'Battlefield 1' takes the shooter series to the all-out conflict of World War I

Zeppelins, trench clubs, capes, gas masks, and mustard gas.

Battlefield 1

Well, courtesy of a few leaks this morning you might’ve already heard but: The next Battlefield game is officially titled Battlefield 1 (ugh) and it’s set during the minimally-explored World War I, complete with zeppelins and capes.

On Friday at EA’s headquarters in Redwood City we received a one-hour brief on the game, wherein the word “immersive” was used upwards of a dozen times. Buzzwords aside: It looks like Battlefield with a World War I skin. Shocking, I know.

Battlefield 1

But I say it because this is not—as far as I can tell—Verdun. This is not a slavishly faithful recreation of history where death is brutally random, where merely making it from trench to trench is an accomplishment. Verdun is all mustard gas and bolt-action rifles and barbed wire and panic.

This is Battlefield. It’s the amusement park version of the Great War, the Hollywood epic—one where biplanes dogfight through canyons and a dude hits someone in the face with a shovel while a distorted version of “Seven Nation Army” plays in the background.

We watched a short pre-alpha video of game footage, slim on info but full of big explosions. Arabia, the Alps, and “the fields of France” were mentioned as key locales for the game. Gas masks, trench guns, and bayonets were present—the latter in the form of a soldier burying his gun in someone’s chest.

We also got brief information on the game’s classes, which are…pretty much the same as always. Assault, Medic, Support, and Scout should all be familiar to longtime Battlefield players. The one new aspect: Vehicle classes. “Tank Officer” and “Pilot” were both listed, though what advantages those vehicle-specific classes entail I’m not certain.

Also of note: There's a campaign. We didn't see any of it today, but DICE said it "revolves around multiple people" and stressed they want to "Bring more Battlefield into the singleplayer," meaning larger environments and more vehicular warfare.

Battlefield 1

As for the awful name, DICE had this to say: “It’s important to stress that this is the next big milestone in the Battlefield franchise. Why we chose the name...we’re kind of going back to the true dawn of all-out warfare. This is the genesis of what modern warfare is today.” Which is pretty obvious, and yet still (as far as I’m concerned) a terrible name.

The game launches in the same October slot Battlefield's utilized in the past—October 21 for normal people, October 18 for those who buy the "Early Enlister" deluxe version, and sometime that week for people who subscribe to EA's Access program. We’ll update you as soon as we get hands-on with the game—supposedly at EA's Play event in mid-June.

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