Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Release Date: November 20th, 2018
Reviewed On: Xbox One X
Developer: EA DICE, Criterion Software
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Price: $59.99 USD
*Disclaimer: This is a Post-Launch review. Over a period of time i noticed my perspective changing about Battlefield V, and have drawn a different conclusion than what I had at the start. After extensively playing and seeing the long term progress, here is my result.
War never Changes
For military like shooters, Battlefield has always stood out as a title in the FPS military genre. Their most recent of the series being Battlefield V. The game has evolved substantially since their humble beginning in 2002. A simplified shooter turned to mass chaos multiplayer. The best thing to ever happen to the series, was the destructibility of the environment. Driving a tank through a house and watching it collapse, or a bomb set off in the street and seeing the crater afterwards. Repeat that over 100 times and you have a very destructive, run down and chaotic map. Straight from the start in multiplayer matches, to the very end you can constantly see the map change. A quiet little town in France turned to rubble and mud, truly gives another level of immersion not seen in many other games. Battlefield V has gone and refined that destructibility. It’s just as chaotic and impactful as ever.
In all my years of gaming, i cannot recall any other game that has given me as immersive an experience as Battlefield V has. My reasoning behind it, is how the overall game is designed (i.e. weapon design, game play mechanics, visuals, audio and so on) and the multiplayer matchmaking size. Having these large scale battles, on battlefields that evolve and change with the amount of fighting taking place. It truly is an impressive experience for a military shooter. Battlefield V Is the most polished and refined the game has ever been.
Battlefield has always had both a great single player and multiplayer experience. For some reason they have been shifting their focus away from single player. We were given War Stories in Battlefield I, five lengthy and unique stories about soldiers in WWI. Now we have four, short episodes (First one is the intro) that didn’t feel as impactful as the one in the previous game. As a fan of good campaigns, I’m disappointed this area was not focused more on for release. It’s easy to see a lot of the attention has been for multiplayer, refining the experience. With the recent launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII though, maybe that could be a good thing for this franchise? We are also missing out on their battle royale mode, which was delayed for a lengthy amount of time outside of the traditional launch date with the game. As great as Battlefield V is, maybe the game could have gone with an overall longer delay. Give it time to launch as a complete game, with the battle royale, a fully fleshed single player game and a heavy variety of ways to play multiplayer.
The bread and butter of Battlefield. Multiplayer has always been one of the best aspects of the franchise. With the focus of the series being realism, it gave their multiplayer a way to become “Alive”. Personally, Conquest has given me the best experience overall. 32 vs 32 player team battles is just so damn fun. DICE has managed to keep the classic Battlefield experience while still evolving the series forward. They have added some new game changing features in Battlefield such as fortifications, squad revives, cover diving, tow-able equipment and a refined progression system.
Fortifications have been a fantastic addition to the game. DICE has now given all players the option to build cover and reinforce positions. You can build long lengths of tall sandbag walls, lay down razor wire out front so no one can climb, build machine gun nests, boarded barricades, just a mass amount of options that vary on the map/objective. You no longer have to worry about defending, because doing so is extremely beneficial to your team taking the victory. A heavily reinforced objective can be nearly impossible to take, but that does not mean it’s invincible. Handy with explosives or got a tank/cannon handy? Explosives can take those barricades down faster than you can blink. Not to mention most vehicles can drive through sandbag walls. Everything requires balance, and this is a good example of it in Battlefield V.
Symphony Of Cannons (Audio)
Battlefield 1 is fantastic for it’s audio design. Bullets & projectiles sound like angry snaps, bombs deep with thunderous roar. Somehow with Battlefield V they were able to refine the audio design even more. Everything sounds much clearer and destructive. The loud, rapid *THWAP* sound from airplane machine gun fire is terrifying. The near miss of a tank round flying over your heard, screaming as it sails by is something few games have been able to feel so life-like. There isn’t much to expand on in this category, as there is nothing I can truly point out that could be a fault for the audio design.
Painted Destruction (Graphics)
That Frostbite engine is something to be in awe of. Continually over the years it’s progressed substantially in it’s capabilities. Battlefield V is a fantastic example of the current peak of the engine. Outside of some rendering issues at launch (trees looked like they came from Minecraft.) it’s been a pleasant sight to see. Every match you play starts off quiet and untouched, a calm before the storm. At the end of these matches though, the terrain is completely torn apart and sullied. Beauty turned into a beast. Each aspect has it’s own reasons for appreciation
Vehicle models look fantastic, player models look just as good, weaponry, terrain, weapon placements, town, buildings, all of these look the best they have ever been for Battlefield. All of this beside a heavily destructible environment, and you have an ever changing landscape that will put you right in the middle of the battle.
Battlefield V is the best in the series when regarding multiplayer, but when you look at their focus on singleplayer content, that’s a whole different story. War Stories are a good way to portray multiple stories in short doses, but overall it’s not enough to impress someone enough to buy the game for that alone. Multiplayer could have used a couple more maps to broaden the variety, but still launched with a good amount. Multiplayer is also missing dynamic map changes and sentry load-outs. Class and vehicle progression is much more refined, and easier to focus on. Just need to play the class you like and you’ll be rewarded in the long run. Unfortunately, I can’t help but be skeptical in how EA has handled the game with it’s drawn out DLC content. Yes, it can be a way to try and keep player engagement going the longest, but it also takes away from a more overall and complete game from the start. A year after Battlefield 1, Battlefield V is a good continuation of the series but could have used another year to be worked on. Firestorm (the battle royale) won’t be out for awhile yet, and would have been perfect to go with the game at launch. I hope this trend doesn’t continue with the next Battlefield, and they take a stronger stance on providing a more complete package of a game.