This E3 doesn't feel like the first time we've been promised the "deepest, most immersive Battlefield" yet. But it feels like the stakes for DICE and EA, following the disaster of Star Wars Battlefront II, are higher than ever. That explains the headline announcement of Battlefield V's EA showcase where Oskar Gabrielson, Dice general manager, announced to whoops that: "our launch in October is just the beginning, you will all go on an expanding journey through the Second World War - no loot boxes, no season pass."
This was the most positive note of the whole presentation, and rather amusingly was followed by a huge dive. "As part of that launch you'll get something a lot of you have been asking for..." continued Gabrielson. It was left to Lars Gustavsson, senior producer, to drop the floaty hammer: "it's royale." Boos, grumbles. "It's royale reimagined for Battlefield," he gamely continued, digging more furiously than ever, "we will bring you an experience you haven't played before in battlefield or anywhere else." At this point he could not be seen on-stage any longer.
As ever, EA and Dice focused on the cinematic over showing the actual game. Some multiplayer details: you can now dive and smash through windows, defences can now be moved around to gain advantage, short clips of the destruction show tanks crashing through buildings like they're nothing. Which does look pretty cool.
The 'in-game footage' legend wasn't really necessary for the first few minutes of cutscene shown but, after that, Battlefield V showed off some truly stunning mountain-based fighting involving planes. The sombre music, meant to highlight the theme of 'Untold Stories', didn't quite seem to fit - but then that's Battlefield V writ large. We're the serious one! Check out royale mode! No DLC! We're all customisation! We'll get a first look at a campaign element called 'Nordlys War Story' at the Xbox briefing, so do keep your breath held.