After the huge success of Battlefield 1 in 2016 and a break in 2017, the Battlefield franchise will return in 2018 with a brand-new game. Now that this has been confirmed, the rumor mill is spinning like an overactive hamster's wheel, and we’re seeing all kinds of snippets about EA’s next wartime shooter crop up.
We’re expecting to see a lot more from Battlefield 2018 at this year’s EA Play, which takes place in LA from June 9 to 11. But in the meantime, we’ve gathered together the latest news and rumors to give you a better picture of just what we can expect from Battlefield’s next outing.
[Update: Battle royales are all the rage at the moment and a recent report from GamesBeat suggests that Battlefield 2018 could receive its very own battle royale mode. Coming not long after the rumors that Call of Duty Black Ops 4 may integrate a battle royale, we're now hearing that EA may be prototyping its own.
According to GamesBeat, the mode would be unlikely to be ready for the game's launch and could potentially be released as a free update. However, EA has declined to comment on these rumors so we suggest taking them with a pinch of salt for now.]
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next instalment in EA DICE’s first-person shooter series
- What can I play it on? PS4, Xbox One and PC most likely
- When can I play it? Late 2018 is most likely
Unless it’s subject to unforeseen delays, the next Battlefield will be released in 2018. This information came from an EA earnings call earlier this year, during which it was also confirmed that EA’s next big IP, Anthem, is being delayed until 2019.
It’s likely that we’ll get our first glimpse of in-game action at this year’s EA Play in June, just before E3 2018, given that EA has confirmed the game will be there to play. We think, then, that we can probably expect some kind of official announcement and trailer before this, perhaps in April or May, with a final release date around October or November.
News and rumors
EA hasn’t revealed much official information about Battlefield 2018, but there have been some rumors and leaks floating around which are worth mentioning.
Battlefield may take us to WW2
The biggest question surrounding Battlefield 2018 when it was first announced was where it would be set. After the series went back to WW1 for Battlefield 1 we were left wondering if EA might move on to World War 2 with Battlefield 2, or whether it might continue on from Battlefield 4 with Battlefield 5.
According to a recent report from GamesBeat, it’s going to be a mix of both. GamesBeat states that anonymous sources close to the project have informed it that the next Battlefield title will be set in WW2, but that it’ll be called Battlefield V, rather than Battlefield 2 (though this name could change).
It’s not the neatest naming system in the world, is it?
If this report is correct, it would be the first Battlefield to be set in WW2 since 2009’s Battlefield 1943. It is, however, rather close on the heels of Call of Duty’s boots-on-the-ground venture into the very same period just last year. Regardless, visiting a more distant era proved hugely successful for the Battlefield franchise in 2016.
EA hasn’t, of course, confirmed these reports, so they remain rumors.
GamesBeat leaks game modes
Following up on its report that Battlefield V would be taking players back to WW2, GamesBeat has also claimed to have details of some of the upcoming game modes. Campaign mode will, apparently, share many similarities with Battlefield 1’s campaign mode, and we can’t say we’d be disappointed or surprised if this is indeed the case. Players will be taken around different fronts of the war to play through different mini-stories.
GamesBeat’s sources also made mention of a co-op mode, which will take squads of players through “randomly generated Conquest missions”, although it was added that the mode could become something bigger than this.
As with the previous leak, these rumors remain unconfirmed.
A careful use of lootboxes
It was reported by USGamer that the next Battlefield will feature lootboxes, but that these will only contain cosmetic items. This wouldn’t be a massive departure from the structure in Battlefield 1, but after the backlash experienced by Star Wars Battlefront we imagine EA will be at pains to emphasize these aren’t pay-to-win affairs.
This report hasn't been confirmed by EA, but it has been corroborated by GamesBeat in its own report.
What we'd like to see
A campaign mode as good as Battlefield 1’s
It can be hard to get a campaign mode on a first-person shooter right, and most of the time we don’t expect very much from them. Perhaps that’s why we were so pleasantly surprised by what Battlefield 1 had to offer.
It was short and it wasn’t sweet, but the episodic emotionally-charged missions that took players across the different conflicts of WW1 hammered home the tragedy and global scale of the conflict. We really hope that if the next Battlefield is set in WW2 it follows a similar pattern – we wouldn’t object to it being longer, either.
Keep the lootboxes cosmetic
We hope the reports that Battlefield 5’s lootboxes will be cosmetic are true. At this point it seems futile to expect that games don’t include some form of in-game spending, so we’d like to see EA opt for the version that’s least likely to rub players the wrong way. Cosmetic items are harmless, don’t disrupt gameplay and feel genuinely optional.
Take advantage of the setting
Another of the great things about Battlefield 1 is that it stayed true to the kinds of weapons and vehicles that would have been available during the First World War, but that was also kind of limiting. If the next title is set during WW2 we’re looking forward to seeing things opened things up a bit more – we could see naval battles and aerial dogfights, as well as land-based combat.