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There are a number of reasons why World War 1 isn’t a popular setting for shooters, but one leading theory (that makes sense to me, at least) is that the war lacked any clear heroes and villains. There are no Allies and Axis Powers, it’s mainly just a bunch of young men getting their legs blown off because of a lot of squabbling governments.
Enter: Battlefield 1, the fifth game in EA’s Battlefield franchise, so named in order to emphasize its temporal setting. The livestream was incredibly spare on real details but here is what we know for sure:
- It is being developed in EA/DICE’s own Frostbite engine (of course)
- They are introducing a “persistent squad” system to multiplayer, so that the same team can continue to play together across different servers
- Multiple protagonists in story mode (perhaps to make up for the ‘no clear heroes’ problem)
- New vehicles including planes and tanks
- You might be able to ride horses (although apparently this information was so confidential it was deemed too big to confirm or deny on the stream)
- Worldwide release date: October 21st, 2016
- Launching on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
- Early access via EA Play and online beta starting in June
- A special “Exclusive Collector’s Edition” will retail for $219.99 and come with all this (I’m jamming on the badass guy with the tiny mace, personally)
- Multiple themed weapon DLC packs: Red Baron, Lawrence of Arabia and Harlem Hellfighters (source: VG247)
No word on whether the game will involve a long recuperation in hospice after an injury, falling in love with an English nurse stationed there, the ensuing breakup, descent into alcoholism and nihilist poetry, but given that gameplay footage from the above trailer is set to a percussive quasi-dubstep, I’m guessing that’s slightly outside of DICE’s purview.
Below, some more shots from the (frankly gorgeous) trailer, showing us scenes from both the familiar Western Front as well as the North African front and other locations.
We’ll probably hear more about Battlefield 1 this June!