Big news to talk about from this week for gamers. On Wednesday, EA and Dice released the long-anticipated first trailer for the newest entry in the Battlefield series of first-person shooters. Battlefield has been a very popular franchise across all platforms for years, and is the biggest challenger to Call of Duty as the face of the genre, particularly in terms of the multiplayer experience. Over the years, Battlefield has released games which take place over many different eras of history, starting with World War II, Vietnam-era, as well as modern settings. The most recent release, Battlefield 1, takes place in a less common era for FPS games, World War I. With Battlefield 1, the developer, Dice found a way to take a period of warfare known for stalemates and battles of attrition and make a fast-paced and exciting experience. BF1 is a game I’ve spent a ton of time with, it’s great for squadding up with your friends and working as a team to take down the enemy. In the trailer for their next release, Dice revealed they are going back to the well-worn territory of World War II (coincidentally, the setting of the most recent Call of Duty game). Before I get into it, you can check out the trailer here.
Right off the bat, what stands out to me in this trailer is the character models. Battlefield has traditionally been a class-based shooter, with each class having their own unique loadouts and look. Meaning, at a glance, you can tell if an enemy is a sniper, medic, or heavy gunner. In this trailer, the look of each character is, let’s say, unconventional. What this tells me is that Battlefield is going to have the option to customize the look of your soldier in ways that haven’t been possible in previous releases. Customization is something that the BF community has been asking about for a while now, and it’s good to see Dice respond to that demand with this first release trailer. My guess is that they will use the model that Fortnite and other popular multiplayer games are using, and will allow players to buy specific character and weapon skins, although I’d think they’ll have some available as unlocks based on in-game achievements as well.
Maybe due to the wild player models, but the next thing that stands out to me is how arcadey this game looks. Battlefield generally has leaned more towards a realistic experience as opposed to, say, Call of Duty. The class-based system and focus on team play gives it the feel of a true military experience, being in battle with your buddies, supporting each other with communication, ammo, or healing. It also treats bullets as actual projectiles, meaning that instead of simply clicking on a bad guy and watching them die, you have to judge the distance, lead your shots, and even account for bullet drop due to gravity. The Battlefield V (official title) trailer makes this game look insane. Players sprinting around, hitting point-blank snipes, hip-firing down planes, and having uncomfortable one-on-one moments with enemies paint a different picture than we’re used to. BF1, for example, starts you off in a tutorial mission that tells you that you are just one man among many fighting in the war. BFV looks like you are the army, your squad against the world.
What does translate from older games to BFV is the absolute carnage happening throughout the trailer. Explosions everywhere, being overrun by enemy vehicles, having a plane land on your head, the list goes on. Every Battlefield player has a “Battlefield” moment you won’t find in any other game that they will always remember fondly (it’s a toss up for me; either the time I had a 5-minute standoff just running in a circle around a tank while it spun around trying to get a shot on me, or the time I was killed by a motorcycle an enemy had jumped out of, but its momentum carried it across the map to me and ran me over). Battlefield really gets the chaos of the, well, battlefield, and as long as the new game continues to capture that, even with some new wrinkles we haven’t seen in previous titles, it will deliver the type of game that BF players expect.
I’m excited for this next chapter in the Battlefield franchise from Dice, and while this is just a first look, I’ll be posting more news as we get closer to BFV’s October release.