We have seen the big two first-person shooter franchise went back to its original roots, first with DICE’s Battlefield 1 then followed by Activision’s Call of Duty. The difference is that Battlefield 1 isn’t World War II, but the Great War (or the first World War). Mechanics were a little different, it was more action-packed, less squad reliability, bullet travel from shooting at longer distances. With the upcoming Battlefield V, DICE made its newest installment set in World War II – my personal favorite.
Now, Call of Duty: WWII was more arcade-ish. Maps were smaller, gunplay was fast, and a lot more intense. But if we talk about Battlefield V, it’s more objective-based and all about teamwork. This is the heart of DICE’s popular first-person shooter franchise.
It was difficult to get in a game on the first day of the open beta. While it isn’t a big surprise that errors, glitches, and bugs exist, it took DICE a day to fix majority of the matchmaking issues all of us encountered. I got stuck at a loading screen which then brings me back to the last menu I was at with a never-ending loading “V” icon at the top-right. I restarted my PS4 Pro, I went to the forums to report the problem, but sad to say the community manager, or even at least one developer, didn’t manage to reply to my post where everyone was already citing they’re getting the same problem that I had. The first day was horrendous and I had to skip a whole day’s worth of progress. I just hope that this wouldn’t happen in day one when Battlefield V launches this November.
The open beta featured only two maps and three modes. With game modes, you get to choose from Conquest, the standard 64-player capture points mode, Grand Operations, and the newest mode featured, Airborne (part of the Grand Operation mode). I personally love the concept of Airborne as it does showcase one of the iconic divisions in World War II. You get to jump off a C-47 plane and land in a company of German baddies. It’s hilarious and a lot of fun. Your plane can even be shot down while you’re still inside, the game also lets you choose whether you jump out early or let the game do it for you if you’re at the endpoint. However, the only objective that the mode featured was planting explosives to destroy a bunch of anti-air guns. I’m hopeful DICE would bring in different variations and objectives in the Airborne mode aside from destroying AA guns. Just imagine if you can relive the moment of D-Day where the airborne division jumped into Normandy, it’s going to be spectacular.
Battlefield V’s newest approach to mechanics is making it teamwork-focused. At the beginning of each round and after you respawn from death, you’re only handed with little ammunition and zero medkits (except for the Medic class). This time around, medkits are important as your health bar doesn’t regenerate and you have to rely on your squad to give you a med-pouch; or you have to be at a medical supply depot to replenish your health and get 1 med-pack – which also has a cooldown everytime you get one. That goes the same way for ammunitions too, this means you and your World War II buddies will have to play it safer. Even if it’s a great feat to encourage players to play each match with at least a strategy, this might not go well for others when your team, especially your squad, doesn’t really care about the objective aside from gunning down enemies. It can be frustrating at times when you are teamed up with a bunch of players who apparently don’t understand the mechanics.
If we go into specifics like upgrades and progression, it still needs a lot of work. I have to agree with VG247‘s analysis of the game’s upgrade system, it does feel the same way as Star Wars Battlefront II. With microtransaction and loot-crates that would affect gameplay out of the way, Battlefield V’s progression might be a problem in the future. How? Just to keep the explanation simple, those who decide to get Battlefield V post-launch, let’s say probably around a year after. The newest rookie to be involved in the fight between two fronts is going to be at a disadvantage. That new player will have to work all the way up the ranks to unlock these weapon and vehicle upgrades.
The gunplay is still similar to Battlefield 1 but this time you’ll notice that bullet drop, or bullet deviation, is now removed; meaning wherever you aim with your rifle’s reticle, especially from afar, that’s where the bullet flies without it dropping from the air while it’s traveling. While I do like the idea of removing bullet deviation in Battlefield V, seasoned players in the franchise will have to adapt to these changes. But for starters or newcomers to the franchise, this change can make the game less difficult and more open.
Battlefield V’s open beta was rough from the start. DICE took immediate action to remedy the matchmaking problems; but from what I’ve experienced overall, it’s too early to tell. I had fun playing for a certain number of rounds but not enough to make me stay longer unlike Battlefield 1. It may be because the game modes that was offered in the beta was merely average, and we have to wait for its launch this November to know how these new changes will entirely affect the whole game – and the franchise as a whole.
There’s still one more day left before the beta ends! Be sure to hop on and try it out before the beta closes.
Disclosure: An early access code to the beta was provided by Electronic Arts.