Retrospective Reviews

Battlefield V – A Retrospective Review

In EA’s latest attempt to take on a certain annualised FPS title, ‘Battlefield V’ attempts to build on its World War formula from its last instalment. Whilst a shift in time periods is always a good move to keep such franchises fresh, developers need to have invigorating gameplay with well-designed maps to back it up…

I think my readers will grasp at what I’m getting at here; Battlefield V is a grey scale blunder with EA trying to crack a market that its barely had a foothold in since the early 2000’s with ‘Battlefield 1942’. Why the hell the ‘Bad Company’ formula wasn’t followed into a third installment, or the idea of Bad Company brought into later titles is beyond this writer.

The opening of Battlefield V gives players a glance over things to come in controlling a bomber, conducting enemy raids and more in short bursts. This somber intro to Battlefield V sets a great tone for the title, making players aware that everyone in the army is a hero. In some respects, Battlefield V is a dedication to the less popular conflicts fought within World War 2 (No opening to Normandy Beach here).

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Arcs Full of Air

The campaign comes in 3 mini story arcs following different protagonists, with more coming later in the form of DLC. This writer cannot discount the presentation of Battlefield V, it is a beautiful display of sound physics, High resolution textures and some amazing effects thanks to the latest incarnation of the ‘Frostbite’ engine. There were no frame rate issues of glitches throughout this review play through.

The sound engineering however needs to have a think about what guns sound like. Most rifles and guns sound akin to a ‘Pound-land’ G.I. Dave camo riffle, to the point where it can ruin the immersion. One level in the first campaign follows a British convict being forcibly recruited into special forces in the form of a Suicide Squad type role. The sarcastic and often graphic sense of humor completely goes against the mood set by the opening scenes of the game, and the majority of the marketing for that matter.

I thought I was happy with this twist at first, but to deliver such content one has to have the narrative background and overall tone of the game to match. It’s like watching a Greek tragedy with ‘Morecambe and Wise’ popping in for a tap dance at half time. Whilst it might be the obvious choice to relieve audiences of tragedy with a wise crack, it’s not generally a good side dish.

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Let’s Cut to The Chase, Multiplayer!

Long story short, Battlefield V campaign and single player experiences provide a hollow boot camp for the games Multiplayer offerings. Multiplayer is a completely different kettle of fish and has seen an overhaul since ‘Battlefield 1’.

Players are now rewarded for changing classes throughout a battle but it isn’t necessary to be in constant contact with your team. The need to take vantage points and make sure the team succeeds is in the players benefit in terms of rankings, but this mechanic also funnels team into an organised unit whilst running suppression objectives and the like.

Moving back to the presentation of Battlefield V, each online match starts out with a back story and full run down of the map and scenario players will have to deal with. One can imagine players of more arena / ‘Call of Duty’ style titles might struggle with the idea of capture points and tactical gameplay. This isn’t a negative point, rather an opportunity to calibrate people’s expectations of gameplay. Most importantly, the servers were performing brilliantly throughout my review playthrough.

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Verdict:

Presentation: 10

Graphics: 10

Gameplay: 6

Sound: 4

Overall Score: 7.5 / 10

Battlefield V feels like a big identity crisis at times, like little boys playing Army. But the main point here is that it delivers on Multiplayer, which is what the Battlefield series is all about. None the less, providing a watered down single player mode is, to most, more of an insult if it simply wasn’t included.

EA are well aware of what is expected in a Single Player campaign and have more than enough budget a resources to make this happen, it just wasn’t the focus. It’s a shame, as EA has in the past produced or marketed some great story driven content in the past. With the promise of Battlefield V’s very own Battle Royale mode to drop soon, Battlefield V is very much a Multiplayer focused war field.

 

Formats: Xbox One X (Reviewed) PlayStation 4 and PC 
Price: £59.99 (Microsoft Score)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Dice
Release Date: 20/11/2018

Pegi Rating: 16+

Review Copy Provided By Publisher

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