Battlefield V Gets in Touch with its Roots
It seems that at long last Battlefield is finally returning to its origins. Over 16 years after the release of Battlefield 1942, the series will once again take to the battlefields of WWII. Yes, technically Battlefield 1943 took place during that period, but that could hardly be considered an official entry. It was only available on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network and was fairly limited in terms of content; it mostly just served as a test bed for developer DICE’s new Frostbite 1.5 engine which would be featured several months later in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. As a long time fan of the Battlefield series I could not have been more pleased with DICE’s decision to move away from the massively overdone “modern combat” model and look to the past for inspiration with Battlefield 1. The game succeeded in staying true to the massive scale and emphasis on team coordination that defined previous entries while introducing a WWI era aesthetic that felt refreshing both in terms of visuals and gameplay. With the official reveal of Battlefield V it’s wonderfully exciting to see the series return to the time period that defined it.
The Battlefield V trailer was preceded by a Q&A livestream during which representatives from DICE gave details about the games brand new features. First off they were quick to announce that the games single player campaign would be in the same anthology style of BF1, featuring a number of stories from the perspective of different soldiers throughout the war. With the recent controversy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's lack of campaign it seemed DICE wanted to reinforce their commitment towards delivering a solid single player experience. And if you’ve read my previous article, you’d know how I feel about this particular subject. They then went on to detail the multiplayer, specifically a brand new component called Grand Operations which will feature multiple stages, each one taking place on a different map and with a different game type. The premise seems interesting enough though it remains to be seen if it will usurp the classic Conquest mode which has consistently dominated matchmaking since the series' inception. The panel clarified that multiplayer gameplay will be demonstrated on June 9, just ahead of E3 2018.
Perhaps the most well received announcement of the live stream though was the confirmation that Battlefield V will not feature the premium pass seen in previous titles. The premium pass was a controversial feature which allowed players to have early access to DLC which featured maps, weapons and game modes. The panel assured that players will not have to pay for any new maps or modes nor will they be able to purchase any gameplay affecting items. It appears that DICE may be attempting to atone for the Battlefront 2 disaster which rocked the gaming world back in 2017. In the place of paid DLC, new content will instead be released through ‘Tides of War’. Though relatively little was revealed regarding the nature of this feature, it seems that the game will be continuously updated after launch through a series of events. Each event will last a number of months and feature brand new theaters of war making it somewhat similar to the events featured in Overwatch. It’s encouraging to see them making strides in the right direction and hopefully the final product will reflect the promises they’ve made. In the meantime I’m still holding my breath. After all, I’ve been burned by EA before.
As for the actual trailer, which was featured at the end of the live stream, we were treated to a frantic fast paced look at the new battlefield we’ll be encountering. The pre-rendered trailer featured intense combat and destruction which will hopefully be comparable to the actual gameplay we’ll be seeing at E3. We also got a look at some new features such as an apparent ability to call on secret weapons, like the V1 flying bomb we see crashing down at the end of the trailer. Overall it’s hard to judge much by a trailer, but if the footage we see a few weeks from now is anything close to what we saw here you can definitely expect to see me jumping back into the fray. Battlefield V will be released on October, 19 of 2018 and you can watch the trailer here.