At E3 2018, EA DICE pulled out the big guns right away: Battlefield V will have a Battle Royale mode. There’s no gameplay or footage for this mode so far, suggesting that DICE are jumping on the bandwagon after finding out that the next Call of Duty was going to feature Battle Royale. The Swedish developers promise that Battlefield Royale (as we’re now calling it) will be “Royale, re-imagined”, with access to vehicles, squad-play, and full destruction mechanics. If DICE pull this off, it could be the most exciting Battle Royale game so far, blowing behemoths like PUBG and Fortnite out of the water. Apart from that it exists, we don’t know much else about Battlefield Royale mode – will it feature 100 players, or be limited to 64, like the new Grand Operations mode?
Several trailers, both of gameplay and of the cinematic variety, were unleashed during DICE’s E3 conference. These included some footage of Grand Operations mode, a trailer for the online and campaign modes, and a large dose of raw multiplayer gameplay. In this article, we go in-depth about all the new gameplay modes, mechanics, and trailers unveiled since the Battlefield live reveal event in May, right up to the latest news from E3.
Battlefield V: What you need to know
As was revealed in March, Battlefield V is not another WWI game like Battlefield I, but rather a sequel to Battlefield 4 (now with Roman Numerals) which has jumped back in time to WWII. This is the conflict that started it all for DICE with their first Battlefield game, Battlefield 1942.
What else is new? Repairing fortifications mid-game, improved mechanics, a physics-based destruction engine, and epic four-day multiplayer mini-campaigns. And about 50 things besides! Perhaps the biggest news of all, and one that will have people leaping for joy like it’s V-Day 1945, is that EA DICE will no longer be charging for Premium Passes to additional online content.
Could this be the first step towards an exclusive-free world in which all gamers have access to the same content? EA has made a name for itself in recent years for releasing half-complete games, then charging for the rest of it a few months down the line – not to mention microtransactions – so this is big, positive move from them.
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Now we’ll break down everything you need to know about Battlefield V.
Battlefield V release date: When does it come out?
There are three dates you need to remember. The first is 11 October 2018, which is when the first community play trial will go live. Shortly after that, on 16 October, the Deluxe edition of the game will go on sale. Finally, on 19 October, the Standard edition of the game will be available worldwide.
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EA has also revealed the pricing of the two different versions, as well as the extras that will be bundled in with the Deluxe edition. You can pre-order the Standard edition of the game for Xbox One, PC, or PS4 for between £55 and £59.99. As for the Deluxe edition, it’ll cost you from £69.99 up top £79.99, depending on what website you use. Microsoft and Origin both have the Deluxe available to order.
In addition to the game itself (obviously), the Battlefield V Deluxe gives you early access to the base game, five unique paratrooper outfit sets, twenty weekly ‘air supply’ items, and special assignments which will be regularly updated. In addition, you’ll also receive some Battlefield I weapons instantly if you already own the game.
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What about the platforms? So far, we definitely know that Battlefield V is coming out on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, just like the wildly successful Battlefield I. As for the rumoured Nintendo Switch release, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see this at launch – if at all. There hasn’t been any mention of a Switch version from EA so far, but maybe later down the line that will change. Only time will tell.
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Battlefield V trailers: What they tell us
After their much-derided debut trailer, DICE unveiled a second cinematic trailer for Battlefield V which has been much better received. This trailer introduces shows off some of the things you’ll be able to do in game, including para-trooping into action from a plane, building up defences mid-battle, and dragging anti-aircraft guns on the back of a tank.
The first cinematic trailer for Battlefield V – released at the Battlefield worldwide reveal in May – sparked overnight outrage among the Battlefield online community, with the hashtag #NotMyBattlefield spreading like wildfire across Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube – among other sites. Fans have taken a particular exception to the inclusion of a female soldier depicted fighting (with the use of a prosthetic arm, a la Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road) among a male company.
Some have derided the historical inaccuracies of the trailer, as well as the quirky, cavalier attitude of the soldiers, as disrespectful of the veterans of the war and the millions of lives that were lost. But, apparently, Call of Duty: Zombies is fine. So there you have it. Watch the trailer below and make up your own mind.
Chaos is the word that sums the trailer up better than any other. Pure chaos. It starts out as an immersive cinematic cutscene in one long, dizzying, continuous tracking shot, as we see a squad of sassy British soldiers fight a desperate battle against the mechanised German forces.
As planes fall and bombs explode, the squad make their way on a bike with a sidecar into what’s effectively a human slaughterhouse in a field. Bullets and grenades – and trucks – flying in every direction. This cutscene then transitions seamlessly into gameplay as the player picks up an LMG and starts fighting it out. It’s at this point we realise it’s a scripted online team deathmatch rather than footage from the campaign, as it initially leads us to believe.
The trailer showcases some of the brand-new multiplayer features in the game, such as the ability to fall on your back and then shuffle backwards while shooting, being able to call in insanely destructive V1 rockets, and the improved physics-based destruction engine. As we’ve mentioned, this trailer has proven provocative (to say the least), but whether the backlash over the ‘politically correct’ decision to include women and amputees within the game harms its sales has yet to be seen.
Battlefield V setting: Where and when will it take place?
Battlefield V will take place in WWII (1939-45), which DICE had termed the “ultimate drama” in human history and the “most heroic” conflict of all time. This is, they say, the “war that forged the modern world” and the studio is now revisiting that war with the cutting edge of technological capabilities to bring us a WWII experience like never before.
This will not be like the WWII games we’ve played a thousand times before or the war films that have informed them. Instead, DICE has focused on the smaller, lesser events, and the untold human stories that have remained largely unknown to the general public.
From Norway to Rotterdam to the deserts of Africa, Battlefield V will champion the unsung heroes and most exotic locations of the most famous war in history. This will be a side of WWII you’ve never seen before, and the biggest Battlefield game ever, fought across land, sky, and sea. Now don’t hold it against us if it doesn’t come to the final game, but we did see some images of a dogfight taking place over St. Paul’s Cathedral, so…Battle of Britain mission confirmed?
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Battlefield V – Tides of War: A revamped multiplayer experience
As you’ve already seen (and are probably still jumping for joy about), EA DICE is ditching the infamous Premium Passes for Battlefield V. This means that when new maps are released, anyone who owns the game will be able to play them, and gamers won’t be excluded from joining in certain online campaigns or time-limited modes. The Swedish developers want the online gameplay to be a “journey”, where you will visit maps old and new, with new objectives and play styles.
Tides of War, by the way, is the umbrella name given to all the varying multiplayer modes on Battlefield V. These are intended to interweave with one another, as you build experience, upgrade your armoury, and explore new ways of playing. In addition to traditional modes like Team Deathmatch and Conquest, there are several new and intriguing aspects to Battlefield V’s online experience.
This multiplayer mode can be considered the halfway point between playing solo missions and battling it out in the game’s trademark all-out-war sandbox. In a squad of up to four players, you’ll tackle a series of objective-based missions set behind enemy lines. Co-operation and communication are the orders of the day in these intimate – and endlessly, randomly generated – missions. Think of it like Where Eagles Dare, except playable. And it goes on forever.
The big one. Each Grand Operation will be a time-sensitive online mini-campaign of sorts, with a series of missions set across four “days” of a unique conflict in which one side attacks and the other defends. Each day is really just a round set during a small segment of the days which they represent, but the idea is that players become immersed in a complex and drawn-out conflict of immense scope – it’s like Battlefield Conquest on steroids.
The example we were shown took place in Rotterdam. Day One saw paratroopers launching into the city as anti-aircraft guns riddled the sky. As the attackers, the aim was to destroy as many AA guns as possible before time ran out. This had a direct consequence on how many respawns the attackers had in Day Two, as the more AA guns destroyed, the more troops the Allies are able to land. Get to Day Three and the whole city is one big burning bombsite. An all-out, boots-on-the-ground battle rages on, and the game can end there if there is a decisive win. Day Four is the bitter end of a brutal conflict, which will employ new “Scarcity” mechanics in which players will have less ammo, less health, and just one precious life in which to seize victory.
DICE has placed a renewed emphasis on squad play in Battlefield V. Although you can go the lone-wolf route if you choose, you’re much better off working as a unit. The more you communicate, the better, and if you work together to complete objectives and heal each other, the team will be rewarded with “Squad Reinforcement Assets” such as supply drops, vehicles, and V1 rockets to call in.
There’s also a new, fluid respawn system in which dead players can view each of their squad from an over-the-shoulder viewpoint and decide who to spawn with. Squad leaders will now also have greater responsibility and a wider array of directives to enact.
Alas, it’s not a Bad Company. Just a regular one. What’s cool about The Company is the unprecedented customisation. Your company is your private army of soldiers, which you will personally upgrade through in-game time and equipping them with assets. Pick a class, then an archetype, and then decide what you want that specific soldier’s purpose to be.
Become skilled in that style of play to get access to an endless wardrobe of items – each item of clothing can be customised – as well as hairstyles and even face paints.
The same applies for guns, each of which has seven customisable aesthetic components – mix-and-match gold-plated scopes with a leafy, camouflaged barrel and walnut stock, or complete a full set. Vehicles can also be customised, and once you have a tank in your arsenal which you’ve pimped out to perfection, you can always build another with different armour and weaponry to suit a different map or playstyle.
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Battlefield V War Stories: Solo campaigns in Battlefield V
We know very little so far, apart from a cinematic micro-teaser trailer featuring a female Norwegian soldier plunging into the icy depths. So, a Norway campaign is confirmed at least. In the same vein as the War Stories in Battlefield I, they will be small and intimate tales inspired by the true human stories that have been lost to history as opposed to the bombastic, blockbuster campaigns of the Battlefield: Bad Company games, for example.
Battlefield V gameplay mechanics: How will it play, and what’s new?
Like the previous installment, Battlefield V will be powered by Frostbite. You may well be rubbing your hands at the prospect of those sweet, sweet destructible environments, but wait until you listen to this: DICE has completely revamped this aspect of the game, creating a brand new physics-based destruction engine.
No more animations. Just pure, scientifically accurate carnage. If a bomb goes off inside a building, everything blows outwards. If it hits the roof, everything crumbles in from the top. It’s a beautiful thing to behold; you can see every single component of a structure crack and collapse in on itself in real-time.
As well as all that destroying, there’s also repairing. The “Fortifications” feature lets players rebuild military structures (sandbags, barbed wire, machine-gunner posts and so on) during live online play so that strategic posts can remain protected from enemy cover. A building cannot be fixed, however – once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Gunplay has seen an improvement too. All guns will not “shoot where they aim”, meaning that a bullet’s journey will be reliable and accurate. No more missing headshots because of random bullet trajectories. Get used to how a gun fires, and learn its recoil rate, and you can become a highly skilled marksman. This does mean, however, that if you miss it is entirely your fault. Bullet penetration is back as well, with LMGs packing the most potent wall-shredding punch.
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Battlefield V will also be a more physical game in a variety of ways. All team members can revive anyone on their squad now, only it’ll take longer for non-members. Players will physically get down on the ground, ram a syringe (full of amphetamines?) into their downed squaddie, and haul them up. If their location is in the line of fire, players can now also drag teammates to the safety of cover before reviving them.
Physicality and kinetic movement have been ramped up massively since the last Battlefield. Now, environments react to you, and you to them. Running through high water will slow your character down, as they try to charge through with high knees. Mud will see them slipping, and high grass may give away their position to snipers as it parts with their movement.
Lastly – and this may upset some of you – Battlefield V will see the end of ‘Spot-Spamming’, which is the sophisticated art of looking at the entire map and mashing the ‘spot’ button to light up the whole enemy team with icons for you to shoot at. From now on, you’ll have to be much more accurate.
And that’s about it for our Battlefield V live event roundup. More news to follow following the hands-on EA Play event from 9-11 June, where the main spotlight will be focused on Battlefield V’s gameplay.
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