Some thoughts on what I'd like to see for BF6 in terms of art direction and aesthetic choices… I was reflecting on the collection of BF4 concept art, both online and in the hardcover book published by Titan. The dark and gritty nature of some of the pieces made me really hope, even though a number of veteran concept artists are no longer with DICE, that we would see the next instalment in the franchise feature abandoned, cacotopia Eurasian environments throughout its multiplayer maps. Rundown buildings, derelict cities, lush overgrown forests, weather worn infrastructure and sub-zero, sun baked country sides overshadowed by the Mont Blanc Alps. This would run in the same vein as BF4, but with hopefully more diversity in terms of locations, an increase in development resources (money, people, time) and a clearer vision for the game.
A revised list of Eastern Bloc countries and factions could bring to the table varied architecture, as well as serve a meaningful gameplay purpose; Bringing nations like Germany into the picture, introducing the Heer's Leopard 2 MBT and modern H&K firearm platforms. With DICE promising to target next-gen hardware with BF6, and with EA teasing larger scale maps and increased player agency, I am hoping that environments are more explorable, detailed and dynamic, allowing for concept and level artists alike to implement a bona fide vision without technical bottlenecks or hardware limits. To return to my main point, I'd like to briefly touch on my deep distaste of the Battlefield V art direction, or rather lack thereof, trusting that this will spur the team at DICE to ensure they have a concrete idea for how they want to develop BF6's visual identity. I truly hope to see DICE flex their artistic talent, like they have done in the past with BF1 and BF3, and deliver a robust and persistent aesthetic direction for multiplayer content.
A near future setting, which is what I believe DICE has chosen for BF6, will let the studio explore a wide array of locations and regions. The chance to stage a fictional war gives them the ability, much like in BF4, to expand upon the standard set of places ei. town, city, prison, forest. They can explore the vast antiquity and diversity of both urban and rural eastern European regions, and allow for the exploration of other places like the streets of a post war New York, London, or Rejkavik. Not only would the maps have more intrigue, but the player models, weapons and vehicles could follow suite, harkening back to the Boer War, where factions could utilise both polished, well maintained equipment, futuristic 'enhanced' troops, combined with a more home-grown 'kit-bash' style of soldier (see below).
This artistic vision which I hope to materialise isn’t out of pure self-interest; I think it can open the gates to a more engaging and believable player experience. Obviously I don’t want all the multiplayer maps to be of derelict, dystopian nature, however I think its a good growing point for BF6’s overall presentation; helping to sell and market the game, giving it a personality and invoking players to explore the environment and sparking their imagination with questions ei. “What happened here?”, “who was here before me?” while they traverse and navigate their razed, crumbling and overgrown surroundings.
On a final note, I think that DICE have an opportunity to make an extremely stand out title for 2021, delivering a potentially ground braking FPS experience. I'm excited to see how the passionate teams have developed BF6 over the years with next-gen consoles as the 1st party platform. I, alongside all of you, cannot wait for the next couple of months to run their course…
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