Battlefield V launched into a maelstrom of anger and disappointment from fans, critics and more importantly, the YouTube community of influencers who let’s face it, can make or break a game nowadays.
Loot boxes, season passes the throng of criticisms were numerous and justified, however, EA did something no one expected, they listened, they changed and adapted.
So, I thought I would do something different with this review, instead of joining in with the EA bash I thought I would review the game, just the game, nothing else. No controversy.
Full disclosure EA sent me a copy of Battlefield V to review, this will in no way influence what I choose to say about EA or the game but I want to say right now, that Battlefield 5 multiplayer is good fun. I cannot say the same for the single player.
I have said this before in recent years but I do not know why single player is being shoehorned into games like Battlefield V anymore. What is here is dull. I hate, and I mean hate with a passion FPS games using stealth as a mechanic.
In an FPS game, you lose 90% of your awareness because of the way you are viewing the scene. Sound, sight, subtle changes in the lighting, the feeling of another life near you, the acuity you get when you are in a place is 1000 times more powerful then when you view a place.
So how the hell am I supposed to sense where the enemies are in a game. How do I sense an enemy stood around a corner with no tools and the lack of senses. The subtly of muted sounds letting you tell there is something absorbing that sound nearby. All gone, so why add this mechanic to a game that will punish you for not being able to sense these things.
The single player then is a letdown and a massive failure simply because of this, however, there is more to moan about. There isn’t really a single player campaign, instead, there are a series of different stories, each a mini-campaign on their own and each a shallow comparison to the heady days of Bad Company.
When I have fonder memories of a game that was released in June 2006, in fact, when I would rather play the single player campaign from a game that was released 12 years ago there is something wrong. The single player has taken a big step backwards and I think its time to stop putting them in games.
However, buying a Battlefield game since 2010 for anything other than the multiplayer is madness. Battlefield and its ilk are bought for the multiplayer, the longevity and the measure of a game is how good the multiplayer is and I have a very duplicitous mindset when it comes to Battlefield V.
On one hand, it’s terrible, there are graphical glitches aplenty, many times when you kill an enemy they will fold up and hang in the air by an invisible arse hook. There are other problems but they are not game breaking, One issue that is, however, is that there are issues with the multiplayer balance, particularly the Bombers.
I was in one match where someone scored 68 kills and 0 deaths. He was clearly a skilled pilot and no one on our team was able to match him in the sky but shooting him down proved impossible from the ground as he was able to destroy anything attacking him and so I was in a very boring match where every objective I tried to take resulted in me being killed by a bomb.
Whilst not a glitch or an error there is a new feature called Final Stand. What this means is that no matter how well your team have performed during the game, if the final is close, and there is no clear winner then Final Stand is triggered, this means respawns are disabled and you play on in an ever tighter map until one team is the last team standing. This happens in Grand Operations so win more games and it doesn’t matter, the only part of the match that does is the final stand.
I also really don’t like the new way you enter and exit a vehicle. I understand that entering a vehicle and playing a little animation of you doing so it more realistic but in a game like Battlefield, you are exposed with no way of fighting back for a little too long.
The other gripe and this is a big one, the game isn’t finished! That’s right, many of the features I have read about and been excited for aren’t in yet. It’s not a problem they are coming out but WTF EA! Where is the rest of the game?
On the other hand, Battlefield V is fabulous. I have always been a fan of the Battlefield series of games and have preferred them to Call of Duty for multiplayer since Bad Company launched and Battlefield V is about as fun as a Battlefield game gets. The frantic action of large battles with tanks slowly rolling around the map looking to take you down, planes screeching above you and sniper scopes all around looking for you to stay still or enter into the open. It’s exhilarating and I am a big fan of the new maps.
Two maps of note, in no particular order Twisted Steel which has a swamp, a small farm and an enormous bridge to fight over and Aerodrome, which has some spots of intense action particularly in the hanger, inside you are fighting to keep it and outside you are trying to push in with your squad. The firefights are frantic and you need a well-balanced team of players who are working together to make headway. It’s also a great map for snipers to flourish on given the vast number of sightlines and the fact that most others will be focussed on taking or holding a building.
Playing in a squad is a mixed bag unless you are with friends. If you join a game as a solo player and join a squad that is balanced and working together you can have a fantastic time. I play as a Medic or Support depending on what my team needs and if you are in a team with others that take the correct roles to balance your team, stick together, help each other with the scout calling enemy positions, the medic keeping everyone healthy, support passing the ammo and suppressing the enemy, assault pushing objectives you can become unstoppable.
On the other hand, you can enter a squad and find everyone all over the map, sniping or rushing into an objective alone, your only option will be to attempt to switch squads.
Playing as a squad and accruing points is all the more important now as the squad leader can call in a squad reinforcement. This could be a drop or a tank or even a Buzz bomb. A V2 Rocket that can wipe out an entire capture point and if you are on the opposite team just hearing one of these in the sky is enough to have you running for cover.
One of the great additions to Battlefield V is the ability for anyone in your squad to revive you. Sure, it’s a lot slower than the medic and you can only revive members of your squad but it was a really welcome change to see my teammates reviving me instead of having to wait for another medic to show up.
The other addition that I didn’t think would make much difference is the ability to build defences within the match. I was wrong, it can change the flow of a map entirely and whilst there are set places to build set defences you can fortify an area of importance and increase your survival chances and those of your team greatly.
A key aspect of the Frostbite engine is the environmental destruction and again, you can change the way a map flows with a fast moving tank or well placed explosive. When I first played I found I could surprise a lot of players by shooting through the fence on Aerodrome and was able to score a lot of flanking kills, as time passed and everyone worked this out it stopped working but it’s a classic example of how the level of destruction makes each map a dynamic playground which you can alter to your needs.
Characters move differently than in Battlefield 1 and I like it. They feel like people, there is a weight to them and you feel your feet under you. It means you may act a little slower but that can make you more deliberate and considered.
When the rest of the game is released and Battlefield V is complete I think it will become my favourite Battlefield game to date. There is a lot to love here and the things I don’t like will get fixed. I wish we could have the game launch without the issues we seem to get with every Battlefield game but if history teaches us anything its that Battlefield game launches, broken and wrong, a few patches later and its better, then its time for the season pass but this year, no season pass, no loot boxes, no extra money, just the good stuff.
If you are on the fence about Battlefield V and are yet to purchase the game, my advice is to jump in. It’s great fun at the moment, it will be getting better and have more content soon and even more next year and the best part is this, EA listened to the backlash, there are no season passes and no loot boxes. I will amend this review to talk about the Battle Royale mode when it finally launches and until then, I will see you on the battlefield soldier.
Nearly Finished? £54.99
- Gameplay - 91%91%
- Graphics - 87%87%
- Sound - 93%93%
- Longevity - 90%90%
- Value - 80%80%
Battlefield 5 isn’t finished, not by a country mile and the single player is hateful, however, the meat and bones of the game is the multiplayer and its as fabulously flawed as ever.