Forget space and sci-fi. Modern warfare has had its day. Battlefield is going back in time for 2016.
World War 1 is almost unknown territory for games, so all eyes are on DICE to see what they can do with such a dark period of human history. We’re betting it’ll involve a lot of blowing stuff up.
The first gameplay trailer got released at EA’s pre-E3 event today, and we’ve watched it frame-by-frame to dig out the best bits. Several times.
Yes, it really does look that good. Watch it above, then head down for the five things you need to know.
BRING A BROLLY
Let’s face it, WW1 wasn’t exactly sunshine and lollipops. Especially the sunshine part – it was mostly fought in Belgium, after all.
Don’t expect torrential rain all the time, though. DICE has added a dynamic weather system that’ll mix things up every time you play.
A map could start off in heavy fog, making it impossible for snipers to see anything through their scopes, but that could give way to heavy rain that masks the sound of gunshots and footsteps, making every twist and turn of the trench you’re fighting through a lot more dangerous.
Battlefield 4 proved the dev team knows how to do tropical storms and giant dust clouds, so you just know Battlefield 1 is going to throw the elements at you.
ARMED TO THE TEETH
World War One wasn’t fought with sticks and stones, but we aren’t exactly talking cutting edge weaponry, either. That doesn’t mean Battlefield 1 isn’t packing, though.
DICE has found a way to cram in the usual selection of shotguns, LMGs, submachine guns and sniper rifles, albeit with a historical background that means they don’t feel out of place.
Every army’s guns have unique features, like the side-loading magazines of the German Empire’s MP-18, and there’s still room for customisation, too.
OK no, you’re not going to be slapping on red dot sights and underslung grenade launchers, but glass optics, flash hiders and improved iron sights all seem up for grabs.
Basically, you’re not going to be short of gear to get stuck in to.
IT’S NOT ONE AND DONE
Older Battlefield games dropped you into a multiplayer map, then dumped you back to the main menu when you were done. That’s all changed for Battlefield 1.
Now, each battle is interconnected across multiple fronts. You’ll play them in sequence, conquering territories and pushing back attackers as you move between maps.
Lose one round and it’ll have repercussions in later games, apparently. We haven’t really seen this in action yet, but it sounds like a promising way to keep you playing once your favourite level has come up in the rotation.
Battlefield has always gone big on destruction, but Battlefield 1 is turning things up a notch.
Don’t have the perfect line of sight on that oblivious German soldier? Blow a hole in the wall so you can put his head in your iron sights. Gap not big enough to drive a tank through? Put pedal to the metal – those brick walls will crumble under the tracks of your Panzer.
That might not sound revolutionary to anyone that pumped countless hours into Bad Company 2 or Battlefield 3, but apparently this time there’s no limit to what you can bring down.
What starts out as a complete village could end up as rubble by the end of a match. Everything should be blow-uppable (which should totally be a word), with DICE really giving the FrostBite engine a workout.
CALL IN THE CAVALRY
When things get really bad, it’s time to get a helping hand from a Behemoth – Battlefield 1’s monstrous aerial vehicles that rain down fire onto the fighting below.
We’ve only seen airships and zeppelins so far, but DICE is promising armoured trains and Navy battleships by the time the game lands in October.
These are the biggest player-controlled vehicles ever in a Battlefield game, completely dwarfing everything else around them. They’re armed to the teeth, have loads of armour, and it takes the whole enemy team working together to bring one down.
When things does go south, that flaming wreckage will wipe out any buildings it crashes in to, leaving a hulking mess of burning rubble and twisted metal for the footsoldiers to fight around the for the rest of the match. Oh, the humanity!
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