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Battlefield 5 leak suggests we’re going back in time

Ahead of the official reveal later this evening, a promotional image spotted on the Xbox Store has set the Internet ablaze with speculation that this upcoming entry in the shooter franchise will be heading back to the early 20th century with a World War I setting. (via NeoGAF)

The image (above) depicts a soldier in a typical Battlefield game cover action pose (including the requisite hard orange side light). His clothing, pistol, and the zeppelin looming in the background point toward the first World War. The emblazoned name “Battlefield 1” spotted and tweeted by The Daily Dot’s Myke Wehner further supports this theory. The flowing cape and what appears to be a mace in his left hand give it a slightly fantastical flavor as well, however.

Related: Want Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered? You’ll have to buy Infinite Warfare

While countless shooters have been made about World War II, including the early entries in both the Battlefield and Call of Duty franchises, its predecessor has not seen nearly as much representation. And lately the genre has been skewing toward the future, with science fiction technology allowing for more dynamic gameplay that features exotic weapons and cybernetic superpowers — following 2014’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, that franchise is doubling down with the recently announced Infinite Warfare going even further into the future.

Moving in the opposite direction seems like a savvy move to differentiate the Battlefield series from the glut of sci-fi shooters. This is helped even further if there are indeed fantastical elements, which are a currently underutilized way to spice up prosaic shooter gameplay with special powers and video game pizzazz. Fantasy and first-person shooters have occasionally intersected over the years, most notably early on with Heretic and Hexen in the mid-90s from Raven Software, who is now developing the remastered edition of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

We won’t have to wait too long to find out, because the next Battlefield game is scheduled to be revealed later today at 4:00 pm PT.