Let’s knock out the basics real quick. Battlefield 1’s They Shall Not Pass DLC is coming March 14 for Premium Pass members. Don’t own the season pass? It’ll be available to purchase two weeks later on March 28. Now, onto the trailer.

Yep, that’s a DICE trailer and it’s badass.

The French are coming to Battlefield 1 in a big way this month. Armies of The Great War will clash in four maps dotting the Western Front.

Verdun Heights BF1

Verdun Heights pits players amid the backdrop of raging forest fires. The opening artillery barrage of the Battle of Verdun creates a hellish battleground. The dark, dirty landscape stands in contrast to the bright flames rising above the forest. It is here we see our first glimpse of the Trench Raider elite class in action.

Trench Raider BF1

DICE always preached close-quarters combat when describing Battlefield 1. The Trench Raider encapsulates this idea. Armed with a Raider Club and a healthy supply of grenades, the Trench Raider could be unlike any elite we’ve played yet. I do want to see how DICE goes about balancing the heavily armored melee class. How do you make him strong enough to wade close to other players without the other players feeling hopeless? And how many grenades are we talking? 3? 4?

Fort de Vaux BF1

Fort de Vaux ditches the vehicles. “Down in the maze of dark galleries and wet stone corridors, French and Germans fight ferociously with grenades, guns, bayonets, and flamethrowers. Watch your corners!” reads the map’s description. Hard not to get Operation Locker vibes just from the description.

Soissons will be home to all the action we love in Battlefield. Infantry, tanks, planes, you name it. The short snippets of the trailer show off the new tanks coming to Battlefield 1. The St. Chamond was known as the most heavily armed Allied tank on the field. Even that pales in comparison to the Char 2C tank. Based on a real-life French tank, this steel behemoth will be quite the sight (and pain in the ass) on the battlefield.

tank behemoth bf1

Did You Know: The Char 2C might look absurd, but it was a real tank. It was developed during World War 1 but wasn’t actually deployed until after the war. Ten were built and were in service until 1940. The Char 2C was a technological marvel that didn’t last long. Advances in anti-tank guns caught up with its thick armor (which by today’s standards is thin).

Rupture’s fields of poppies give another splash of color to a drab battlefield. Not much to say here. The quick cuts from the trailer speak for themselves.

Frontlines brings true war to Battlefield 1

Throw Conquest and Rush into a blender and Frontlines is what you get. Two teams will square off in an initial tug of war between three flags on the map. Once one team gains control of all the flags, the opponent’s base is open for assault. There, two Rush-style objectives need to be armed and destroyed to win. There is no set Offense/Defense we see in modes like Rush and Operations.

If the team defending their base manages to wipe out the other team’s reinforcements, the match will revert to the beginning with the three flags at play. DICE recently gave us a look at the mode in action.

The match ends when one team takes over the other’s base, or when time expires.

I haven’t even played this mode, and I’m already digging it. We finally get that push/pull of a battle without one side always defending or attacking. Conquest does already give us some of this, but it doesn’t feel as structured as it seems with Frontlines.

In Conquest, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by a better team. Sure, the same thing can happen here – but a successful defense reverts the match back to the way it was at the beginning. It’s almost like a reset. Maybe the other team steamrolled you during the first attempt, but a reset can change it up.

Two new operations are also coming: The Devil’s Anvil and Beyond the Marne. DICE describes them as “massive tank battles and intense close-quarters fighting.” Sounds good to me.

New weapons, finally

If there’s one area where Battlefield 1 just didn’t grab me like Battlefield 4, it’s the weapons. And helicopters. But I get it. We can’t run around with red dot sights and ACOG scopes on a dozen assault rifles in World War I. But the current slate of weapons is getting old.

For the first DLC, DICE is giving us six new guns:

Ribeyrolles 1918 (automatic carbine/rifle)
RSC 1917 (semi-automatic infantry rifle)
Lebel Model 1886 (bolt-action rifle)
Chauchat (light-machine gun)
Sjögren Inertial (shotgun)
MLE 1903 Extended (pistol)

And some melee weapons:

Cogwheel Club
Nail Knife
Trench Fleur

We also get to man the Siege Howitzer. Imagine a super-sized mortar, and you’re on the right track.

Siege Mortar BF1

They Shall Not Pass should inject new life into Battlefield 1. New weapons are sorely needed, plus the new game mode sounds fantastic. Add in new Operations, new maps and a new Elite Class and regular Battlefield 1 players should be in for a treat later this month.

When I’m not playing Rocket League (best game ever), you can find me writing about all things games, space and more. You can reach me at alex@newsledge.com

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