Tired of battle royales yet? Well tough, because Battlefield 5's own offering is on the not-so-distant horizon, and thanks to an apparent leak we now have an idea of what this will look like.
An extended gameplay video, found within the files of EA's own website, shows a tutorial for Firestorm which reveals the mode's mechanics and map. While it confirms many of the things we already knew - such as the mode being 64-player with highly destructible elements and a focus on vehicles - there are a few surprises here too.
As with most battle royales, Firestorm will have solos, duos and squads of four players: although this comes as something of a surprise given the first teaser trailer only discussed squads, leading to speculation it would be a squad-only game.
Again, like other battle royales, Firestorm games start with a drop - this one looks like it's via plane rather than bus - while landing in urban areas will give you a higher chance of good loot, along with a higher chance of encountering aggressive players.
There are three loot tiers: common, rare and epic, the latter of which brings advantages such as scopes, extended mags and reduced recoil. It's unclear whether these will simply come attached, or whether players can customise their weapons.
Something a little different is the addition of objectives and safes "scattered throughout the map", which can be captured to provide "epic reinforcements, unusual loot, and rare combat vehicles". Other battle royales provide similar hot spots for players with loot drops - but if players have to hold off other teams while capturing objectives, this could make for some exciting firefights. I don't envy the squadmate who has to crack open a safe while bullets are flying overhead.
Contrary to other Battlefield modes, Firestorm will be an "even playing field" with "no class specific benefits" - so don't expect another Apex Legends. No, really: there are no respawns in this one, and players can fire a sidearm when downed. This sounds dangerous.
Another leak from earlier this week (via a datamine on Reddit) also revealed a number of other tidbits - such as a potential map name (Provenance), the possibility of a seperate ranked mode for Firestorm, and a list of vehicles and reinforcements available. Given the datamine has been correct about many of the things confirmed in the video leak, it seems fairly reliable, although Battlefield's community manager warned this is from an early version and "some information may change over time". Take it with a pinch of salt.
So, why has it been so quiet on Firestorm up until now? Apparently it's to allow the community to "make up their own minds on it" - a tactic similar to that used by Respawn for Apex Legends. Whether this transfers into the same levels of success is another matter.
While the leaks may seem inconvenient for EA, the Battlefield Twitter account has been playing into them, and I wonder just how much longer we'll have to wait for Firestorm to emerge. The official plan is for early 2019, and some Reddit users have posted images showing Firestorm challenges appearing in their dailies. With assets such as this tutorial appearing on the EA website, Allied to think we won't be waiting much longer.