Info-armies from across the globe have been pincer-movementing the internet this past week to paint a clearer picture of what EA/DICE’s upcoming free-to-play, casual team shooter will be like.
Over on the official site, a developer blog’s just kicked off, dwelling more on the thinking behind the game and how it came to pass than hard facts for now. It carries an intruging sense of openness, with senior producer Ben Cousins even posting scans of his notes from the initial brainstorming. He also lists three key raison d’etres for BFH:
1. We wanted to return to the crazy unrealistic feel of Battlefield 1942 and Codename Eagle, games which we had both been fans of.
2. We wanted to make sure that players could ‘get to the fun’ easier this time – faster, cheaper and easier.
3. We were committed to ensuring that the gameplay would still feel like a legitimate part of the Battlefield franchise, with the core elements and feel preserved.
Meaty info on the finished game is all over Planet Battlefield, whose members are frenziedly reguritating everything they can glean from the various magazines to carry exclusive previews.
Classes are confirmed as Soldier (an all-rounder assault’n’medic class), Commando (stealth’n’sniping) and Gunner (a more varied take on The Heavy), and each will tote some crazy special abilities, such as chucking 15 grenades in one go, as well as general shootiness.
Notably, it sounds a much quicker, easier game – near instant spawns (including for vehicles), significantly boosted health and punier weapons. Though insta-critics say the grinning spectre of Team Fortress 2 looms over it all, apparently a cartoonish Battlefield game has been talked about since BF1942.
Then there’s the micropayment stuff – cosmetic items, from eyepatches to boots, and also new emotes (gestures and taunts are to be a big part of BFH). Would you pay $5 to be able to wiggle your bum at the enemy?
More details on PlanetBattlefield, anyway. If it all sounds like the bastard offspring of Team Fortress 2 and World of Warcraft then, well, perhaps it’s supposed to.
Oh, and some screencaps of it from a German TV show can be found here.