How does Battlefield 6 finally become a mega hit on Playstation 5, Xbox Series X and PC? It has to be more like Battlefield 4 and Battlefield 3. And is happy to learn from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It has to appear without massive bugs, take over the weapon modding from BF4, the destruction engine from Bad Company and the epic from BF3 – with levelution, helicopters and fighter jets.
If DICE listens to its fans, there is only one scenario for Battlefield 6 / BF 2021: modern war with a full focus on helicopters, drones and fighter jets.
There can only be one route for Battlefield 6: 2021, modern war. Full focus on Apaches, Black Hawks, drones and epic high-tech battles. It has to be more like Battlefield 3, surely the best BF in recent years. May also inherit some of the achievements from Battlefield 4. DICE can’t help it, because whenever people talk about Battlefield 1 or Battlefield 5, they say “Oh, if only they were a little bit more like BF4 and the good old BF3.” BF4 still has full servers today, it will loved in the Battlefield community. And it’s almost grotesque that Infinity Ward and Activision understood that earlier than DICE and EA. We recently analyzed why Call of Duty Warzone feels more like Battlefield than the current Battlefield 5.
No, BF5 is not a bad game, it can be great, War in the Pacific is fantastic, Battlefield needs that focus on epic battles and big maps. Unfortunately, it is also a work that has had to deal with many, many bugs and problems since its launch in September 2018. So many features simply did not work, were removed via patch or completely rebuilt. DICE really tried everything and invested a lot of money and time in this game, now you have a bit resigned. Battlefield 5 is still not completely round, but there is now only one content drop, so there is no longer a complete chapter – the attack on Pearl Harbor could be wonderfully captured, for example, on a map. Or the Rommel Africa campaign? Or the Russian campaign with iconic battles in Stalingrad? The last offensive on Berlin? Doesn’t look like it. So time to talk about what will be revealed with a bit of luck in June around the E3 time as part of Electronics Arts Digital EA Play: Battlefield 6.
In a statement to IGN, EA confirmed when we can expect the next game.
“Gamers can look forward to a new Battlefield next year. DICE will continue to support Battlefield 5 and Battlefront 2 over the next few years, but the focus is on the future of Battlefield that players will experience in 2021. ”
Design Director Daniel Berlin started work on the next title in early 2019. Since then, he has been working on an “unannounced game,” according to Linkedin. BF6 should now be at least a year in development and appear in September 2021 – Battlefield traditionally always appears before Call of Duty.
1.) Battlefield 6 needs helicopters, otherwise it is not a Battlefield
This is how a battlefield must be: infantry advance over land and water, directly covered by helicopters, while fighter jets open the offensive.
Battlefield 2021 will not have an easy time of it, it will have to fight hard to regain its fan base. The Battlefield community loves War in the Pacific, the last big update. But went through a difficult period with many lows beforehand. With all due respect for the performance of this studio, DICE will not have an easy time regaining the love of its fans. The Swedes have to deliver a very, very polished, error-free gaming experience. It also has to feel damn good and the Air Force is always a good partner for this: fighter-bombers to crack tanks and attack artillery positions. Fast attack helicopters brand Apache that can fly deep under the radar and are extremely fast. A BF that plays in 2021 could of course also include the latest models such as the Airbus H145 or the Bell Invictus 360. Battlefield 1 and BF5 are good games in and of themselves, but they simply lack the Battlefield magic. They are too sluggish, too little flexible in their gameplay and the infantry does not harmonize with the Air Force because this intermediate step of the helicopter is missing. This often leads to balance problems: bombers unload their loads over a bridge, the infantry has only a very small window of time to call their fighter pilots for help or to get into one themselves and to blow the danger out of the sky. In BF3 and BF4 we can very efficiently cover our infantry with helicopters and counter the powerful Air Force thanks to heat-seeking missiles. Therefore, the modern age is a much better setting for a battlefield than the world war.
2.) Battlefield 6 should focus on big maps and epic battles
The skyscrapers and the vertical gameplay complemented each other wonderfully in BF4 with the extensive maps.
Battlefield 5 is very infantry-focused. In some places it feels as if DICE primarily wanted one-on-one fights and the Air Force and tank units are often not an integral part of the planned gameplay loop. They are there and playable, but it often looks like you have them in because this game is called Battlefield. They are not part of the design DNA on some cards. That was a lot different with Battlefield 4: the maps were big, sometimes even huge and they had a lot of character. We remember Parasol Storm – a huge area of different islands that is hit by an eerie storm. We remember that, even after many years. In general, Levelution was a revolutionary good idea, simply because it could completely change a map during the match, for example when we blow up the skyscraper in Shanghai. We don’t want to do BF5 wrong, there are also well-designed maps with character like Rotterdam, but they are completely geared towards house warfare, with a few scattered tanks in between.
The cards from BF5 miss this element of surprise, which BF4 often had. Let’s think of transmission – huge radar station and military base in the middle, surrounded by a forest. This allows the infantry to sneak up on the enemy and stab them in the back. This surprise element is often missing in Battlefield 5. We always know exactly where the enemy is attacking from and where the front lines are. Yes, DICE keeps trying to break it open, but it looks like you have changed your design philosophy a lot. Siege of Shanghai, Dawnbreaker – these are cards, the colleagues from BF5 cannot compete. Landmass was often felt to be taken out so that everything was narrower. Of course there are commendable exceptions, Sinai Desert in Battlefield 1 and Panzerstorm in Battlefield 5, but take a look at how DICE has put the capture points closer together. In other words, there are these big cards, but they are not optimally exploited because, of course, the struggles revolve around the strategically important points. That was completely different in Battlefield 4 and BF3: motocross bikes, ATVS, buggies, tanks, helicopters, jets – they were all integrated into the flow of the map and each vehicle played its role.
3.) Battlefield 6 needs the excellent weapon modding from BF4
Weapon modifications should be visually recognizable and should make a tactical difference.
May we be forgiven for this outrage, but Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is in many facets the better battlefield. Infinity Ward works with excellent, very deep weapon modding, in which we can really adapt everything: laser modules, visors, sidescopes, barrels, grips. We can draw dozens of different tactical options to increase precision and penetration, but we’re making the weapon heavier. This is how a modern shooter should feel. Here DICE did a lot wrong with Battlefield 5: Instead of working with physical essays that we can really see, BF5 builds on a flowchart system: We opt for specializations that are invisible. In other words, a certain skin contains a muzzle brake – a muzzle brake to reduce recoil. Only we don’t see what feels strange in the game. This is a completely unnecessary limitation for the player. Why this was done: DICE decided against a premium model at BF5, which was ultimately possibly a mistake. At BF4 you made a lot of money with your content, with a total of four DLC packages. With BF5, cards were suddenly free, which sounds great on paper, but ultimately led to DICE hardly developing any new cards. At BF3 and BF4, DICE made its money with content and sometimes excellent DLC packages. At BF5 you had to make your money with skins. New multiplayer cards cost a lot of money to develop, but do not necessarily sell more skins – the priorities changed accordingly.
4.) DICE has to involve its community earlier in order to avoid time-consuming mistakes
Battlefield 5 did not return to its former strength until War in the Pacific. Before that, DICE had been struggling with bugs and features for almost a year that the community didn’t appreciate.
Of course, it is difficult to publish a mammoth project like Battlefield 5 in perfect status. However, it took DICE an extremely long time to get to grips with the many bugs and balance problems in his game with countless patches. Perhaps the biggest mistake and ultimately coffin nail for this really great game was that DICE could not decide. There was a total lack of leadership and experience, the Swedes literally danced around the volcano and were apparently completely surprised by the player feedback on a weekly basis. Just three weeks after the launch, the decision was made to drastically change the time-to-kill, i.e. the hits required for a kill. And not on a test server, but in live operation. The community rebelled, ergo you undid it. And that happened more often than at all Battlefields before: It sometimes looked as if DICE either did not understand his own game or his community or did not have a functioning Q&A, because balance patches and features came into the game that were not or only poorly worked and shot other parts of the title. Rather, complete gameplay mechanics led to absurdity. So you had to unlock said skins to get weapon upgrades. With a grind currency. Unfortunately, many players did not receive this important currency because the correct points were not awarded on the end screen. Or sometimes no points at all, because some bug jumped in between. DICE invested an enormous amount of time and money in patches that were not wanted by the community. If you had asked them beforehand, you could have saved yourself a lot of problems.
5.) If Battle Royale, then right. No more half-baked Firestorm
Call of Duty Warzone is doing everything right. BF5: Firestorm had good ideas, but was quickly neglected by DICE.
Firestorm is certainly also a child of the patch orgies that DICE had to endure. The entire development team felt constantly in alarm, which is why Firestorm did not really feel finished. Looting is essential for Battle Royale, the mechanics for it have not worked for a long time. Unfortunately, it was also decided against Free2Play, which is not smart: Battle Royale should always be playable for free, because this genre can be wonderfully monetized using other mechanisms. Many gamers would have given Firestorm a chance if it had been available free of charge. And maybe we would have bought Battlefield 5, as we are experiencing at Call of Duty Warzone. If you like Warzone and want to play real multiplayer, you can also buy Modern Warfare directly. Now Firestorm was conceptually smart and had many ideas that could have enriched Battle Royale – such as tanks that could be found in bunkers, the tanks of which we had to refill, and there was generally a lot to discover. But there were also a number of structural problems – the Halvoy map is one of the largest in Battlefield history. Here you would have needed 150 players like we have in Call of Duty Warzone. With 64 players, it sometimes took a long time to get into the battle. Firestorm was all in all fun, but was ultimately neglected and sacrificed in part because DICE needed all the resources to a) fix balance problems and b) work on War in the Pacific. Unfortunately, this can also be seen in the number of players – on several days in April 2020 we did not get the 64 players that were actually intended. Maybe it would have been better to leave it with Criterion, who originally developed it. DICE obviously didn’t have enough time for its Battle Royale mode.
6.) Battlefield 6 should return to the DLC model and needs a reliable timeline
DICE should consider returning to the DLC model, which provided a whopping 7 card packages in BF4. BF5, on the other hand, suffered from too little content from the start.
Here, too, DICE has to focus on the strengths of the BF4 era. A full 20 cards were replenished by DLC packages after launch and in a rather short time frame.
One month after launch: China Rising, 4 cards
Three months after launch: Second Assault, 4 cards
Four months after launch: Naval Strike, 4 maps
And yes, that may be a controversial opinion, but the DLC model is better for DICE. Battlefield 5 suffered from too little content at launch: only two factions (BF4 had four) and eight launch maps (BF4 had 10) are not exactly much. These were good cards, especially Narvik, Rotterdam, Twisted Steel or Aerodrome. However, with brutal balance weaknesses, which apparently have been rushed through the DICE Q&A network: bombers were overpowering, an experienced team was able to destroy half an army because the flying guns could be recharged indefinitely. Original core features such as attrition, the attrition system, according to which limited ammunition and health should make the game more tactical, were quickly discarded via patches. There were also many, many problems with the progression system. We had to wait six months for the first new cards, which were also very mediocre because they were very small. The community wanted epic battles, but they got an attack on a fishing village. It also showed the weakness of free live service, which has to monetize itself from in-game items – DICE did not make money with new cards, ergo there was no focus on that either. The BF4-DLCs regularly generated high sales because the loyal community bought them. In BF5, on the other hand, EA had to regularly invest large sums, which only paid off to a limited extent due to the sales figures. In an analyst call, Blake Jorgensen, Electronic Arts’ chief financial officer, announced that Battlefield 5 had sold 7.5 million copies, forcing the publisher to send a profit warning to its investors. At least 9 million units had been expected. The Battlefield 4 model is significantly more lucrative for a publisher, which is why we are pretty sure that it will return.
What do you want for Battlefield 6?
Further article recommendations:
Battlefield 5: War in the Pacific
Call of Duty Warzone: The Better Battlefield?
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