Battlefield 1’s first expansion, They Shall Not Pass, expands the scope of the Great War to include the French Army, as you can see in the concept art that developer EA DICE released today.
They Shall Not Pass isn’t scheduled to arrive until March, so it makes sense that EA DICE doesn’t want to — or isn’t ready to — show anything beyond concept art at this stage. So far, the company has said that the expansion will allow buyers to play as the French Army in the game’s multiplayer component, and that a future add-on will bring in Russia. Austro-Hungarian, British, German, Italian, Ottoman and U.S. forces are currently playable in Battlefield 1.
As you may expect, the battlefields on display in the artwork include scenes of fire-ravaged forests, muddy trenches and tight corridors. They Shall Not Pass focuses on the Battle of Verdun, which raged for 10 months in 1916 between French and German forces in northeastern France. EA DICE is teasing that some of the expansion’s maps will involve “tunnels and underground fortresses” beneath battlefield trenches.
- A German artillery assault known as the “Devil’s Anvil” kicked off the Battle of Verdun and set the forest ablaze. EA DICE/Electronic Arts
- The destroyed village of Samogneux in France. EA DICE/Electronic Arts
- Close-quarters combat in Fort Vaux. EA DICE/Electronic Arts
- A rat’s nest of trenches during the Battle of Verdun. EA DICE/Electronic Arts
- A trench in the Battle of Soissons. EA DICE/Electronic Arts
They Shall Not Pass will also highlight a later conflict, the Battle of Soissons from late 1918. That fight “inspired us to create a new set of maps that captures the massive French tank assaults” of Soissons, said EA DICE.
In addition to the playable French Army, They Shall Not Pass will include new multiplayer maps and weapons. EA DICE hasn’t specified how many maps will be available, but the studio previously said that that the four add-ons planned for Battlefield 1’s Premium Pass will deliver a total of 16 maps. So if they’re distributed evenly, each expansion will feature four maps. The $49.99 Premium Pass offers two weeks of early access to each add-on, as well as some bonus content.
For more on Battlefield 1, read our review.