After a solid effort covering the first World War, the Battlefield franchise attempts to tell their version of the Second World War with Battlefield V. Trying to move away from the whole Star Wars: Battlefront II fiasco, developers DICE combine the signature big scale multiplayer with a new narrative-focused War Stories. The game feels familiar to the signature Battlefield formula but brings forth enough new content to not be considered a re-hash.
Battlefield V is one of the best looking games out right now, which makes sense as it was one of the flagship titles for NVIDIA’s RTX technology. DICE clearly spared to no effort when it comes to detail. The environments and character models are better than ever, with the latter being notably improved when playing the War Stories single player mode and viewing the character interactions. Having played the game on all three platforms, it clearly performs the best on PC, however, the console versions do great in their own right. The Xbox One X version which I spent the most time with looked great but did face frame rate drips, however they were nothing major and shouldn’t hinder from the overall experience.
In terms of sound design, Battlefield V does not disappoint and this time once again is coupled with an amazing orchestral soundtrack. This is one of the games that deserve to be experienced using a decent sound system or headphones. There’s just something amazing hearing tank shells go off in Battlefield games, the bass and recoil is something you can feel to the core. My only complaint related to audio is the soldier accents, which sound forced, even though the general voice acting is good. Hearing the German announcer shouting “Ze British are coming” can get hilariously cringy a couple of matches in.
Unlike Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 which forewent a single player campaign, DICE went all in with Battlefield V’s War Stories. There are three stories in total, a couple of hours long, with each telling heroic stories of old. Thankfully DICE didn’t go with the typical American soldier route and decided to focus on some interesting factions and characters which include an African soldier fighting for France, a British convict and a Norwegian rebel. There’s a lot of work put into these stories as each of them has their own levels created from scratch, and not just rehashed multiplayer maps. Don’t get me wrong, the War Stories certainly won’t be winning any awards but they were fairly enjoyable, unlike most FPS campaigns nowadays.
Now on to the multiplayer which I’m sure all of you are mainly interested in. Spoiler alert – it’s pretty good.
DICE made huge changes to the progression systems where you will level up your career rank, each class, and each weapon. This adds a lot of replayability as well as an incentive to put time into a certain playstyle and weapon. You can make one gun you really like very strong, unlike in previous games which forced you to play according to the Meta. There’s a downside to this however as this system really limits experimentation. Players will often choose the safe choice of their upgraded weapon over trying a newly unlocked one.
Player classes return with Assault, Medic, Support, and Recon. Choosing the correct class is really important for a game like Battlefield as you simply can’t survive running around alone and not contributing to your squad. The game really incentives teamwork and awards you points, which I’ve noticed has turned around some Call of Duty Death Match veterans.
Everyone’s favorite Conquest mode returns in Battlefield V with 32v32 action being as enjoyable as ever. Although I mainly play Conquest, I did try other modes as well, of which I found Grand Operations really fun. Didn’t give the latter much love in the Battlefield 1, where they were called just Operations, but teams fighting across four days with each side investing significant time in each match gets your blood rushing especially in the final rounds.
There’s also a new mode called Final Stand, which triggers when Grand Operations go into the final round after the game is tied after the first three rounds. Similar to a Battle Royale, its last man standing style match with the map’s boundaries constantly shrinking, making it very hectic but super fun.
The smaller maps for Team Deathmatch didn’t really appeal to me as they’re not really intended for this type of game. If you want to go around mindlessly killing people without playing the objective then this might not be the game for you. The big maps are where Battlefield V shines for real.
I have to mention that although most of the maps are fun and all, they feel very familiar, maybe its the old setting but it can get really hard to differentiate between maps from the previous games and this one. The game felt safe and I would love for DICE to consider a different setting next time, maybe its time to go back to modern war?
Battlefield V is a solid entry in the series and has the potential to become even better down the line with the ton of additional content planned down the line, especially the Battle Royale mode slated for next year. With DICE’s plans for their Tides of War service, Battlefield V will constantly evolve and we can’t wait for more.
Battlefield V Review (Xbox One)
Game Reviewed on: Xbox One
Game description: Battlefield V is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA DICE and published by Electronic Arts. Battlefield V is the sixteenth installment in the Battlefield series. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 20, 2018.
Final Score - 8.5/108.5/10
Battlefield V is a solid entry in the series and has the potential to become even better down the line with the ton of additional content planned down the line, especially the Battle Royale mode slated for next year. With DICE's plans for their Tides of War service, Battlefield V will constantly evolve and we can't wait for more.