The “official gameplay trailer” (which is somewhat short on actual gameplay), shows several American soldiers inside a trapped tank as a squad of Germans move in, banging their weapons against the armored sides. Elsewhere, a group of biplanes fly overhead as the soldier below engage in hand-to-hand combat. A quick shot of the previously-revealed bayonet combat shows its remarkable stopping power–a charging enemy is stopped quite literally in his tracks before being slammed to the ground with the blade in his chest.
Planes and bayonets are far from the most dangerous targets you’ll be facing in Battlefield 1, however. “Ultimate Vehicles” are making their way to the game. Large airships can cause enormous destruction, even in defeat. The trailer shows a massive zeppelin smoldering as it crashes into and completely obliterates a town. The ruined airship will remain on the ground of matches after it falls, creating new obstacles and cover for both teams.
While Battlefield 4 introduced the “Levolution” environmental destruction feature, Battlefield 1 is adding something that should keep maps feeling fresh for quite a bit longer: dynamic weather. Depending on when you decide to fire up the game, a level may be covered in rain or fog, potentially reducing visibility for snipers. EA promises that weather will change “unpredictably,” with sunny days turning into thunderstorms with little warning.
An early look at gameplay showcases classic trench warfare, with a heavy fog over the map as multiple fires burn. Tanks roll through, destroying already crumbling buildings and giving other players a good reason to stay out of no-man’s-land. While all players are free to use tanks, a special “tank class” offers unique weapons and gear that will better serve the role. Damage to vehicles varies greatly depending on where they’re attacked. If you want to target the treads of a tank and render it immobile, for instance, that’s an option.
Unlike the 2D, icon-based maps of past games, Battlefield 1 allows you to see the real-time, 3D map before you spawn into the game. If an airship is covering an area on the map, it’s clearly displayed, giving you a chance to spawn far from the reach of its massive cannons. Player movement has also received an overhaul, with a “high vault” allowing you to reach a high piece of cover.
Curiously absent from EA’s presentation was campaign footage. If the trailer is anything to go by, it looks similar to David Ayer’s 2014 film Fury. Battlefield 1 hits Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on October 21.