The second half of Battlefield 1’s Turning Tides DLC is out in January, and players are already wondering what’s coming in the game’s final expansion – Apocalypse. The DLC is said to feature the most infamous battles of World War I over bitterly contested ground, with brutal tools and unique weapons. It’s due out in early 2018. For this video I’ll examine seven possible locations for Battlefield 1’s final maps. When I think about some of the biggest, and most brutal battles of World War I, these in particular come to mind. The Somme, Arras, Messines, Passchendaele, the Dolomites, Caporetto, and Belleau Wood. All of these battles shattered those who fought there in World War I, and each has unique settings applicable to Battlefield 1. Most already have cheeky refences with weapon camos in-game, which DICE has used to hint at unreleased maps – like the Achi Baba skin for the Number 3 Revolver. These skins play a big role in my selections, as they leave a road map to where DICE has been poking around historically for inspiration.
The Battle of the Somme in 1916 was one of the bloodies battles of the war. Casualties for both sides totaled over million soldiers. Five days of artillery bombardment preceding the Entente attack left trenches unrecognizable, and mines were detonated to blow gaps in the German lines. Yet despite the Battlefield resembling the surface of the moon, the Germans fiercely resisted, and some British units took over 90 percent casualties.
The Somme offensive failed to achieve most of its goals, and lines once again became static. The amount of destruction the battle left in its wake mirrors the title of the final Battlefield 1 expansion. A German soldier described the scene “a ghastly picture! Not a trace of a trench left; nothing but shellholes as far as the eye could reach.” Such a map in Battlefield 1 could draw comparisons to the exterior of Fort de Vaux, or the no man’s land of Nivelle Nights. Like Achi Baba, DICE have also hinted at the battle with a skin for Auto Revolver. The Battle of Arras in 1917 produced one of the biggest initial gains for Entente forces since trench warfare consumed the Western Front. It was also the site of some compelling settings, including a subterranean city of tunnels and caves, capable of sheltering over 10-thousand men, and complete with running water, electrical lights, hospital and even a tram. If you’ve been a longtime subscriber of the channel, you’ll note the similarity to the battles for the Drachenhoehle in the Chemin des Dames. If you’re not familiar with those events – I’ll leave a link to the video on the screen and in the description below.
Back on topic, DICE could also set the battle in the streets of the city, producing a map similar to the popular Amiens. The Battle of Arras is actually mentioned twice in-game through weapon camouflages: the Arras skin for the Lewis gun, and the Vimy Ridge skin for the Huot. Part of the larger Battle of Arras, the battle of Vimy Ridge is remembered a great victory for Canadian troops and important to Canada’s cultural identity. The Battle of Messines in 1917 began with a bang – well, several. 19 massive mines underneath German lines were detonated in the span of 20 seconds, killing 10-thousand German troops. The event was the largest planned explosion of the time and was allegedly heard in London. First-hand reports described the detonations as “pillars of fire” and it permanently altered the landscape. After the mines were detonated, a massive creeping artillery barrage fell ahead of the Entente advance. Infantry, tanks, cavalry, and aircraft all took part in the battle over the shattered ground. How DICE would handle such an offensive in Battlefield 1 is anyone’s guess, but it would be nice to see more levelution events in-game.
A skin for the Lewis Gun remembers the battle. This potential map also has another compelling reason to include it in Apocalypse – the popular film Beneath Hill 60 is set prior to the battle, making it familiar to many fans. The Battle of Passchendaele, or the Third Battle of Ypres, in 1917 is another great option for a potential Apocalypse map, and probably one of the most likely. The action was designed to seize the Belgian village of Passchendaele, a vital part of German supply lines, but ran into a number of issues and bogged down. This battlefield was soaked with more than just blood – the region experienced the most rainfall in 30 years, turning it into a morass of mud, rock, wood, and steel. Photographs of the battlefield remind me of the prologue in Battlefield 1, Storm of Steel. Both ANZAC and Canadian armies played significant roles in the fighting for what was left of Passchendaele. We know DICE has studied the battle, since the cutscenes from Storm of Steel very much mimic selections from the 2008 Canadian film, Passchendaele. The Battle is also referenced with the Ypres skin for the M1907 SL. If DICE wanted to add the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Apocalypse would be an excellent opportunity, especially if the aforementioned Vimy Ridge is included.
All of the Battles up to this point in the video have focused on the Western Front – but the Dolomites were at the core of fighting on the Italian Front. Many battles took place along the mountain range, but some of the most desperate took place at its highest point – Mount Marmolada. Here, Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces battled in the thin air, fearing not only bullets, but avalanches. On White Friday, December 13th 1916, avalanches killed an estimated 20-thousand Italian and Austro-Hungarian soldiers on the slopes of Marmolada. During the war, Austro-Hungarian soldiers tunneled into the mountain’s glacier, creating the Eisstadt, or “city of ice” some 60 meters below the surface. Like the tunnels below Arras, the Eisenstadt had electricity, a hospital, barracks and more. The Italians and Austro-Hungarians are only featured in two maps on Battlefield 1: Monte Grappa and Empire’s Edge. It’d be nice to see another mountainous map in-game featuring the two factions. If you look closely at the weapon skins for the Bodeo pistol, you’ll spot one named after Marmolada.
The Battle of Caporetto, or the 12th Battle of the Isonzo, took place in the fall of 1917 – and was a disaster for the Italian Army. German and Austro-Hungarian units employed sturmtruppen tactics to great effect, saturating Italian lines with gas and artillery, then attacking with grenades, flamethrowers, and light machine guns. The Italians suffered an estimated 300-thousand casualties, including over a quarter million soldiers captured. By contrast the Central Powers lost only 70-thousand men killed or wounded. DICE can pick from a wide variety of terrain for such a map, ranging from the mountainous and forested Italian countryside to the eastern plains. Reference to the battle in Battlefield 1 can be found in the Caporetto skin for the Frommer Stop, and the Isonzo skin for the Automatico. The newly added Charge of Stupizza skin for the Carcano is also a reference to an Italian cavalry counterattack at Caporetto. Lastly, Belleau Wood would be another location ideal for a map in Apocalypse. The Battle in the summer of 1918 was the trial by fire for the U.S.
Marine Corps in World War I – and if DICE wants to add them as a faction in Battlefield 1, Apocalypse would be a good opportunity. After stalling German attacks from the Spring Offensive, U.S. Marines engaged German troops around Chateau Thierry. After booting the Germans off of Hill 142, the Marines set about capturing Belleau Wood. It took six separate attempts, but the Marines finally took Belleau Wood after several days of grueling combat, much of it hand to hand. By this time, the wood was now nothing more than a tangled mess of shattered trees and bodies.
Belleau Wood is directly referenced with a skin for the M1903. The Devil Dog skin for the rifle is also an indirect reference to Belleau Wood – according to popular legend, the Marines earned the nickname “Teufel Hunden” in the fighting for the forest. I think many players would appreciate the addition of the Marines as a faction to Battlefield 1, and there might be opportunities to explore an operation surrounding the activities at Chateau Thierry. Certainly there are a number of other possible locations for Apocalypse maps, but these are on my short list. You might be wondering why I didn’t pick maps like the Attack of the Dead Men at Osowiec Fortress, or the Siege of Tsingtao. Simply put, the Russian faction is part of the Russian DLC, and I don’t see DICE adding the Japanese for a single map.
Would I like to see it? Absolutely, but I don’t expect it in Apocalypse. Which map idea is your favorite? Where would you like to go in the new expansion? Tell me in the comments..
As found on Youtube