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Battlefield 1 has you play as a pigeon

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The Battlefield series has always stood out among its military shooter peers for its ability to let players control vehicles like tanks and planes in combat. The next entry in the franchise, the World War I-era shooter Battlefield 1, lets players take flight in new ways. In an early mission, which can now be played by those with early access to the game, players assume control of ... a carrier pigeon.

It may sound a little silly — particularly with dialogue like "Release that pigeon now and you'll kill us all, Edwards!" — but it's an intense and beautiful moment in the game's single-player campaign. You'll get a literal bird's eye view of Battlefield 1's carnage and, if you do your job right as a delivery bird, seal the fate of your comrades. It's brief, but surprisingly powerful.

If pigeon-based gameplay is something that might push you toward a playthrough of Battlefield 1, you can see video of that moment above. (And if you really dig pigeons, the game's exclusive deluxe collector's edition comes with an actual messenger pigeon tube.)

Battlefield 1 is coming to PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One on Friday, Oct. 21. For our initial impressions of the game, check out Polygon's pre-review write-up.