|Battlefield maps always tend to look pretty|
I tried the Battlefield V Open Beta several days ago and not only tried my hand at the classic Conquest mode but also the new Grand Operations mode. Unlike the Battlefield 1 beta which only featured a single map (Sinai Desert) this beta featured two: Rotterdam and Narvik.
Rainbow Six: Siege is still my multiplayer FPS of choice and while Battlefield 1 wasn’t too bad, I didn’t feel it was good as previous Battlefield games in terms of the direction they were going with the gameplay – I did think it was a good idea for DICE to break the cycle though and visit WWI instead of developing another modern warfare FPS. Battlefield V is set during World War II so now the series has come full circle considering the first Battlefield game, released back in 2002, was Battlefield 1942.
So, after playing the open beta for over 4 hours, is Battlefield V any good? Is it worth keeping an eye on?
What I like:
WWII Era Weapons and VehiclesBattlefield V will launch with only two factions: Britain and Germany, but more will be added later on. Unlike Battlefield 1, it seems that vehicles and aircraft available to each faction are ones that were actually used by them such as Churchill tanks and Spitfire fighters for the British, and Tiger tanks and Stuka bombers for the Germans. Amongst the infantry weapons you’ll get access to Kar98s, Bren Guns and Stg 44s.
War Stories are backWhile I didn’t get to experience this during the open beta (since it focused solely on multiplayer), it has been reported that War Stories (i.e. a single player campaign featuring multiple mini-campaigns with different characters) will be making a return, which I think is a good thing as I quite enjoyed their inclusion in Battlefield 1.
Smooth and appealing graphicsThe Battlefield games always tend to be pretty ones and Battlefield V is turning out to be no exception. I didn’t encounter any serious graphical glitches (besides the occasional corpse pirouetting on its head) and everything seemed to run smoothly with no noticeable drops in framerate.
AudioAnother area where the Battlefield games tend to shine is in the audio department: Battlefield V manages to authentically capture some quite chilling sounds, such as the Jericho Trumpet sirens wailing as a Stuka performs a dive-bombing run, or a V-1 rocket’s engine just before it hits its target.
Orchestral scoreBattlefield 1 composers Johan Söderqvist and Patrik Andrén return to deliver an orchestral score for Battlefield V and from what I’ve heard so far, it’s going to be just as good. Check this out:
Medic requestsJust like in Battlefield 1, you can choose to either call for a medic or skip ahead to the spawn screen; the bottom right corner will indicate how many metres away the nearest medic is but now it will also tell you how far away your nearest squadmate is as well. This is because in Battlefield V both medics and squadmates can revive you although it’s still better if a medic does it as they perform revives quicker and are able to give more health.
Vehicles on-demandYou can still grab vehicles on-demand like in Battlefield 1 (i.e. you select a vehicle and immediately spawn into it, if one is available) – however, it seems Battlefield V takes a mixed approach for vehicle spawns now as basic transport (like bikes and flak tracks) are left idle at the spawn. Overall, I think this is a good compromise as it seems like essential transportation vehicles will be available more frequently (at least that’s my hope).
Tides of War replaces Premium PassBattlefield V seems to have taken an approach similar to Rainbow Six Siege where once you’ve purchased the game, you’ll have access to all maps that will be released and they’ll be introduced over seasons. This means the community will no longer be segregated by those that have certain DLC and those that do not. There will also be unique events where you can unlock certain cosmetic items.
No lootboxesEA/DICE have apparently backed down with respect to lootboxes and will adopt a premium in-game currency which can be used for unlocking cosmetics (which can also be unlocked using a “grind currency”) so a bit similar to R6 Siege where you have R6 Credits (purchased with real money) and Renown (the “grind currency” of Siege).
4 Player Co-op ModeI didn’t get to experience this during the open beta but news of a 4-player co-op mode is pretty exciting. It’s probably going to have nothing on other co-op shooters like Left 4 Dead but hey, I’m always keen for more co-op gameplay.
Limited ammo and health regenerationYou now get limited ammo in Battlefield V which reminds me of the good ol’ days of Battlefield 2 - however, there are ammo resupply stations situated at the flags, so it’s not like you’re going to be totally dependent on the support class. Health regeneration is now also broken up in stages so when you’re on low health, you won’t recover full health by just standing around. Again, just like the ammo stations, there are first aid stations situated around the map, so you’re not completely dependent on medics. For an old Battlefield 2 veteran, it’s a step in the right direction.
Grand Operations modeThis seems to be “Rush” on steroids and it actually seems to bear some similarities to Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory’s Campaign Mode: In “Grand Operations”, multiple maps with different objectives are chained together and starting resources are affected by the team’s performance on previous maps. For example, one time while playing "Grand Operations" the first phase had the British parachuting in and they were tasked to destroy four German artillery pieces. If any were destroyed, this resulted in a loss to the Germans, but the more artillery pieces the Germans lose, the worse off the German team is on the next phase which played more like the traditional “Rush” mode. Apparently, if the game is close, there’s a “Final Stand” mode where everyone only spawns once, so it probably should be renamed “Sudden Death” mode to be honest.
FortificationsBattlefield V continues to take inspiration from other games, such as Fortnite and Rainbow 6: Siege as it allows you to build fortifications (such as sandbags and hedgehogs) and board up windows near objectives.
Squad ReinforcementsIt’s a poor man’s Commander Mode, but again, another step in the right direction: you can now get squad reinforcements in Battlefield V which are deployed by the squad leader provided he earns enough squad points. Squad points are earned whenever your squad works together: accumulate enough points and the squad leader can bring in supply drops, a Churchill Crocodile flamethrower tank and even a V-1 rocket strike.
|The Assault Class actually gets to use early assault rifles now|
What I dislike:
Weapons don't seem faction basedJust like many of the recent Battlefield games, the infantry weapons don’t seem to be faction based, i.e. you’re just as likely to use an STG 44 as the British as you are a Sten gun as the Germans. However, as mentioned before, at least vehicles and aircraft are faction based now…
Action hero anticsYou can literally jump out of two storey windows and survive the fall like you’re an action hero. Not very realistic.
Down the slippery slope of authenticityAnd while we’re on the topic of realism being thrown out the window, Battlefield V is probably the least authentic and realistic Battlefield game to date; this is probably not news to you as there have been enough websites, YouTube channels and other various forms of media that have lambasted the inaccuracies present in this latest iteration, especially with respect to its depiction of women who fought in the war. While I tend to prefer fun gameplay over total historical accuracy and realism, I can appreciate for the hardcore, Battlefield V isn’t going to be their cup of tea. You have been warned.
BugsI did encounter a couple of bugs during the open beta but that’s to be expected. The most annoying one though occurred when revives were interrupted: I usually had to end up waiting for a minute before I could spawn again, so not sure what was happening there.
|If only Bon Jovi was here.|
What remains to be seen:
Battle RoyaleTo be honest, I’m not really excited about the “Battle Royale” game mode but even if I was, I wasn’t able to try it as it wasn’t available during the open beta. The game will apparently feature a 4 team “Battle Royale” mode which sounds similar to Squad Deathmatch.
Company customisationI didn’t really get a chance to play around with customising my company during the open beta; apparently there will be lots of customisation options for your characters and vehicles, including ridiculous cosmetics similar to the likes you can get in Rainbow 6: Siege and Fortnite.
Verdict – PromisingRainbow Six: Siege still has a lot going for it but I personally feel I’ll like this iteration of Battlefield more than Battlefield 1. Will it be able to usurp the multiplayer FPS crown from Siege? I’m not sure, but it definitely stands a better chance than Battlefield 1. The fact it’s adopting a lot of new gameplay mechanics and policies similar to Siege helps as well.
Have any of you played the Battlefield V Open Beta? What did you think? Have you already pre-ordered the game or are you still skeptical?