Like an Instagram influencer in search of new content, Battlefield V has booked a trip to the Solomon Islands.
In an announcement video this morning, Battlefield publisher EA revealed the first Tides of War update of 2020 will feature a return to the Pacific Theatre. Out Thursday, February 6, “Chapter 6: Into the Jungle” will add a new map, two new gadgets (including the once-promised lunge mine), and three new elite fighters to the popular WWII shooter. The chapter will run for several weeks, after which you’ll still be able to play on the map, but you’ll lose any chance unlock rewards through your Chapter Rank (more on that in a bit).
It looks appropriately awesome, with all the bullets and explosions and frenetic action you’d expect from a Battlefield update. But Battlefield V’s 6.0 update looks to offer more than just a lush locale to wage war. In advance of the update, let’s run down everything we know.
What’s the new map?
“Into the Jungle” introduces the Solomon Islands as a map. Currently, the South Pacific archipelago is a must-see destination for in-the-know travellers and globe-trotting adrenaline junkies. (The island town of Gizo is especially popular among expert divers.) But back in the early 1940s, the region was a key WWII battleground. Most famously, the Battle of Guadalcanal—a campaign many historians point to as the beginning of Allied efforts in the Pacific—took place there during the final months of 1942.
EA bills Solomon Islands as a close quarters map, though in large-scale game modes, you’ll still be able to pilot vehicles. Solomon Islands will be playable in four modes: Breakthrough, Conquest, Squad Conquest, and Team Deathmatch. In the announcement video, developers at DICE recommend playing Breakthrough.
How about the gear?
All five new weapons and gadgets included in “Into the Jungle” are chapter rewards, meaning you’ll need to increase your Chapter Rank before unlocking any of them. You’ll increase your Chapter Rank simply by playing Battlefield V whenever a particular Tides of War chapter is officially ongoing, but, pro tip, you’ll gain extra experience if you play the specific Tides of War events.
The Assault class will get access to a new bazooka (the long-range, anti-tank M1A1) and the long-awaited Lunge Mine (which will also be available to the Support class). The lunge mine was a planned inclusion in update 5.0, but was held for a future update since the developers were “not satisfied with the behaviour of [the] gadget.” Historically, lunge mines were used by infantrymen of the Imperial Japanese Army to charge Allied tanks. Yes, the tanks would usually explode—but the weapon-wielder would, too.
Based on a test video released by the Battlefield V team in November, lunge mines in Battlefield V won’t be suicidal weapons. Rather, they’re similar in nature to the game’s bayonet charge feature, except you’ll get knocked on your feet. (A fair trade for a big explosion.) The Support class can also unlock the lunge mine.
For guns, the Assault class will unlock the fully automatic M2 Carbine, while the Support class will get access to the Model 37, a shotgun, and the Type 11, an LMG.
Sorry, Recon and Medic players. No news of any cool new gizmos for those classes.
Who are the new elite fighters?
Elite fighters are purely cosmetic. Though they feature sweet costumes and killer (literally) melee weapons, you’ll get no gameplay benefits from purchasing or unlocking these characters. Still, they look cool on the battlefield, and are fully voiced with quips and one-liners. What more could you want?
Unlike most elite fighters, you can unlock Misaki Yamashiro—who wields a machete as a melee weapon—simply by playing the game a lot. If you can reach Chapter Rank 40 before “Into the Jungle” ends, she’ll be added to your roster.
According to his EA-approved bio, Steve Fisher loves quoting his “favourite film stars.” We can only speculate as to who, but given that war broke out in the Solomon Islands in 1942—the very same year Casablanca hit the silver screen—we’re holding out for a Bogie impression. (“The Germans wore grey, you wore…my bullets.”) Steve’s melee weapon is a knuckle duster.
Akira Sakamoto is a Zero pilot—revered and deadly pilots from the Pacific Theatre’s early stages—and uses an aeroplane control stick as a melee weapon. You’ll be able to purchase Steve and Akira with Battlefield Currency (which, yes, costs real-world money).
How long will Chapter 6 last?
At the moment, it’s unclear just how long “Into the Jungle” will last, as each chapter of Tides of War has lasted a different amount of time.
“Chapter 1: Overture,” for example, ran from December 6, 2018, to January 5, 2019. “Chapter 2: Lightning Strikes” ran from January 17, 2019, to March 21, 2019. “Chapter 3: Trial by Fire,” meanwhile, introduced a new battle royale (Firestorm) during the last week of March, a series of new co-op Combined Arms missions in April, a new map (the Crete-based Mercury) in May, and a new mode (Outpost) in June.
OK, so how much will this cost?
“Into the Jungle” will be a free download for all Battlefield V players.