Developer: EA DICE
Release Date: 11/15/2018
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Like so many countless games before it, Battlefield V tries to install the terror of war into the player with bombastic action sequences and dramatic, tense moments while bringing a visually stunning experience to the players home. Battlefield V does most of this well, but clearly, not enough time was given after Battlefield 1 to really flesh out the experience and make it something memorable.
The campaign follows the same design choice as BF1 with short War Stories, this time only 5, following various parts of the theater of WWII from Norwegian tundras to the deserts of Africa. I really loved this idea in BF1 as it was a fresh take on a military campaign that was never done before. Here, the game follows this formula too closely and doesn’t evolve it at all. With pre-rendered cut-scenes shoved in the game does little to offer interesting characters this time around or settings. The “open-ended” level design approach is abused here and detracts from the action that BF1 brought by forcing the player to use stealth in every single story.
I don’t want to run around a massive map trying to accomplish three objectives by infiltrating a small village or guard post by disabling alarms and stealth killing people just so I don’t have to fight it out. It makes for a more generic feeling as there are few scripted events in this game. This happens in every story, with the first four abusing this the most. The best part of BFV is the raw shooting as the weapons handle beautifully and are a riot to use as the authentic era accurate WWII weapons we have become accustomed to really don’t feel like arcadey pop guns anymore.
The last war story is actually the best of them all, and I would have liked to see more of that one. You play as a German Commando, which is usually never done in these games, using a Tiger tank to fend off the Americans in one last stand in Germany. The characters are actually great and the intensity is fantastic I really felt the heat of war and something about being on the losing side makes it that much more intense. The other stories aren’t as interesting and feel pretty bland outside of this final story.
Multiplayer has been expanded upon, but it is generally the same as before with just a few modes added. 64 player Grand Conquest is probably the best here alongside Team Deathmatch as the battles are intense and the tug-of-war aspect of these modes is addictive. Sadly, it just hasn’t changed much and rides too hard on the unique feeling BF1 brought fans and doesn’t carve its own path, which is surprising as this is a WWII shooter and not WWI. Maybe the uniqueness of the BF1 reboot forced DICE to bring out their creative effort and after that, they just felt too safe bringing nearly everything back.
The visuals are absolutely stunning and somehow top BF1 with amazing lighting, textures, animations, and the sound is superb. This is probably one of the best-looking games of this generation and you will need a hefty rig to run this right. Overall, Battlefield V is a fantastic WWII shooter that, while smoothing over the ideas of the last game, just doesn’t deliver the fun that counterbalances the authenticity of the era it tries to emulate. With a lackluster campaign and only the final chapter is interesting, and multiplayer that hasn’t changed an awful lot, DICE has got to bring something amazing with the next game or gamers will quickly become fatigued with the franchise that has long stood its ground in a crowded military shooter era.