5 features we want to see in Battlefield Mobile
With EA set to release a mobile version of Battlefield next year, it is surprising that there are so few details about it. While there are screenshots available as well as a leaked playtest, fans are eager to learn how the mobile version of the beloved shooter will compare to previous releases.
EA will want to make Battlefield Mobile feel as close to the console and PC games as possible, which has worked well in the past with competition, like Activision and Call of Duty Mobile. However, with developer Industrial Toys mostly taking the reins from DICE, as well as a fanbase largely unsatisfied with the changes observed during the Battlefield 2042 beta, it's unclear what features will be present in the mobile release and how closely it will resemble the Battlefield fans love. We think we know what needs including though. Here are five features we want to see in Battlefield Mobile.
Large weapon roster
Since mobile is a platform that is inherently more restrictive than console or PC, it's important to give players variation in their gameplay. Since fewer features will be implemented overall on mobile when compared to the more complex games in Battlefield's history, a large selection of weapons is one way to achieve this.
Initial screenshots are promising, showing multiple weapons and suggesting that more than one loadout is possible. COD mobile is a competitor that EA will have monitored closely when developing Battlefield Mobile, and that game does contain great weapon variety and multiple loadouts, showing that it can be done in the mobile space.
Having a large selection of guns also would complement the already-announced specialist class system. The ability to customize your soldier with a variety of weapons that suits their particular attributes would help each specialist feel unique, and add more importance to the overall squad. Having enough variety in the guns when you first start playing, as well as being able to unlock many guns through progression, is also a key element that should be included. This would aid the longevity of the game, as well as not being too restrictive for newer players.
Speaking of squads, it's currently unclear how they will work here. Typically in Battlefield games, players are automatically assigned a squad when spawning, with one player becoming the squad leader. These players create a respawn point for other members and gain the ability to direct the other squadmates, and each member of the team can get point boosts for healing other members. This works well with Battlefield's class system, as each member of the squad can potentially bring something new to the table. In such a competitive market, this feature would differentiate the game from other mobile offerings, while ensuring it stays authentically Battlefield.
Battlefield 2042 recently came under fire during its beta for removing or changing key features present in past Battlefield games, with squad implementation being one of them. While you can still be part of a squad and respawn on the leader, gone are the communication options, with the typical class system being replaced with hero shooter elements in the form of individual specialists. These specialists are named soldiers that can be customized in much the same way, removing the need for a squad. The classes in Battlefield Mobile were also replaced, at least by name, with Specialists. Whether they will operate like previous classes or the new specialists from Battlefield 2042 remains to be seen, but we hope it's the former.
Many previous Battlefield titles featured a range of movement options. These allow the player to outmaneuver their enemy and provide different ways to navigate the map and locate enemies. Sliding and rolling, if used well, provide a different kind of challenge for enemies during gunplay as well as an advantage to the player in close quarters combat. Leaning out of cover is another aspect of movement that aids the player. While playtests for the game are ongoing in certain territories, it's unclear whether these movement options are present in Battlefield Mobile.
The addition of movement mechanics such as these would present variety to the player while staying true to previous titles. Leaning out of cover, in particular, is very much part of Battlefield, contributing to the leaning (sorry) of the franchise away from the more arcade style of competitors such as Call of Duty. The issue here could lie in how the player can activate a roll or slide using the limited screen space for buttons, but it is not unreasonable to hope for a greater freedom of movement in-game.
Of course, the aforementioned rolls and slides could allow the player to get close enough to an enemy soldier for a sweet melee kill, and there is nothing more satisfying in these circumstances than a well-earned takedown animation. These have been a Battlefield feature since its third installment, and reward players for killing enemies with melee weapons, such as knives. The inclusion of one of the more satisfying features in Battlefield would be a great addition to the mobile version, and would add an incentive to not always use guns, varying gameplay.
The brutal nature of takedown animations also adds to the realism, something Battlefield has always been known for when compared to the likes of Call of Duty. The implementation of this feature to the mobile game would help present the game as a continuation of this, something fans would no doubt appreciate. It's unclear whether such animations could be done on mobile given the limitations of the platform, but even a stripped back version of the animations fans know and love would have a big impact on player engagement during matches.
Large scale warfare
Undoubtedly, one of the pillars of the Battlefield franchise is the sense of scale during battles, with huge maps and a large number of players being commonplace throughout the series. Battlefield has consistently pushed the boundaries of what is possible here, and while it won't be realistic to expect the same expansive warfare seen in mainline releases, there are already promising signs for the mobile release.
Destructible environments that add to the spectacle have already been confirmed, as has the return of fan favorite maps. Damavand Peak, Noshahr Canals, Grand Bazaar, and Operation Metro will be present at launch, with more surely added through later updates. With previous sizeable maps added, perhaps we could see new maps equal the classics in size and scope.
In terms of players, EA have so far confirmed that 32-player games will be available. While that will surely be enjoyable, it would be great to see at least double that number filling the classic maps of old. COD Mobile features 100 players in its battle royale mode, proving that it is possible to have a higher player count in a mobile game. This will surely be a key contributor to the success of the Battlefield Mobile, with many gamers likely to compare the two shooters on such factors. This is one feature that EA would be unwise to ignore.
Can it capture the magic?
Regardless of whether these features will be implemented or not, Battlefield will surely be met with a huge number of fans at launch who are eager for a Battlefield game to finally be released on mobile devices. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how closely the game resembles the classic Battlefield formula.
Whether it's takedown animations, squad communication, a large arsenal, huge scale warfare, or the ability to lean out of cover, we think these features would make great additions to the mobile Battlefield experience. As we get closer to launch, we will inevitably find out more about the game, and may see some of these suggestions included. However the finished product looks though, it will be interesting to see how it stacks up against the other games in what is a hugely competitive market on mobile.
Releasing next year, Battlefield Mobile promises to be an authentic, high end Battlefield experience in the palm of your hand. Classic maps and 32 player matches await you at launch.
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Matt has been gaming since he was young, and enjoys exploring obscure indie games in between the latest AAA releases. The train sequence from Uncharted 2 still blows his mind. Find him on twitter @mshore94.