Electronic Arts and DICE have officially unveiled Battlefield V, a new entry in the Battlefield franchise that takes players back to the war-torn trenches of World War II. Below, we’ve gathered all the new information that was covered in the May 23 reveal, showing how Battlefield V will drastically alter the existing Battlefield formula by introducing new game modes, gameplay mechanics, and ancillary systems.
DICE kicked off the reveal event with a chaotic debut trailer that shows a squad of Allied forces engaged in a hectic firefight in the middle of a grassy province. At first, the footage appears to be a pre-rendered cinematic, but soon it is revealed that what viewers are watching is actually gameplay. The trailer also shows off a few of Battlefield V’s more minor gameplay improvements, such as the fact that players can now tow around AA guns using vehicles and shoot thrown grenades out of the air.
For Battlefield V’s multiplayer component, each player will be given their own stable of customizable soldiers called The Company. No matter what multiplayer mode a player is participating in, they’ll always be playing as a member of their Company, allowing them to add some personal flair to their preferred playstyles. Company members will be highly customizable, with players being able to alter their race, gender, face, clothing, headgear, and more.
Players will also assign each Company member to one of the game’s four core multiplayer roles (Assault, Engineer, Support, Medic) and can unlock sub-classes for each role called Archetypes by earning experience points. The high level of customization will also extend to Battlefield V’s weapons and vehicles, with players being able to granularly customize the cosmetics and functionality of weapons they wield and vehicles they drive.
Along with its more traditional competitive multiplayer modes, Battlefield V will also include a dedicated co-op experience called Combined Arms. In Combined Arms, up to four players will participate in challenging missions that include dynamically spawned objectives and narratives. With Combined Arms, DICE wants to offer an experience that is both friendly to newcomers and challenging enough that series vets will want to invest in it as well. Judging from what little information DICE has offered so far, it sounds like players will have to successfully finish a Combined Arms mission to earn rewards, though they’ll have the option to extract early if things go south.
For players who are looking for a more traditional Battlefield experience, there’s Grand Operations. Similar to the Operations mode in Battlefield 1, Grand Operations will be massive multi-stage 64-player battles that, according to DICE, can last upwards of an hour if played out in full. Each Grand Operations match will play out over a series of three in-game days, with the winning side of each day given access to additional resources on the following day. If the third day ends in a tie, a fourth “Sudden Death” day will trigger in which every player only has one life.
Tides of War
Battlefield V’s multiplayer experience will also feature a sort of meta narrative called Tides of War that mirrors the actual real-life progression of World War II. When the game first launches, its modes and maps will be themed around the initial fall of Europe to Axis forces, and over the game’s lifespan new fronts will be slowly added in, taking the form of new maps, modes, Grand Operations, and Combined Arms scenarios. As players progress their own personal profiles and Companies, so too will the entire Battlefield V experience progress, ensuring that the game offers a compelling, immersive experience throughout its entire lifespan.
Squads and Scarcity
One of the more radical changes that Battlefield V is introducing is an added emphasis on squad-based teamwork. Whenever a player joins a multiplayer match, they’ll be automatically placed within a squad of fellow players, no more going off and being a lone wolf. This added focus on team-based gameplay will also extend to the resources players have at the start of each new match. When a player spawns in, they’ll have a very limited amount of ammo and supplies, forcing them to either scavenge (all players drop ammo when they die) or seek out teammates who can resupply them.
All players will also have a building kit which they can use to construct fortifications, AA turrets, resupply stations, and other structures that can benefit both them and their team. In short, the best way to play Battlefield V will undoubtedly be alongside a group of friends, though there’ll also be plenty of incentives for solo players who don’t mind playing with others.
Eagle-eyed viewers who watched the above trailer probably noticed the Allied squad members performing advanced movement maneuvers such as leaping out of a second-story window and tucking and rolling as they hit the ground, or lying on their back prone so they could shoot at enemies who were behind them. Battlefield V players will be able to perform all those maneuvers and more, embracing what DICE calls an added emphasis on movement freedom. Being able to do so much might be a little intimidating for newer players, but for those looking for the ultimate battle simulation, Battlefield V will offer an experience that is as liberating as it is chaotic.
Even though it didn’t get into much detail, DICE did confirm that Battlefield V will include a ‘War Stories’ single-player campaign similar to the campaign that was featured in Battlefield 1. Within the campaign, players will be able to relive iconic World War II moments from the perspective of a variety of different soldiers, adding even more narrative depth to the game’s immersive gameplay.
No Premium Pass
Perhaps the most substantial deviation of all is that Battlefield V won’t have an optional premium pass, abandoning a paid DLC model that EA has been utilizing for quite some time now. According to EA, DICE was just as vocal in its dislike for the premium pass model as the Battlefield fan community, mainly because the model fragmented each game’s playerbase by forcing them to pay for additional multiplayer maps and modes. For Battlefield V, all DLC maps and modes will be free, tying into the previously mentioned Tides of War experience.
It’s not clear exactly how EA plans to monetize Battlefield V, though what is clear is that the company learned its lesson from the debacle that was Star Wars Battlefront II’s launch. Whatever form of paid DLC Battlefield V ends up having, it will be strictly cosmetic and won’t affect gameplay in the slightest.
Battlefield V is scheduled to launch for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on October 19, 2018. DICE plans to host an open beta for those who want to give the game a try ahead of launch, and those who pre-order the game will be granted early access to the beta. Those who are subscribed to EA’s Xbox One-exclusive EA Access program will also be able to start playing Battlefield V a week early on October 12. Finally, DICE plans to show off more multiplayer gameplay for Battlefield V on June 9 during EA’s E3 press conference.
Watch the live reveal below: