Miramar Map Comes To PUBG On Xbox One Today

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is getting a little bigger today on Xbox One. The Miramar map, which has been available on PC since December, is coming to the console version of the game. 

The map has a desert theme, with rocky hills, canyons, and towns to navigate – and to hunt down your fellow players. The update also includes several new weapons, including the R45 revolver, a Win94 rifle, and a sawed-off shotgun. There are also a pair of new vehicles, including a van that seats six, and an offroad truck.

To see the PC version of the map, take a look at our episode of New Gameplay Today that focused on that very location.

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Beta Test Miramar Map Comes To PUBG On Xbox One Today

Tekken 7 Celebrates One-Year Anniversary With Free DLC

Anniversaries tend to sneak up on you, so mark May 31st on your calendar because it’s the one-year anniversary of Tekken 7. To celebrate, Bandai Namco is giving away a host of free DLC content across all of the game’s platforms.

Here’s what you can look forward to (text from Bandai Namco):

  • Story Mode Costume Set

    • Blood Vengeance Outfit

    • Final Battle Outfit

    • The Evil Eye

    • Vagabond

  • Aura Set

    • Arm Aura

    • Leg Aura

  • Female Hairstyle Set

    • Wave Ponytail

    • Bob Hairstyle

  • New Japan Pro-Wrestling Set

    • T-shirt (BULLET CLUB x Heihachi)

    • T-shirt (Kazuchika Okada x King)

    • T-shirt (Kenny Omega x Bryan)

    • Hiroshi Tanahashi x Lars costume, health gauge, panel, and plate

  • Kuma and Panda Set

    • Assorted costumes for both characters

  • Metallic Item Set (Silver)

    • Assorted silver accessory items for characters

[Source: Bandai Namco

Beta Test Tekken 7 Celebrates One-Year Anniversary With Free DLC

Detroit: Become Human Review– An Intriguing, But Flawed, Future

As a society, we’re constantly turning to technology to relieve our burdens, and we become increasingly dependent on it. With the creation of self-driving cars and robots to attend to our needs, we have to wonder how these advancements will shape our society going forward – for better and worse. Detroit: Become Human explores this interesting question, presenting a world where androids seem more like human than machine, but they’re prisoners to our demands. The premise is engrossing, and the variety of choices is fascinating. They’re both compact and far-reaching; it could be how you develop a relationship, or which questions you ask, but what you decide always an impact and it is often unpredictable. The result is an experience you can’t look away from and leaves you thinking. Sometimes this narrow focus is also its downfall, as you begin to spot inconsistencies or unexplained information.

Detroit shows humanity at its worst – how we’re prone to greed, violence, and hate. Quantic Dream paints a horrifying look at the future, showing humans using and abusing machines at every turn. You experience this firsthand as you take control of three different android protagonists, all with different things at stake and relationships to consider. Kara must protect a child named Alice from her abusive father, deciding how far she’ll go to give her a better life. Connor must hunt his own kind – androids with errors making them display emotion – seeing firsthand the treatment that sparks these feelings. The weakest of the three arcs is Markus’, the leader of an android uprising. A look at Markus’ previous life as the caretaker of an elderly man is well done, but when he takes on his leadership role, it falls flat with predictable speeches and black-and-white decisions.

The writing is at its best in the little moments that develop relationships. Connor works with Hank, a police detective who hates androids, and their interactions are fun to watch. Connor’s objective to complete missions at all costs annoys Hank to no end, and Hank often busts his chops, trying to get Connor to see beyond the mission. In addition, watching an android like Kara having to decide what example she sets for Alice works well. Do you teach her about this harsh world where you sometimes have to do bad things to survive, or do you always do the right thing, even if it puts you in a dire situation? How you develop your relationships plays into what happens in the overall narrative, opening different paths and scenes based on your decisions, whether they’re hostile or warm.  Even small things like picking up a single, innocuous-looking item, such as a gun or photo, will open up unforeseen dialogue in future chapters.

Watching these bonds form is the highlight of the game, but the overall narrative has issues impossible to ignore. Its self-stated parallels to history, such as slavery and civil war, are too heavy-handed, making it come across as disingenuous. Quantic Dream beats you over the head with these comparisons instead of allowing you to make connections for yourself – whether through direct dialogue or in the world around you. I felt uncomfortable with how much it draws comparisons to the Civil Rights Movement; this fictional battle obviously doesn’t have the same stakes as the real-life oppression it mirrors, and the way it is used as a crutch further cheapens the struggle. One character even has a speech stating he has a dream to be equal, straight from Martin Luther King’s famous declaration. The world is strong enough on its own, and doesn’t need to rely on these ham-handed connections. The core message does a good job displaying how humans often fear change and the unknown, as our violent (and sometimes catastrophic) history shows. In many ways, it’s on you to change humanity’s trajectory, making choices that support how androids should be treated and if we should see them as new intelligent life or simply machines to help us get by.

The extremism also extends to the supporting characters, making them feel cliché, with plenty of over-the-top situations and one-note agendas. Much of the cast seems to always have the worst intentions, including Alice’s abusive and drug-addicted father, and another character who treat robots as his toys to experiment on. Detroit tackles complex themes and doesn’t shy away from violence. Scenes of abuse and brutal circumstances are omnipresent, and they made me uncomfortable – as they should. The scenes make sense in the context of the story, but they feel exploitive due to the over-the-top antics. These stories can certainly be told in video games, but the frequency they’re used here is high, especially in Connor and Kara’s arcs, which can go to dark places.

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When I played Detroit, I was captivated by it. But my disappointment grew as I hit some plot twists and realized how poorly certain information is explained – like how Markus has the power to convert machines and give them free will. You find plot holes regardless of the path you take, but especially in Kara’s arc.  I had to suspend my disbelief to enjoy Detroit for what it is – similar to previous Quantic Dream titles like Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy. Some important details can be uncovered by making different decisions, but hiding basic plot information behind dialogue choices players may never see is frustrating. I felt strung along by some mysteries, only to see them amount to little in the end. Additional playthroughs provided some of the answers I wanted, but the reveals aren’t satisfying enough for how important these threads appear to be.

Even so, replaying the game and certain scenes gave me an appreciation for how far-reaching and different a playthrough can be. After you complete a segment, you are shown a grid of each variation, with the paths not taken left as blank boxes. Some chapters are more linear than others, and some choices only offer minor variations but still put you in the same place. The branching paths really shine in the latter parts of the game. Choice-driven games typically struggle with giving players enough satisfying variations, but Detroit acknowledges what you’ve done, like how you’ve built your relationships, and the split-second decisions you’ve made, like taking a risk during a chase scene.

This is a great achievement by Quantic Dream. To write a scene so many different ways and still have it work is not an easy feat, and the scope of choices and consequences in this narrative is one of its biggest strengths. It’s unlike anything I’ve played in that regard, and it makes me excited to see what Quantic Dream can do in the future and if other developers will follow. That being said, Detroit wants you to own your decisions, and sometimes that means grave consequences. The story ends in many ways, some more satisfying than others, but it is about learning the repercussions of what you did in this intense situation and accepting it. My only big knock on the choice front is that your interactions have few shades of gray; it really boils down to whether you want to be peaceful or fight fire with fire, and whether you want to treat androids like people or machines. The plot presents complex dilemmas, but usually only gives you these simple options to deal with them; I was left wishing for more nuanced ways to handle many situations.

The variance in choice is downright impressive, but the overall gameplay could use more variety. Detroit relies on quick-time events for every occasion, and sometimes this feels redundant. I can only experience so many fights, investigations, and chase scenes before they all start to bleed together. In addition, the touchpad and motion controls are unintuitive, and I hated each time they appeared, because I knew it could mean failing a sequence and having to deal with consequences for something that didn’t feel like my fault. Quantic Dream explores a new element unseen in their previous choice-based games, where you can use Markus’s special power to calculate movement ahead of time, seeing what success or failure would look like. I like this idea, as it lets the player determine the route and not have to face a fail condition based on arbitrary decisions like which way to jump.

Detroit made me think about topics I’ve avoided about humanity and our future, and that’s a good thing. These are hard issues to explore, and I’m glad Quantic Dream took on the challenge knowing it could result in failure. Detroit both succeeds and stumbles in that area. Its biggest assets are the relationship building and expansive branching paths. I keep coming back to explore its variations. Not only are they fascinating, but I cared about where I left these characters. The overall message about technology and our future lingers long after the credits roll, making me wonder how I’ll handle my relationship with technology as it takes us to new places.  

Beta Test Detroit: Become Human Review– An Intriguing, But Flawed, Future

Runescape Classic Servers Shutting Down After Seventeen Years

Ever since its launch in 2001, the proto-MMORPG Runescape has been a cornerstone of a lot of formative gaming moments. Sadly, that all ends this August as the servers are finally going offline.

Runescape was developed by Jagex in the early 2000s and is likely familiar to people who read magazines like Next-Generation or, well, Game Informer back in the day. The online PC game introduced a generation to what might be possible with online interaction in the future and shaped a lot of what the modern game industry takes for granted.

It is not like the game has been continuously supported for the last two decades, though. Jagex stopped supporting the game years ago, which has lead to the title running wild with bugs, bots, and cheaters. The developers feel this has gone too far and become game-breaking and need to put the game out of its misery.

“We’ve not fully supported RuneScape Classic for years, so why are we suddenly seeing it as a problem now?” Jagex wrote in a blog post. “The truth is that bots and lack of community safety tools are serious problems, however, we also feel that we can no longer offer long term service reliability due to the growing risk of unrecoverable game breaking bugs. The number of bugs is getting worse, and we’re gradually seeing the game breaking. It’s important to highlight that these are bugs which we can’t fix due to the unsupported nature of the game.”

The servers will shut down on 12:00 AM PT August 6.

 

Our Take
It’s a shame, but I was a little surprised it was still running. Seventeen years is a pretty good run.

Beta Test Runescape Classic Servers Shutting Down After Seventeen Years

We Happy Few Refused Classification In Australia, Developer Responds

We Happy Few, the fascist nightmare about oppressive drugs and the oppressors who distribute them, has been refused classification in Australia, leaving the developers baffled about what to do next.

The game appeared on Australia’s ratings board’s website yesterday, stating that the title was refused classification. This effectively means that the game can’t be sold in Australia, which is especially an issue since the game was crowdfunded. It isn’t clear why the game was denied classification, but the website states that the rating is reserved for games that “depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.”

We Happy Few is about a dystopian society where people take a drug called Joy to distract themselves from the horrors of society, but the drug use also mollifies people. Drug use has prevented some games from classification in the past, with Fallout 3 being the most notable example, where the Med-X item had to be renamed from Morphine due to the Australian ratings board’s ban on the use of real drugs. Joy, however, isn’t real, and it is impossible to know what the issue is without the board releasing a statement.

Developers Compulsion have released a statement also expressing confusion and asking backers not to seek refunds quite yet.

“As many of you may know by now, yesterday the Australian Classification Board chose not to classify We Happy Few, effectively banning We Happy Few from sale in Australia,” Compulsion wrote in a blog post. “We are looking into it, and have asked for more information on the decision. To our Australian fans, we share your frustration. We will work with the ACB on the classification. If the government maintains its stance, we will make sure that you can get a refund, and we will work directly with affected Kickstarter backers to figure something out. We would appreciate if you give us a little bit of time to appeal the decision before making a call.”

Compulsion also slyly took an implied shot at the banning with a reminder of the game’s themes being somewhat ironic to this decision.

We Happy Few is set in a dystopian society, and the first scene consists of the player character redacting material that could cause offense to ‘society at large’, as part of his job as a government ‘archivist’. It’s a society that is forcing its citizens to take Joy, and the whole point of the game is to reject this programming and fight back. In this context, our game’s overarching social commentary is no different than Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, or Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.”

The game was originally scheduled for release in April, but was delayed into the summer for fine-tuning. The title is being published by Gearbox for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

 

Our Take
This is certainly odd, but I think the thing I find most odd is the board not effectively communicating their issues with the developers. You would think that would be part of the board’s function.

Beta Test We Happy Few Refused Classification In Australia, Developer Responds

PlayStation Boss Says Sony Portable Gaming Could Return

John Kodera, the new chief of Sony Interactive Entertainment, has been speaking his mind about the future of the PlayStation brand and has mentioned what he thinks of Sony and portable gaming.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Kodera broke with his predecessor Andrew House on the subject of portable gaming like the PlayStation Portable and the Vita, which House has said he believed to be limited globally. Kodera disagreed and wasn’t sure that abandoning the idea is a final decision for Sony.

“In my opinion, rather than separating portable gaming from consoles, it’s necessary to continue thinking of [portable gaming] as one method to deliver more gaming experiences and exploring what our customers want from portable,” Kodera said at a roundtable interview on Wednesday in Tokyo according to Bloomberg. “We want to think about many options.”

Rumors have been circulating about a Sony-made hybrid of a console and a handheld a la Nintendo’s Switch, though they appear to be mostly more in wishes than evidence that Sony is planning such a thing. Kodera himself avoided relating his comments to the Switch, but when considering how Sony has felt about the success of the Vita, it is likely that a dockable handheld is not far from his mind.

Sony established an internal initiative for mobile games two years ago called ForwardWorks, though it has yet to deliver the company any major hits.

[Source: Bloomberg]

 

Our Take
House was pretty firm in his belief that the Vita and the decline of the 3DS compared to the DS meant that portable gaming was dead outside of Japan, but Kodera is seemingly a lot more open to it. I think another device like the Vita is probably not going to do well, but I would be interested to see how they’re observing global trends and what they would build in line with that.

Beta Test PlayStation Boss Says Sony Portable Gaming Could Return

Zone Of The Enders: The 2nd Runner – M∀RS Demo Out On PS4

Konami has somewhat of a spotty history with HD remasters, so ZOE fans unsure about the newest update have a demo to take for a spin.

The Zone Of The Enders: The 2nd Runner – M∀RS demo takes advantage of all permutations of your PlayStation 4 hardware. On the PS4 Pro, you can play the demo at 4K. With the PSVR, you can obviously play the game’s hopefully gentle VR mode. Both versions allow you to play with something called Pro controls, which allow you to have even more control over Jehuty and is designed for veterans.

The demo also has a training zone that you might want to spend some time in before heading out there. ZOE2 is hard to get the hang of and is designed to have a slow ramp from a very simple mech to basically being a god in mech form, so it doesn’t demo extremely well. 

Zone Of The Enders: The 2nd Runner – M∀RS releases on PlayStation 4 and PC on September 4.

Beta Test Zone Of The Enders: The 2nd Runner – M∀RS Demo Out On PS4

Update: Leisure Suit Larry Wet Dreams Don't Dry Confirmed

Update: Assemble Entertainment has confirmed that Leisure Suit Larry is returning with the weirdly titled Wet Dreams Don’t Die, which appears to be targeting the niche Swery 65 game Dark Dreams Don’t Die for parody, for some reason.

The game superficially brings Larry into the modern age of smartphones with dating app “Timber” and photo social network “Insta-Crap.” Millennials!

Leisure Suit Larry’s steam page lists a Q4 release date for this year, so the game is likely very close to done.

The original story is as follows:

If, after the string of mediocre-to-bad “recent” Leisure Suit Larry games, you’re still hoping the character gets brought back, you may be in luck.

Steam currently has a listing for a new game in the series, which is titled “Leisure Suit Larry – Wet Dreams Don’t Die,” on its store for the $30. Normally this would be confirmation of a game’s existence, but there are few details here that means fans should take this news with a grain of salt. The genre, developer, and developer aren’t listed, and there are no images of the game shown on the page.

We do get a release date, however: Oct. 24, 2018. Which is strange, since the date is usually the last thing we know about a game. In case that listing gets taken down at some point, here’s a screenshot of the page.

The last game in the series was the 2013 remake of the original game, which didn’t exactly wow our own Jeff Cork. Whether this new entry some sort of anthology, collection, or a new game remains to be seen, but it’s also likely this is some sort of glitch or a Kevin’s Back Jack debacle.

 

Our Take
Sure?

Beta Test Update: Leisure Suit Larry Wet Dreams Don’t Dry Confirmed

George R. R. Martin To Produce Animated Movie


Image Source: George R. R. Martin Blog

George R. R. Martin is working with Warner Bros. Animation to bring his 1980 children’s book The Ice Dragon to life on screen. The book follows a girl named Adara, who befriends a legendary ice dragon to save her world from destruction by fire-breathing dragons.

Martin announced April 25 that The Winds of Winter, the next novel in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, will not release in 2018. His book Fire & Blood, a history of the series’ Targaryen family, is set to publish November 20.

Publisher Tor Teen released an updated edition of Martin’s The Ice Dragon in 2014 with illustrations from Luis Royo. 

[Source: Deadline via IGN]

 

Our Take
I’m eager to see the movie, but I imagine A Song of Ice and Fire fans are confused as to why Martin keeps taking on other projects before moving on with his most famous series.

Beta Test George R. R. Martin To Produce Animated Movie

12 Things You Need To Know About Battlefield V

Sixteen years after Battlefield 1942 changed the landscape of competitive first-person shooters with its large-scale land/air/sea battles, the series returns to the same setting with Battlefield V. Today DICE dropped a kiloton of information on its eager fan base, revealing dramatic changes to some core Battlefield tenants, exciting new modes, and a new approach to its post-launch plans. Here’s what we know about the game so far.

Battlefield Returns To World War II

Yes, Battlefield is going back to the place where it all started for the series. But DICE isn’t interested in retreading the most famous battles of World War II. “To be frank, we’ve all played it – we’ve all been there,” says senior producer Andreas Morell. “We’ve all stormed the beaches of Normandy and cleared every bunker in France. I think some of us can probably navigate the countryside by muscle memory alone. And we’ve also seen the movies. So for us, we really wanted to give our players something new.”

What does that mean for a war that’s been retread in games and films so many times? The studio created this edict: Take players to unseen locations, tell untold stories, and have them fight unplayed battles. DICE teased a few of these during the event, including arctic battles in Norway, airborne operations in Rotterdam, and tank battles in North Africa. We also saw concept art for the French countryside, so not every location will be off the beaten path.

Battlefield 1942 featured some of the most memorable maps of all time, so I asked design director Daniel Berlin how DICE plans to leverage those classic maps. While he said they aren’t ready to announce anything, you can tell they have some plans to capitalize on that game’s legacy. “I can’t say anything about yet, that but there are ideas around these things – there is a lot of good stuff,” Berlin says. “I can also say we are drawing inspiration from those old maps. We know that people will play this game and look back to 1942. To certain degrees we want them to be at certain locations and go, ‘Oh! I’m getting that feeling that I had [in 1942].’ Playing the game, you will definitely get those nostalgic vibes.”

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Operations Returns, With A Grand Renovation

After the success of Battlefield 1’s new Operations mode, a long-form match that took place over multiple maps, DICE is doubling down on the concept in Battlefield V. Now called Grand Operations, the modular experience now switches between different modes as well as maps. In the example DICE gave us set in Rotterdam, you may start the battle as part of an airborne invasion in a new mode called Airborne. The attacking team must drop behind enemy lines and take out the long-range artillery so their invading force can advance. In the beginning, every soldier must spawn in the aircraft and pick where they want to jump as the plane moves across the map. Defenders in AA cannons can target these carriers and rack up crazy kill counts if they manage to down one with several soldiers waiting to deploy. 

On day two, the battle still takes place in Rotterdam, but now the invading force is moving in to capture points in the classic Operations fashion, which is now a mode called Breakthrough. The number of troops and vehicles is determined by how quickly the paratroopers took out the long-range artillery in the last round. 

When day three begins, the map changes to a bombed-out version of Rotterdam where the players see the destruction from the early bombing runs. This operation could end on this day if the attackers achieve a decisive victory. But if the battle is close, it extends into day four, which in this case is a new Last Stand mode.

Last Stand is the ultimate war of attrition. Ammo is low (you may only start with one magazine), vehicles are scarce to nonexistent, and if a squad is wiped they cannot come back into the match. This puts heavy emphasis on squad coordination to resupply and revive each other.

This is just one example of how DICE could construct a Grand Operation. The developers can modify the modes included, the number of vehicles, and types of weapons at teams’ disposal every time they introduce a new one. DICE also plans to use this mode to introduce all the new maps and content coming to Battlefield V over its lifespan, but that content will eventually migrate over to the classic modes like Conquest, Domination, Frontlines, and Team Deathmatch. New (or renamed) modes like Airborne, Last Stand, and Breakthrough will also be available as standalone experiences. We’ll play Grand Operations for the first time during EA Play at E3.

Squad Cooperation Matters More Than Ever

As the waning rounds of Grand Operations demonstrated, you really need to work together to emerge victorious in Battlefield V. This is the reasoning behind why players automatically spawn into a squad when joining a match in Battlefield V. You can still opt out of the squad and go lone wolf, but the design stresses cooperation more than ever before, and if you go lone wolf you’ll miss out on some tide-turning weapons.

This renewed focus on team play begins with the squad leader, who has more power than ever before. If the designated squad leader isn’t issuing orders and another player is continually requesting an assignment, the job will automatically switch to the person showing an interest in getting objectives. As the team performs actions together, they earn squad-reinforcement points over the course of the match. Once they hit certain thresholds, the squad leader then has powerful new tools at their disposal that they can deploy to benefit the team. This includes special vehicles only your squad members can spawn into, supply drops, a smoke barrage to supply cover, and even a V1 rocket you can drop on a tough-to-crack frontline to punch a hole in the defense. The squad leader must weigh this decision and determine whether they want to spend these points early for an immediate benefit, or save them in hopes of unleashing one of those deadly rockets later in the match. 

One of the most significant changes to Battlefield V relates to revives. For the first time in the series, all squad members can revive each other, regardless of what class they are using. These “body revives” take much longer, and they leave the saved player with much less health than they would have if a medic did the job. If your downed squad member is out in the open, you can now drag them behind cover before attempting a revive, as well. 

The squad spawn revamp lets you page through over-the-shoulder looks at each of your comrades to get a better understanding of what you are getting yourself into. You come to this screen by default instead of going back to the full deploy screen every time – unless your squad is wiped. In that case, new indicators tell you where your teammates plan to spawn so you can more quickly get back on the same page. 

Scarcity Changes The Way You Play

In another move to force team play, DICE is taking a new approach to loading out soldiers when they respawn. You still get a few clips of ammo and a grenade, but unless you’re an ace shot, don’t expect that supply to last very long. You also don’t regenerate your full health after taking a bullet, so staying by a medic is going to be key to survival. To help with the resource scarcity, you can always resupply ammo, gadgets, and health on a flag position – provided one has been built there. Bold soldiers can also run to collect ammo off the corpses of their downed enemies as well, keeping them in the fight a bit longer. We’re curious to see how these changes affect the scout class. Snipers who like to camp are going to need an ample supply of ammo before they go perch on the ridge. Maybe this will convince more player to PTFO. DICE hopes this new scarcity creates more micro-lulls in the action where squads regroup before pushing forward, lending the play a more measured and tactical rhythm. 

Major Gameplay Changes

The list of gameplay changes coming to Battlefield V is long, but let’s start with the tool everyone uses the most in the game – guns. DICE is changing how weapons work to reduce the randomness while firing and give each gun a more predictable burst pattern that players can learn over time and eventually master. Where you aim is now where you shoot – no random bullet trajectories going left or right. DICE demoed this new technology on a test range and the variant between burst patterns was dramatically more reliable. This should increase the viability of LMGs for the support class, which can now rip through cover thanks to a new bullet-penetration ballistics system.

Those who like to go heavy have a fun new toy at their disposal in Battlefield V – towing stationary weapons. Now you can attach an AA gun or stationary .50 cal to the back of your tank and drag it to a more strategic location. You can even have one person firing the AA gun on the go while the tank driver is lobbing shells, turning the duo into a mini armored train of sorts. 

Grenade spam has been a constant topic in the Battlefield community, and DICE has finally addressed it in a meaningful way by adding the ability to shoot grenades out of the sky or throw them back. Hopefully, this mitigates some of the shrapnel-filled death corridors that have a tendency to develop during battles. 

DICE also changed how soldiers move through the environment, adding a layer of realism to wading through water or running through mud. If a player is trudging through shallow water, the soldiers will now lift their legs higher. Running on mud or rocks may cause your soldier to slip slightly, and they now charge into cover with full physicality, violently banging their bodies on the cover when running to the position. The environment also reacts to soldier movements in realistic ways. If you are moving quickly through high grass or shrubbery, enemies may see the blades or bushes moving. 

Soldiers have more varied options when going prone as well. Dropping quickly to prone, you can now land on your side to keep your aim in a particular direction. You can backpedal while prone, and even turn 360 degrees. This will be handy when you are positioned in a building but need to get a look at who is approaching up the stairs. 

The last major change DICE teased is a revamped spotting system. You can no longer just spam the spotting button to reveal icons all over the map. DICE isn’t explaining how the new system works exactly, but we’ll get our first look during E3. 

Destruction Gets Physical

Destructibility has always been a hallmark of Battlefield, and DICE is introducing some impressive physics-based tweaks to the system in 2018. When shredding buildings to pieces with heavy ammo, you will see it react naturally. Exploding a wall from the inside will send the debris outward, and the decimated parts are now all real pieces of the building, not just pre-rendered chunks. Similarly, blasting a building from the outside will send the debris inward. Some pieces may end up hanging by a thread, eventually succumbing to gravity a bit later should another blast shake it free.

Fortification Counters Destructibility

One of the most interesting new mechanics Battlefield V introduces is fortification. We’ve all been hiding in a house, only to have a tank shell rip it to pieces and leave us with no cover. Now, soldiers of any class can make fortifications and rebuild parts of these structures. The fortification mechanics even work out in the open – you can deploy sandbags, anti-tank obstacles, barbed wire, resupply centers near flag points, etc.  

Support class builds faster and can create more fortifications than the other classes, including stationary machine guns. They can also repair these types of weapons. 

EA Choses Live Service Over Paid DLC

The new Tides of War live service replaces the Premium Pass approach from past Battlefield games. Design director Daniel Berlin says DICE has ambitious plans to keep this service evolving. Most content will come in the form of chapters that advance to new fronts of the war, giving the player a deeper context on the breadth of World War II and introducing new modifications to existing modes, new narrative experiences, new cooperative missions, new maps, and new rewards. 

The big question this raises: Does this new approach mean a dramatically reduced number of maps? “I can’t say anything in terms of numbers, but we are really f—ng dedicated to making sure that this journey in Tides of War is something we’re really leaning into,” Berlin says. “I can’t talk specifics, but there’s going to be tons of stuff for you guys.”

Dramatically Expanded Customization

For the first time in the Battlefield series, you can now customize your characters from head to toe. As the screenshot above indicates, this even extends to gender – expect to see a lot more female soldiers in the field. Customization options include facial features, hair, face paint, upper torso, pants, and accessories like goggles and gloves. The trailer shows a woman with a mechanical arm, so expect to see some unique offerings.

Guns and vehicles also have dramatically expanded customization options that extend beyond skins. Weapons each have five-to-seven different visual parts you can customize, including the chassis material, muzzles, stocks, scopes, and trinkets. We saw some guns decked out with immaculate marble stocks, and others that looked more DIY, like having foliage bent over the muzzle. 

Customization extends beyond the cosmetic and includes perks. Each character class has different archetypes you can purchase with the grind currency to unlock new play styles, and the same goes for tanks. Maybe one of your Tiger tanks is outfitted with heavy armor plating to take more damage, and your other one is outfitted with upgrades that improve its speed and handling.

All your various class characters, weapons, and vehicles can be accessed via your Company page. This is the all-in-one customization hub where players will spend a significant amount of time. 

Yes, EA plans to allow players to buy a currency to unlock customization options, but some items will only be achievable by completing specific tasks in-game. DICE also assured us there are no pay-to-win microtransactions that could give a player a leg up on their competition.

This new system spells the end for battlepacks. Instead of these random loot drops, you can buy what you what when you want it. 

The expanded Assignment system gives you a lot of ways to earn more currency, including daily orders and more time consuming special assignments. Since not everyone always had the skill to meet special assignment objectives in previous Battlefield games, DICE offers multiple ways to meet the objectives. 

Players can show off their customized look in more places than the killcam in Battlefield V. Now when you go in for a melee kill, your opponent sees the whites of your eyes (and your immaculate fashion sensibilities). You can also get an up-close look at your teammates when they rush to revive you. 

War Stories Return

Battlefield 1’s approach to single-player content won over fans and critics alike with its focused, short-story-style war missions that gave you a deeper glimpse into the lives of the various soldiers fighting the good fight across many fronts. War Stories return in Battlefield V as well, though DICE isn’t going into much detail about the breadth of content available just yet. All we know is they are inspired by real events and intended to “make people feel something,” as senior producer Lars Gustavsson says. We did get a brief tease of one story featuring a Norwegian woman who puts her life at risk to save her family. Expect to hear more about War Stories as we get closer to launch. 

Introducing Combined Arms, A New Cooperative Mode

For years, DICE has searched for a new way to onboard players to its impressively deep but sometimes hard to understand intricacies of Battlefield multiplayer. This year, the studio hopes to bridge the gap between single player and multiplayer for good with a new four-player cooperative mode called Combined Arms. DICE built a mission generator that allows the team to customize new experiences quickly in a variety of environments. One mission may have you parachute behind enemy lines and try to stay undetected as your squad moves through objectives. When the mission gets hairy, you will have a tough decision to make: Do you extract to keep everything you have gained to that point, or tough it out to try and retrieve the big reward at the final objective?

By introducing squad mechanics in a PvE space, DICE hopes this properly acclimates new players, while giving veteran soldiers a fresh experience at the same time. All the things you unlock in Combined Arms feed into your company. 

Classes Are Being Rebalanced

Battlefield V introduces some significant changes to the class system because of the new systems being introduced in the game. “We’re adding stuff to the sandbox, meaning the fortification system and towing, and we’re adding more abilities to the player – how they can interact with the world and they can shoot grenades in the sky or throw them back, or backpedal and all these things,” Berlin says. “With these new ingredients added to the sandbox, we are doing a rebalancing phase as well to make it fit this new formula.”

The Battlefield V Play First trial begins October 11 on Xbox One and PC. Players who buy the deluxe edition can join the fray on October 16, and the standard edition launches on October 19 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Beta Test 12 Things You Need To Know About Battlefield V