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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Battlefield V Review


Like any recurring franchise, each subsequent Battlefield release aims to improve, while staying true to the base formula. Battlefield V is no different here, and this is perhaps the best that Battlefield has ever felt. The iconic experience we all expect is still there, but many mechanics are the best the series has seen. At its core, Battlefield V is an incredible shooter, but technical hiccups, some balancing issues, and a lack of content prevent it from reaching full potential. 

Anyone who has played a previous Battlefield game will feel right at home with Battlefield V. It retains the best parts of Battlefield 1 and brings back some of the good from the older games. The best change that DICE made though, was an update to the shooting mechanics. Weapons are now based on a recoil system that favors skill and control of a weapon over the random nature of bullet spread. The use of bullet spread allows more casual players to feel more comfortable with a new shooter, but that mechanic diminishes the skill ceiling of the game, and therefore the time spent on improving. 

Each weapon in Battlefield V feels different, and the time spent learning their recoil patterns is valuable. A player that decides to master the M1A1 on assault will almost always outgun the newcomer to the weapon, and their stats will reflect that in game. If that master decides to use an STG-44 though, the learning process begins again, and he must get used to the new weapon. Of course, skill in an FPS game will always transfer from one gun to another, but it still takes time to get accustomed to each one, which allows for countless hours of gratifying competition and improvement. 

Varied Classes and New Mechanics  

As always, Battlefield retains the four-class system; assault, medic, scout, and support. This time though, they are slightly less specialized, or integral due to the global mechanics added. This is an interesting addition at the very least, but one that will take some more time before it feels right.  

The attrition system bridges the gap between classes and creates a more hectic battlefield where management becomes key. Health no longer regenerates unless you have a medical pack. A medic can supply these, but they can also be found at crates within each point. The same goes for ammo as well, and I can confirm myself the struggle for ammo that occurs when no support is around to help. Even reviving teammates, which has always been a medic specific trait, can be done be done by players that are in a squad together. A squad revive is slower, but still an option that was never there before.  

Each class also has the ability to build fortifications at a point, as structures are destroyed throughout a match. It was a mechanic added this time around to compensate for the ever-growing amounts of destruction, which is a fantastic addition to the flow of the game. Again though, it is something that every class can utilize, but one class excels in. Each class is the best at a given role, but no longer unique to it.  

Perhaps in a bid to keep classes more unique, some classes are far too versatile in their weapons, while others struggle to find a good place in the game. Supports, for example, have machine guns and shotguns, and their light machine guns can essentially outgun any class at most ranges. The KE7, the first gun in the support class, can defeat medics up close, assaults at medium range, and if a bipod is equipped, even scouts can be taken out at distance. Medics on the other hand suffer from sub-machine guns that are useful up close, but certainly not the only answer in close quarters combat. However, they just might be the only class that stands no chance at medium to long range.  

There is major gap in the performance of class weapons right now, and that not only effects balance, but it effects what classes are being played, and the way that a match will play out. If support is over powered, and medic shoots nerf guns, you can bet you’ll run into many prone players with a KE7 and no medics to heal you. It should be noted though that a major patch is releasing for the game on December 4th that addresses these issues and many more. This is the state of release though, and the only experience thus far.  

Progression and the World War 2 Theme 

Progression in Battlefield V is more important and robust when compared to previous games. There is much more of a focus on both weapon progression, and the customization of your soldier company. The entire system basically runs off an earned currency called company coins. 

These changes to progression and customization were implemented as a way to earn more revenue through microtransactions as the game progresses with more cosmetics. In general, I don’t mind microtransactions in multiplayer games, and I believe they are beneficial, as long as they are warranted. Battlefield V has no season pass at all, and all future DLC is free, which is fantastic for keeping the community together. That content must be funded though, and that comes with cosmetics. 

The customization and progression aren’t as drastic as first believed, and many of the outfits fit into the World War 2 theme. I’ve been having a ton of fun earning new weapon skins and gear as I’ve battled my way across war-torn Europe. There are assignments for weapons and classes alike, that offer smaller challenges and a way to stand out among the other soldiers on the battlefield. Earning everything, especially once tides of war begins, will be a major undertaking. 

Almost all the maps have a genuine classic World War 2 FPS look as well, and each one feels unique to the conflict It represents. Along with the updated graphics, especially the lighting, the maps are more visually appealing than ever, and getting immersed in the experience is easy. Any area from the snowy mountains in Norway, to the dusty airfields in Northern Africa, has its own unique look and design.  

The only map that I couldn’t get myself to like, and still can’t, is the map Hamada. I wish DICE would spend more time on the tighter urban maps like Devastation, that host plenty of intense battles with constant tactics, instead of the wide-open and one-sided maps. I understand the need to cater to every aspect of an audience, but I don’t believe it would be beneficial to continue maps that only cater to snipers. 

Too Many Bugs and not Enough Content 

In terms of gameplay and design, this is the best Battlefield game I’ve played. I already have 50 hours played and I can’t wait to keep playing for weeks to come. That doesn’t mean I can’t see the problems that currently hold this title back, and cause just as much frustration as enjoyment. For starters, the number of bugs in game certainly effects the current experience. 

I won’t give an entire laundry list of bugs currently in the game, but they are seriously all over the place. The environment in general is full of problems, including sliding, bullets clipping, traversal over obstacles, and textures. Animations constantly break, assignments in the UI will constantly pop up in game, and even something as simple as calling in a bomb with binoculars hosts a few different bugs. One minute I’m praising the game and Its incredible gunplay, then the next I’m cursing because the enemy absorbed my entire magazine as he revived his friend and proceeded to kill me. 

The lack of content is also a genuine problem. There are less maps and weapons in Battlefield 1 than there is in Battlefield V. In fact, there is less content here than ever. Even the Battle Royale that they had revealed won’t be out until March of 2019. The current content is some of the best FPS action around, but there really isn’t enough for a full price launch. 

There is a single player War Stories collection, but they are quite honestly boring. Regardless of the revisionism in the stories, there is nothing notable about the single player experience. I’m sure much of the community, myself included, would have preferred that DICE simply cut single player and placed those resources to more maps and weapons, with less bugs, at launch. 

Future Updates 

As I mentioned before, the first major update for the game releases on the 4th of December, with Tides of War following a couple of days after. This update is the start of a solution to many of these problems that plague Battlefield V in its current state. Many of the bugs should be addressed, balance changes will be implemented, and new map and weapons should be added with new cosmetics for the event. This update is a few weeks after the initial launch though, and it’s only the start of a long road before a perfect state.  

Battlefield V has a wildly entertaining gameplay format, and there is a lot to celebrate in the release. I have no doubt that in a few months, and even a year from now, the game will perhaps be the best World War 2 shooter on the market, that is brimming with content to explore. That’s the future though, not the game in the state that we have now, and that’s a problem. Any FPS fan who skips this game is missing out on a great experience, but it’s hard to recommend the game now, when it might be half the price and much better a few months from now. I personally will be pouring another 50 hours along the way, while keeping a critical eye of the content to come. 

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