Preview: Battlefield 1

Preview: Battlefield 1

We’re just one month away from the E3, so Electronic Arts thought it was about time to unveil their new Battlefield. A smart move, because fans have been rejoicing over the announcement all weekend. Here’s what we know about Battlefield 1!

9 May 2016 - by Thijs Kaagman

There’s always been a fierce competition between EA’s Battlefield and Activision’s Call of Duty. That competition goes back to the very first games in the series, with Battlefield 1942 (2002) and Call of Duty (2003) both featuring a World War II setting. Both franchises then played around with going back and forth between era’s. What remained however, was the gameplay that defined both series.

Where Call of Duty was always about fluid, fast gunplay in close combat settings, Battlefield chose wide, open levels with vehicles and lots of players. Because of this, Battlefield has always been a bit more tactical and… slower, than Call of Duty.

Battlefield 1 tank

That difference will be bigger than ever this year. Activision unveiled Infinite Warfare last month, once again choosing a futuristic setting. But after three ‘modern’ settings (Battlefield 3, 4 and Hardline), Battlefield is going back to its roots. No, hold on, even further than its WW2-roots. Battlefield 1 is going back to World War 1, and fans couldn’t be happier.

The demand for a historical shooter has slowly grown over the last few years. After several Call of Duty’s, Medal of Honors and Battlefields set in the 1940’s, players were kind of done with that particular setting. But after so many modern shooters, gamers are once again bored with drones, UAV’s and other high-tech gadgets. This lead to Battalion 1944 – an independently developed World War II-shooter – hitting its 100.000 dollar Kickstarter goal three times over, back in February this year.

So going back to a historical setting seems like a smart move from EA and DICE. And let’s be honest; that trailer looks amazing. Not only has it been way too long since there was a proper non-futuristic shooter, those good old WW2-shooters never looked this good either.

World War I might not have been the most exciting war, from a gameplay point of view. But DICE promises Battlefield 1 won’t just be about hiding in the trenches and fighting unseen enemies at the other side of no man’s land. There will still be 64-player battles, but within those matches you will regularly meet other players in one-on-one, close-quarter combat situations. That brutal spiked club we see in the trailer might help with that.

Inventions like tanks and warplanes were brand new back then and they defined the flow of the battle. I’m very curious to see how they balance those vehicles with horses, for example. We see someone wielding a sword while riding a horse through the desert, but that doesn’t sound terribly effective when the other team has tanks.

Battlefield 1 horse

We expect a lot more details from Electronic Arts during E3. Instead of doing the traditional on-stage E3 presentation, they will have their own EA Play event off-site and a full Battlefield 1 unveil seems unavoidable. The game should hit stores October 21 (October 18 for pre-orders).

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