E3 was also EA’s chance to show off its latest addition to the Battlefield franchise. Battlefield 1. As previously reported on here, was shown off as EA’s new baby, and it’s easy to see why.
EA is in putting forth a concerted effort to beat Activision to the punch with “most playered online shooter” and it’s hoping to win over the legions of fans Call of Duty has made over the years with a fresh take on the online shooter.
The show had set up a large hour long live stream of multiplayer footage, along with a brand new trailer, and both had a great deal to show us. It seems there are major changes coming to the genre, both in regards to gameplay and game engine.
A few of the interesting game engine changes are observed during the gratuitous hour long multiplayer live stream, over the course of the three battles shown, the weather changed, at one point rain started to fall mid match, and at another fog seemed to roll in, this is a vast change from the static weather patterns of most online shooters, and guaranteed to have an effect on tactics within the game.
Another feature shown during the live stream that is bound to effect the game at the base level is the new map system, gone are the 2D overlays of previous battlefield games when choosing a spawn location, now you’re faced with a full 3D birds eye view of your current battle, allowing you to see the figures and vehicles moving as you chose, it’s an impressive feat, and it adds a sense of immersion in the battle not seen before.
This show was all about multiplayer, even the trailer weirdly teased about a minute before actually being shown, was multiplayer based, even if it felt more like a story one to start. The trailer displayed all that we had come to accept as a part of the Battlefield multiplayer experience.
There were armoured charges, the showcase of destructible environments, and the en masse infantry runs that have become standard.
The trailer also brought us something new, the full effect of the Zeppelin teased in the previous trailer. Before it seemed as though this would become more of a campaign centerpiece, the kind of things single player levels are built for, such would its size seem to indicate.
However, it would look at least to us, that the zeppelin is to become the games equivalent of the AC-130 from Battlefield 3 and 4, a shadowing presence, raining down destruction on the enemies of whichever team happened to have it under control. This time with a twist.
With the AC-130 of previous installments, destruction of this all powerful all seeing weapon would simply be that. It would be gone. The zeppelin adds something new, when destroyed, it isn’t just gone, it falls burning onto whatever section of the map it happens to be over. It levels all it lands on, the trailer and the live stream both showcasing it crashing down through buildings and devastating the map, leaving a burned out, ash-filled carcass laying across the map for the rest of the match.
It’s an exciting addition to the game and a welcome change that the destruction so often promised is being provided. The buildings seem to go down almost as easily as the soldiers fighting through them, a pristine abbey rapidly becoming a rubble strewn ruin during the live stream.
We got another piece of information showcasing how the game will change during the live steam. The leviathan like tanks so famed for their use during the first world war, whilst not only being scattered around the map as in so many other Battlefield iterations are their own class. They can be chosen along with the classic battlefield staples of Medic, Support, Engineer, and Recon, only time will tell how this will be, but it indicates a steep change in how people are going to perceive tactics. How teams will be able to adapt to the sudden appearance of the armoured behemoths will certainly affect the swing of the battle.
The livestream gave us a fraction of the equipment likely to be used in the final game. With the MP-18 and the Lewis gun making big appearances, A Springfield rifle was also used to great effect. EA had brought out all the stops to show us the majesty of Battlefield 1 multiplayer this year, event to the point of bring some big names to the show to play.
It will remain to be seen if the star power brought to the show by Terry Crews, Snoop Dogg, and Jamie Foxx will have a major impact on sales, but if the livestream lives up to the excitement of the main game it may not be necessary. This reveal was all about the scale, and the chaos, and it delivered in spades, sixty four people per match is no small number and should the release go as smoothly as they’re clearly hoping it will, Activision are going to have to bring something major to the table to retain their multiplayer crown.