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Above: 10 minutes of Battlefield 5 Grand Operations gameplay.
Tyler recently speculated that Battlefield 5's most exciting features were its new revive and squad systems, and who better to put his prediction to the test than me, a guy who is not very good at Battlefield and who will get shot a lot? I got some hands-on time with a pre-alpha build Battlefield 5 at EA Play at E3 this week, and got to see these systems in action. There's about 10 minutes of gameplay footage above from the event. Naturally, as this is a pre-alpha, the footage is not representative of the final game.
This session was a chance to try out Battlefield 5's Grand Operations mode (not the battle royale mode that was announced but not elaborated on). Grand Operations is an asymmetrical 64-player mode where one team invades and the other defends. The mode is broken into several days, with each day featuring a different map. The first day is a nighttime invasion where the allies parachute in and try to disable German artillery cannons with explosives. If the Germans fail to protect their cannons, the next day's assault takes place during the daytime with the allies trying to advance deeper into German territory (note: they're shown in the opposite order in the video). The final game mode can span a total of four days (if the defenders keep failing to protect their turf), but this demo consisted of just the first two.
The new systems are, as Tyler thought, a good incentive for more squadplay and less lone-wolfing. You can be revived by anyone in your squad now, not just medics, though if a non-medic revives you you'll regain your feet with less health and it will take a bit longer. It's still a big benefit and encourages you to stick close to your teammates, even if there's no medic around. You go into battle knowing you might need them to save your bacon, and they might need you, so it's not a good idea to stray too far from your team. Keeping fellow squadmates on their feet is important when it comes to how you respawn.
As in Battlefield 1, as long as one squadmate is alive you can respawn on their location unless they're taking fire. This is important: if you know you're the only member of your squad still alive, you'll want to get to cover instead of trying to wipe out the enemy on your lonesome, because it means the rest of your squad can use you as a respawn point and can quickly arrive to back you up. You can of course still use the map-view to respawn if you wish, but in a close fight near a contested objective, it's far better to appear at your teammate's side and immediately rejoin the skirmish.
You can see examples of all of this in the footage above, including a point where I run out of ammo. That you respawn with less ammo is another tweak that should result in closer squadplay, since you'll want to have a support member to resupply you. Along with the new revive system, you'll really never want to be too far from your teammates because you'll face a dwindling ammo supply and there might not be someone around to haul you back to your feet.
Battlefield 5 releases on October 11 for Origin Access members, on October 16 for those who purchase the deluxe edition, and October 19 for the standard edition. We'll have more coverage of Battlefield 5 at E3 this week.