Michael K. Williams is returning to the Battlefield video game franchise - he reprises his role as Irish in a short film called Exodus, which arrived online today to tee up the story of Battlefield 2042, and he'll also appear in the game itself as a playable Specialist.


Williams is revered in the TV world for his performance at Omar in HBO's The Wire. On the gaming side of things, he first appeared in EA DICE's first-person shooter series in 2013, when he originated the character of Kimble 'Irish' Graves in Battlefield 4's main campaign.

Battlefield 2042 will not launch with a traditional single-player campaign or story mode, but EA is using other methods to weave a narrative around the game's futuristic firefights. The Exodus short film is one of those methods - it depicts an important slice of backstory for the game, and it's also an impressive feat of CGI wizardry.

Picking up with Irish years after his adventures in Battlefield 4, the Exodus short film certainly offers fans a lot of information, and it tees up a couple of big conflicts - a war between the United States and Russia is on the precipice of breaking out, while Irish is clashing on a personal level with a mysterious figure known only as 'Oz'. You can watch the Exodus short film for yourself below.

Exodus shows us that Irish and Oz will be fighting for control of the Non-Patriated (also known as the 'No-Pats'), a group of refugees that is said to be "fighting not for countries, but for survival" in the fictional near-future war at the heart of in Battlefield 2042.

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At a virtual press event where the Exodus film was screened early, RadioTimes.com and other members of the media were told that there is something of a 'Professor X versus Magneto' vibe going on between Irish and Oz in their No-Pat Civil War. While Irish wishes for the No-Pats to find a place in society, Oz wants the group to use violent methods to seize global control for itself.

A number of No-Pat characters will be playable Specialists in the game's online multiplayer experiences, with Irish being one of those characters that players can control and take into battle. There will be 10 Specialists in the game at launch, and Irish is the fifth one to be revealed publicly.

When it comes to gameplay, we've been told that Irish will play an engineer-type role in combat - he will be able to place defences and fortify areas, which should come in very handy when your squad is in a tight spot. And if you pre-order the game, you'll get an extra 'Battle Hardened' skin for Irish to wear while he's keeping your team safe.

You can get this Legendary Skin if you pre-order the game.
You can get this Legendary Skin if you pre-order the game. EA DICE

Battlefield 2042 is set to receive a lot of post-launch support, and you can expect in future to see more story-driven marketing materials serving a similar purpose to the Exodus short film - these moments will flesh out the backstory for the Specialists and help to explain the world of Battlefield 2042, in lieu of a single-player story.

It's an interesting approach, not dissimilar to the way in which Apex Legends uses promo videos to introduce its new characters, and we look forward to seeing more of these storytelling moments in future. Between this and the super-creative Battlefield Portal mode, EA DICE's Battlefield 2042 is shaping up in some interesting ways. It certainly has our attention.

Battlefield 2042 launches on 22nd October 2021 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

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