Today EA unveiled details on the latest in its Battlefield franchise, Battlefield V.
Returning to the grand stage of World War II, this new game will focus on squad-based gameplay, eschewing the explosively popular battle royale competitive modes of games like PUBG and Fortnite which COD BlackOp’s 4 recently announced with its new Blackout mode.
Perhaps the biggest unifying theme to the changes in Battlefield V is the move away from abstraction. You no longer just move into an area and get automatically healed by a magical aura – nor will you regen to 100% health as if you never got hit by a riddle of bullets. Reviving allies is also an involved, animated, and much more personal process so that both the healer and the wounded can appreciate the intimacy of their situation. The result is that no longer are revives instant, but take a few seconds thanks to the animations so no more revive trains. Revives are no longer restricted to medics, however medics will revive much faster compared to other soldier types. Also when you enter an area populated by enemies, you won’t be able to do a bunch of quick scans with icons revealing their locations. No more shooting at icons; in the new Battlefield, you’ll have to see and aim at the actual soldiers.
Physics play a bigger role in the new game, and environmental destruction is now being rendered on the basis of real-time physics calculations instead of pre-canned animations. No longer will bodies be ragdoll’s, but they will be done server side as well, meaning you can now drag bodies out of the way for revives as needed, and if youre wanting to vault a wall, you will need to time it perfectly now to make the vault.
With Battlefield V, Dice is emphasizing squad play in a big way. Every time you join a match, you’ll be put into a squad. The company’s motto for this game is “stay with your squad, play with your squad,” and it makes sure you’re able to communicate with your group at all times — at the loading screen, lobby, and in between matches — via either chat or VoIP. There will be incentives to entice people to assume the squad leader role and plenty of rewards to encourage collaborative play. Playing by yourself as a lone wolf will be possible, but you’ll have to actively pursue that option.
For further emersion and to shred abstraction, Dice has also embraced the concept of scarcity. When you get into a battle, you’ll have a finite amount of ammunition and resources, and if you find yourself enjoying great success and surviving for long, those diminishing supplies will affect how you play. Every enemy you take down will drop ammo, for example, and you’ll then find yourself having to choose whether to rush over and loot their bodies or remain in your covered position.
Dice will try to balance this change with the addition of resupply stations at every objective flag, though the game will never be so generous as to make you forget about your limitations.
Battlefield V also introduces two new game modes.
An epic, historically inspired, multimatch, multiplayer mode. The example showcased revolved around the captured city of Rotterdam. The first mission sees the player landing as a paratrooper behind enemy lines, tasked with taking out anti-aircraft artillery points. That’s dubbed day one, and your performance at that mission directly affects how many soldiers (or respawns), resources, and vehicle choices you’ll have when you begin day two. The battle rages and evolves until day four, dubbed The Final Stand, which fully embraces the scarcity idea. You get one life, one primary weapon with limited ammo, and you basically fight to the death. By this point, each player will have invested more than an hour into the contest, so the sense of a high-stakes battle for glory will be proportionately amped up.
Tides of War
This is Battlefield V’s continuous online campaign mode, which revolves around assembling your own roster of soldiers, each of them customizable with many facets of personalization (weapons, face paint, attire, gadgets, perks, abilities, and more). Both the narrative and game play evolve as you keep participating in more missions, and you’re incentivized to do so in order to obtain loot and rewards. You’ll also be able to do the same with a tank, as well as other accessories such as sandbags and boxes around the turret. We suspect more vehicles may be added to this roster over time.
Battlefield V will be available to play for the first time at EA Play, EA’s satellite event to the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles in June 2018 with a release set for October 2018.