Review: Battlefield V
The Battlefield franchise has been here for a long time now and DICE is aiming to showcase a point of view of the second world war that has never been seen before, with their latest installment, Battlefield V. I've always been a huge fan of the series and I'm a veteran in terms of their games, so when I was lucky enough to receive a review copy from Electronic Arts, I couldn't have been more happy. I've now played for several hours and as always, I definitely have some things to talk about.
Platform: Xbox One S. Introduction Battlefield V features a main menu that is similar to Battlefield 1 and in terms of at least the campaign part, there's first a short cut-scene of different stories, giving me a quick glimpse of what some stories looked like.
There's also an introduction mission where I get to play as different characters in a short amount of time. I loved this part, simply because it was beautifully put together in a great way. Visuals/performance When I think of the Battlefield games, I am never excluding their photorealistic and gorgeous visuals from my thoughts. Mainly because it's a big part of the franchise since DICE has always upped the ante in creating groundbreaking visuals, on top of simply amazing audio design. As I expected, Battlefield V was no exception at all.
The game looks gorgeous at all times, with explosions and the muzzle fire of a gun looking like the real deal. Honestly, it shouldn't surprise anyone, though since DICE has always made sure that they detail everything as much as they can. It's clear from the start of hearing the first gun or the first explosion that they've spent a ton of time at a real life firing range. Even the main menu looks great. A thing I noticed is that loading times are a lot faster compared to in Battlefield 1, especially when entering a multiplayer match. It feels great to get into a match even faster now. As I expected, the maps are huge like always, giving me a real sense of freedom.
I've always loved the maps in the Battlefield games, they're equally as big as they are well designed. The game's graphics are mindblowing, and I can't help but to take a screenshot nearly all the time. Every map feels so alive, with trees moving in a dynamic and authentic way, as well as dust & smoke filling streets in such an immersive way. Explosions look even better than in Battlefield 1, and with the V1 bomb, there's no shortage of huge explosions. The game seems to be running in native 900p-1080p (dynamic scaler) at a very stable 60fps. The rare times I've noticed a drop in the framerate is only at random times when roaming around a map. So, performance is pretty much perfect! Though, when it comes to bugs, it's a slightly different story. I've noticed at least 2-3 of them and while they aren't game breaking at all, they can mess a great moment up. One bug made me fall endlessly through the map, for example.
Lag isn't excluded but it's not really that severe. Mostly, it's just small things like vehicles and players teleporting meters ahead, suddenly. Let's go back to audio design: it's great and probably the best of this generation's Battlefield games but a part of me feels like DICE still haven't mastered it like they did in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. It baffles me that a 10 year old game has audio design that should be from this generation of Battlefield games. God, I love DICE. In short: visuals, performance and audio design is superb. It almost feels like I'm in a world war II movie, at times! Story In Battlefield 1, DICE introduced a new campaign concept called War Stories that worked in the way as playing through different and smaller stories as a specific character within the first world war. In Battlefield V, it's the same thing. This time, though, there are only three war stories to choose from (with a fourth coming on the 4th of December) but they're really good, which compensates for it. The campaign mode is just as good as Battlefield 1's in terms of telling stories, and length.
However, it's clear that DICE didn't really go all out this time, which is something I notice by looking at how many war stories there are this time. Colletibles are back, though and there's even more of them now but oddly enough, there are no achievements for collecting them, at all. The three current war stories are: Under No Flag, Nordlys, and Tirailleur. Under No Flag: put in jail during the war, no-good Billy Bridger gets picked up by Brittish officer George Mason, to attack a Luftwaffe airbase. I really liked this one, not only because the duo had a funny charm to it but also because they worked pretty well together despite issues surfacing. The cut-scenes are amazing, too. The whole war story itself is very good and there's a lot of freedom later when I receive three objectives located in a vast open area.
By the time this part starts, something that was featured in the Battlefield: Bad Company games is back (might've been in Battlefield 1, too), where I get complete freedom regarding how I want to progress, and in what way. Throughout the area, there's many different vehicles that I am able to drive, and I can choose which objective I want to do first. It really gives the player a lot of freedom. During the mission, George and Billy are supposed to attack a Luftwaffe base but things doesn't really end up the way they should've ended like.
The campaign in Battlefield V might not be as good as in the Bad Company or Battlefield 4 days but it's still a great campaign, with a lot of story to tell. Nordlys: in this war story, I played as Solveig, a young Norwegian woman that is part of the resistance fighters, with a mission to cripple the German force that have invaded her country. Her original objective was to rescue her mother from the hands of the Germans but as she nearly completes her objective, she is forced to complete another objective in order to save the world from Germany's secret weapon. This one hits a bit closer to my heart because of it being set in Scandinavia, and the Norwegian language being very similar to the Swedish language. I think it's great to see the Scandinavian side of WWII, it's kind of rare, especially in video games. I liked this war story a lot, and it might even be the best one in the game. Solveig's desperate way of helping her country and family really gives the story an emotional theme, especially towards the end.
To top it off, it's (obviously) set in Norway, which is a very beautiful country, especially during winter (which is also the season it's set in), so this war story is by far the most beautiful one in terms of design. Equipped with skii equipment to easily traverse the Norwegian landscape, a Kar 98 rifle, and throwing knifes, with hypothermia lurking in the cold (yes, it can happen in the mission), Solveig has to do everything she can to save her mother, as well as the whole world from the German empire. Tirailleur: as Deme, accompanied by Idrissa and the colonial Senegalese Tirailleur unit, they must stop Fallschirmjäger defenses that have shown up in France. This one is told by an old Deme in retrospect. I liked this war story a lot, not only because Deme showed a lot of bravery but also because it showed a side of the war that had not really been recognised before. It features beautiful French landscape set in what looks like autumn.
It's a great war story overall and I really enjoyed playing through it. It's lengthy and has amazing story telling, just like the other stories. It feels rather cool that it's told in retrospect by Deme, too. Throughout the mission, I got to use a lot of different weapons, while also destroying many fortifications with explosives in order to safely progress. Later in the end, I'm tasked with attacking a big German fort, which is the most awesome part of the story. There's a ton of action, great looking scenery, as well as a sad ending later on. The campaign mode overall is amazing but something tells me that it released slightly unfinished due to the last war story not even being released, yet. Gameplay/multiplayer Let's talk about the one thing that made the Battlefield franchise as big as it is today, the multiplayer mode. Multiplayer in Battlefield V is as awesome as it's always been but I tend to get the feeling of something missing sometimes, it might be the number of weapons or customization options. There's not that many weapons, at least compared to Battlefield 4, and I expected there to be customization like in Battlefield 4, too. It's really not that big of a deal, though and I still think the multiplayer is amazing.
As always, there can be as many as 64 players in one match, and it runs really well. Conquest, the mode we all love so much, are one of the modes that offer 64-player action, and it is pretty much exactly as great as it always has been. These battles are huge and can get pretty long. Other modes are Operations (a seamless showcase of maps and modes, it was featured in Battlefield 1 and this time it's even better), Frontlines (a mix of conquest, Rush, and Battlefield 4's Obliteration mode), Domination, Breakthrough & Team Deathmatch, with a battle royale mode planned for release in 2019 (I'm really looking forward to it but this just adds to my thoughts mentioned before, that the game didn't really release completely finished).
Every mode is very good and I especially love the Operations mode, it's very dynamic and sort of like a campaign mode for the multiplayer part of the game. Some modes offer 32-player action and other offer 64-player action. There's a lot of multiplayer content at launch but there's one missing with a release date of 6th of December, called Tides of War that is scheduled to bring the arrival of Grand Operations, an even bigger version of Operations. I can't wait to try it out on the 6th! Multiplayer maps superb and there's 8 of them at launch, they are: Rotterdam, Devastation, Twisted Steel, Yellow Fields, Hamada, Airfield, Narvik & Snow Mountain. That's not a bad list, especially since they're so huge. I loved playing on every map and my favorite is probably Yellow Fields cause of how big and good looking it is. If I move on to weapons, that's not a bad list either but I hope they add more, soon.
Some of them are: STG 44, M1907 SF, Gewehr 43, Lee Enfield No. 4 Mk I Kar98k, Model 8, Sten, EMP, MP40, KE7, FG-42, M30 Drilling, 12g Automatic, M1911, Ruby & PO8 Pistol. There's also a ton of gadgets to be used, a whole 16 of them, with a vast amount of vehicles, too. If there's one DICE are good, it's the amount of vehicles and gadgets. Vehicles are the classic world war II vehicles that I'd expect, ranging from the Panzer IV, Tiger I to the planes and transports like the Spitfire Mk VA and Kubelwagen. When it comes to gadgets, they Range from the ammunition crate, S 35 Bouncing Betty, to the spawn beacon and Tellermine (with so many more). There's also reinforcements to be used when I've earned enough points as a squad leader. Such as the V1 bomb and a supply drop, to help gain an advantage over the enemies (the V1 bomb can do massive damage). Classes are back and it's the classic Assault (assault rifles), Medic (SMGs), Support (LMGs) & Recon (sniper rifles).
In terms of customization, it's not that deep, I was only able to choose what attachments would look like, and not get any advantages like less recoil or increased damage, at all. It's a missed opportunity but I guess DICE have their reason for it not being featured. The only advantage is the ability to put a scope on my weapon, which in turn is great but I'd love to have more options. There are some advantages I can take part of but they're in the form of upgrades to my weapon, like being able to reload faster. They've done a great job with everything but customization could've been even better, like in Battlefield 4. I like that you can alter your character's clothing now: pants, torso, helmet and face paint. There's a lot of clothing to choose from and it's earned by either purchasing it or completing challenges to earn credits. One new addition to the franchise is the ability to build fortifications in a multiplayer, to gain a defensive advantage over the enemy.
It's a welcome addition and it kind of makes the game even more dynamic. The game's core gameplay is pretty much the way it's always been: first-person shooter. There's no third-person involved besides when I die in-game in an online match, where I can spawn on my teammates. It's an amazing experience like in every Battlefield game, and it truly is full of immersion. Running towards an objective full of enemies is both scary and awesome due to there being so many different outcomes of what can happen within the next minute. Will a tank go through that wall in any second, rendering my squad and I unable to capture a certain objective without reinforcements?
Will that hostile squad in front of me retreat back to one of their flags, resulting in me and my team winning the entire match? It's full of possibilities, and each match feels unique in its own way. I'm in love with the multiplayer portion but the lack of customization within weapons is something I feel should've been there. If that'll change in the future is yet to be seen. Multiplayer is definitely the highlight of the game, though and it never got stale, especially with unlocking weapons when ranking up in terms of my class level. All in all Battlefield V offers, yet again like with every installment in the franchise, a gloriously fun, immersive and hectic experience all the way throughout, both in the form of war stories and multiplayer. Customization is good but could've been better, with clothing options also being featured now. With the performance the game has, I was hindered from feeling true excitement each time I played through a mission or match. It's a really enjoyable experience with a ton of content, especially towards 2019. It might not be the best Battlefield game ever made but it sure packs one powerful punch! I enjoyed every second spent in the game and I truly recommend it to everyone that are fans of the franchise. Do not sleep on this one!
Battlefield V is available both digitally and physically, with a starting price of $60, followed by a $80 price point for the Deluxe Edition. Have you picked it up yet? Let me know. A review copy was provided for review purposes. This review is written by Jesper Ingemansson and is based on his honest opinion about the game.