“If loving war is a crime then I plead guilty your honor.”
Battlefield V is the latest installment of EA and DICE’s war shooter game that takes the World War II action up a notch. Pitting the Allied and Axis forces against each other in an all-out war for supremacy while also trying to just have fun in the process. And what fun it was. Going from the streets of Rotterdam or battling the chill in Narvik opens up completely different experiences thanks to its landscape despite playing on similar objectives. But with War Stories, you get to put yourself in the shoes of others far too soon… just when you finally get to know them, you already realized your time was up and it’s time to get on to the other part of the world.
There’s never a dull moment in multiplayer but I can’t say that there was ever a time I thought that I would’ve been better off without its story mode. From a British bank robber that struck a deal only to get dragged into a far worse situation. This young lad had to infiltrate an airbase in order to blow up fighter planes to which he gracefully stumbles as the last plane’s bomb fell off the wings before it could blow up. What came after was a hell lot of enemies coming up their asses as they try to escape the hell hole.
So while the first one… Under No Flag of 1942 wasn’t as pleasing, Nordlys in 1943 just happens to be my favorite. Being put in the snow boots of a young resistance fighter as she tries to rescue her captured mother while trying to prevent the creation of an atomic bomb using heavy water. The drama and intensity were there and it’s where Battlefield V really picked up their bearings despite my feet and skis getting eaten by the snow and dirt. Despite all that, it was a very fun way to go from one area to the next… if only we could use that in other parts outside Nordlys.
1944 is the year of unwritten history and the last of the day one stories as 1945, The Last Tiger is planned to release on the 4th of December. Here we start Tirailleur as they try to impress us when a team of soldiers with no real ties to the French army come together and tried liberating France from German rule. It shows heroism, bravery and a bit of overconfidence. With no support, the soldiers led by Idrissa and Deme who just won their first victory went straight towards the next objectives to earn glory and be celebrated as kings. However, reality sings a different tune and there’s no way to rewind back time.
War Stories is a mixed bag of goodies but the same can be said for multiplayer but before we get into what they consider as the main dish of MP, let’s take a look at what else is there on the table:
- Conquest. Here, both sides would be fighting point-by-point as they try to deplete the other in a 64-player capture the flag-based combat in large maps.
- Conquest Assault. It’s where every inch of the ground becomes precious when a line of capture points will focus the battle into all-out firefights but what makes it different to the previous is its focus on a single objective than everything at the same time.
- Domination. Meanwhile, this will be your infantry-focused conquest game with a smaller playing area and fewer objectives to capture.
- Frontlines. Takes you into a tug-of-war battle where both sides will be on a head-to-head collision course while pushing back the opposing army as they try to capture bases until the enemy’s main camps are left. At this point, the requirement for victory is taking the bombs to the two designated areas and defend it until it goes off. However, failure to do so would then push back your forces to retake the last objective before going into the offensive again. Although, the defenders have an opportunity to tug back the rope in their favor should they take the point for themselves.
- Team Deathmatch. Is as simple as it sounds. An all-out point war to deplete the enemy team’s respawn count to zero with no objectives to defend or capture… just pure mayhem and flanking which are two of my favorite words put together.
“Now with all that out of the way… make way for Grand Operations!”
This is where Battlefield V really shines. Grand Operations puts you into a narrative experience for domination with a combination of maps and modes representing up to four days-worth of missions to which every outcome applies on to the next.
This modular experience is the upgraded experience of Battlefield 1’s Operations but on a grander scale. With the first part would have the attackers dropping by plane while the opposition defending their turf in a mode dubbed as Airborne. Each team has a set number of tickets for respawns and the attacker with a bomb to detonate in specific areas. Completing the objectives on the first day would give you an advantage towards the next. In which can be the previously mentioned game modes like Frontlines, Conquest, Conquest Assault or Breakthrough, in which you will be required to push back the defenders as you seize all points in a sector before going on to the next sections of the map. Lastly, should it fail to come to a decisive victor, Final Stand is where the tie needs to be unknot. Moreover, Tides of War would potentially change Grand Operations that could introduce more days for a longer session or different game modes to switch it up.
There’s an awful lot of things to consider and even more time to be spent. So while you could probably finish a single year of War Story in roughly an hour spanning in three arcs each, Grand Operations can take just as much or maybe more to come to a close to which becomes a rewarding experience but also an awful hour that you wish you could just go back to the armory to claim your newly delivered shipments.
Speaking of armory and shipments, there can be an awful lot to consider… career ranks go up to 50, class rank can get up to 20, a primary weapon’s progression, however, is up to 10 and lastly, tank and plane progressions can go up to 4 ranks. Each one would provide new things to unlock like career ranks can unlock a new tank or plane while going up the rankings on your chosen class would then unlock new class-based weapons, equipment, and cosmetics. Getting a weapon up a rank would then provide you with cosmetics as well as the ability to re-assign specific skills like higher accuracy while hip firing or faster movement speed while aiming down the sights. Last but definitely not least, a tank and plane with only four ranks can only unlock new skills or attachments… so yeah maybe it is the least 😛
But let’s talk about something new and that’s the ability to create fortifications. Any class has the ability to create them however support class has it better. You can have a faster build time on piling up sandbags to defend a point should you come under fire in the next few seconds. Build a health or ammo station from the so-called Attrition system so you’d have to rely less on supports or medics trying to top you off and just head to the nearest base camp. It provides an interesting tweak to the formula which gave it more of a flavorful experience than a drastic overhaul as you’d be crazy not to try to build up your defense should a structure you’re in just happen to collapse some time ago.
Now while I have enjoyed my experience thus far. The game just lacks polish in more ways than one. The eight maps spanning in four geographical locations offer dramatically different gameplay experiences but it’s riddled with issues. Overlapping and passing through objects that should’ve never been possible is one of them. I sometimes see myself passing through a six-foot-high sandbag wall like it’s nothing despite my latency only dipping in the 10s to 20s. My armored vehicle lugging around a flak cannon would suddenly sprout wings as it tries to be a bird lifting ever so slightly off the ground as I race towards the destroyed bridge in Twisted Steel where most fighter jets try to fight over. Meanwhile, I find myself at times struggling to jump over a foot-high elevation in Fjell 652 without having to try three to five times. There’s also spawning issues as players would spawn outside the combat area before the start of a match which leads to some deaths. The glare caused by the imitation of a sunlight can also be a huge factor in defeat as players would camp in a team deathmatch opposite of the glare which causes the opposing team to either die helplessly as they get blinded or rush in the suicidal mode as they try to retake it while avoiding fire.
Despite the graphics being as good as it looks I just find it hard to find the good with it when things I could enjoy at less levels of detail have a much better experience towards its gameplay. However what I do love about Battlefield is the destruction elements and its dynamic physics-based collapse to feel the immersion. Movement is also very positive now that more ways to move around the world are added. Jump, slide, crouch, prone and vault into battle as you find new ways to get out of enemy fire and get in for a flank. Also, shoulder tacking a door had never sounded so amazing until now.
It’s an enjoyable experience should you love the intensities of war despite it being fairly lacking in content. However, it does pique my interest that Premium Pass is dead while Tides of War is the in thing. With this, the tides of war will be altered to keep the players obtain new locations, weapons, vehicles and more for free after launch. This includes the 4th Chapter of War Stories, the new Panzerstorm map, Practice Range, Greece Map, a Battle Royale mode called Firestorm and other game modes. So while some will be releasing soon and others a few months more, I will not base my review scores on what is to come but what is put to the table. And it is a rather jumbled thought of love and hate. As someone who prefers single over multiplayer experiences, I find myself disappointed that there’s really nothing that could make me spend another thorough run towards its War Stories. However, the MP side does provide its moment of enjoyment and the amount of players on at any given time can fill the gap that the offline bots are non-existent towards every game mode. This is not what I’d recommend unless you feel the need for the World War II experiences the Battlefield way.