I’ve enjoyed a bit of Battlefield before, even if I haven’t put a lot of focus onto with articles or videos. The one time I did was with the open beta of Battlefield Hardline, where I showed off some gameplay along with writing up some impressions of that beta. I didn’t then follow that up with a review, but I still enjoyed my time with it. Most of my time was spent with Battlefield 4.
I dropped off from getting into later games as the lure of new Star Wars Battlefronts was stronger, but at some point – even with modes such as Walker Assault and Capital Supremacy being as good as they were – I still wanted some good old-fashioned conquest action. Being stuck in the chaos of all out war with no other victory condition than beating down the other team through kills and domination of the field.
I could have just jumped into either Battlefield V or 1, but the new game was already being hyped up, with the team working on new updates for Battlefront 2 being transferred to the new game over a year ago, along with Criterion. Along with that, getting started in a new game is a tough ask, as I’d found with Battlefield 4 on Xbox (having previously been playing only on PC).
So we now have a new game on the horizon, being built for the next generation, that releases on 22nd October this year. It’s a big event of a release, and the trailer and initial information certainly shows such. Massive maps with 128 player warfare, vehicles galore, and dynamic worlds that bring ever-changing conditions to the battlefield.
There’s a feeling of freedom like never seen before. The seven maps at launch offer the largest fields seen yet, all diverse with varied combat challenges. Tall buildings, parks, twisting passages of cargo containers… each map should offer a lot of varied terrain to be fighting on – even the map based within Antarctica. I have a feeling that one will become one of my favourites. It is a pity that we’ll be too busy fighting on them to take the time to sightsee, as these maps look beautiful.
Owing to the large size of these maps, conquest is seeing a bit of an upgrade, with maps divided into sectors with several flags within them. Such should mean that there’ll be plenty of opportunities for dominating on the mode. Breakthrough returns, utilising the sectors of the maps for its attackers push towards an objective style of play. A larger area to defend means plenty of tactical challenges.
There’s two new modes coming to the game. One called Hazard Zone. The site only reveals that it combines edge-of-your-seat gameplay with the best of the Battlefield sandbox, which has me thinking it could a conquest-styled game mode where the hazardous conditions stay in play and move around fast. That mode I’m guessing will be revealed at the Xbox Showcase on the 13th, since its name is known. The other mode is a secret.
Set to be revealed at EA Play Live on July 22nd, we don’t even have a name for it. All that is revealed is the fact this mode is a love letter to the core fans, and we’ll be entering the wide universe of Battlefield with this experience. With no story mode or battle royale mode in sight, this will be the headliner for the game. The one defining mode that sets it apart. And I doubt it just means a mode with returning Battlefield maps set to something resembling a story – much as Galactic Conquest was to Battlefront 2. Those old maps are likely coming within the seasonal releases.
Utilising the seasons live service strategy, new content will be arriving around every three months, adding in various things with battle passes, and other additional things such as new specialists. What are specialists? Well, remember when I said there’s a feeling of freedom like never seen before? That applies to the loadouts as well, which are fully under your control, and it is through specialists that such is happening.
Each specialist takes on a unique specialty and trait, which offers advantages unique to that specialist. Webster Mackay is built for mobility, with a grappling hook to travel to advantage points faster, while also retaining their speed when aiming down sights. Wikus Van Daele is more cautious on the field, able to operate a recon drone that uses EMP blasts to disorient enemies, while also being able to detect the movement of others – even when operating the drone.
Such unique advantages will come in useful for players able to build loadouts around that particular specialist, but the idea is that players can go against such if they prefer. And going against such will be useful depending on how far it goes. It’s very unlikely, for instance, that you’ll be able to take both sniper rifle and shotgun onto the field at the same time. But, from what previews I’ve seen, you can swap between loadouts on the fly. Another part of that freedom I was talking of.
I’ll be talking more of this game thanks to that gameplay reveal at the Xbox Showcase, so keep an eye out for that. I would hope that players get a chance to dive into the open beta soon enough, as I want to get exploring those maps – while helping the team I’m on, of course. You don’t believe me? Can’t say I blame you. I’ll just have to take some shots the way the game intends me to do it, rather than the way I’d prefer.