The gameplay tutorial for Battlefield V’s new Firestorm battle royale mode leaked on Thursday. The tutorial is only one minute and 30 seconds, but it tells us a lot about the game in that short period. If you dig deeper into it, even more can be discovered about the core mechanics of the game. It introduces some different things that are new to the battle royale genre while staying true to the core. Let’s discuss the trailer and dissect it piece by piece, along with information found by a data miner.
The very beginning of the trailer answers a common question with this type of game. What modes will be available? Solo, duos, and squads are featured in the release of Firestorm, with squads being four players.
While not outright discussed in the tutorial, armor is visible in the Firestorm user interface in the video. Armor’s presence isn’t surprising, but armor has been a huge focus in the battle royale genre.
In early titles like PUBG and H1Z1, armor was irreparable, making engagements feel discouraged due to resources spent in the fight. Fortnite brought a different dynamic to armor with its potion system, which was an upgrade, but it still wasn’t perfect due to the potions taking up an inventory slot that you only have five of. Blackout implemented a plate system in Operation Absolute Zero that allows you to repair your current armor set if it takes damage, but if it breaks it is gone forever. This breaking feature once again does not promote engagements. Apex Legends however has found a sweet spot in the armor system by not allowing armor to break, and inventory slots are more abundant to hold healing items.
A data miner by the name of temporyal found details in Battlefield V‘s game files that state that there are armor vests that hold tiers and an “armor plate” that has no tier. This does not tell us if armor will be able to be broken. We can only hope that Firestorm will take the same path that Apex has.
The map displayed in the trailer is much smaller than other BR maps we have seen. This is due to the lobby size only being 64 players. Some players seem to think that this will promote much slower gameplay, but the BR juggernaut in Apex has disproved that theory. Apex only holds 60 players on the map, but due to its design combat seems abundant. Apex implemented plenty of dead space that pushes players to the next big zone for loot and resources. The Firestorm map also seems to have a lot of dead space in-between landmarks. (The zone being shrunk at the time of drop may be due to the developers’ lobbies being so small.)
There are safes and different objectives placed throughout the map that can be captured to give “epic reinforcements, unusual loot, and rare combat vehicles.” This feature is similar to air drops in other BR titles, but it seems it will be more involved than just opening a crate and taking what’s inside. One of these items made its way into the trailer, but we didn’t get to see it in action.
This part of the tutorial seems a bit worrisome. We have seen an emphasis on vehicles designed solely for transport in BR games. We have only seen two instances of combat vehicles. The first was planes in Fortnite, which received a very poor response from its community. The second was the ARAV in Blackout, which isn’t too much of a threat since one cluster grenade will take care of it for the fight.
The video reveals that tanks will be in Firestorm. Tanks are already troublesome to deal with if used correctly in the multiplayer mode where anti-vehicle equipment is abundant. However, there will naturally be less anti-vehicle equipment in Firestorm. The first image below shows the tank already being on fire, which only signifies that it took damage in a previous fight. One anti-tank grenade takes it out in the second picture, but how much was used on it before this scene?
Meanwhile, one really unique addition is the “Kubelwagen.” This is a land vehicle that can be driven into the water and used as a boat too. Notice the tire and wheel wells?
Weapons rarities and backpacks
Three weapon rarities exist in Firestorm: Common, Rare, and Epic. The trailer states that “a common gun is a good starting point, but an epic has advantages like a scope, extended mag, and reduced recoil.” The word choice here makes it seem like attachments will be placed on weapons according to rarity rather than being spread out around the map to be picked up and attached. This type of system has a few pros, but a plethora of cons. A pro is that you won’t have to hunt down the best attachments for the gun you scrounged to get. The biggest con will be if the attachments are permanently fixed to the weapon like gold guns in Apex due to some attachments being undesirable. If the attachments can be removed but don’t exist on the map, no attachments could be picked up to replace them, which would be problematic too.
Meanwhile, backpacks are pretty self-explanatory. Better rarity will net you more inventory slots like in Apex and PUBG.
Down but not out
Like in many other BR titles, in squad-based modes you will have the ability to pick up a downed teammate. The big difference in Firestorm is the ability to shoot your sidearm while downed. While this isn’t extremely important, it is a cool new spin on the downed system that allows you to still put shots into the opponent and maybe even protect the teammate this is picking you up. However, no respawn system exists in Firestorm. Once you are dead, that’s it. This has been the norm for the BR genre until recently when Apex introduced the ability to revive fallen teammates. This idea was well received and even made its way into Fortnite. This is an enhancement to the genre, and Firestorm not taking advantage of it may be a mistake.
Firestorm, not dumpster fire
Dice is going to have a hard time trying to get their feet in the door of the battle royale genre, but Apex Legends has proven that it is possible. With Apex and Fortnite currently controlling the genre, Firestorm will have to do things extremely well to pull players from these titles. Regardless of if Firestorm will be the upcoming contender for biggest BR game, players and fans of the Battlefield series are excited to get their hands on a BR title with the mechanics of the game they love.