EA & Dice are back with their latest instalment of Battlefield and this time they are going back to World War 2 with Battlefield V. Currently available on PC, PS4 and Xbox, I was lucky enough to play the game 11 days before release as one of the advantages of having Origin Access premier.
It was originally going to be released at the beginning of October but was delayed for a month to tweak the game after feedback received from earlier public beta tests. This has paid off as you can see changes that have been made for the better.
One of the biggest controversies before the games release was fans being furious at EA for introducing female soldiers into the game and them being a prominent feature in the official gameplay trailer. However, EA like to be as historically accurate as possible and there were in fact female soldiers in World War 2. However I, and I suspect many others, were never taught this in history lessons.
I have been playing Battlefield games since ‘1942’ and have loved (yet occasionally hated) the progression of the games. So is going back to World War 2 a good thing?
After the fantastic improvements in Battlefield 1, Battlefield V has enhanced the war experience and in moving on from World War 1 to World War 2, it bridges the gap between the two games quite nicely.
With the single player aspect, war stories return that were well received in Battlefield 1, in which you play in various situations with specific characters during World War 2. When starting the game for the first time, you are introduced to the prologue story which teaches you the various controls for guns, weapons and vehicles before starting your journey. This feature is quite handy especially if you are new to the Battlefield world and even for old school players as myself, as there were a few new additions and tweaks which were handy to know before starting (and I will describe them further along).
There are 4 more war stories to play called Nordlys, Tirailleur, Under no Flag and the Last Tiger but as an old school player, Battlefield in my mind has and always will be a multiplayer experience. However, after playing the prologue, I feel i need to revisit these old war stories and see what else the game has to offer.
This is the bread and butter of the Battlefield franchise and an area they do so well. Straight away, playing any game mode, you know you’re going to have a great experience.
While this game, out of the box, doesn’t look like its changed much, it has in fact had the enhancements pushed to 11 from Battlefield 1 and improved on an already great game.
Following on from operations in Battlefield 1, Battlefield V introduces Grand Operations which mixes various modes such as Airborne, Breakthrough, Frontlines and Final Stand along with a great narrative over the operations so that you feel, when defending or attacking, a sense of purpose to the game. Grand Operations is my personal favourite and I have spent up to 40 hours of gameplay here and found myself really involved in the story. Based over 4 fictional days with distinct game modes, it reenacts historical events that happened in World War 2 and you get to take part in what could and did happen.
If Grand Operations are not your thing, you can play Breakthrough and Frontlines which have the modes that are part of the Grand operations. You can also play Conquest Assault which has been brought over from Battlefield 1 & classic Conquest mode.
As of the latest update on the 8th of December, the new Tides of War game mode has been introduced with Chapter 1: Overture as the first part. It introduces time-sensitive drops, chapter ranking and rewards with the game play evolving over time. I have yet to play it but I have been looking forward to it since the beta and it is a great step in the right direction to evolve the Battlefield series.
New Additions and changes
The Company is a new feature that has been brought in and the whole idea is to change the appearance of your whole squad along with uniforms and guns etc so which in game, when switching classes on either side, you will have the load out that you designed. At first, I didn’t care, I mean why would I? Traditionally you were given a character of a class and then when in gameplay, you know who is who. However, after a while and finally looking at the system, I can see the cool side of it. My characters all now look the same (basically I chose as close as I could…. with a guy with a beard of course) with similar style clothes etc. and all of a sudden, when playing my Grand Operations, I feel more inclined to get the win or push forward for my team. It’s strange that by designing a character that you want to be represented by, it makes you feel more passionate to play.
The other new feature that has been added is fortification. These fortifications will be built quicker if you are the support class but medics can do this too. What it allows players to do is build sandbag walls and turrets etc. to help your squad defend or hunker down whilst under attack and it allows some extra cover and help to avoid those bullets. At first it was a strange way to play but it only took a few games and all of a sudden, you’re a master builder; at least where the game will let you build.
A great addition is that while in a squad, medic or not, you can revive your squad mates albeit at a slower rate. This is good as you don’t need to wait for the medic and allows the game to flow more easily.
It still annoys me after 40 hours of gameplay, but they have changed how you spot enemies. Previously by pressing Q you could spot enemies that easily seen by your teammates and on the mini map. However they have changed this so that IF you are “spam” spotting, you will get a rough location rather than the person, unless you’re looking down a scope (Support with range or Sniper etc.) In hindsight this is technically accurate but my muscle memory still tries to spam Q and this has gotten me killed a few times as I took it over priority then shooting. Oops.
If you have a half decent PC, you are not going to be disappointed by the graphics. I have never been to war (and hopefully never will!) but this is how I would imagine it to be. Carrying on from Battlefield 1, Battlefield 5 brings a sense of realism to how World War 2, in my mind, would look. With dirty, bombed fields and half blown up buildings – along with Grand Operations game mode, it all adds to the sense that you are really there.
In my opinion, Battlefield has one of the best destructible environments in gaming and this game is no exception. With buildings crumbling down after being bombed by a plane only to escape to a wall which someone is shooting up with an LMG, it all enhances the total gaming experience.
Being a colourblind player, Battlefield V has kept the colourblind mode which was available in the previous game. It only changes team and squad colours but it’s enough to help me distinguish our team vs the enemy.
Frame Rate Issue
When the game came out it was hit by a massive frame rate issue – to the point where some very beefy machines couldn’t handle the game. However since the actual release and as of this week, there have been a few patches that have been released and these appear to have fixed many of the frame rate issues for most people including myself. Previously I was seeing frame rate drops from 144 to almost 20 and back up again and it got worse the longer I played.
It’s good to see Dice taking bugs and issues seriously and getting fixes out to rectify them. Even with the improvements, it appears that turning “future frame rendering” off under the graphics settings will still seeing you with a FPS increase to almost double. If you are still seeing issues, this reddit post has some great advice.
Playing Battlefield with a 7.1 surround headset is nothing but amazing. The sound quality in game is unreal. I know it isn’t reality but I can only imagine this how war is with bullets whizzing past, bombs going off around you and the screams of war. After a while however, you might want to take a timeout and take the headset off as that can slowly being build and get somewhat “real”.
The classic Battlefield theme is also back which always gives me goosebumps when loading up the game.
Battlefield V is a game that you can go back to again and again and easily sink hundreds of hours into. With a very good progress system, entertaining options such as Grand Operations and with the ever growing additions to the game expected over the coming months, there’s always something for someone in this game.
Battlefield V is an absolute joy to play either by yourself or even with buddies. The squad system is more than enough to keep you engaged in the game with the visual spectacle of the battlefield and superb audio in your ears, this game is only going to get better over time.
What makes this a good Battlefield is that you can have many hours not only in multiplayer mode but in single play too. If your an old hand at Battlefield, I would put this as an Platinum Essential but for an overall score, I would give it a Thumb Culture Gold Award