After a somewhat cringey introduction from Trevor Noah, the Battlefield V reveal got underway last night. The bulk of the event featured a Q&A between Noah and key members of Stockholm-based game studio, DICE - Andreas Morell, Ryan McArthur, and Lars Gustavsson.
They kicked off the reveal by confirming that Battlefield V will take players back to the setting in which the franchise first began; The Second World War. Battlefield V will feature a co-op mode (returning for the first time since Battlefield 3), single player 'War Stories', and a multiplayer mode.
There are many, many WW2 games out there, but the team at DICE say they have tried to bring a fresh perspective to the story, focusing on previously unseen locations and untold stories. Battlefield V is set during the events which lead to the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, when German tank warfare was at its peak.
Here's the reveal trailer (all footage was recorded in-engine, according to DICE):
Now on to what we all care about; gameplay. The movement system has been overhauled, damage is more dynamic and lifelike, and fans of the 'Operations' mode were pleased to hear that this feature will be back in Battlefield V - this time called 'Grand Operations'. This is a neat little mode in which your play through missions based on real-life historical battles spanning a number of days, where your progress (or lack of) has knock-on consequences later in the mission. So, for example, if you do well in your first objective you may find yourself better equipped in your second (and vice versa).
The changes in the movement system mean you can now tow stationary weapons to better positions (and they remain operational even during towing), and you can also drag people (for example, so that you can heal an injured teammate away from the action). You will also be able to shoot grenades out the sky, or catch them and throw them back.
Battlefield V also sees changes to the healing mechanic; only a medic or a medpack can fully restore health, and reviving teammates takes a little time. In short, you'll do better in the game if you think strategically.
Combined Arms (co-op) and War Stories (single player)
The co-op mode is back for the first time since Battlefield 3, and is now called 'Combined Arms'. You and up to three other players are confronted by situations in which you need think strategically and handle resources wisely in a high-stakes environment. Working together generates squad points which help your team win. Once enough squad points are earned, the squad leader can call in reinforcements, which can make or break the mission.
The single player mode, known as 'War Stories', allows you to witness World War 2 "through the eyes of men and women that changed the world". One of these stories feature a female Norwegian resistance fighter as she attempts to save her family.
Weapons, vehicles, and fortifications
The weapons system has been overhauled, and the team at DICE have been working on improved damage physics and more realistic effects - for example, higher calibre bullets can tear through walls, taking out enemies on the other side. Environmental damage is more realistic and proportional, meaning that big explosions will throw you off your feet (as seen during the trailer when the V2 hits the field).
The new fortifications system means that all players have a toolbox with which they can help create a more strategic environment. The system allows players to set up fortifications, reinforce buildings that have been damaged or destroyed, build foxholes with machine guns, build sandbag walls, and so on.
The more realistic take on damage means that destruction is now a tactic - you can take out walls being used for cover, as long as you've got a weapon (or vehicle) that can deal enough damage.
In-game rewards (no loot boxes!)
This is a completely new feature introduced in Battlefield V. 'The Company' is your own collection of customised soldiers, weapons, and vehicles, that you can collect as you play through all the different modes of the game. Items are unlocked purely by playing the game, and earning new items allows you to change how your resources look and perform.
Thankfully DICE seem to have learned their lesson from Star Wars Battlefront 2 - there are no loot boxes in this game, and no way for users to pay extra to unlock better kit. There is no premium pass, no paying for maps or modes, and there are no expansion packs. The aim here is to keep players unified rather than to divide them based on who can afford extra stuff - a move that received a very warm welcome.
Tides of War
The game will feature an evolving live service journey, through which DICE will release new content to everyone who has purchased the game. The first chapter of this live journey will focus on the fall of Europe, and will start in November and run into early 2019.
Battlefield V launch date
The standard game will be available on 19th October 2018, although purchasers of the Deluxe Edition of the game will have early access (16th October 2018). The first trial of the game will be available on 11th October for members of EA Access via Play First, and players who pre-order will have early access to the open beta.
The first demo of the multiplayer mode will be on 9th June 2018 at EA Play.
Finally, fans of the franchise should know that that there are now some free expansion packs available for Battlefield 4 and Battlefield 1 - this is only for a limited time, so get them while you can.
If you want more information about the game, check out https://www.battlefield.com/