That’s Battlefield V from DICE and Electronic Arts. It has women in combat, cricket bats, prosthetic limbs, jaunty music, combat sliding, window leaps, grenade shooting, samurai swords, and cars falling out of the sky capped off with a V-2 rocket attack. It’s World War 2 gone amok and for some people this is apparently a bridge too far despite Battlefield being the franchise known for platoon wing-walking and sniper shots after ejecting out of crashing helicopters. It’s a series that markets itself with “Only in Battlefield” to highlight the wacky things people do in the game. Add women and the disabled and somehow that’s the line crossed.
In the reveal event hosted by The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, DICE ran through a dizzying checklist of changes to the franchise. First, no season pass or DLC map packs will be sold. New maps and modes will be included with the base purchase for all players, funded by cosmetic bits and bobs in loot boxes. (Presumably DICE will use lessons learned from the disastrous launch of Battlefront 2.) The single player War Stories vignettes returns with scenarios set in Norway, Rotterdam, North Africa, and France. Physical interaction has gotten an overhaul with players able to roll and slide in prone positions, leap through and over obstacles, and injured players can be dragged to new areas for safety before healing. Speaking of healing, all players will be able to perform a limited revive, with the medic being the only class able to fully heal and revive. Say goodbye to active spotting, as enemies are automatically spotted depending on your class, proximity, and being in your field of view. New game modes include a Combined Arms cooperative mode that’s procedurally generated, and Grand Operations PvP with multi-day battles. Exciting changes, or sacrilege depending on your outlook.
Battlefield V launches on October 19th, but Deluxe Edition buyers will get early access beginning October 16. Origin or EA Access subscribers can get in even earlier on October 11th.
That’s the Totokia War Club. Originally created and used in Fiji, it can be yours in Battlefield 1 for free when you log into the game anytime after November 8th. The giveaway is part of Electronic Arts’ celebration for the release of Star Wars: Battlefront II. There’s all sorts of cross-game promotional stuff in there. FIFA 18 and NHL 18 players can get free Star Wars jerseys for their Ultimate Teams. NBA LIVE 18 fans can participate in Inferno Squad themed multiplayer events to unlock Star Wars uniforms.
But back to that war club. How, exactly, does the traditional “pineapple club” link to Battlefront II? Sharp-eyed nerds should notice the resemblance to the Tusken Raiders’ gaffi stick. There’s your connection. Add a few sci-fi doodads to the totokia and you get a Gaffi stick any desert bandits would be proud to lift over their heads.
Do you love grenades? You should love infinite grenades! Grenade spam made some modes and maps in Battlefield 1 matches intolerable. Choke points like the tunnel in Monte Grappa or the titular space in Ballroom Blitz had a tendency to devolve into explosions and gas on an endless loop. Buried within last week’s They Shall Not Pass update was an initiative DICE is calling “Ammo 2.0” meant to reduce these grenade standoffs. The solution? Take grenades out of the Support’s ammo resupply kit and make them an infinitely recharging power for everyone. It sounds counterintuitive, but the change seems to be working.
We’ve seen around a 7% decrease in grenade throws per second and grenade kills per minute across all base game maps since Battlefield 1 They Shall Not Pass was released.
The Ammo Box gadget that can be thrown out by Support players speeds up the cooldown for grenades, but by making players wait on a timer, DICE is able to reduce the kinds of grenade stalemates seen in the past. Previously, players would throw grenades, resupply, throw more grenades, and repeat. As with any big change, the Ammo 2.0 revamp has been controversial, but DICE maintains that it is working and they are collecting data and adjusting as needed.
Ribbons are now in Battlefield 1. The Winter Update for Battlefield 1 added ribbons, small in-game achievements, that give a small amount of XP every time you attain one. It’s simple stuff like getting five kills with a rifle during a match, or spotting enemies for your squad. There are twenty available for now. The developers claim they’re intended to foster teamwork. Battlefield 4 had them, and like a really famous short guy once said, “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.” It turns out that it’s true even with virtual ribbon. It’s like collecting Pokemon, but they’re not impressive to anyone but you.
There’s a new multiplayer mode in Battlefield 1 that revolves around the safeguarding of messenger birds. It’s called War Pigeons. Unfortunately, it’s not about armored pigeons with guns strapped to their backs. In this mode, two teams fight to the death, while attempting to claim and safely release an homing pigeon into the sky. It’s escort duty and flag capturing combined, and it’s supremely silly. Close combat, ragdoll explosions, mud, poison gas, and the violence of one of the bloodiest conflicts in history mix with pigeon babysitting. War Pigeons is a good summary of Battlefield 1 in general.
Electronic Arts and DICE have lifted the lid on Battlefield 1. That’s the numeral “1” and not the word – as in The Great War, World War I. Drat. That’s the Roman numeral. Just take a look at the announcement trailer. Battlefield 1 eschews the modern whiz-bang gadgetry of recent big-budget shooters for wooden clubs, canvas masks, and bolt-action rifles. That’s how you separate yourself from Call of Duty’s increasingly bizarre setting. The pre-order page for Battlefield 1 has a list of tantalizing details. Hellfighter, Red Baron, and Lawrence of Arabia DLC? Yes, please, especially if we’re talking about The Harlem Hellfighters.
Experience the origins of modern warfare where the old world was destroyed, giving way to the new one. Use the innovative, modern weaponry and vehicles of World War I as you battle across the land, air and sea.
Battlefield 1 will be available October 21st, on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
Battlefield Hardline’s next big update will add swords to the arsenal of killing devices. If you thought the police were too militarized, or that the criminals were unrealistically kitted in Battlefield Hardline, then the addition of clangy swords and gunfights in locations like Alcatraz and Chinatown in the Betrayal map pack probably won’t disavow you of that notion. Coming in March, the DLC will feature four new maps, seven new weapons, and two new vehicles. The DLC is part of the Premium pass for the Electronic Arts shooter. There will also be a free update to the base game that will add eleven new weapons along with an improvement to the loot tables for the Battlepacks players get as slot machine rewards.
The Chinatown map may be the rumored remake of the Grand Bazaar map from Battlefield 3, albeit with sword fights and police sirens. With a player population that is regularly lower than the older Battlefield 4, it certainly can’t hurt to mix things up with ridiculous weapons and remakes of fan-favorite maps.
The live-action Battlefield: Hardline advertisement created for the UK wasn’t so hot. They don’t have guns everywhere there, so the production was sadly limited to some yelling and modest parkour. Making a fairly non-violent short based on a big-budget video game with tons of explosions, car chases, and shootouts doesn’t really work. Thank goodness for ‘Murica! Let the Yanks show you how it’s done. Explosions! Car chases! Shootouts! Throw some donuts in there and you’d have something special.
Battlefield: Hardline launches March 17th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Electronic Arts and Visceral Games have announced Battlefield: Hardline Premium. Like previous premium packages for the Battlefield series, it offers incentives like map packs, priority in server queues, “battlepacks” – the virtual loot boxes that can give you weapon accessories or XP boosts, and cosmetic do-dads that normal players won’t get. Along with these bits and bobs, EA has locked “legendary” progression behind the premium membership. That’s when a player maxes out his XP and cycles back to the beginning to jump on the treadmill again. It’s a staple of Call of Duty multiplayer (known as prestige mode) and some players invest a ton of time into doing it. Previous Battlefield games didn’t offer any incentives for resetting multiplayer progress, but it seems EA is eager to keep people grinding.
Battlefield: Hardline Premium is $50, and requires ownership of Battlefield: Hardline.
Battlefield: Hardline enters the world of live-action theater with their cops and robbers saga called Get a Piece of the Action. Electronic Arts’ UK division produced it, so the film is less hardboiled crime war and more tea time of misdemeanors. While I appreciate the effort, these folks don’t even have guns. That’s not Battlefield!
Battlefield: Hardline launches on March 17th for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC. EA Access members can start playing the game on March 12th for 10 hours.
Electronic Arts and DICE have revealed a bit of the Final Stand DLC for Battlefield 4. Appropriately named because it will be the last map pack DLC for the shooter, Final Stand takes players to snowy Russia on four new maps that will feature technology that may be familiar to longtime fans of the series. There will be mechanized walkers, hover tanks, and man-portable railguns! If you have Battlefield Premium, DICE is offering a way to jump in on the testing of Final Stand before its general release. Get in on the future now! Pew-pew!
Final Stand will launch for Battlefield 4 later this year.
The next Electronic Arts Battlefield game is going to be Battlefield Hardline, developed by Visceral Games. Apparently, Visceral has been paying attention to the kind of gameplay Payday has been offering. It moves the all-terrain action, vehicle mayhem, and shooting from a strictly military affair to a cops and robbers theme. Here’s a leaked promo video to prove it. The video refers to it under the working title of “Omaha” but it’s Hardline through and through. Heavily-armed hoodie wearing bad guys fight SWAT teams in alleys, rooftops, banks, and other urban locales. The singleplayer story features a typically convoluted big-budget shooter plot. Undercover cop Nick Mendoza growls as buildings explode around him in Frostbite glory.
Battlefield Hardline has been rumored for months, but the really substantial leaks started yesterday when gamers accessed hidden data in the Battlelog site. Things seem to be semi-official now. Even the official Battlefield YouTube page has a Hardline logo today. We’ll likely know more about Hardline at E3.
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