There's a lot of fighting game news this time around.
DICE showed exactly what is to be expected of a modern AAA shooter on today’s EA Play. Whilst several new maps and gameplay improvements will be implemented in the coming months for the Battlefield die hards, perhaps the biggest news of the evening was something that happened the night before: Battlefield V, EA’s premiere shooter franchise, will be joining the publisher’s “EA Access” service effective immediately.
The aforementioned updates that were revealed took the form of intimate looks at two new maps, part of Battlefield V’s “Chapter 4” stage of continuous support. The first shown was Marita, Greece, which is an infantry-focused map that takes place in the cramped streets of a small mountainous European town. Marita is set to be released in July. Coming in June (and confusingly shown second in the actual presentation) was Al Sundan, a large North-African desert focused on open combat and vehicles.
The team at DICE also mentioned that they would be implementing small quality of life features, such as increasing the maximum rank from 50 to 500 to accommodate the most ardent of Battlefield faithful as well as private games.
A palate cleanser between Chapter 4 and 5 followed, named “Operation Underground”. Though they only showed the same half a minute of footage in a loop, it seems to be an infantry focused map taking place in underground train tunnels and the courtyards above the station. This map is expected to be released in October
The Battlefield segment of EA Play came to an end with a preview of what they have planned for the last known stage of Battlefield V support, Chapter 5. This is expected to come in Autumn 2019 and will see the series return to the pacific theatre of World War II. The only confirmed map was Iwo Jima, of which they displayed both a fancy new look as well as footage in location and luscious concept art. Lars Gustavsson, lead designer, promised the return of weapons beloved for fans of the franchise.
Though all that was shown today was suitably impressive and well polished as expected of a production of this calibre, I find it hard to muster any kind of enthusiasm for it. Battlefield by and large has remained the same old faithful for roughly 2 decades, and whilst it will never not be fun to slam a jeep into other squishy human beings, the novelty has certainly worn off. Whether in the tube or a desert, shooting a rifle is shooting a rifle.