DICE recently held a preview event for Battlefield 1: They Shall Not Pass at EA Redwood Studios, and I was able to pull art director Johannes Fors aside for a few minutes of facetime. Read on to find out the inspiration for the French-themed DLC as well as specifics about its content.
PlayStation LifeStyle: Why does the first DLC focus on the French Army?
Johannes Fors: A lot of people were asking for the French, and we all wanted to include the French from the very beginning. The main game is about the untold stories and battles of the war, and the French is such an important aspect that we decided to bring them in for the first expansion pack and give them a proper treatment.
PSLS: I noticed when playing the Verdun map that no behemoth spawned for the losing team, are they in the infantry maps?
Johannes Fors: On the two infantry maps, the behemoth in them is actually the Elite classes. You get five of them instead of getting a new vehicle. In the battle of Verdun, tanks weren’t invented yet, which is the main reason we didn’t include vehicles on that map. That’s also the reason why it’s such a good map to make infantry only.
PSLS: What did DICE do to make the French Army unique?
Johannes Fors: We didn’t have to do much different than just make the French Army because they are super-unique in the way that they have blue uniforms, which is pretty odd and badass. We also gave them facial hair, like mustaches, to help them stand out. The French Army is very iconic. We just tried to portray them as they were.
PSLS: How are you going to differentiate between players who have the DLC and those who don’t when it comes to matchmaking?
Johannes Fors: I can’t go into detail, but we have something up our sleeves. We are listening to the community and we know they’re concerned, so that’s why we addressed this issue. There will be something announced soon.
PSLS: Will there be a large bug fix patch released alongside the DLC?
Johannes Fors: There are a lot of fixes included in the expansion. We are commited to this game and we’re going to continue patching it when it’s needed.
PSLS: Did you have any problems researching content for the “They Shall Not Pass?”
Johannes Fors: We had a problem with the Char 2C tank. We are trying to base everything on the real world, but with the Char 2C, no tanks survived the war and we only have black and white images. We didn’t know what color it was, and some of the tanks in WWI had pretty funky colors, so we looked at post-WWI tanks and realized that they had a slight blue tint to their green camouflage. That’s something we then introduced to the Char 2C.
PSLS: Can you talk about the artillery?
Johannes Fors: It’s not available in all game modes, but it is available on all maps except Fort De Vaux because it’s mostly indoors. If you capture an area, the artillery in the previous area will be covered up, making it unusable. If you’re lingering in an area, you might see artillery but can’t use it because the battle has moved on.
We would like to thank DICE and Johannes Fors for taking time out of their busy schedules to speak with PlayStation LifeStyle. Battlefield 1: They Shall Not Pass will be released on March 14 for anyone with a Premium Pass and March 28 for everyone else for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows.