'Battlefield V' Sound Designers Strapped a Real Rocket to a Snowmobile

And more secrets designing the sound of war.

To create authentic audio for the V-1 rockets in Battlefield V, the sound designers at EA DICE strapped a real-life V-1 rocket engine to a snowmobile. Needless to say, the results are explosive.

Battlefield V developer DICE released a new behind-the-scenes video on Friday morning that explores the game’s sound design. In the clip, UX Designer Nathalie Ek interviews Senior Audio Director Bence Pajor and Lead Sound Designer Andreas Almstrom about using real experiences to record the sounds of combat for the upcoming game.

“Our ambition has always been — I think we even have a motto that is ‘total immersion,’” Pajor says, explaining that much of the game’s sound design is created in environments similar to the ones presented in the game. “We record them where they will be used, so outdoors usually.”

For Battlefield 1, which is set during World War I, recording the weapons used at that time was a real challenge, but with Battlefield V (which moves the series forward to WWII), finding the relevant weapons wasn’t quite as difficult.

At the 3:22 mark, for instance, they toss a grenade right into a small body of water and it explodes. Listen to the audio. It really captures what you might imagine a grenade exploding underwater would sound like. These commitments to realism make Battlefield V one of the best-sounding war video games yet.

Beyond getting the sound right, DICE also worked to make sure that the game’s audio reflects your distance from whatever it is that you’re hearing in Battlefield V. So a nearby explosion sounds different from one happening further away, and not just in terms of volume.

“We do this in scaling,” Almstrom says. “We usually record on three discrete distances and in the game we blend those recordings together so if it is indoor and distant, it is actually a recorded weapon indoor but distant.”

But the most impressive feat of sound engineering comes from that V-1 rocket, which you can see get strapped to a snowmobile at about the 8:10 mark in the video. The team used the same distance-based recording techniques for this to get an authentic sense of what V-1 rocket engines sounded like in World War II.

Between these many practical sound effects and the crisp graphics in Battlefield V, the game is starting to really look like one of the most immersive WWII gaming experiences yet. But we’ll have to wait until next month to find out how it actually plays.

**Battlefield V will be released on November 20, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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