progression along the different campaigns and massacres across Europe. Well of course it is. Death was the reality for millions who took part, and those who survived you could hardly call lucky.

EA have done an exceptional job in attempting to hammer home just how little soldiers stood a chance among the fizzing bullets and suicidal attempts to grab an inche of land. If Saving Private Ryan brought a smidgen of Second World War reality to cinema-goers, Battlefield is doing the same to gamers for that hideous battle's predecessor.

Sure, the campaign is a little on the snug side but there's little filler here; every minute is stuffed full of drama and emotional gut-punches.

Multiplayer consists of many typical first-person shooter stalwarts: Conquest, Domination, Operations, Rush, Team Deathmatch and War Pigeons. The latter is obviously specific to BF1 and has teams squabbling over a bird, hiding away to scribble a message and then attaching your best war poetry to said bird and releasing it to the awaiting command.

If you're sick of the yearly obsession with Middle Eastern-inflected posturing in your FPS titles, Battlefield is the perfect antidote. Hell it's also a little educational and delivers a potent 'war is utterly hell' message to boot.

And that's no bad thing, surely.