As the reveal of Battlefield 6 edges closer, we can’t help but speculate about some of the new ideas that developer DICE may bring to the table. Last week, we reported that this year’s Battlefield release will likely be a spiritual successor to Battlefield 3 and 4, taking place ten years from now and utilising mildly futuristic military tech.
In that report, we cited Tom Henderson, a reputed leaker who reckons that Levolution will make a big return in this year’s title. Levolution is a term that DICE coined in 2013 and is used to describe huge events that change up Battlefield maps in a big way mid-match. Some of the best examples from Battlefield 4 are the skyscraper collapsing on ‘Siege of Shanghai’ or the entire map becoming submerged underwater on ‘Flood Zone’.
That got us thinking – just how far could DICE push Levolution in Battlefield 6? Here are few scenarios that we’d love to see in this year’s Battlefield release.
DICE already has some experience with designing maps around post-earthquake ravaged environments. Battlefield 3’s fourth DLC pack, Aftermath, saw the introduction of four maps set in and around the urban remains of shaken cities. It was a well-received DLC, introducing the ‘Scavenger’ game mode alongside a gimmicky, but fun, crossbow.
The destroyed environments were especially interesting to fight in. WIth new tunnels and ridges driven into the torn up roads, each map offered an uneven arena that was thrilling to tear up with close quarters weapons. That said, we never actually got to witness the earthquakes in action – all we ever saw was a few minor aftershocks that made the camera wobble about a bit.
In Battlefield 6, we’d love to see a return to the idea of a map based around an earthquake, but this time one where we get to witness the disaster in real-time. Levolution events are their best when they force players to drastically change up the way they play mid-round. Having an earthquake decimate the battlefield so that objective layouts change and new flanking routes open sounds like it would be an exciting gameplay opportunity to explore.
Maps set during the nighttime are something of a rarity in shooters. It makes sense – not everyone is suited to the idea of not being able to see your opponent in the dark. Modern Warfare skirted this gameplay idea by having a playlist dedicated to maps set at night where players were forced to rely on the Night-Vision Goggles gadget.
Battlefield has also toyed with the idea of night maps in the past. Night Operations for Battlefield 4 saw ‘Zavod 311’ converted into a twilight haven, while a couple of maps set at night made an appearance in Battlefield 1’s live service updates. What’s never been done before in a Battlefield game before is a dynamic time of day system.
Modders are already experimenting with this idea in Battlefield 3. We recently spoke to the Darkness Unleashed mod team about the day/night cycle they’re working on. Adapting maps to work at different times of the day is not as easy as you’d think, but they’ve proved that it’s possible.
With the time of day constantly changing, players would be encouraged to adapt their loadouts throughout the match to switch out gadgets accordingly as the light levels change. At the start of a round, a player could be kitted up with a flashlight and a set of night vision goggles. By the end of the round, those could be switched out for other, more useful gadgets.
Nothing is ever too crazy for the Battlefield franchise, but we might be pushing it by asking to see a volcanic eruption occur within a live multiplayer match. Gameplay implications aside, the pure spectacle of seeing a volcanic eruption recreated in DICE’s stunning Frostbite engine might be enough to warrant this inclusion alone.
There’s obviously the disastrous effect of pyroclastic flows that come with a volcanic eruption. Huge swathes of rock, ash and lava will no doubt sweep down the mountainsides, trampling anything in its path and seriously affecting objective sites. New streams of lava trickling through once-passable flanking routes blocked off with new paths forming on the newly settled rock formations.
In addition, the insane amount of ash and dust thrown into the air could seriously impact soldier visibility, possibly facilitating the need to wear a gas mask, like in Battlefield 1. Air vehicles could also be grounded, or at least heavily disadvantaged, robbing both teams of any air support backup, levelling the playing field.
The more we describe it, the more it sounds like a match made in heaven for a Battlefield title. The only concern is that the map could become distinctly less fun after the devastation occurs, as was the case with ‘Siege of Shanghai’ after the tower collapsed.
We’ve seen huge storms in Battlefield before. ‘Paracel Storm’ was a great spectacle in Battlefield 4, as was ‘Sinai Desert’’s brutal sandstorm. We’ve never seen a full-on tornado in a Battlefield game, though, and we think it would certainly make for an interesting gameplay shake-up.
The biggest issue with Battlefield storms in the past is that they only tend to affect soldier visibility. Handling a naval vehicle on ‘Paracel Storm’ became much more tricky as you adjusted your aim to account for the sickening waves. The heavy dust clouds of ‘Sinai Desert’ meant it was nearly impossible to spot anyone at a range beyond 20m or so. The storms never felt truly real for aircraft players because they never affected the vehicle handling.
Though it would likely take some incredible technical programming, it would be great to see a tornado act as a deterrent for aircraft players. With such strong winds tearing the map to pieces, it would make sense for the twister to pull aircraft in who dared to stray too close.
A tornado would obviously be extremely dangerous for infantry players, too. How players can overcome this natural disaster remains to be seen, but we’ll leave that one up to DICE to figure out.
An all-too-common occurrence these days, wildfires have proven themselves to be an immensely dangerous force of nature. So much so that DICE even decided to use one as the basis for their BFV Battle Royale mode, Firestorm.
While Firestorm may not have been as popular as DICE would’ve liked, the idea of a raging wildfire tearing through a wooded map does sound like it could offer some interesting gameplay variations, as well as a marvelous spectacle.
Imagine a map like ‘Zavod 311’ slowly becoming engulfed in flames as the fire rages through the forest. Visibility would become increasingly difficult, falling trees could block the paths of vehicles, and aircraft may find it more easy to manoeuvre in fresh clearings.
DICE have always been on the right lines with their implementations of Levolution – some have just stuck the landing much better than others. While exploring new ideas is a fun activity, we’d also like to see them revisit some of their previous work, like the flooding mechanisms on ‘Sunken Dragon’, or the collapsing wall in ‘Lancang Dam’.
Which Levolution events would you like to see included in the next Battlefield game? Let us know across our social channels.
[Featured Image Credit: EA Dice]