DICE made the controversial decision not to include any French factions in their WW1 shooter Battlefield on release earlier this year. That’s all been fixed, however, with the announcement of the next DLC to hit the title next year. They Shall Not Pass will see the French Army brought to the forefront as players are invited to experience the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of Soissons.
The DLC brings everything you’d expect to see, including the new playable French Army. You’ve got new weapons to play with, as well as new maps. War has ripped this terrain apart, with Verdun being one of the bloodiest battles of the time, so the village and forest fires that light up the concept images released by DICE are to be expected the final experience.
DICE has given those of us who haven’t read up on the historical backdrop of 2016’s biggest shooter some background information on our next experience.
“Some 40 million artillery shells were fired over the course of the battle at Verdun, pulverizing the ground, turning the earth into a shattered lunar landscape. And underneath some of these trenches, tunnels and underground fortresses provide for new experiences yet unexplored in Battlefield 1,”
The lesser known Battle of Soissons is also detailed in DICE’s press release today.
“In contrast to Verdun the Battle of Soissons in late 1918 inspired us to create a new set of maps that captures the massive French tank assaults. The fighting revolves around key bridges over the Aisne River and something big lurks around the village of Fismes.”
Verdun was one of the longest and most brutal battles of the Great War, and DICE are keen to emphasise their educational aims in bringing the horrors of this infamous event to game consoles. So far DICE has done well balancing the sombre remembrance required to recreate these scenes with engaging player interaction and a nicely educational backdrop.
It’s easy to see that those who have written lengthy condemnations of the studio for glorifying war in their latest title have done so before playing the actual game. There’s a lot more than meets the eye in this experience, and a lot of poignancy and respect that wasn’t expected from such a gun-toting, blazing series.
All of this comes on the same day as Battlefield 1’s free DLC release. Today marks the release of ‘Giant’s Shadow’ which sees British forces advancing through the Hindenburg line and onto the central railway hub. Introducing a spectator mode that will allow players to watch live battles from multiple view points, as well as the Grenade Crossbow weapon.
There are also some subtle gameplay alterations you may notice – reducing the amount of damage taken in certain situations and the amount of health gained in others for example.
Battlefield 1: “They Shall Not Pass” DLC will be available March 2017, and those who purchased the Premium Pass will have at it two weeks early.