Battlefield 1942 set the stage for a franchise that escaped the arena multiplayer world of video gaming and introduced gamers to real world battlefields back in 2002. With vehicles taken from the pages of military manuals, and battles taken right off of the pages of history books, the Battlefield series has always used real world technology, within a specific time frame, to create environments that felt true to the life and times of the era. The series moved forward from there and onto Battlefield: Bad Company and introduced a slew of community features and functions that were new to the genre, chief of which was destruction, which has now become a staple of the franchise.
The series continued forward from there until it ran into our current time. From there, DICE could have went one of a few different ways; either continue with the modern warfare setting, go futuristic with speculative weapons and tools, or they could go back in time to the beginning where not-so-modern-warfare started and kick things off again like it did in Battlefield 1942.
The First World Clash
As we all know by now, DICE chose to go back to World War 1, and the new title of Battlefield 1 hammers this home more than ever.
World War 1 marked the genesis of modern warfare. Prior to WW1, soldiers lined up side by side, with volleying musket balls back and forth until few were left standing, and the rest went bayonet first into the enemy. This style of warfare dates back hundreds of years, and worked even with bows and arrows. Weapons just weren’t that effective at long range. Enter the turn of the century and rifled barrels, coned bullets and machined barrels, and you have weapons that can mow folks down in a hurry. These weapons changed the battlefield and made generals rethink their methods. This was World War 1 and this is where DICE is taking us next.
Battlefield 1 will take us from the Arabian Desert of Northern Africa, to the snow capped peaks of the Italian Alps. From horses, to tanks, to dirigibles, to the Red baron and bi-planes, the game looks to be very impressive. The variety of weapons and vehicles are quite a bit more than you would think when one first thinks about WW1. This isn’t just muddy trench warfare, but a full battlefield experience that lets you experience it from land, air and sea during a transition time where the Cavalry raced their horses into battle alongside tanks that were awe inspiring to the poor guys being driven over. The game looked impressive from all three aspects, and the idea of commanding the firepower of a full-on battleship is pretty exciting.
While we didn’t get to see or hear much about multiplayer, it was mentioned that the franchise’s vaunted 64-player count will be back, with a new medal system and reworked close quarter combat. The bayonet action we got to see was pretty brutal, but the flame thrower seemed more effective. And as you can see in the trailer, shovels, clubs and more can be used by the player to eliminate their enemies.
Battlefield 1 is due for launch is set for October 21, 2016 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. EA has mentioned that the game will be playable during its “EA Play” event happening this June just before E3 kicks off. Those who won’t be able to attend, there will also be a beta available later this year, with more details to be revealed at a later date.