After taking a year off from the holiday grind in 2015, DICE has released the first trailer for its return to Battlefield proper, the WWI-christened Battlefield 1. Though no actual gameplay was shown in the preview, it did give off a sense of the sheer scale of battle, featuring planes, boats, tanks, infantry and, yes, cavalry. (DICE’s Frostbite engine continues to graphically astound too).
Appropriate for a game set in WWI, the developers are touting “global warfare” that spans across a number of regions, from the Western Front to the Arabian Peninsula, which is where the cavalry comes in. With Call of Duty going increasingly into the future, it’s probably a good move for Battlefield to retreat into the past; and though DICE is being cagey on the details on the use of mounts in the game, it would be really surprising to not have horses as playable, uh, vehicles when the game ships in late October. In any case, it’s a fresh idea for gameplay after the at-times disconnected feel of modern digital tools of war.
Of course, the series that made combat vehicles famous is promising, even more so in this new installment – basically everything that’s shown in the trailer seems up for grabs here, with some of the “biggest vehicles ever,” as the developers put it during the game’s Twitch event.
Though there’s not much seen in the trailer itself, DICE is also emphasizing the intensity and physicality of combat in Battlefield 1 — not a stretch considering the horrors of trench warfare — but how that might potentially shake up or translate to the strategic play in either the mass-scale 64 player multiplayer or the single player campaign is still unclear at this point.
The Twitch event made no mention of the (assumed) African-American character who graces Battlefield 1’s revealed key art, though its possible that, as one of the several perspectives the campaign will follow, he could be a member of the Harlem Hellfires, an African-American unit who fought more than any other Americans in WWI.
Battlefield 1 will be released October 21, though you can sign up for early access to the open beta now.