There’s a new Battlefield game coming this year and it’s being referred to as Battlefield 2018. It’s unlikely that will prove to be the title, even if DICE’s numerical naming conventions are always out of whack. Following its track record, the series sure loves to jump around between dates, subtitles, and not-really-sequential numbers so, hell, it might even turn out to be Battlefield 2018. Hell, the latest rumour is it’s going to be called Battlefield V, but that comes from an article that previously claimed it was going to be called Battlefield 2 (pretty sure that game already exist, GamesBeat).
In fairness, it’s pretty unlikely that this year’s Battlefield game will end up being called Battlefield 2018, if the rumours are to be believed. Let’s cover the rumours first. The two loudest rumours at the moment are that Battlefield 2018 will be either Bad Company 3 (supposedly set between the Vietnam War and the end of the Cold War) or set in World War II. These rumours, for the most part, came from YouTube AlmightyDaq, who later refuted that Bad Company 3 would be released in 2018 and amended his claims to say it’s being developed by DICE LA (which would mark the studio’s first full-fledged Battlefield game).
The reason you at least have to partially pay attention to AlmightyDaq is he correctly leaked some details about Battlefield 1 (including its name) prior to its announcement. As a huge fan of Bad Company 2, I’d love to see a Bad Company 3 but, naturally, only if it was properly executed. Considering that DICE’s Lars Gustavsson admitted (years ago) that returning to the Bad Company franchise was an intimidating challenge for the main DICE studio—he even said he didn’t know how they got the first two Bad Company games so right—if Bad Company 3 is in development at DICE LA, consider me a little apprehensive. OG DICE or bust.
DICE LA does mostly great work with the post-release content for DICE’s Battlefield games—and I liked what I played of Battlefield Incursions, which DICE LA built—but if the studio’s first big Battlefield game is a return to the hallowed spin-off series, well, that’s about as intimidating as attaching your name to a new Star Wars movie.
I’m fonder of the rumour that the Battlefield franchise is returning to World War II in 2018, which is an even louder rumour now because of AlmightyDaq and GamerBeat’s supposed leaked info. I’ve been hoping the series would return to the Second World War since the announcement of Battlefield 1943. Sadly, the PC port of Battlefield 1943 was cancelled, so PC players haven’t had a World War II experience in Battlefield since Battlefield 1942. Considering that was released in 2002, that’s a hell of a long wait between 1940s-era drinks.
A World War II follow-up also makes a lot of sense after the runaway success of Battlefield 1 which, if I’m correctly interpreting comments from EA CFO Blake Jorgensen in a recent EA earnings call, is the most successful Battlefield game, to date. Take into account that DICE mentioned there were concerns for the World War I setting (both internally and at EA) in the lead-up to Battlefield 1, and the early 20th century setting has more than validated itself as the right choice. If Battlefield 2018 is set in World War II, the recent positive reception to Call of Duty: WWII should act as an additional external validation rather than a deterrent to not step into the same space. Besides, it’s not like a game that’s already likely been in development for a couple of years can pivot its setting if DICE already had its sights set on World War II.
On top of this, World War II feels like it has a lot more in terms of weapons (especially if they go into the experimental-weapons space), vehicles, and locations to use as inspiration that it seems like a no-brainer that there will be a return to the Second World War at some point for the Battlefield series. Regardless of where Battlefield 2018 goes, I’d like to see DICE continue to embrace the class-specific weapons (most notably in relation to their effective ranges) to help further delineate between the class roles and incentivise teamplay.
I’d also like to see DICE not give into kill-farming fans and revisit the original Battlefield 1 plan to only have captured points influence the ticket count in Conquest. This would force all roles to focus on the objective and would show that the players at the top of the leaderboard would be those who have stuck to the objective and not farmed kills. Naturally, that’s coming from someone who prioritises objectives over KDR, but from my experience with Battlefield, there’s no reason why you can’t score kills and also play the objective. Despite my PTFO bias, what I liked about this intended scoring system was it rallied teams of disparate players towards concentrating on the objectives, which led to fantastic battles and, during the few balanced matches I played, satisfying bouts of tug-’o-war over hotly contested centralised points.