6 Ways Battlefield 6 Can Turn the Tide and Return to Form
The Battlefield series has always offered up a fantastic slice of adrenaline-fueled action. But even some of those that love the more recent entries look back and reminisce about the golden days of Battlefield. And a return to those earlier titles could be just what Battlefield 6 provides.
As the first entry to utilize the capabilities of next-gen hardware, and with the domineering success of Warzone looming over anything FPS, many eyes are on Battlefield 6, many waiting to see whether the newest entry in the storied franchise can blast its way back into classic form, and once again stand toe-to-toe with the best.
With DICE General Manager Oskar Gabrielson stating that the next entry [in the Battlefield series] will bring “epic scale”, “all-out military warfare” and “crazy, unexpected moments,” we can’t help but get think about what's to come.
With that said, there are a number of boxes that Battlefield 6 will inevitably have to check (six, in fact) to be hit the target. Let’s get into it.
A Real Focus on Weapons
While it’s not the sole offender in the shooter genre, Battlefield’s arsenals have steadily and progressively diminished over time, leaving fewer and fewer guns for players to choose from. It's something made even more prominent with more recent entries locking weapons to specific classes.
With a dwindling variety in weapon choice, it has become incredibly common (and easy) to pick one weapon and stick with it. And with dull upgrade trees, customizing weapons can be all but ignored by the casual player.
With a rumored return to a modern setting, Battlefield 6 needs to make weapon choice and customization a priority. A quick glance at any weapon menu in Battlefield 3 or Battlefield 4 highlights the abysmal state into which weapon selection has evolved with Battlefield 1 and Battlefield V.
However, weapon choice and weapon variety are not the only issues on this front.
Alongside some of its contemporaries, Battlefield’s weapons have not stood the test of time; they feel comparatively weak and samey. Jump into a game of Apex Legends or Warzone, and weapons feel unique, whether that be the quick and snappy R99 or weighty and powerful AX-50. Battlefield 6 has the opportunity to make handling each of its guns a real sense of personality, and with Sony's Duelsense showing how effective haptic feedback and adaptive triggers can be, the possibilities become quite interesting.
Destruction is what makes Battlefield Battlefield. No other modern shooter provides the highs that come with leveling a building or crashing your way through a wall to make a new path. And of course, let’s not forget the series once let us topple an entire skyscraper.
However, over the last two entries, destruction has taken a noticeable step back, despite their use of the Frostbite 3 engine. While some maps may allow you to flatten a town, à la Narvik in Battlefield V, they feel more like set pieces than anything else; there's an uneven selection of what can and can't be destroyed.
Reintroducing the types of destruction found in games like Battlefield 2 and Battlefield Bad Company, would reinstill a sense of diversity in gameplay. Destruction wouldn’t just be an obstacle to an end, but once again, a tactic unto itself.
Larger but Balanced Matches
Collectively, scaled map size and a balanced player count are incredibly important to the success of Battlefield 6. Behemoth maps, such as Caspians Border in Battlefield 4 and the classic Operation Metro from Battlefield 3, have been among the most visually impressive in the series. Combine those map designs with a swelling score and a full squad at your back, and these conflicts are nothing short of magical.
However, over the years, Battlefield has garnered a reputation for developing maps too big for squads. Battlefield V features some truly stunning and colossal maps, but with teams capped at 32 players, these battlegrounds can often feel empty, resulting in long, uninterrupted spells of running towards the combat zone, rather than being in it. Get killed just before you make it or just as you enter the fray, and entire matches could be spent simply running from point to point.
With the latest tech fueling their upcoming venture, and an already rumored 128+ player count, hopefully, Battlefield 6 is setting out to find the right balance between team and map size.
To be a True Next-Gen Experience
After delays and months of silence, it was confirmed that Battlefield 6 would be coming to both current and last-gen consoles. With a far more blended progression from one generation to the next – along with the continuing stock issues of next-gen consoles – it really comes as no surprise that EA wouldn’t want to isolate millions of last-gen players.
However, as typical team-based multiplayer experiences such as Call of Duty remain fundamentally the same as they were 15 years ago, and battle royales having hung around for over half a decade, there is the hope that Battlefield could usher in the true beginning of next-gen multiplayer.
Battlefield has always been associated with jaw-dropping graphics and a scale nearly unparalleled in the online space. Now that we can play games with 200 other players on enormous maps, however, Battlefield really needs to pull out all the stops.
While understandably unlikely, Battlefield could easily focus on a top-of-the-line experience on next-gen consoles and PC. An unrestricted version of Battlefield 6 could allow the entry to act as a return to classic form for the franchise, giving it the means to set a new standard for modern multiplayer shooters.
Since that won't happen, at least we know the game will receive boosted performance with next-gen patches and upgrades, much like how titles such as Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War and Assassin's Creed Valhalla have. Let's hope, however, that this split between both generations doesn't mean we'll get more of the same.
Revamped Battle Royale
Ok, nobody is going to cry over the failure of Firestorm, the ill-fated battle royale locked within Battlefield V. Compare Firestorm to really any battle royale and you’ll quickly notice the blatant balancing issues, messy UI, and overall lackluster experience. However, the reason battle royale has made it onto this list is that there is a fantastic battle royale game within Firestorm, and EA and Dice just need the opportunity to root it out.
Just as Blackout walked so Warzone could run, Firestorm could be the learning experience DICE needs to burst their way into the market, bringing with it all the destruction, gameplay, map design and scale that Battlefield has been known for.
One of Firestorm’s biggest mistakes was locking its mode behind a paywall, meaning players had to buy Battlefield V to play Firestorm. While a free-to-play battle royale may seem counterproductive to the success of Battlefield 6, linking the experience with each new title, as we’ve seen with Modern Warfare and Cold War, could snowball interest in this franchise – something that they’ve recently struggled with.
Streamlined Live Service Elements
Battlefield has mustered up a committed community, with lobbies still being filled in the now eight-year-old Battlefield 4, but when it comes to mainstream audiences, recent outings have struggled to maintain reasons to play.
With Battlefield V taking a step in the right direction by dropping the paid season pass a full year before Call of Duty, it ultimately failed to keep players interested with a lack of post-launch content. With Warzone currently enjoying its 80s Action Heroes event, and Apex Legends a few weeks into its ninth season, Battlefield 6 must learn how to maintain a steady flow of content that will keep its players, well, playing.
Recent statements from EA CEO Andrew Wilson also highlight the live service elements that will be making their way into the upcoming installment. Wilson told GameSpot, “And I think it's going to be an amazing relaunch of that franchise this year and will lead us into an incredible live service for the future."
Undeniably, there is a lot of pressure on the upcoming Battlefield. It needs to succeed in so many places to stand among those that are currently dominating the FPS landscape. But not only has the expectation of games changed since its last outing, but the climate of the industry itself has as well. We have our fingers crossed that Battlefield 6 will survive the war to come.