Battlefield 1 has been a huge hit since it arrived back in October last year, with millions of players joining the battle of World War One, and putting every round possible into the oncoming enemies. But unlike many other games in the Battlefield franchise, one that constantly brings in a strong flow of players all year round, the guys over at DICE know that it’s going to take a bit more than the same old content to keep the demanding fan base interested. So, what is on the horizon for those who have mastered the fields of battle in recent months? Battlefield 1’s first expansion of course – but what does it contain and why should we get involved?

The battle of Verdun. The French Army. Ils ne passeront pas (They Shall Not Pass for those strictly English speaking amongst you). These are all things that will sound familiar to those who have been keeping tabs on the latest announcements that have come our way courtesy of EA and DICE. But for those not yet in the know about what to expect from the first expansion, They Shall Not Pass, here’s everything that is due to head our way when it finally arrives later this month and our thoughts on just what it will bring to everyone’s favourite World War One shooter.

The first thing that has been drilled into the heads of every Battlefield player this year, is that the war is about to get much bigger, and to help with this we have the arrival of the French Army. With that, we’re pretty safe in the knowledge that the new maps coming will be set in some parts of France, but what will these maps be and what will they bring to the game?

There are four maps set to arrive in Battlefield 1, Verdun Heights, Fort Vaux, Soissons, and Rupture. Each of these is set to offer a different experience for players, with tight corridors, a huge fortress, a graveyard for the machines of war, and the biggest eruption of tank warfare we have ever seen in a Battlefield game…and we couldn’t be more excited. Whilst the Battlefield series is always praised for the quality brought into each game via DLC, there’s no doubt some will be looking on with over the top expectations.

Whilst the current selection of maps in the game do a great job of offering realistic combat opportunities and believable battles, one thing they often struggle with is the one thing that was highly promoted leading up to the games release back in October last year. Trench warfare.

Although there is already a large enough selection of weapons in the game that are certainly ready to help recreate the iconic moment in the trailer, and help us put a shovel to an alternate use on the back of the enemies head, there has been a real shortage of proper moments, that have really allowed us to get in close enough to use the melee weapons effectively. Sure the fixed bayonets on the end of our weapons come in handy when we want to get to that objective a couple seconds faster, but other than that, it’s been hard to see much use for so many of the weapons that we rarely use.

They Shall Not Pass may just hold the maps we need to change all that. Fort Vaux is possibly the best example out of the upcoming maps to showcase this with its twisted maze of narrow wet stone corridors and dark galleries. Or maybe it will be Verdun Heights with the giant fortress setting that will be ready to provide the much-needed close quarters combat to enable the proper use of all those vicious looking weapons that have gone unused till now.

Besides the new army in their charismatic blue uniform, and the four new maps, we’ll be seeing the arrival of new weapons and two new vehicles for players to sink their teeth into, with the Steel Behemoth Char 2C tank and the St. Chamond Assault Tank Gun appearing for the vehicular side of things, whilst the Siege Howitzer and the Trench Raider Elite Class provide new weaponry for the battle. What does this mean for the Battlefield experience? Well with a vehicle as powerful as the previously unseen Behemoth Char 2C tank making an arrival, you can expect to see the domination of the light tank removed from the game, as anyone crossing paths with the Behemoth is likely to end up joining the rest of the dead metal mounds of The Rupture’s fields.

As for the weapons, whilst an entire Elite Class based on trench warfare may be a sign of overkill, there’s no denying it will come in very handy when faced with the onslaught of tanks covering the battlefield, and with the St. Chamond Assault Tank Gun ready and waiting for anyone who dares walk in its path, it’s going to take something as big as an entire Elite Class to stop the bloodbath that is likely to be had…at least until we collectively learn how to master the basics once more.

The final introduction that will accompany They Shall Not Pass, is the new game mode, Frontlines. It’s long been known that Rush and Conquest are the go to modes for any true Battlefield veteran, so what will Frontlines be bringing to the game to tempt those such players and indeed the rest of the community away? Well just possibly the best thing you could hear as a Battlefield player – a combination of Rush and Conquest mixed into one frantic match type.

Frontlines will see players fighting for chained control points throughout the map in a tug-of-war style battle with engaged conflict focussed around the possession of one flag at a time, unlike the usual free-flowing combat found in Conquest. Should one team manage to push the battle back to the opponents Headquarters, the game will shift into a Rush-style game, as the attackers attempt to capture the final holding point of the defending team.

For anyone who frequents the Battlefield games from time to time, Frontlines may just be the best thing we could have hoped for, a true mix of the best game modes the Battlefield series has ever seen, potentially being the game mode that we never knew we wanted..much like the well-received Operations mode has been since its introduction in Battlefield 1.

So there’s a summary of all the new content you should expect to see in Battlefield 1’s upcoming DLC, They Shall Not Pass, and our thoughts on just what the new additions could bring to the game. Do you agree with our thoughts? Let us know in the comments below, or via our usual social channels.

They Shall Not Pass will be available for Battlefield 1 Premium owners on March 14th on Xbox One, PS4 and PC and will be available for separate purchase for everyone two weeks later. If you haven’t dived into the Battlefield, then why not check out our full review to see just why you should get yourself in on the action.

See you out there soldiers.

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