For the past few years, Battlefield and Call of Duty have focused on modern shooters and futuristic sci-fi drama, especially on Activision’s popular shooter. And I think it’s high time to revisit a great, yet horrific, tale of the men who served their country for what we have known as World War II.
Jumping off from a plane is a lot more exciting than spawning directly onto a squad member. I consider that as one of the best feats in Battlefield V, anti-air shells explode in front of you before jumping out from the plane. The level of immersion, like the added mechanic where you call out for a medic when you get gunned down, adds to the experience makes this newest installment of Battlefield a fun game to play.
Battlefield’s core isn’t the single-player experience but DICE still managed to put a slice of content into the game. The War Stories is not your typical single-player campaign that stretches its narrative that focuses on a protagonist, no, it’s more about those short tales of the unsung heroes we didn’t read from our history books in class; these undiscovered tales fit perfectly in Battlefield V’s War Stories. So if you’re expecting these short stories to highlight the soldiers who fought in Normandy, or in the Omaha and Utah beaches, then you will end up disappointed but you’ll definitely love how these tragedies slowly unfold.
Where the gameplay lies in War Stories isn’t all that different from any other titles similar to its genre, though. In the most part, you get to experience open-ended fields where you utilize stealth, approach the objective in different angles, or choose which target to pursue first. While this does sound really amazing knowing your playground is almost as huge as those maps in multiplayer, boredom can easily strike out of nowhere. It makes you think twice of getting back into War Stories immediately after your first match in multiplayer. That happened to me and I blame “Under The Flag” for its inconsistent pace across all the chapters I’ve played. In the first chapter, you either get to choose between an all-out gunplay with German soldiers or silently take them out, then you will find yourself in an intense situation where you have to gun down planes with an anti-air turret laying around the “battlefield”. It sounds fun and not all too dull, but this changes in the second chapter. You are tasked to sabotage two areas and recover some medical supplies for your wounded comrade. Provided that you can choose which objective to go first, knowing that you’re up against a whole battalion of German troops, you’re forced to approach the situation in stealth thus making the pace a bit slow.
War Stories isn’t something you have to deal with once you initially boot up Battlefield V. It’s not a requirement nor a necessity to play the single-player campaign. However, if you want to have your guns dirty, learn the basic mechanics without having to die after running a couple of meters in the frontlines without real-life players, or if you’re just bored and tired of multiplayer then War Stories is there for you to utilize.
Multiplayer is what we are all here for. Battlefield V packs the classic Conquest into the mix with some notable modes from Battlefield 1 such as Frontlines, Breakthrough, and Operations – which is now known as Grand Operations with a slight tweak.
In Grand Operations on Battlefield V, you get to fight from your assigned faction, may it be Allied or Axis forces, and will be packed with numerous game modes like Airborne, Frontlines, Conquest, and Breakthrough separated by in-game days – a standard of 3 in-game days to a max of 4 in-game days if the match results in a draw. While I haven’t exactly experienced “Final Stand” yet, the lovely narration of each faction makes Grand Operations my go-to mode when I boot up Battlefield V. But if you’re in it for Battlefield’s classic capture points in a 64-player multiplayer mode, Conquest is still available for your pleasure.
While this review is significantly a month delayed, Battlefield V has gone through a lot of polishing since launch last month. DICE increased the game’s time-to-kill, or for FPS veterans as TTK, in the previous patch which resulted in a big dilemma to all players. While the purpose of increasing the time of killing another player to make the game “casual friendly”, this change rather became a nuance than making the game fun for all players including the hardcore fans. I personally think that the original TTK on launch was already perfect due to the fact that you can easily score and get to defeat an enemy player if you get to aim down your sights first. It also adds a little bit of realism with its gunplay.
It’s also worth noting that DICE ditched Premium Passes for new maps and content. Tides of War is DICE’s new way of rewarding players with premium content for free. With Chapter One: Overture now live from December to January 2019, a new map and a War Stories chapter were brought in – Panzerstorm and The Last Tiger. Even vehicle customizations were recently added along with the other content.
While I do like how DICE is adapting to what the community wants – free content – I can’t help but say Battlefield V launched with little content. I do get the annual deadlines by the publishers, releasing a game with just a few things in it isn’t going to suffice, even if the future content of the game is free. Paying a $60 title should already include all features like Vehicle Customizations, the announced co-op called Combined Arms, and Rush. DICE’s decision to stretch its content that offers barely anything “new” is simply lazy.
Another thing to note is that there are still numerous noticeable bugs in Battlefield V. Ragdoll and physic glitches, other animation glitches include some players fly in mid-air without having their arms and legs move while running. There are assets that take a while to load (please note I’m running the game on a PS4 Pro). Nevertheless, the majority of these issues like the problem you get while matchmaking with your squad getting stuck on a black screen has already been addressed at this time. There are just some things that DICE should look into to make Battlefield V be glitch and bug-free.
Battlefield V is barebones on launch with some classic modes stretched within four months — which includes the all-new battle royale mode Firestorm. Even so, I still enjoyed my time on Grand Operations, scaring off a tank with a Panzerfaust and an anti-tank grenade, and jumping off from C-47s.
Disclosure: This review is based on a review code provided by Electronic Arts. Read our review policy to know how we go with our game reviews.
Tested: PS4 Pro