How ‘Battlefield V’s Firestorm Mode Aims to Shake Up the Battle Royale Formula

Nathan Lawrence
Games PlayStation
Games PlayStation Xbox

Battlefield V is close to its D-Day launch on November 20, but its big foray into the battle royale space, Firestorm, doesn’t hit until March 2019. Here are six ways Firestorm is ready to set the battle royale genre alight when it lands next year.

AN ICONIC DUO

Developer DICE is renowned for creating all-out online warfare and iconic, incredibly shareable multiplayer moments. Criterion Games is known for its fast and furious racing games, as well as the short-but-sweet Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission and one of the best parts of Star Wars Battlefront II Starfighter Assault mode.

With Criterion in the driver’s seat and DICE offering its multiplayer expertise, Firestorm promises a new kind of battle royale. In practical terms, expect the vehicles to have Criterion’s magical mechanical touch and the all-important gunplay to be built atop DICE’s tried-and-true Battlefield gameplay formula. Name a more iconic duo. We’ll wait.

Battlefield V plane

EYE CANDY TO DIE FOR

Battle royale has never looked so good. If you’re not content with just another okay-looking battle royale game, Firestorm is set to visually impress. The red-hot lead of Firestorm’s firefights are powered by the ice-cold stunning prowess of DICE’s Frostbite engine.

Frostbite also means a rock-solid online experience. On a slightly nerdy note, this means a solid netcode, which translates to tighter gunplay. The comparatively lower player count should also help maintain a consistently stunning and stable experience.

Battlefield V Combined Arms company

THE TIGHTEST TEAM PLAY

Since the birth of Battlefield, the series has stuck to its 64-player guns. Firestorm is no exception to this. While some battle royale fans may lament the sub-100-player matches, 64 players has its perks. For starters, it perfectly matches 16 free-for-all squads of four players fighting to be the last one standing.

And you’ll want a full-strength four-player squad to tackle objectives in Firestorm. Some are random. Some are fixed. In the lead-up to Firestorm’s release, you can sink some hours into Conquest to get an idea of what they’ll look like. Play the objective to score the best gear, guns, and vehicles.

Battlefield V tank

TANKS FOR THE FRAGS

One of those vehicles you can score from completing objectives is a fearsome Tiger tank. Fighting from within the belly of this steel beast offers an attacking edge for getting across the massive Firestorm map. It happens to be the biggest map in Battlefield’s history. But Firestorm isn’t just going to gift you a tank. You’ll have to fight hard to earn it — and to keep it in one piece.

For the non-tankers, there are transport vehicles to blitz you around the map. They’re also handy for splatting any hapless foe foolish enough to walk in front of your grille. If you have to hoof it, though, move quickly and stick to interiors as much as possible.

BURNING RING OF FIRE

The Firestorm pledge is that from the moment you hit the ground, you’d better keep moving like your pants are on fire. Because if you dillydally for too long, well, your pants and the rest of you will be on fire. A fiery flaming circle is the biggest passive threat in Firestorm, and it’s incinerating everything and everyone outside the play area. You definitely want to get to the main circle as quickly as possible in Firestorm.

Battlefield V tank tow aa anti-armour gun competitive

HERE COMES THE BOOM

You may be able to break windows, shatter doors, and splinter fences in other battle royale games. But Firestorm raises the bar of razing buildings to the ground. What’s true of the core Battlefield V experience also applies in Firestorm. This means explosives can be used to destroy terrain to create new cover opportunities.

It also means you can blow a hole in a building to create a new entry point. Or detonate that attic to send a camping squad back down to the rubbly earth. With enough boom, you can bring the building down.

Plus, higher-caliber weapons can punch through cover. The higher the caliber, the harder the cover it can penetrate. You don’t need line of sight anymore to score classy frags.

All these destructible and other deadly delights combine to create a battle royale experience that should never feel the same on repeat play sessions. That’s just the tip of the Frostbite-driven iceberg, too. Even with the scant details released so far, you should expect big things from Firestorm when it explodes into Battlefield V in March.

Nathan Lawrence
Nathan is a full-time freelance frag-loving games critic who loves shooters.
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