Battlefield V Review
How would you start? Given the chance, how would you start your thoughts on Battlefield V? I have to say despite some of the backlash about certain choices on what EA DiCE had made regarding the setting and some of the character choices, I will still in high hopes of the game. Even after the Alpha/Beta testing I was still pumped to play my all-time favourite first-person shooter! So, is Battlefield V the game that fans deserve or have asked for? The short answer is Yes and No and while it’s not a perfect answer, it is an answer.
My love for the Battlefield franchise was brought about when a mate of mine introduced me to Battlefield 3 on the Xbox 360. From the first boot impact and bullet whistling past me happened, I knew I was hooked! This has always been my go-to shooter for the Xbox and while it’s not the perfect game, it is the best out on console to date. The single-player campaign is divided into episodic War Stories. Each War Story is set to tell the story that took place during WWII, some are lesser known events of that time. Take Under No Flag for instance, this sees you take on the role of one Bill Bridger, who happens to be an explosives expert and is tasked with taking part in a Special Boat service mission, Operation Albumen. Each of the single player Campaigns can be completed in any other as there is not much continuity to the overall story. It does feel more of a “tacked-on” approach to a story telling single experience. I would have preferred it if EA DiCE would have perhaps dropped the single player and put more time and effort into the multiplayer aspect, which is what the Battlefield series is well-known and loved for!
Regarding the multiplayer side of Battlefield V, you get the usual suspect like, Rush, Domination, TDM and the of course the heart of the Battlefield franchise, Conquest with new additions like Airborne and Breakthrough. You also get a new version of Battlefield 1s Operations mode this time round, Grand Operations. This is a combo of various modes that you get to play out across three days (in-game days) that are tied together with some narrative as a backdrop to make it feel more like an epic all out war. Each day you fight in, condition change and are based on the previous days outcome that leads up to the final day of the game. If you tie the game on day three, you will be put into a Final fourth day with just the resources on your back that you start with and try to fight to win! Grand Operations and the other game modes that are on offer play on all the launch maps that come with the game. This is a bit disappointing, as with previous titles we had more on to play with, but hopefully this will change as more maps become available with future DLC. The maps range from massive open landscapes across farmlands and desert to tight quarter city battles with the infantry of both teams.
In Battlefield V, it’s more about sticking to your squad and playing the objective than in previous titles. If you do choose to go about being a “lone wolf”, you run the risk of being out of their depth. Unlike its predecessors, BFV now encourages you more to play as a squad and rewards you as such too. Having Support players in your squad is key to keeping the rest of you with full ammo, either by throwing you some much needed ammo packs or quickly building some supply depots at key points on the current map. While having a Medic with you can easily get you back to your feet at full health quickly, even though every member of the squad can revive one another, you definitely want a Medic in your squad for those quicker revives when you are attacking or defending those vital key points. If you and your squaddies play the objective correctly, you can earn Requisition Points for your squad which can be used by the current squad leader to call on special reinforcements for the whole team. These can range from a powerful and devastating V1 rocket which will turn any enemy key point or choke point into rubble and dirt. Your squad leader can also call in supply drops and even specialised tanks to help you change the tide of war.
When it comes to killing your enemies on the battlefield, you will always want the right gun and class that suits your playstyle is still key to helping your team achieve victory. As per usual, there are four classes to choose from and each have their own specialised combat roles that offer up some perks that make them stand out from one another. The Assault for example, this is my go-to class and you can choose between having improve ammo scavenging and health regeneration or opt for earning more Req. Points for your squad. These are not set in stone and can be changed if you want to try each of them out. The weapons in Battlefield V have now got their own skill tree traits that let you get more out of each one you want to use. You can access each of these traits by simply just playing the game with your chosen weapon and unlocking each one over time. You can only select certain traits on the skill tree, as some of them become locked if you chose one over the other. Thankfully again, you can change these over, but at a cost of your hard earn coins you earn through playing too.
In Battlefield V you can also tweak and change the appearance of your favourite soldier class, your weapons and even your vehicles. These changes can all be made in a new feature called My Company. In here is where you can change almost everything, but purely at a cosmetic level and will have no advantage or disadvantage to how you play. While there is not a lot of options to change how your favourite weapons will look, it is a nice option to have for those of you who love to mess about with how your gun will appear to others. Every cosmetic change you make to your weapons/vehicles will cost you some cash, but thankfully no real-world money. After every mission, game etc… you play in, earns you Company Coin and it’s this currency you can then spend to your hearts content on. EA DiCE have stated that they have done away with microtransactions for good and thankfully this includes charging you for future DLC that will be dropping by in the coming months. This is a much needed and welcomed change that everyone in the community was delighted to hear. No longer will we be split into the haves and have nots when it comes to playing on the new maps or trying out those new weapons that come with them. The only down-side to having free DLC content is that it seems that there will be less content than in previous titles and less frequent, but hopefully this will change as we move in to 2019 and beyond.
Everything you witness in Battlefield V is downright gorgeous and EA DiCE have really improved on the already stunning Battlefield 1’s presentation with rich lighting and heavily detailed particle effects. Maps like the marsh fields of Twisted Steel, that has lakes and water everywhere near the huge bridge that runs through the middle of it, making it the biggest structure model that the team has ever achieved. Then there is Narvik with its mountain scape view that has beautiful vistas of snow thrown around it with the Northern Lights as it’s backdrop. Then you get those nice little touches such as splashing through muddy fields and waters, trundling through deep snow drifts and even disturbing tall grass as you and your squad run through it. Adding to the amazing presentation of the game, you get an even greater level of destructibility not seen in a Battlefield game on current consoles. Structures now realistically crumble and shatter under tank shells, air bombing and shower you in stone and glass, if you are unfortunate to be inside a building at the time. Every little detail is noted and given attention to as you fight your way through the game and I’m surprised that EA DiCE was able to squeeze so much into Battlefield V on consoles, especially when you compare it next to how it looks on PC. I can only imagine how they will you the next generation of consoles on their next instalment!
Battlefield Vs picturesque maps that you get to traverse across do get inevitably reduced as you fight through them, but thankfully your solider tackles it more fluidly. With new infantry movements in the game, you can throw yourself around in the game in almost any direction and even laying down on your back, so you can shoot as you scuttle backwards. Soldiers that are running seem to at times trip over themselves, which shows off a sense of urgency and dread as they try to stay alive. While it all runs smoothly most of the time, there is those clipping issues graphically that pokes its head up every now and then. You will sometimes notice soldier models protruding through broken debris and obstacles that you would normally try to vault over. While it is a small issue, it’s there and it can be noticed from time to time.
EA DiCE also needs to do more work on the contextual actions, like when you are trying to revive your squad. More often that not, you will be trying to revive a squad mate, when the prompt doesn’t show up and you are left smashing the button and nothing happens. It’s even more frustrating when you are under fire and want to keep them alive and back into battle, but then both of you end up dying on the floor. Another note in point, is the latest update to the game that has messed with the Time To Kill or TTK. A lot of the community in Battlefield loved the TTK in Battlefield V and found that it was a perfect balance to the game, making it more realistic to a certain point. Now that the game has received its latest update, soldiers feel more bullet spongy than before. To some, this is probably a plus and a good thing, for me, I find it a bit of a pain. Normally when you come up against a squad of enemy soldiers, you and your squad could tactically flank your enemy while half of your squad distracted them. This would result you in getting the drop on them and easily killing two or even three of the enemy squad, now, this feels more like a suicide run and makes you more hesitant to play any more tactically than you would have had previously.
Battlefield V is an amazing achievement for the developers and while the game does have a few technical hiccups, it doesn’t or should detract you from playing the game. I would have loved if they perhaps dropped the campaign mode and concentrated on adding more into the multiplayer aspect of the game, much in the same way that the Call of Duty franchise has done this year. They have forgone the single player and it has not hindered their title in anyway. EA DiCE is currently working on a new mode Firestorm, which is their own version and twist on the Battle Royale mode that most titles seem to want to jump on. This game mode would have been nice to try out at launch, but it will not be available until sometime in March 2019. It mixes a shrinking playing field with trademark Battlefield elements such as team play, powerful vehicles, and destruction. While details on Firestorm are sparse, we do know a wee bit of information, but for anything more in-depth, I guess we will have to wait closer to launch in 2019.
For those that are interested, what we know so far of Firestorm is below:
• Wage war in a ring of fire that slowly shrinks the battlefield – don’t get trapped
• Fight to be the last infantry squad standing of 64 players in 16 squads
• The game-changing addition of Battlefield vehicles lets you wipe out unsuspecting squads with a tank or drive to survive with transport vehicles
• Work together as a squad to secure objectives that grant better and rare gear
• Clash on the biggest Battlefield map to date
• Transform the map with Destruction
• Feel battle royale brought to life with stunning Battlefield graphics and audio
• Matches are tied to your Company and Battlefield V progression
• Battle Royale is a Burning Thing, and it Makes a Fiery Ring
From the moment you fall, down, down, down, from the sky, to when your boots hit the ground on the largest Battlefield map ever created – the encircling ring of fire presses in on you and your squad in an all-out war for survival among 16 squads of up to four players.
There will be several types of Objectives in a Firestorm match. These will operate similar to those found in the iconic Conquest mode, except some will be found at fixed locations and some at random, with varying types of supplies, weapons, and vehicles. Work with your squad to play the Objectives and unlock the most valuable gear to increase your chances at being the last ones standing.
The Largest Battlefield Map Ever
You and your squad must rewrite the definition of squad play on a massive Battlefield map. With no weapon loadout to start with, you’ll need to loot equipment scattered throughout the map. Securing Objectives and controlling key landmarks will define most confrontations, but how you and your squad get there – and how well equipped you are when you do – will never be the same.
Command Devastating Vehicles
In Firestorm, combat vehicles like the powerful Panzer tank have now entered the battle royale fray. Getting hold of a tank can give you a great edge, but you won’t be invincible – and you need to measure risk versus reward if you challenge other squads to secure the battlefield’s most fearsome hardware. Jumping into a transport vehicle will give your squad an edge in speed and power. If you find something with wheels, you can drive it into battle – or plot a quick escape.
Battlefield V is one of my favourites of the franchise with only Battlefield 3 topping it. The game offers up some truly visceral WWII action in any game out there thanks to gameplay and immersion that EA DiCE has created. What they have created in BFV is stunningly beautiful with it’s graphical visuals and designs and realistic audio to accompany it, it’s hard to fault it at times. While the game is not without its flaws, it is one step in the right direction for the franchise to be almost perfect and I can’t wait to see what the next installment brings, hopefully something set in present day or not to distant future!
GoG Rating: 8/10