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Destruction has always been a big part of Battlefield games, and it will play an even more significant role in this year’s instalment. DICE sat down with Senior Game Designer, Rickard Antroia, to explain how bullet penetration will shape Battlefield V gameplay.
It is a big change from previous instalments, and something Battlefield V players should take notice of as it will shape the battlefield in new ways. Most players think of bullet penetration as having one function only – shoot to kill – and that is surely its primary purpose. Those playing with a squad might also use it for suppression or distraction, but few consider using it for things like setting off explosives, damaging structures, or killing enemies behind cover. Unless you’re driving a tank or manning a massive stationary gun.
Fortifications is another new Battlefield V gameplay feature, so it makes sense that bullet penetration has to play a more prominent role. Every squad member can construct a defensive Fortification, be it foxholes, sandbags, or wall reinforcements. You can only completely demolish Fortifications with explosives or heavy vehicles – but it can be penetrated and damaged with the new bullet penetration mechanic.
DICE did use bullet penetration in one way or another in previous titles, but what we’ll experience in Battlefield V is a much more refined system that has a greater impact on gameplay. It is more tactical and could change the outcome of confrontations.
We have this opportunity in the Battlefield franchise to experience a full range of calibers and weapons. In previous titles, Bullet Penetration was a binary experience. A bullet either passed through or it didn’t, and the same behavior existed for almost all calibers. Looking at more distinction between weapons, we saw an opportunity to push players in and out of covers without removing everything in front of the soldier.
What I am most impressed about is that unlike in previous instalments, in Battlefield V bullet penetration is directly linked to the caliber gun you’re using. For example, sidearms won’t do much damage to a sandbag fortification, but it will damage doors and vegetation. Bullet penetration effectiveness as well as damage effectiveness increase in the following order:
- Submachine and shotguns
- Semi-automatic and assault rifles
- Sniper Rifles
- Light Machine Guns
Only light machine guns can penetrate barricaded covers and damage wooden walls (in the beta sniper rifles were on the same level, it is now one below LMG’s). Having trouble with a sniper hiding behind cover? Use bullet penetration to turn up the heat and force the camper out of hiding without needing to destroy the object of cover. Bullets that pass through cover naturally deal less damage than would a direct hit on an enemy.
Mounted weapons and tanks can, of course, penetrate plaster, and just about any Fortification, you can throw in its way. Another very important thing to remember is the limitations on ammo in Battlefield V. You spawn with a lot less, and ammo depots are hot spots. So, if you think to grab the best LMG you can find and spam covers until you get a lucky kill, think again.
Visually, bullet penetration will have a unique look for the player on the receiving end, and for the one launching the attack. The player behind cover will see “a chunky, debris-themed effect,” while the attacker will see “a smaller bullet hole with a more low-key visual effect.” Non-penetrating bullets will make dents or cracks on surfaces.
As we stated in our Battlefield V beta impressions, the soldier who spends more time getting to know the different weapons will reap the benefits. Battlefield V is less “spray and pray” and more tactical. Familiarize yourself with the various combat role weapons, and know its effect on cover and Fortifications.
Battlefield V releases worldwide on November 20 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. If you’re an EA or Origin Access member, you can start playing as early as November 9.