In a blog post, DICE confirmed you will play as different characters across five war stories. "While our characters are at war, the stories in Battlefield 1 are personal. They're about people rather than history or battles," the developer explained.
World War I was fought in a number of locations by people of diverse backgrounds. DICE said it wanted to lean into that and try to spotlight many different perspectives from the Great War. The best way to achieve this, DICE decided, was to let you play as multiple characters instead of just one.
"We felt that to have one character hopping through those different settings wouldn't be as immersive or totally respectful to the setting," DICE said. "So we decided on an anthology format; a set of characters with their own more focused stories. That way we can have immersion and variety -- a double win."
In the Through Mud and Blood chapter, you play as a young soldier, Danny Edwards, who is assigned to drive a tank but has no real experience.
"Our hero is also struggling with earning the trust of his fellow crew members, so there's a social dynamic in the story, making the whole thing something personal," DICE said. "Danny Edwards... is not an ace sniper. He's not a crack pilot. He's not a demo expert. He's a former chauffeur -- a volunteer new to the war. He can drive and he can fix things. That's where we start."
Battlefield 1 will also make use of "classic cinematics" that show the world around your character instead of from a first-person perspective.
"We wanted the player to see and feel what the characters are going through, rather than just experiencing it from behind their eyes," DICE said. "That has really paid off for us not just in storytelling ability, but in emotional engagement."
DICE also mentioned that Battlefield 1's single-player campaign won't force you down any one path per se. Similar to the franchise's acclaimed multiplayer, there will be a number of ways to complete the same objective. Thinking on your feet and improvising may be important. One example provided was an encounter in Through Mud and Blood where you can use explosives to destroy enemy anti-tank weapons--or you can creep up behind foes to take them down with melee moves.
Another element of Battlefield 1's campaign are the real-life historical figures who will show up, one of whom is Lawrence of Arabia.
"Facing off with a technically superior enemy, Lawrence is put in a true underdog situation in Battlefield 1," DICE said. "The Ottoman Empire has a giant armored train called The Canavar -- or 'beast' in Turkish--equipped with a huge artillery piece that can strike from miles away. The Empire's devastating artillery engages rebel forces--who are wielding rifles from horseback."
You won't play as Lawrence of Arabia himself, but rather a female Arab rebel who fights alongside Lawrence. "This character needs to use her resourceful playstyle to scout out enemy encampments, liberate the equipment needed, and draw the armored train out to a final confrontation," DICE said. "Play it loud, quiet, long-range, close-up, on your horse or in an appropriate vehicle -- it's up to you."
For more on Battlefield 1's single-player campaign, check out the descriptions for its five main war stories here.
Battlefield 1 comes out on October 21 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. You don't have to wait that long to try out the game's single-player and multiplayer, however, as a portion of both modes will be available in the Play First Trial available to EA/Origin Access subscribers starting on October 13.