Today, Electronic Arts took the wraps off Battlefield 1, the confusingly named fifth main entry in the wartime first-person shooter series. The game will be released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on October 21st, and the title's first trailer debuted live this afternoon on Twitch.
If you're wondering, "Hey, wasn't 2002's Battlefield 1942 the first game in the series?" you would be correct. Confirming many of the rumors — and the telling Xbox Live promotion leak earlier today — Battlefield 1 is set during World War I. So while the title of the game feels like a bit of a stretch, EA seems to be trying to sell players on a triumphant return to the franchise's origins global-scale conflict.
EA is trying to sell players on a triumphant return to Battlefield's roots
EA says it's trying to exemplify the bizarre contrasts of WWI, in which an arms race meant weaponry and vehicles were advancing at such a fast pace that horses existed on the same field as tanks. Instead of using an alternate history and steampunk setting, as many who examined the leaks believed, Battlefield 1 is drawing from the real-life variety of the Great War.
For instance, the Germans really did use zeppelins to perform bombing raids while planes were fitted with full-auto machine guns for the first time. Simultaneously, soldiers were relying on bolt-action rifles, bayonets, and blunt objects in the trenches of the Western Front. "We need to be respectful and stay true to the era of WWI," said Daniel Berlin, a lead designer for developer EA DICE, in a press briefing today. Later on, however, Berlin made sure to stress "you can bring a horse to a tank fight."
"You can bring a horse to a tank fight."
The trailer, for what it's worth, is a great look at how to make early 20th century combat feel both intensely claustrophobic and massively global in scale. We do get some good old fashioned trench warfare, but there also appears to be expansive aerial dogfights with WWI-era aircraft. In true Battlefield fashion, there's tanks, trucks, and subclasses, as well as locations as diverse as the Swiss Alps and the Middle Eastern cities of the Ottoman Empire. There is also a confirmed single-player campaign mode, but details are sparse on that front.