As you may have already noticed, there’s a new Battlefield on the way. The fifth (not counting the offshoots) iteration of the Battlefield franchise, Battlefield V, is set for release in October 2018. Those of you with Origin Access can get it a few days early on the 11th, everyone else will need to wait until the 16th. There will also likely be an open beta between now and then, but there’s no further details on that currently.
There were some specs released by EA, but it turns out that these were wrong and have subsequently been removed. I suspect that they’ll be slightly higher than the minimum required for Battlefield 1.
What to expect
It’s no great secret now that BF5 will be returning to the franchise’s roots: World War 2. As a member of a clan that was founded on playing games set in this era, I’m rather excited by the prospect of jumping back into the jackboots and firing off a few rounds from an STG, BAR or Tommy gun.
It looks like the game will be, unsurprisingly, treading less familiar territory.
“We’ve all been through the beaches of Normandy,” explained senior producer Andreas Morell. “We’ve been there, we know what it’s about. We wanted to deliver an unexpected take on the second World War, to portray the era through unseen locations and untold stories.”
This should help to keep things fresh, but I do hope there will be a return to some of the WW2 mainstays, like western Europe.
So what’s new?
There are several new additions to the Battlefield formula that’re making an appearance on BFV, including:
- You can construct and rebuild fortifications at objective points.
- A battle royale mode will come after launch.
- The 64-player Grand Operations mode incorporates multiple modes across a three-to-four match narrative, like BF1’s Operations but with a couple twists.
- Combined Arms provides 4-player co-op via procedurally-generated missions.
- Squad members can revive each other, even if they aren’t Medics.
- Stationary guns can be towed by vehicles. Yes, you can fire them while being towed.
- You can go prone on your back and turn 360-degrees with proper animations while prone. There are many other animation improvements, too.
Premium Pass and DLC
Some excellent news that EA has announced is that there will be no Premium Pass. Yep, that’s right, all post launch map packs and expansions will be free! This can only be a good thing, as my main criticism of recent Battlefield games (including the Star Wars variants) is fragmentation. We’ve all been there. You fancy a quick game of BF1 with your mates and dive on to a server. You play a couple of rounds but then the map changes to one that a couple of you haven’t got. So, you choose a different server only to have it happen again after a map or two. Rinse and repeat….
It certainly looks like EA has finally woken up to this and realised that milking every last penny out of us isn’t beneficial to anybody but themselves, and doesn’t help a game’s longevity in any way. Ultimately it only breeds frustration and contempt, switching people of from a franchise and effecting future sales.
What about game modes?
As it seems to be the flavour of the month EA/Dice have announced that there will be a Battle Royale mode. They’ve said it’ll be added after release, presumably because it wasn’t originally planned and they’ve either been harassed into including it by fans, or they simply want to ride the current wave of popularity for the game mode. Other modes to be announced are:
- Team Deathmatch
- Breakthrough (the sector clearing part of BF1’s Operations mode)
A new mode, Combined Arms, brings Co-Op back to Battlefield. These will be 4 player missions that are randomly generated and will have different objectives and narratives each time.
War Stories, first seen in BF1, will be returning to satisfy fans of single player gaming, with the first episode due to be set in Norway.
Grand Operations will replace BF1’s Operations mode with a fancier name.
PC Gamer has described Grand Operations as:
Teams battling over multiple maps and modes, across three-to-four ‘days.’ The outcome of each day (match) will affect the days after it.
An example given by DICE would see an attacking team parachuting behind enemy lines to destroy artillery on the first day (they’d actually spawn in an airplane and have to jump out, PUBG style. Depending on how many guns they destroy during that match, they’ll have more or less respawns (tickets) and vehicles on the next ‘day’—as if whatever artillery was left in tact wiped out some of their forces. The teams would enter another scenario on the third day, which would be affected by whatever happened on day two.
Only if the third day ends in a draw does Operations go to a fourth day, a sort of sudden death overtime called ‘Final Stand.’ At that point, there are no respawns whatsoever. Squad members can still revive each other (see details on healing below), so the battle will be to wipe other squads while keeping yours on its feet, until you’ve hunted down every player on the other team.
DICE also mentioned that Grand Operations will be used as testing ground for new modes which could come to the regular rotation. We wonder if Final Stand might prove popular enough to become a standalone mode at some point.
There’s one last mode: Airbourne. Details on this one are a bit sketchy currently, and it’s not entirely clear if it’ll be a standalone mode or, as mentioned above, will merely be a mechanism for spawning into the map.
As before there are four classes: Assault, Support Medic and Scout. Currently that’s all we know, but we’ll update you when more info is released.
Progression and Squads
On the face of it, the progressions system looks to be much the same as previous games. A new Archetype option is being introduced though, which will allow the player to assign certain weapons, gadgets and inventory items to different loadouts so that they can be easily selected to fulfil specific tasks and responsibilities.
Squads are being emphasised in BF5. Hoo-fecking-ray! It’s about time to really. In BF5 you’ll automatically be placed in a squad when joining a match, and spawning on squad mates is also enhanced thanks to the ‘death cam’. This will give a 3rd person view of your squad mates, giving you a better understanding of the current situation and location, and when you choose a squad mate to spawn on you’ll appear right behind them.
When a squad is fully wiped, everyone in it will return to the map deployment screen with a 10-second respawn timer penalty. At that point, you’ll be able to see where your squadmates are choosing to respawn, and squads can spawn en masse in vehicles.
Squad leaders are given a radio call-in functionality akin to the commander mode of previous Battlefields. Squad points earned by working together to capture or defend objectives and racking up kills can be cashed in for special and abilities such as the V1 rocket strike seen in the trailer, a special vehicle, or a barrage of smoke grenades on a specific position. Specifics of cooldowns or point costs for each action haven’t been shared yet.
Nothing has been confirmed yet, more details to follow
There are loads of other changes that have been mooted by Dice/EA, such as changed to bullet spread, destruction, and new vehicles, but I’ll save details of these for future posts.
Suffice to say I’m really rather looking forward to this one. It looks like Dice/EA have finally started listening to the community, and have really started to work on what we, the players, think are important. For one, team play looks to have been emphasised, so hopefully there will be fewer players screaming for others to PTFO.
I’ll be sure to update the website with more news as it’s released, and I’m also planning further posts that go into the aforementioned tweaks and additions in more detail.
For now though, have a look at the official BF5 multiplayer trailer: