DICE’s series of colossal combined-arms multiplayer battles continues this year with Battlefield V. Following on from the massively successful Battlefield 1, the game trades the First World War setting for something new, and continues to build on the reputation for large-scale action that the series has built up over more than a decade’s worth of games.
While dozens of players per side, vehicles, and classes are all but guaranteed, Battlefield V promises new ideas that will hopefully freshen the series up and bolster the game’s player-made ‘moments’. Standing beside this will also be a campaign mode, ensuring that at least one of the next big triple-A shooters will provide something for the solo gamer.
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Battlefield V was fully revealed on May 23 via a stream hosted by Trevor Noah and members of the DICE team. This stream offered an in-depth look at the features coming to the game. We’ve also seen the game ourselves. So let us tell you all about it. Here is everything we know so far about Battlefield V.
Battlefield V release date
Battlefield V will release in October 19 2018, putting it up against Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 in the triple-A shooter market. This is Battlefield’s usual spot, so expect to be blowing holes in the side of buildings over the winter months. You can also get early access to the Battlefield V Origin Access trail on October 11 by pre-ordering.
Battlefield V setting
Battlefield V will take place in World War II, although we won’t be visiting the beaches of Normandy or storming the streets of Berlin. DICE are keen to avoid covering the same ground as Battlefield 1942, and so are visiting places like Norway’s Arctic Circle and the city of Rotterdam.
The game’s key art, revealed on the PS4 interface, shows a US paratrooper in 1940s-period uniform. He’s holding a Colt 1911 pistol and an M1 Carbine, both part of the American paratrooper arsenal during the conflict. This suggests that US forces will make an appearance in the game.
Battlefield V campaign
EA has confirmed that there will be a Battlefield V single-player mode. The game’s blog says that the game will see the return of Battlefield War Stories, specifically, which are a series of small campaigns first introduced in Battlefield 1. This likely means that Battlefield V will show various perspectives from across the conflict so you can expect numerous nations and military roles to be represented. DICE are using the stories as an opportunity to put untold human stories into the game, such as that of a young woman in the Norwegian resistance. It’s certainly a side to the war we have yet to see in videogames.
Alongside War Stories is Combined Arms, the new Battlefield V co-op mode. Yes, for the first time since Battlefield 3 you will be able to band together and face off the enemy with friends, this time in up to four-player co-op. DICE promise that there will be high stakes and resources will be scarce, forcing you to take a tactical approach to the missions.
Battlefield V modes
Battlefield’s bread and butter has always been Conquest mode – the large-scale capture point game – and it will naturally return for Battlefield V. Joining it will be Team Deathmatch and Domination, and DICE promise that gameplay adjustments will make these modes feel new and exciting.
However, Conquest is no longer the headline mode. Grand Operations are what DICE is making the most noise about. These are long-haul endeavours that can last for over an hour. Set over four days, they are built of multiple maps, each with a different game mode. Your progress through them will depend on how well you perform; mess up on Day One and Day Two will be a huge slog, forcing you to make the most of less ammo and respawn resources.
An example of Grand Operations is the Rotterdam mission. Day One sees Paratroopers drop into the city behind enemy lines with a view to destroying artillery that is shelling your main invasion force. The attacking side play as paratroopers, while defenders must protect the guns. As the operation progresses into Day Two, the attackers become the main invasion force on the same map. They will have more or less respawns and resources depending on how well they did when destroying the artillery in Day One.
By Day Three the action has moved to a different map: a bombed-out historic district of Rotterdam. The Grand Campaign can end on this day if either side is able to achieve an overwhelming victory. If neither side is able to wipe the floor against the other, they must endure Day Four.
Day Four is an all-or-nothing final stand from both sides. To simulate the exhaustion felt by both sides at this point players are given very limited ammo – just a single magazine – and no respawns. This ramps up the drama and forces people to play as teams. The last player standing is essentially the hero of the operation; effectively Battlefield V’s chicken dinner.
The final day of a Grand Operation feels like DICE’s answer to Battlefield V Battle Royale, but there is a real potential that a full mode could be eventually implemented. DICE have allegedly even prototyped the mode. With Treyarch experimenting with battle royale in Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode, it seems likely that Battlefield would want a slice of the Fortnite/PUBG pie, too. And since the series already has a history with huge player counts and squad-based gameplay, it makes a lot of sense.
Grand Operations will be important to Battlefield V as a whole since this is where new game modes, rules, and settings will be first introduced before being released into the rest of the game. They’re limited time events as part of the Tides of War calendar, so if you want to see the most recent changes to the game, you’ll need to dive straight into the biggest mode.
Battlefield V classes
DICE’s series is class focused, but over the years the soldier categories have been changed and refined from game to game. However, we can almost certainly expect Battlefield V to feature at least four basic classes: a frontline assault-style trooper, a medic, a support role, and a sniper.
These have been overhauled for Battlefield V, although the full details have yet to be revealed. What we do know is that while the medic is still a vital part of a squad, any class can now get a downed ally back on their feet. Medics will revive a player 100%, but a so-called ‘Buddy Revive’ will still get a squad mate back in the fight.
Classes are likely to play a large part of The Company, a system that sounds a little like Call of Duty’s Pick 10 system. Here you will create soldiers and choose loadouts that you will play with over your Battlefield V career, levelling them up to unlock new perks and abilities. Your soldiers are fully customisable in appearance – choose their gender, face paint, clothing – and can be equipped with your unlocked weapons and generally tweaked to fit your style. You can also choose your personalised vehicles from The Company menu, too.
Battlefield 1 introduced more specialised roles in the form of cavalry, pilots, and tankers. Battlefield V will have its own WW2-themed specialists, too. The first we know of is the Builder, a class dedicated to creating fortifications. As for others, we’ll have to wait and see. The conflict introduced rocket launchers and regular use of armoured vehicles, and so there will need to be allowances made for this kind of ordnance. Will the engineer make a return?
Battlefield V gameplay
There are a huge collection of new nuts and bolts in the framework that makes up Battlefield V’s core gameplay. From small changes to massive new features, it appears that this game will feel like a larger shift in the general make-up of what makes a Battlefield game.
Chief among these are Fortifications. Players can be equipped with a tool box which can be used to repair demolished buildings or even create structures from scratch. A house that has been blown up, for example, can be put back together again to a point whereby it becomes a usable defensive structure. If you don’t have a building to use as a basis, you can create your own sandbag walls, razor wire, tank stoppers, trenches, and fox holes. While every class can create these, the Builder class is the most effective at completing the work.
Talking of structures, things like anti-aircraft guns and emplaced MGs are no longer permanent positions. They can be attached to vehicles and towed to new areas, allowing you to set up new defensive lines. This means players will no longer be able to memorise map locations and avoid areas where emplaced turrets are; there’s the potential for danger in every square inch of the map.
Spotting – where you tap Q to place a little triangle visible to all allies over enemy soldiers – has long been a Battlefield staple. But in Battlefield V it’s long gone. Now you must use your eyes and ears to keep track of foes, forcing you to pay more attention to the actual world rather than the HUD. While you may now have less icon information, this is replaced by in-world effects: foliage will move and rustle, providing a telltale sign that a player is hiding in a bush or long grass.
Another long-term Battlefield staple is destruction, which has undergone a significant overhaul for this game. No longer a canned animation, physics play a prominent role in how a building will collapse. Rockets will explode against outer walls and the rubble will then tear into the interior walls. Partially destroyed buildings will gradually fall apart as physics cause the structural integrity to buckle and crumble. Destruction depends on bullet calibre and velocity, too; an MG42 round will punch a hole straight through brick work, while a pistol bullet with get stuck in the masonry.
A whole new movement system reacts to the surface you’re traversing. Run through water and your character will lift their knees higher. Run on mud and your feet will slip. Sprint towards a small rock and your character will hop over it. It’s appears to mostly be animation changes, but it all goes to making Battlefield V’s characters all the more impressive, plus it allows you to see what kind of surface an enemy or ally is traversing. Further changes have been made to prone, where you can backpedal, roll, and move in a circle, much like in Rainbow Six Siege.
Battlefield V DLC, Premium Pass, and microtransactions
First things first: the good news is that Battlefield V will not have a Premium Pass. This season pass system has been used for Battlefield games for the past several years, and has meant shelling out pretty much the price of the game over again to access new maps, modes, weapons, and vehicles. We’re very glad to see the back of it.
In its place is Tides of War, a system of free updates that feel inspired by the likes of Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch. They are themed chapters, based on WW2 events, that will be spread over several months. The first begins in November, and is focused on the fall of Europe as the German mechanised war machine moves across the continent.
Tides of War will keep Battlefield V fresh and evolving, providing new maps and modes over time, free of charge. Each new update will bring timed events and series of rewards, including new vehicles, weapons, dog tags, emblems, face paint, and skins for soldiers and weapons.
Since Battlefield V features cosmetics it seems likely these will be the basis for EA to earn extra money from the game. How they will be sold remains to be seen, especially since EA have confirmed there won’t be be a randomised loot box system. DICE have been exceptionally clear that, whatever the system, paying money won’t offer a gameplay advantage. They certainly wouldn’t want a repeat of the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box scandal, afterall.
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