Everybody's coming to the battle royale party, but it looks Battlefield 5 will arrive fashionably late. An update on the game's official website detailing the first three "chapters" of the Tides of War campaign has confirmed that Firestorm mode, which airdrops 64 players into a huge map being steadily consumed by a ring of fire, will arrive in spring 2019. As a reminder, Tides of War is what EA's calling Battlefield 5's free, season-based post-launch support model.
There will be plenty of the usual Battlefield maps and modes to play until then, including a limited-time mode that will only stick around for the duration of Chapter 2. Here's what EA has revealed about its plans for Battlefield 5 Tides of War so far.
Chapter 1: Overture (early December to January)
- New single-player War Story: The Last Tiger follows German tank crewmembers who begin questioning their loyalty to the cause.
- New multiplayer map: The Panzerstorm map sets the stage for ample tank-to-tank combat across a (soon-to-be-exploded, surely) Belgian map.
- New Practice Range mode: A mode for testing out weapons and causing chaos alone or with friends, Practice Range will launch in a limited form and receive more support and features over time.
- Vehicle Customization: Drive the prettiest tank or plane on the whole battlefield with a range of skins and nose art decals.
- Events, challenges, and rewards: Overture will kick off Tides of War's overarching events, giving you special goals to aim for across matches and commensurate rewards. New ones will take their place as the weeks go by and the Tides of War roll on.
Chapter 2: Lightning Strikes (January to March)
- New co-op mode: Combined Arms lets up to four players fight together in specially designed Combat Strike missions against AI opponents.
- New Squad Conquest mode: Capture flags the old-fashioned Battlefield way, but with much smaller engagements: only two squads of four on each team, making for 16-player battles.
- Limited-time Rush mode: This new take on Battlefield's usual Rush mode replaces MCOM stations with bombs, but you'll need to rush to play before it leaves the rotation at the end of Chapter 2.
Chapter 3: Trial by Fire (starting in March)
- New battle royale mode: Firestorm finally arrives as the main event of Chapter 3 sometime in spring 2019. Fight to be the last squad standing in 64-player skirmishes across the biggest map in Battlefield history. And don't get caught in the ever-encroaching ring of fire.
- New multiplayer map: The war comes to Greece as the Allies fight to defend an island, sparking off a conflict with plenty of tank and aerial combat.
These are just "the first chapters" according to EA, so you can expect more Tides of War throughout 2019 - and likely even beyond it, if DICE's history with supporting flagship Battlefield games is any indication.
Can't wait to play? Find out where to pre-order Battlefield 5 and get into the fight as soon as possible.