Battlefield 1 will be the first Battlefield game since 2009's Battlefield 1943 to take place in the past — in fact, it'll be the series' first entry set in World War I, a conflict that developer EA DICE is characterizing as "the birth of modern warfare."
Here's what we know so far about Battlefield 1.
Developer: EA DICE
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox One
Release date: Oct. 21, 2016
DICE is mostly keeping Battlefield 1's story under wraps for now. We do know that the campaign will cover all four years of World War I, 1914 to 1918. And it'll span the globe as it tells multiple short stories from different perspectives.
If you're wondering about the black soldier on the Battlefield 1 cover, you'll have to keep wondering. We asked, but DICE isn't offering any details about who he is. Considering that there's a statue of him in the game's Collector's Edition, he's probably important to the story somehow.
What is Battlefield 1?
Battlefield 1 is this year's entry in EA's Battlefield franchise of military first-person shooters. So named because it is set during World War I, Battlefield 1 brings the series back to its focus on warfare after 2015's Battlefield Hardline, which was all about cops and robbers.
What will you be doing in the game?
Battlefield 1 will offer both a multiplayer component for up to 64 players and a single-player campaign. Both the story and multiplayer modes will bring players to multiple theaters of war around the globe, such as the Forest of Argonne in France and the Arabian desert, spanning the entirety of the four-year First World War.
yes, you'll see poison gas
What does that mean for the weaponry? What has EA announced so far?
In addition to era-appropriate firearms like pistols, shotguns and rifles, Battlefield 1 will include plenty of melee weapons, since they were an important part of a World War I soldier's arsenal. Shovels, trench clubs and knives are all available to players. There's also the flamethrower for close combat encounters. And yes, you'll see poison gas.
Battlefield games are known for their vehicles. Weren't the vehicles pretty boring back then?
Not necessarily! Along with multiple types of warplanes and tanks, Battlefield 1 will introduce horses, as you can see in the trailer. The game also brings in a new type of transportation that DICE is calling "behemoths": massive, unique vehicles like airships that come in during multiplayer matches to try and even up a lopsided round.
Speaking of multiplayer, you won't have to sprint in an effort to beat teammates to your vehicles of choice — you'll be able to spawn into them.
What vehicles has DICE announced so far?
DICE says that instead of balancing the vehicle against each other (like countering helicopters with tanks), it's delivering tactical balance within vehicle types. So you'll see tanks that are light (one person), medium (three people) and heavy (six people and multiple mounted guns), as well as a scout plane (small and fast), a fighter (pilot seat plus tail gunner) and a bomber (three seats).
"You can't see anything, but you can hear the screams and gunfire"
We don't have any details on how the horses will work, but we know there will be horses. And the only behemoth we've seen so far is the airship, which appeared in Battlefield 1's debut trailer.
Tell me more about the multiplayer!
Battlefield 1 will support 64-player action across the globe, pitting the Allied Powers against the Central Powers. Armies from Austria, Britain, Germany, Italy and the U.S. will be playable. In addition to the aforementioned behemoths, Battlefield 1's multiplayer component will feature another element that's new to the series: dynamic weather such as fog and rain.
How will weather impact play?
You'll see the skies change in real time; the weather could go from sunny to foggy to rainy over the course of a match. It'll make a big difference, according to design director Lars Gustavsson, who told us that in fog, "You can't see anything, but you can hear the screams and gunfire, and you're not sure where it is coming from."
there will be horses
OK, now what about the campaign?
DICE isn't saying much about Battlefield 1's single-player mode at this point. In fact, although the game's pre-order bonus mentions the legendary Harlem Hellfighters, the studio isn't offering details about the black man who appears on the cover and is enshrined in a statue in the Collector's Edition.
What we do know is that the campaign will string together a bunch of smaller stories with different characters and settings.
How long will the campaign be?
The only thing DICE said about the campaign's length is that the story mode will be substantial.
How do I know that Battlefield 1 won't have the same launch issues as Battlefield 4?
It's true that Battlefield 4 was terribly broken when it launched in October 2013, and that it took DICE months to fix all the issues. However, Battlefield Hardline had a smooth debut last March — although there probably weren't as many people attempting to play it as there were with Battlefield 4.
"We are doing several tests now to make sure we secure the launch as best we can," said Gustavsson. That includes a playable beta.
What do we know about the beta?
DICE will run an open beta for Battlefield 1 later this year on all three platforms.
"It provides interesting perspective into how the old way of war was and what it turned into," said Aleksandar Grøndal, senior producer on the game. "This is kind of where the old way of war was destroyed and a new sort of war was created."