What Should Battlefield 6 Take From Battlefield 5?
In recent news, it was revealed that more teams are joining EA Entertainment to work on the next generation of Battlefield. I’ve been a fan of Battlefield since the Modern Combat days, and at one point, I favoured the franchise over the likes of Call of Duty—hint: Battlefield 3 is the GOAT.
Recently, I was playing Battlefield 5 and found myself surprised about how active a community there is still behind the WWII-themed epic. It got me thinking – what features from Battlefield 5 should be ported over to Battlefield 6, if any at all? I’ve long been a supporter of Battlefield 5 (V for the educated) and maintain that it’s one of the best titles in the series.
I bet some of these features surprise you.
What Does Battlefield 6 Need To Have?
There are many features and mechanics unique to Battlefield 5 (or defined by Battlefield 5) that I feel would be right at home in Battlefield 6 – not that the title or numbering has been confirmed, of course.
Here they are.
Let’s get that controversial one out of the way right off the bat. I think Firestorm was a fantastic addition to Battlefield 5 but it was underappreciated and poorly utilised. It dropped in May 2019, just months after Respawn Entertainment released Apex Legends and around a year before Call of Duty Warzone hit the market.
It was a tough time for the competition in the battle royale space, but Firestorm had potential – and guess who developed it? Criterion Games, in conjunction with EA’s DICE. Who has just joined the development effort for the next Battlefield game? Criterion Games.
Battlefield 5’s destruction mechanics were monumental, and through artillery, missiles, bombs, tanks, planes, and everything else in between, users could raze the entire map to the ground. Entire villages would fall under the weight of devastating explosions, tanks could crawl through buildings, and even now, the sound of a V2 bomb buzzing over fills me with impending dread.
There was a huge backstep in Battlefield 2042 that stripped almost every ounce of destruction from the game. It was a defining feature of the Battlefield franchise, and it was last done best in Battlefield 5.
There’s a fantastic ability written almost into the background of Battlefield 5, and it gives players the opportunity to whip out a toolbox and start building defences around their objectives. It’s a neat little feature that adds extra immersion to an already immersive title, and it allows players to get a little more strategic when defending a flag or a building.
It’s a basic thing – players can click or hold a button to lay down sandbags, dig trenches, reinforce windows, set up tank traps, or roll out walls of razor wire. It can turn a simple farmhouse into a well-defended objective in just a few minutes, and I believe that if expanded upon, it could be a fantastic returning feature in Battlefield 6.
Battlefield 5 was the last game in the series to have a core campaign, which was built around the typical model – various theatres of war around the world during a major conflict. Battlefield 5’s campaign was cinematic and emotional, and it revealed some of the more ‘secret stories’ of the Second World War, much like Battlefield 1 exposed subtones present in World War I.
When Battlefield 2042 debuted without a campaign, many millions of players believed the game was nursing a gigantic hole front and centre.
It wasn’t just the campaign that was gritty and raw – it was the entire war itself. From map to map, players experienced the brutality and totality of the Second World War, travelling from Africa to France and from Norway to Japan. In Battlefield 2042, the lack of ‘realism’ was an issue, as up until that point, Battlefield had more or less become synonymous with the realistic portrayal of war.
With the introduction of robot dogs, fantastical wing suits, instant zip-lines, and all manner of futuristic technology, Battlefield 2042 – for a while – didn’t feel like Battlefield at all. If Battlefield 6 is going to succeed, I’d like to suggest that it’ll be because it’s rooted in realism, whether that be modern combat or another revisiting of an older conflict.
Battlefield 5 was much better for the player who loved Battlefield. It gave them the opportunity to form ‘Platoons’, it encouraged better squad-based play and saw players fill leadership roles, and it didn’t need to rely on Specialists (all with their own unique abilities, like a Hero Shooter) to fill out the ranks.
Many of these elements didn’t port over to Battlefield 2042, and it felt for a while like EA had stripped the community aspects from the series.
Are there any mechanics or elements you’d love to see featured in Battlefield 6 from previous games?