EA is preparing to roll out another major update for Battlefield 5 - and contrary to popular opinion, it seems lightning can indeed strike twice, as this is the name for the second chapter of the game's continually-evolving story. (Lightning Strikes? Chapter 2? Sigh.)
Thanks to a very loud and rather gruesome trailer, we have our first real look at the update's new additions - including its shiny new game modes. Squad Conquest - a "tighter and more intense" 8v8 version of Conquest - is due to be available between 17th and 30th January, while a new co-op mode called Combined Arms will drop in February. The Lightning Strikes update also sees the return of Rush: a two-team attack and defense mode which should provide players with some explosive action.
Beyond new game modes, Lightning Strikes will also provide players with some alternative murder weapons, including the Zk-383 submachine gun, the Modele 1944 semi-automatic rifle and M1922 MMG. These will be available through weekly challenges over the next few months. If you want to see the current update notes, you can check them out here.
Earlier this week, we reviewed Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2060. Priced at £330/€370/$350, it's the first mainstream graphics card to hit the market with hardware ray tracing support. Right now, it's early days for RT technology and initial demos suggested that even the top-end RTX 2080 Ti could only run ray tracing with a big resolution or performance hit - so what chance would the significantly cut-down RTX 2060 have? The good news is that BF5's RT performance has improved dramatically, and initial tests produced some promising results on the RTX 2060 at full ultra settings. Frame-rates were still highly variable though, and what we wanted was something more ambitious - a fully locked 1080p60 experience with RT features enabled. The good news is, it can be done.
We've had a couple of major u-turns in the last few weeks: first it was Epic's faux-pas with a fancy (but very overpowered) sword, and now it's all about Battlefield 5, as DICE has reversed its unpopular TTK (Time to Kill) balance change introduced to the game last week.
Video games have given us countless images of the past, some literal-minded, some more playful, from Total War's continent-sized thought experiments to the hinterland between myth, game design and archaeological record that is Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Among 2018's offerings are two that, to my mind, deserve special attention for the stark yet deceptive contrast they form: DigixArt and Aardman's melancholy Great War tale 11-11: Memories Retold, and DICE's characteristically seismic World War 2 shooter Battlefield 5.
UPDATE 4/12/19, 11pm: DICE has announced that it's now resolved the "issue" found in Battlefield 5's first free post-launch DLC update, which resulted in a delay to its originally intended launch of today.
As such, Battlefield 5's Chapter 1: Overture update - which kicks off the game's new "Tides of War" live service - will now release tomorrow, December 5th.
In its announcement on Twitter, the developer offered its "sincerest apologies" for the delay, explaining that "The team agreed it was best for the game's health to hold off and fix the issues, so thank you for being so understanding!".
Battlefield 5 officially launched in shops last Tuesday, 20th November - enough time to give it five days on sale during its launch week. But it sold fewer than half the physical copies Battlefield 1 did upon its launch - when that was only on sale three days.
It sounds like bad news for Battlefield 5, and it is - but there are a couple of caveats which make it harder to tell by how much Battlefield 5 was down.
Battlefield 5 was available digitally earlier if you bought the pricier Deluxe Edition, which granted access on 15th November. And you could gain access earlier still if you subscribed to Origin Access Premier, which only launched this year. And then there's the general rise in digital game sales over physical copies. As ever, UK numbers company Chart-Track only counts boxed copies sold.
Battlefield 5 is a mess. It's the glitchiest, most technically troubled DICE's sandbox multiplayer has been since the infamous launch of Battlefield 4, and even the launch itself is all over the place. Here's a game that's not out for paying punters until later this month. Or it's out today, if you're willing to pay a little bit more. Or, if you'd rather not pay for the whole thing, it's been out for a week for EA Access subscribers. Or maybe a bit over a week, if you're an EA Access Premier subscriber. Of course.
Battlefield 5 is meant to be available early tomorrow, 9th November, if you are a paid-up member of EA's Origin Access Premier - except it has gone live even earlier and people are playing it right now.
We've been waiting a little while for an explanation of how Tides of War - Battlefield 5's new live services system to replace the premium pass - will actually work. The developer has been pretty cagey on the subject, which is unsurprising in the wake of the backlash over Star Wars Battlefront 2's loot boxes - a mistake DICE said it "can't afford to make" in future.
With modern video game publishing the way it is, release schedules are often a mess of special edition early access, premium limited-time demos and carry-it-forward progress opportunities.
It looks like you can be so good at Call of Duty, the game thinks you're cheating.
Battlefield 5 gets its battle royale mode March 2019, DICE has announced.
The Battlefield 5 campaign lets you play from the German perspective, but "it's not a hero story", the developers have insisted.
With just over a month to go until Battlefield 5 releases on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, DICE has unveiled a brand-new trailer, this time focussing on the events of the game's single-player story campaign.
As was the case in Battlefield 1, Battlefield 5's solo campaign - which has been given the name War Stories this time around - will employ an anthology format, telling the globe-spanning tales of men and women that found themselves embroiled in the second World War.
There are four War Stories in total - Nordlys, Under No Flag, Tirailleur, and The Last Tiger (due post-launch) - with the first following a female resistance fighter in Norway, as she battles not only "for her country's liberation from occupying forces, but her family's survival".
If you've stumbled across the Battlefield 5 subreddit in recent weeks, you'll have inevitably encountered the ongoing debate surrounding whether the upcoming game is "realistic" enough. The uproar has mainly centred on the game's cosmetics, particularly over the inclusion of women and black characters, and has mired the game in controversy straight from the get-go.
Battlefield 5 builds on the Frostbite technology in some exciting ways, and this week's beta gives us our first look at how the new DICE game presents and performs on console hardware. In the wake of the recent Battlefield 1 Xbox One X update, can the developer follow up that excellent rendering showcase with another solid work-out for the Scorpio Engine - and just how closely can PS4 Pro match it?
Content-wise, what we get in the beta is fairly straightforward. There's a conquest mode supporting up to 64 players - giving us a full stress test of the engine and netcode - across the canals of Rotterdam and the snowy slopes of Narvik. But while each map looks beautiful in its own way, it's hard to shake the sense this is still early, unoptimised code - as you'll soon see.
Map design is the real highlight here. These two beautifully designed areas build on Frostbite's ability to push tessellated detail on buildings, many of which are destructible with the right vehicle. Parallax occlusion maps are also a standout point on the Narvik stage's snow, adding depth and pop to the hilly inclines leading to a village. You even have weather changes, adjusting the lighting on Rotterdam's streets. From streaks of sunshine creating lens flares on the camera, to fog or snowfall at set points - weather has a big impact on not only on a map's aesthetic, but also your visibility.
Criterion Games, the creator of Burnout, is making Firestorm, Battlefield 5's battle royale mode.
Well, this is a return to the past in more ways than one. Battlefield 5's beta hit for early adopters ahead of today's open test, and it was a proper beta - misshapen, malfunctioning and with more than a handful of those glitches that mired Battlefield 4's launch in infamy. Matchmaking was broken, squads - such an integral part of Battlefield's make-up, and even more so this time around - weren't working, and it was all a bit wonky. This was a beta in the old-school definition of the term.
So yes, DICE's return the backdrop of WW2 wasn't exactly smooth at first, but by the time the doors have opened for the masses this morning many of those problems should have been ironed out - indeed, even after 24 hours DICE had proven adept at putting out fires, with all that lingered come yesterday the occasional floating gun and impossibly contorted corpse. Some concerns will linger a little longer, though.
Battlefield 5 is a strange iteration of the long-running series, at least at first glance. It's both radical and reserved, with the systems that underpin the Battlefield formula all undergoing change while the fundamentals all stay the same. It's proven divisive in its early days - as is ever the way when it comes to a new iteration of a much-loved series - though what's certain is that this is a Battlefield that requires a very different approach.
After weeks of mystery and secrecy surrounding the upcoming Battlefield 5 title, today, DICE finally shared some news about the game. The information came in the form of a cinematic trailer with voice narration, which detailed some of the features players can expect. And, most importantly, we now know the name of the battle royale mode: Firestorm.
The Battlefield 5 PC open beta will include a profanity filter.
In a conversation with fans on Twitter, DICE producer Jaqub Ajmal confirmed that while console players will need to keep reporting harassment via their consoles' respective systems, a text chat profanity filter will be in place for PC players.
"Please let us mute individuals not just the entire chat," a commenter said to Ajmal. "I like chatting at times but one racist/ignorant jerk makes me miss out on it because I cant [sic] tolerate reading their garbage."
EA has announced a month delay for Battlefield 5. It was due out 19th October, sandwiched between big hitters Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2. It's now due out 20th November.
The embargo lifts today on video capture of Battlefield 5's beautiful new Rotterdam map, which looks all the better when rendered in RTX - Nvidia's brand new ray tracing technology for its upcoming 20-series cards. We had the chance to go hands-on with an RTX-enabled version of the game, and to talk directly with the graphics engineers responsible. How does ray tracing work? What are its limitations? And with performance such a hot topic surrounding RTX titles, what are DICE's plans for future optimisation and further features?
Battlefield 5 hasn't had the easiest of starts. In recent months, it's experienced a huge fan backlash for including women and "unrealistic" cosmetics in the game, while a recent financial report by Cowen claimed the game had performed below expectations in pre-order sales, which is a shame, as my hands-on experience playing Conquest on the Rotterdam map at Gamescom was exhilarating - even if the climbing mechanics were a little clunky.
DICE has announced that Battlefield 5's open beta will commence on September 4th, for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
More specifically, as revealed in a new blog post, the Battlefield 5 beta begins on September 4th in its "early access" guise, and will be accessible to anyone that's pre-ordered the game on any platform, as well as to Origin Access Premier, Origin Access Basic, and EA Access subscribers.
Then, from September 6th, the beta will be made available to all players on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or PC (via Origin). DICE isn't yet saying how long the open beta will last, other than a vague "limited time", but does note that anyone planning to get involved can pre-load the beta client from 9am BST on September 3rd.
DICE has offered a glimpse - and I mean a glimpse - at Battlefield 5's battle royale mode.
EA is testing Battlefield V again with a second PC-only alpha event kicking off on 14th August, 2018.
DICE is currently giving away two Battlefield expansions - Battlefield 1's Turning Tides and Battlefield 4's Second Assault - as part of its ongoing Road to Battlefield 5 campaign. Both are free on all platforms until July 17th.
Turning Tides is focussed on the 1915 British amphibious assault of the Gallipoli peninsula, and features new weapons, new vehicles, and four new maps: Cape Helles, Achi Baba, Heligoland Bight, and Zeebrugge. Second Assault, meanwhile, is described by DICE as a "love letter to the classic maps of Battlefield 3, redesigned with the power of the Frostbite 3 game engine". It includes five new weapons, a dune buggy, ten assignments, and a Capture the Flag mode.
Both expansions can be downloaded for free until next Tuesday, July 17th, on all supported platforms via their respective online stores - that's the Microsoft Store for Xbox One, the PlayStation Store for PS4, and Origin for PC. Helpful links can be found in DICE's blog post.
Players of the recent Battlefield 5 alpha have been witness to quite a treat. Building on DICE's excellent work in BF1 and Battlefront 2, we're looking at an exceptionally handsome game that, small bugs aside, almost feels like the finished article. It's visually outstanding in fact, the only disappointment - if you can call it that - being that the signs are pointing towards an evolution of the Battlefield formula and its Frostbite engine, as opposed to a full-on next-gen revolution.
DICE has revealed that Battlefield V will be getting its own battle royale mode after launch, known simply as Royale.
DICE has revealed more about its upcoming shooter Battlefield V in a new blog post, outlining what it's calling The Tides of War, an "ever-changing journey" that will see the core experience "evolve over time".
The boss of DICE has said "player choice and female playable characters are here to stay" after some people said they were upset with Battlefield V letting users play as a woman in the World War 2-set shooter.
EA's video, posted on Wednesday to announce the upcoming World War 2-based Battlefield V, began with an unexpected disclaimer: 'No weapon, gear or vehicle manufacturer is affiliated with or has sponsored or endorsed this game.'
The publisher, like many that create military-themed games, has in the past worked with arms and vehicle manufacturers to include licensed products in its games. In 2012 EA hosted links to the websites of companies that sell and make assault weapons and tactical gear on the Medal of Honor Warfighter website, and sold a limited edition Medal of Honor-themed tomahawk as part of a charity drive to raise money for veterans and their families.
In 2013 EA formally announced that the company would no longer be working with arms manufacturers, following an investigation into the use of gun licensing by video game companies published by Eurogamer. In that report an employee for Barrett, the American manufacturer of the M82 sniper rifle, admitted the company had licensing agreements in place with various game publishers at the time, including with Activision, creator of the Call of Duty series.
Well, who would have thought it. There's a new Battlefield game coming out this year, and it uses World War 2 as a backdrop for DICE's chaotic multiplayer sandbox, while also folding in features such as a new co-op mode and character customisation - both of which were the focus point for the reveal trailer - and doing away with the series' long-standing premium pass. Shortly after yesterday's reveal event, I got the chance to sit down briefly with DICE's creative director Lars Gustavsson, a long-standing member of the team and part of the franchise since its very beginning, to talk through some of the changes.
Battlefield V, in case you hadn't guessed already, is a very real video game that sees DICE return to World War 2 for the latest instalment of its large scale multiplayer-focused shooter. Ahead of tonight's reveal, press were invited to a two-hour rundown of everything that's new in Battlefield V - a detail-rich dive into all that sets this year's edition out from what's gone before. And a little on what it's taking from the likes of PUBG and Fortnite as the world's most popular games leave their mark on the old guard of shooters. Here's all that we learnt from the reveal.
After months of speculation and a few weeks of teases, EA has confirmed this year's Battlefield is set in World War 2, with DICE returning to the theatre of war in which the series was first born.
EA is nearly ready to reveal Battlefield V, the next big game in DICE's blockbuster first-person shooter series.
EA has released a brand-new Battlefield 5 teaser trailer ahead of the game's full reveal this Wednesday, May 23rd, and it appears to confirm previous rumours that DICE's latest would be WW2 bound.
At first glance, the 19-second teaser, which popped up earlier today on Twitter and YouTube, doesn't seem too revelatory. Screams and gunfire can be heard as the video begins, then a gruff looking gentleman shushes the camera in extreme close-up before all goes black.
Hit play for a second time though, with your attention directed toward the HUD at the top of the screen, and you'll notice two crucial icons - what appear to be slightly stylised representations of the British Union Jack and the German Balkenkreuz - the latter used by the German army, airforce, and navy, from 1935 until the end of World War II.