Yesterday was the big reveal of Battlefield V, the next installment of the long-running multiplayer FPS series by developer DICE.
The lead up to the game saw several of DICE's producers Andreas Morell, Lars Gustavsson and Ryan MaCarthur discussing a lot of the games vision and goals for the new title. Hosted by The Daily Show's Trevor Noah, the hour and a half reveal touched on theaters of war, gameplay modes, and designs, and culminated with a cinematic/in-game trailer that showcased the game in action for the first time.
The game is a return to World War II, but DICE is hoping to focus on the lesser-known theaters of War, including fighting in North Africa, the Rotterdam Campaign and the Battle of Norway. Most of the game will originally focus on Great Britain vs Germany across all fronts and theaters, while more nations will be added to the conflict with future updates. Much of the content for multiplayer will be what you expect from the Battlefield series but with new twists. The class system, for example, is more open-ended when it comes to equipment and loadouts, and players can "specialize" in their chosen class further, such as focusing on an assault class with anti-tank perks and weapons.
The biggest return is Grand Operations, which is the evolution of the Operations mode - the long-form multiplayer matches set across a series of maps. Grand Operations takes it a step further, incorporating new game modes and locales over several in-game days instead of a few heavy set-pieces at a time. It will follow a clearly defined victory condition per match and mode; so each victory a to the winning side gives them extra supplies or momentum against the losing side, which loses supplies such as ammo going into the next round. Grand Operations are designed for the long-form, 64 person multiplayer game, and will be a war of attrition amongst players to survive and bring their side to victory.
Conquest mode is also getting a facelift with the new feature called Fortifications. The goal of Fortifications is to affect the speed of the destructible environments. So in a move similar to Fortnite and Minecraft, players can use the fortification skill to reinforce areas of the map to hold off against enemy bombardment. It goes beyond fortifying buildings; players will also be able to build gunner nests and even fortify their flags to make it tougher for enemies to capture it. The downside is that fortifications cost resources, so DICE is hinting at players to play tactically with what they fortify.
One of the biggest modes talked about was Combined Arms. Straddling the line between co-op and multiplayer according to DICE, Combined Arms will have players creating their own customizable squad to tackle various missions and scenarios online together. Up to four players can be together in a squad at a time, take their avatar and complete a series of objectives together against AI-controlled enemies. Combined Arms will feature increasingly challenging scenarios, according to Gustavsson. Some scenarios include paratrooping behind enemy lines, securing key assets in special ops missions, and most importantly, survive until the end of each scenario.
Combined Arms is designed to be a highly skilled, co-op experience. Experienced players and their buddies are the main targets for the gameplay mode, but players can also bring their customized avatar and equipment earned in the mode to the multiplayer game of Battlefield V. The trailer itself showcased some of this; most notably the protagonist squad being fully customizable avatars with facepaint, outfits, even prosthetic limbs.
Outside of multiplayer, DICE is doubling down on the War Stories featured in Battlefield 1. DICE is hoping to implement numerous war stories after a series of updates, and previewed one set in German-occupied Norway during the livestream. The game is leaning into the history in a more dramatic way when compared to historical accuracy, following the trend found in Battlefield 1 with their War Story missions. Thus far, the War Stories mode is the only single-player game mode confirmed for the game.
DICE has confirmed that there will be microtransactions for the game, but they are relegated to only these customizable cosmetic options, likely stemming from the backlash against Star Wars: Battlefront 2. In fact, there will be no DLC, loot boxes or Premium Passes in Battlefield V for players to purchase. All extra content in regards to in-game events - which includes maps, game modes and story missions - will be free through regular updates, with DICE promising the game is not "pay to win." The first of these major DLC updates, titled Tides of War, will introduce new sides, weapons and maps on a set schedule. One quirk of this is plans to release most of the content in sync with a similar timeline as the events of World War II. Other gameplay modes will also be added as time goes on, and nothing is off the table, including the possibility of a Battle Royale mode, although DICE was quick to note it is not planned for the game at this time but would be a "natural fit" for a future update.
Battlefield V will be launched at the end of this year, on October 19th for the PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Two versions of the game, a standard and Deluxe Edition, will be available, but DICE did not divulge details into what the Deluxe Edition entails. A full demo of the gameplays multiplayer will be shown at E3 as well, during EA's Play Event.
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