Electronic Arts’ Battlefield series is one of the most beloved series of first-person shooters in the history of digital entertainment, and, having had the sense to abstain from self-imposed market over-saturation caused by yearly iterations, news of a new entry into the series’ lineage still has the power to get people excited. The franchises main competitor, Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty series, has become as predictable as seasonal changes in the weather and doesn’t seem to generate all that much interest among a more invested gaming crowd. Battlefield, however, still makes plenty of headlines.
Unfortunately, most of those headlines and subsequent articles have been relatively negative recently. We’re months away from the release of Battlefield V, and yet the game has already been off to a rough start. The highly-fantastical announcement trailer didn’t win over all that many new fans, and most veterans of the series seem to be pining for a return to the grounded, more realistic style of gameplay.
Rumors concerning the upcoming Battlefield title are hard to miss, and YouTubers and community leaders have joined a chorus of series fans in speculation. We’ve heard whispers of some innovative new features, but we’re always wary of dramatic drawbacks, as well. There could potentially be a lot riding on this bold new return to the Second World War—Call of Duty couldn’t do it, and we hope Battlefield can avoid some of that game’s mistakes. With that said, here are fifteen things we know about Battlefield V, and fifteen likely possibilities.
The Battlefield series is well known for its cooperative-minded brand of online FPS mayhem, but this new entry seems to be taking the title in a bold new direction. In previous games, online play was almost entirely PvP focused, but a new game mode called Combined Arms will task a squadron of four players with a set of PvE missions. We aren’t exactly clear on just what this new mode will entail, but it seems to be blurring the lines between single player and multiplayer in a manner we’ve not yet seen from this series.
You would really have had to been living under a rock to not have heard of Epic Games’ sensational battle royale title Fortnite. While only a small portion of what is to become a much larger title, Fortnite is now the unwitting trendsetter with which older, more established franchises are struggling to keep up. Given Battlefield V’s new crafting and construction mechanic, fans expect the game’s confirmed battle royale mode to be extremely reminiscent of the popular multiplayer title. The Battlefield series is pretty far removed from the cartoon violence of Fortnite, but EA seems to have no qualms about running its franchises into the ground.
Soldiers participating in online skirmishes in Battlefield games have always been armed to the teeth: be it a gung-ho gulf soldier with a light machine gun and rocket launcher strapped to his back or a WWI weapons expert firing hundreds of rounds per minute from his steampunk automatic, armaments in these games are never in short supply. That is set to change in this new entry, though, and DICE has confirmed that players won’t spawn into matches with full suites of supplies. Instead, they’ll have to scavenge items from the battlefield or visit supply depots.
Fan favorite game mode and series multiplayer staple Rush will likely not be made available in Battlefield V. Given that DICE has been busy crafting new experiences and fleshing out complicated new experiences like the Grand Operations mode, it isn’t necessarily surprising to hear that Rush, a relatively simple and overlooked game type, could be getting the axe. However, it is possible that a form of this mode will in part be included in the aforementioned Grand Operations playlist. In with battle royale, out with rush—what’s this world coming to?
Around ten years ago, first-person shooters set during World War II were literally a dime a dozen. It was the go-to setting, and games in the genre weren’t thought to be worth their salt if they didn’t instantly kick off with a digitized representation of the Normandy landings. Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare ushered in a lengthy modern and futuristic warfare craze, but it seems like interest is slowly shifting back to 1944. The Battlefield franchise is no stranger to this time period, however, so it should be a slam dunk for EA… or so it would seem.
Battlefield V’s closed alpha, which took place during the beginning of this month, wasn’t all that well received by longtime fans of the series. While the development team behind the game is clearly focused on generating some new and exciting gameplay aspects, they seem to be tinkering and doing away with older ones. For instance, many players noticed that downed players don’t always have an icon pop up over their bodies. It does eventually pop up if the player chooses to cry for help, but the subtlety of it has led some fans to lament DICE’s deemphasized HUD.
It’s already been confirmed that Battlefield V will become the latest casualty in the seemingly never-ending quest to chase Fortnite’s success. However, we aren’t totally sure as to just what EA and DICE have cooked up for players in the newest Battlefield title. Most believe that their take on the explosive new genre will be extremely similar to other popular titles, but others have posited that Battlefield’s battle royale mode will only serve as a tiebreaker and won’t actually be a fully-fledged mode accessible from the in-game menus. Time will tell, though DICE could theoretically back away from the concept once the trend dies down.
3D spotting—the mechanic by which a player can mark an enemy and track their movements via an icon which appears over their head—was pretty divisive when it was first introduced, and some players were pretty disappointed to see it return in 2016’s Battlefield 1. Unfortunately, DICE seems to have taken this a step further in their upcoming release, as the closed alpha seems to have made spotting an automatic process. Sure, hitting an extra button while scoped in on an enemy wasn’t exactly difficult, but making this process even easier will likely remove a layer of tactical depth from the multiplayer experience.
When Activision Blizzard announced that the upcoming Call of Duty Black Ops 4 (or IIII, if you prefer), would be the first in the series to ditch the single player campaign mode, it was major news. Though the quality of Black Ops campaigns is popularly considered to have dropped significantly over the years, it was still a shock to hear that the upcoming title won’t have any truly single player components at all. Battlefield V, on the other hand, will continue the War Stories single player precedent set by its predecessor. Those looking for something to do while offline may want to take that into consideration come this October.
Battlefield V will likely launch with a total of eight game modes. While the typical conquest and team deathmatch modes will be returning, Battefield 1’s operations mode will also see a transition over to the new title. Plus, DICE plans on including an even larger take on the mode which will be titled Grand Operations. Rush, unfortunately, will be absent at launch, though the developers have hinted that it may return at a later date. Plus, there’s going to be some form of Battle Royale present on release.
The Operations game mode, which was introduced in 2016’s Battlefield 1, was a breakthrough feature for the series and a highly-acclaimed fan favorite. Unsurprisingly, that mode will again make an appearance in Battlefield V, but it will be usurped, to some extent, by a new expansion to the original premise. Titled Grand Operations, this new mode will span over multiple maps, game modes, and in-game days, which will theoretically provide some of the lengthiest virtual military campaigns available outside of a dedicated Arma III server.
It’s worth reiterating that, though we know that there will be some sort of battle royale mode present within Battlefield V at launch, nobody is quite sure as to the extent of it. It’s likely to be an entire game mode unto itself, though the team-oriented gameplay features included in most multiplayer-centric Battlefield titles likely wouldn’t mesh all that well with a PUBG-esque style of gameplay. That said, some believe that the battle royale portion of the game will only crop up during Grand Operations tiebreakers. It may be a way of encouraging new players to try out the mode, but it will likely detract from the enjoyment of those uninterested in that style of play.
In an era infatuated with customizable skins for both weapons and character models, Battlefield V will allow players to deck their own unique company of soldiers out in attire according to their own personal tastes. The customization options are said to be plentiful and ranging from the period-accurate to the totally ridiculous. Referred to in-game as “The Company,” players will be able to kit out a whole squad and equip them with as many eye-rolling camos and irritating emotes as they want.
Epic Games’ battle royale behemoth Fortnite may be little more than a never-ending onslaught of cringey dance moves and victory royale snapchats from fourteen-year-olds, but it did manage to impart some positive aspects onto the gaming industry. Season passes have gone the way of the dodo, and in-game “seasons” are the new thing. Battlefield V won’t have a season pass, and the developers have already stated that a series of free content updates will be coming. However, while we believe their “Tides of War” season to be totally free at this point, some speculate that a monetization structure similar to the one implemented in Fortnite will make its way into the game at some point.
The expertly-realized destruction physics present in most games bearing the Battlefield name have come to be a series staple. In more frantic, arcade-centric FPS multiplayer titles, structures tend to be totally static and immovable, but buildings in Battlefield tend to only remain standing as long as players ignore them. However, while previous games made clear use of a pre-designed set of animations for collapsing structures, Battlefield V’s destruction will be totally physics based and non-reliant on prefab coding. This means that no two structures can fall apart in the exact same way.
Longtime fans of the Battlefield series have voiced their concerns over the increasingly over-the-top, divorced from reality settings and themes present in these once-relatively accurate depictions of war. In response, a DICE representative took to Twitter and declared that the studio will always prioritize entertaining gameplay over total realism, which has already proven to be a divisive claim. In keeping with this wacky line of thinking, players may be able to customize their characters with such extreme augmentations as advanced prosthetic limbs and other pseudo-steampunk personal details. To be fair, however, nobody is quite sure just how in-depth the game’s character customization options will be at this point.
In previous Battlefield games, downed players could do little more than wait for a medic to hopefully come revive them. However, in the upcoming Battlefield V, the defeated are provided with a few more options. Downed players can now choose to cry for help and call to medics, and they’ll also have the ability to survey the battlefield in a full 360-degree view around their fallen soldier. This should be a vast improvement to the blurred screen and small medic proximity indicator available to defeated players in previous Battlefield titles.
Behemoths were a somewhat controversial inclusion to Battlefield 1: a crutch intended to help tilt the tide of war in favor of the losing side, these monstrous war machines were, at times, totally overpowered. Though well-organized teams could bring them down, they often turned battles in Battlefield 1 into totally one-sided skirmishes. While DICE has said that they won’t be making a return in Battlefield V, they have claimed that massive player-controlled vehicles will be available in the game, and some could bare a striking resemblance to those seen in the series’ previous release.
In previous Battlefield titles, players opting to play as medics were the only ones on the battlefield able to resurrect fallen allies. Unfortunately, since these classes aren’t often as well-equipped for battle as others, many forewent them in favor of characters with more destructive capabilities. That said, medics were are rare and vital commodity in older games. This will potentially be changed in the upcoming Battlefield V, however, as any teammate, regardless of class, will be able to revive downed soldiers. The sole caveat will be that only medics will be able to heal downed players fully upon revival.
Older Battlefield games were marred by extremely large maps and excessively long treks separating player spawns and actual combat. The Arma series is perhaps most famous for this, but DICE’s games have slowly become more frenzied and fast-paced as the years have gone on. Battlefield V will allegedly be the fastest of them all with smaller maps and much, much less downtime. Though it may not be an alteration that veteran players are likely to enjoy, newcomers to the series might well enjoy the ability to immediately jump right into the action.
It seems like every game has to implement some sort of token crafting mechanic these days. Originally popularized by games like Minecraft and Day Z, it’s almost a shame to see long-running franchises borrow popular bits and pieces from other games until they become nothing more than an unrecognizable amalgam of industry trends. Such is the fate of Battlefield V, which will feature a new system by which players will be able to collect resources and construct fortifications like foxholes, sandbags, and barbed-wire fences. This may be a neat idea, but many older fans of the Battlefield series are right to be skeptical.
DICE seems to have totally abandoned any facet of World War II realism in favor of exciting and frenetic gameplay options. However, one bizarre holdover from the days of military exactness comes in the form of a vastly reduced accuracy stat when shooting from the hip. Now, firing certain weapons without first aiming down the sights is virtually guaranteed to be less accurate than lining up a calculated shot, but artificially reducing a players’ accuracy is a strange move. The goal may be to heighten the game’s skill ceiling and add a bit of depth to the shooting, but most don’t want to see a repeat of the sniper rifles in most Call of Duty titles which effectively cannot be hip fired at all.
Loot boxes were an infuriating microtransaction trend conjured up by sketchy mobile game developers and eventually popularized by industry leaders like Activision Blizzard and, of course, Electronic Arts. In fact, Battlefield 1 was rife with collectibles and loot boxes, all of which could be bought via real-world currency. Fortunately, DICE has confirmed that loot boxes will be totally absent from the Battlefield V experience, and many breathed a sigh of relief at the news that the game wouldn’t be toting ridiculous randomized skins and unlockables.
As previously mentioned, Battlefield V will not be touting an additional season pass, and most, if not all, of the game’s post-launch content will be made available to all players for free as it releases. However, some have speculated that the Battlefield series will be among a growing number of games to implement a proper "season" in the vein of games like Overwatch and Fortnite. These so-called content seasons offer timed opportunities for players who have paid for access to get their hands on certain exclusive skins or bonuses. It’s not out of the realm of possibility, and DICE hasn’t outright denied this theory.
Unfortunately, one greedy, underhanded tactic Electronic Arts have chosen to include in their upcoming Battlefield title will be the implementation of multiple in-game currency systems. A long-standing tactic of shady mobile developers, games often offer two forms of money: an almost worthless form of currency earned solely through gameplay, and a premium currency which can only be bought with real-world funds. As a result, players will likely either have to grind for ages to unlock items with the game’s proprietary currency or pony up some real cash to expedite the process.
Battlefield V’s Combined Arms may sound like a fun distraction, but it could very well be that there simply won’t be enough content included in the mode to hold anyone’s attention for too long. That said, some fans suspect that the levels of this mode will actually be randomly generated with each new run instead of reliant on a totally pre-designed layout. This would increase the mode’s replayability exponentially and potentially expose the game to an audience previously uninterested in what the Battlefield games had to offer.
Though the crafting system slated for inclusion in the upcoming Battlefield V may have drawn the ire of some fans of the series, it could potentially offer new and unique tactical elements which the franchise had previously been lacking. Squad reinforcements seem to be a natural escalation of the base premise, and squads will be able to earn resources via their in-game actions which they can use to create some incredibly helpful items. V2 rockets are already confirmed to be one of these new squad buildables, and we can only wonder if the rest of these items will be equally impactful.
Map variety is the lifeblood of just about every online FPS, and a dearth of maps at launch can ruin a game much more quickly than any shady business practice or ill-fated marketing scheme. Maps in the Battlefield franchise are often sprawling, gargantuan pieces of terrain which seem to spread out for miles and encompass a multitude of different environments. With that in mind, EA’s upcoming release is said to have a total of ten multiplayer maps ready to go on day one, with more coming free-of-charge further down the line.
This is already a relatively well-established fact, but EA’s Battlefield V won’t put much stock in period accuracy or military realism. This was made abundantly clear by the myriad of anachronisms displayed in the title’s announcement trailer, and it’s caused more than a few gamers to roll their eyes and throw up their hands in defeat. There are two sides to this argument, of course: fans of true-to-life military simulation may want to play a game like Arma III, but longtime fans are certainly right to feel a bit alienated by the franchise’s new and relatively foreign conceptual direction.
DICE has made it clear that the oft-criticized loot box mechanic will be absent from their upcoming title, but some fans are less than willing to take them at their word. Electronic Arts has proven themselves to be one of the most duplicitous, conniving game publishers of the modern era, and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see them walk that statement back. Battlefield 1 included loot boxes, and there’s really no telling exactly what sort of quirky money-making tactics EA will eventually employ.