Skip to main content

I placed second in Firestorm with only a knife, proving absolutely nothing

Firestorm is a decent battle royale mode. I wish it stood out from the crowd a bit more, but it's fun and I already like Battlefield 5's weapon handling. I hate Battlefield 5's melee animations, though, and I'm occasionally frustrated by how easy it is to hide by lying prone in a bush or on a rock. So, naturally, I made it my mission to win a game of Firestorm solely by knifing and hiding.

The knife-only challenge is a beloved videogame tradition, but my quest started organically. After landing, another player dashed into the only nearby house first. I knew he'd grab a gun before me and I'd be done for, so I made the reasonable decision to run away. And then I just kept running. 

After a minute, I crouched under a tree and thought about my situation. Everyone would be well-equipped by now. I could probably find some loot of my own still—Firestorm's map is littered with guns—but what if I just didn't? What if I just embraced being a guy with a knife? I'm not a very good shot in Battlefield anyway, so even if I did find a gun I'd lose 99 percent of late match encounters against the best players. 

I decided I'd make things even worse and not pick up anything at all, not even armor. It was just going to be a fun experiment, but then a terrible thing happened: I came in second. I spent the entire match lying in bushes with a knife, and with just one (very unlikely) kill I could've won.

I had to keep trying. So I did, for hours.

As you may have guessed, playing Firestorm this way is extremely boring. I land in the wilderness and immediately hide in a bush. Then I get up from my PC and do something else for a while while I wait for the first circle location. Over the course of one game, I microwaved and ate a burrito.

When the circle appears, I run to it as quickly as I can, taking whatever route seems the least likely to get me killed. And then I hide in another bush. And then again. 

Once, a sniper got me while I was in a bush, but that was the only time anyone spotted me and the only time I died while hiding. Several people walked right by me (there's a guy wandering around in the gif below if you look closely). 

Not seeing me might've been really bad for them if I'd had a gun. But I did not.

When I was bored (which was always) I amused myself by stabbing my own leg or opening and closing the map screen repeatedly. Sometimes I alt-tabbed and looked at Twitter.

I never got second place again, and obviously didn't win, but I almost always made it pretty far. I got fourth once. What does this prove? Just that if you don't do any of the things you're expected to, nothing happens. You just lie in a bush and place better than most other players, without having fun. Battle royale is a weird mode.

The only time I didn't make it to the late game it was because I got caught in the firestorm and couldn't find my way out of a quarry to the other side. I did get one kill in that game, though. My poor victim could not have predicted that they were going to be charged by a guy with a knife. Expect the unexpected!

By far the best part was watching the players who killed me near the end of the game get absolutely no loot for their effort. There's no funny reaction to show you or anything. I just know how annoyed they must've felt. What a letdown for both of us.

I think I'm going to retire from the chase for a knife win, but I look forward to watching someone else do it. A cursory scan of Google doesn't return any solo knife-only Firestorm wins yet, but given that someone can already beat Sekiro in under an hour, I figure it's been done. Congratulations to the true master of the blade, wherever you are.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.