Another year and another incarnation of the Battlefield releases. This time Battlefield V returns to it’s WWII roots, with an array of era appropriate guns, locations, vehicles and stories to get to grips with. There are 2 distinct aspects to the game, with a short single-player campaign and large destructive playground that is multiplayer
The campaign or War Stories as it’s known, is similar to Battlefield 1, where the campaign is split into three short vignettes focusing on individual characters. You first play a short prologue which gives you a brief glimpse into some conflicts across Norway, Africa and France. After the prologue you are dropped into the world of Billy Bridger, a young prisoner locked up for bank robbery. Billy is recruited into the Special Boat Service on a mission to destroy a number of targets dotted around several areas. Levels are large, but a focus on solo stealth is pushed in this level and it lacks the destructive DNA that comes with the team focused multiplayer of Battlefield.
The second chapter follows a young female resistance fighter in Norway. You are tasked with rescuing your mother and destroying heavy water production. This sees you traverse snow laden levels, which you can ski across. You use more stealth mechanics to get through each level, with a small opportunity of a shootout mixed in. There is an interesting addition of finding heat sources to warm-up your character, as you battle the elements.
Chapter three sees you take on the role of solider from a Senegalese colony unit, who take on the Germans head on to take back a captured chateau. Unlike the two previous chapters, this has more of a Battlefield feel, as you take on German encampments with other squad members. It feels more like a war event, as you take out AA guns, hordes of soldiers and even vehicles.
The single-player is short and can be finished in three to four hours. It has solid gun mechanics, with more of an open space to traverse in some levels. These level sizes don’t really add much to the replayability of the game, as you tend to avoid shootouts and opt for the clunky stealth option for the most part. It does lack the bombastic feel and the destructive nature of the multiplayer component. Objectives are nothing special and there are no real advantages to using the limited amount of vehicles.
Now for the mainstay of Battlefield, the multiplayer. Players choose from four classes with assault, medic, support and recon. A mix of these classes are essential for good gameplay, as Battlefield focuses on good teamwork Some updates have gone into the online aspect of Battlefield V compared to it’s previous iterations. You can now heal squad mates even if you are not a medic. It takes slightly longer but it is a nice addition. The recon class has been nerfed to a degree, as the spotting mechanic allowing teammates to see opponents, has be downgraded to a display of players if you continue to keep them in view. Ammo is lowered at spawning and encourages to use the support to refill stocks.
Several game modes allow for big epic battles across the initial eight maps. In particular Grand Operations see up to four rounds of continuous warfare across several maps. Winning a round will garner buffs for your team in the next round. Modes also include Conquest seeing you capturing specific areas of the map, Breakthrough that see you push through opposition sectors and Team Deathmatch to name a few.
Encampments and fortifications can also be made across some game modes, allow you to place deterrents like fences, sandbags and even gun emplacements. Spawning issues, clock stoppages and even non-starting games can cause you to restart a match. There are other bugs that can affect vehicle viewpoints and even world clipping, but these issues were not too frequent during my playtime.
Some of the maps suit the chaotic gameplay, while the more open areas can suffer from bombardment of gunfire by the opposition. But when you have a good team, Battlefield can be exhilarating to play. Upgrades and additional weapons are unlocked as you level up. These can add to the tactical nature of the game, as smoke grenades, anti-tank mines and medial crates can help change a teams position in the match.
As with any multiplayer game these, post launch content is planned for Battlefield V. Starting out with eight maps, some match types tend to plan on certain maps more regularly. There will also be some single-player content too along with new weapons, game modes, skins and customisation options.
Battlefield V is a solid shooter with some flaws. Although a single-player portion exists, it’s short and doesn’t add anything new to the formula of single-player. Multiplayer is good, but some changes to gameplay will annoy some. There are some bugs and glitches across the game as a whole, but I didn’t have too many issues overall. The game could of done with more time to tweak the online side of things and maybe more time to craft a truly interesting single-player. Battlefield V doesn’t revolutionise the war game, but has good mechanics, with the destructive nature and good teamwork allowing for fun across the included game modes. It will certainly benefit from time and updates, along with some additional maps and equipment.