I still cannot tell you why Battlefield V's battle royale mode is not named Battlefield Royale, but I can tell you that this so-called 'Firestorm' has launched today. It's a battle royale game, right, but in Battlefield - and with a swish ring of fire closing around you, an inferno on the horizon that eats through buildings in that pleasing Battlefield destruct-o-tech way. I wouldn't say I'm motivated solely by cool explosions, but don't video games exist primarily because at a certain age it's considered inappropriate to chase your pal with Roman candle, put a Catherine wheel on your bike's wheel, or launch bottle rockets from your shoulder out a length of copper pipe you found down the back of the garden?
Firestorm is now live, free for all Battlefield V players as part of EA's rolling lineup of post-launch content. You and 63 other players drop into a deserted place to gather guns, ride tractors, find extra-fancy loot and vehicles through attention-grabbing bonus objectives, and shoot each other to pieces.
This mode has been made by Criterion Games, the studio who are mostly known for several Burnout and Need For Speed games but have also chipped in on several of EA's multiplayer shooters too.
Our Matthew played a bit last week, coming away undecided.
"It's out the gate in a very polished state and has all the key ingredients for a solid anecdote generator: crumbling masonry, a liberal scattering of explosives and zippy vehicles, the latter lent some extra spice (and tractors) by the petrolheads at Criterion. But there’s something deadening about the way it slots in among Battlefield V’s other modes and begins to contribute to the same XP-powered trudge towards cosmetic items and whatever else XP unlocks. In the cluttered royale genre, you need a long-term hook. Is it enough to just remix what Battlefield offers on tap elsewhere?"
He done some moving pictures too, which shows off that crumbling masonry and, even more importantly, an excellent helicopter accident: