The next Battlefield game debuted on Friday via a live broadcast on YouTube by DICE and Electronic Arts. However, it is not Battlefield 5, as was expected. Battlefield 1 is somewhat confusingly the next game in the series for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. More importantly, it is taking the series in a different direction by going back to World War I with a campaign told from several different perspectives.
Battlefield 1 will hit consoles and the PC on October 18. The future of the franchise is now in the past, in direct contrast to the future settings now favored by the Call of Duty series. The announcement took some time to get off the ground as executives from DICE finally debuted the trailer with some surprising action from World War I.
“The game will deliver a fresh experience full of what makes Battlefield great, with a multiplayer sandbox, immersion, epic scale, authenticity, team play and an ever-changing world full of unexpected Battlefield moments,” DICE Senior Producer Aleksander Grøndal said in a press release. “We’re inviting players on an epic journey across a war-torn world, taking them to the Great War and providing something both varied and unique in Battlefield 1.”
The game is being described as providing the experience of the dawn of “All-Out-War.” The early 19th century setting provides what DICE calls “divergent” warfare, showing how the old world made new advancements to take the turn from using cavalry and soldiers to mechanized vehicles that include tanks, airplanes, and deadlier weapons, such as machine guns and flamethrowers. Footage from the trailer even shows the use of chemical warfare.
There will also be an emphasis on close-up combat. Melee weapons such as swords, maces, and more will be available along with swords and bayonets. Each melee weapon will have its own properties and uses to provide a “brutal experience.”
Vehicles will naturally be included in Battlefield 1. Players will be able to control everything from horses to tanks to planes to even battleships. There will be different types of each vehicle that have their own properties and special quirks. For example, tanks are divided into light, medium, and large tanks, with the latter being able to carry an entire squad of players.
The campaign will take players to different locations that played key roles during World War I. This will be done by having players jump into several different characters around the world. This includes the Western front and Alps in Europe to the sands of Saudia Arabia. Players will also get to see through the eyes of the Harlem Hellfighters, an all-black U.S. Army regiment that fought with distinction during the Great War.
Multiplayer will play a major role in Battlefield 1 as it has in past games of the series. 64 players will be supported once again, with a focus on squad gameplay, as DICE is listening to the Battlefield community.
More details on Battlefield 1 will be revealed in June during the EA Play event taking place in lieu of Electronic Arts attending E3. An open beta will also be available to try out for those that visit the game’s website and sign-up to be a “Battlefield Insider.”
Battlefield 1 will encourage fans to pre-order with the Early Enlister Deluxe Edition. This grants access to the game on Tuesday, October 18, plus it comes with the Harlem Hellfighter Pack, Red Baron Pack, and the Lawrence of Arabia Pack, both of which include themed weapons, vehicles, and items. It also includes five Battlepacks containing different items.
Here is what the Harlem Hellfighter Pack includes, per a press release from Electronic Arts:
- Hellfighter Trench Shotgun – Combat battered shotgun, etched with the Hellfighter insignia and “Men of Bronze” on the receiver and the unit number 369th on the barrel along with the carving “Go Forward or Die France 1918” on the wooden stock
- Hellfighter M1911 – Reliable and timeless sidearm still used in action today affectionately called “old slabsides”, etched with the Hellfighter insignia on the breech and “Men of Bronze” on the muzzle.
- Hellfighter Bolo Knife – Fearsome blade etched with the Hellfighter regiment number 369ththat makes your enemy feel homesick at first sight.
- Hellfighter Insignia – Wear this emblem to show your belonging to the elite Hellfighter unit and-in-still fear on the Battlefield.
Those who do not pre-order the Early Enlister Deluxe Edition will have to wait until Friday, October 21 to get their hands on Battlefield 1.
What do you think of the jump back to a World War I setting? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Electronic Arts]