Connor Strobel/Staff Reporter
Having played Battlefield 1 for the past two years, I was undoubtedly excited for the Battlefield franchise’s next installment, Battlefield V (BFV). Earlier this year, fans of the series were unsure of where the game would go. Would it follow a chronological timeline and go to World War Two, or would they do something else, given that the Call of Duty franchise had come out with a World War Two game? As the teasers started coming out, it became very clear that BFV was going to take place in WWII. I myself being an avid war historian was excited. From early on, gameplay looked beautiful. However, the game faced criticism early on for portraying a British female with a prosthetic arm. Later down the line, Dice, the creators of BFV decided to remove said female. As the months wore on and gameplay footage was released, the hype was building. A few months ago, Dice released a beta for Battlefield V, and everyone got a chance to experience what this new game was truly going to be like. After the beta came, the grueling wait for the final product.
When Battlefield released at midnight of Nov. 20, I hopped on for a bit to get a taste of the magic before I went to sleep. For those of you who played Battlefield 1, you may remember the opening scenes and accompanying gameplay. For those of you unaware, when you boot up Battlefield 1 for the first time, the screen goes all black, and text begins appearing. The game goes on to describe how brutal World War 1 in all its totality was. How many people died, the horrible new weapons, the destruction of homes and land. All are mentioned in this text. The game then tells you that you are about to experience frontline combat. “You are not expected to survive.” As the screen goes dark again, the game starts you as a nondescript person holding a line in the middle of no man’s land. And you will die. As you die, your person’s name, year of birth, and year of death appear. You then spawn again as someone else. You then die again. This continues for some time. For me, it was a very chilling experience that accurately portrayed the brutality of war. It was so well done, that Call of Duty tried to something of the same, to the extent of just text without the gameplay in their hit, Call of Duty: WWII. As I started up BFV, I was praying for the same experience to happen again. As the screen went black, and text began appearing, I knew it was happening again. BFV then tosses you into gameplay again. First in an invasion of Norway by British forces. As you push ahead, something happens along the line, such as a Tiger tank crashing through a building, where the moment freezes and then shoots you forward into another location and time of the war. Battlefield’s claim to their single-player campaign this time is telling the “Untold stories” of the war.
The single player campaign is indescribably beautiful — stunning cutscenes, amazing mechanics, and at times, absolute freedom. In the second section of the first mission, you are given three objectives, some with sub-tasks to complete. You start near a jeep and are given the freedom to do said tasks in whatever order you want. As I drove to the airfield I had to destroy; I did not yet realize the power Dice was giving us. As I approached the airport, I saw Stukas (German dive bombers) sitting on the runway. As a long time Battlefield player, and a curious gamer overall at heart, my first instinct was to see if I could access said bomber and fly away. To my absolute joy, I could. For a mission that probably would’ve taken me over 30 minutes to complete on foot, took me about five as I dive bombed all my objectives across the map. In the Norwegian war story, you are given a pair of skis, and you can get to the target in any way you want. You can go loud or stealthy. The third war story accessible is more straightforward in pure combat until you get to the final section, as once again, you get the ability to play the game as you see fit. However, this final section quickly turned into a pure all on combat rampage. A fourth war story, “The Last Tiger,” comes out on December 4.
Multiplayer is beautiful and fun, although I have heard some criticisms, and have wondered myself if I enjoy the game just because I am good at it. On a good note, the starting maps that BFV gives us are enjoyable and diverse. From the snowy mountain peaks to the deserts of Africa, to the city streets of Rotterdam. Multiplayer is quicker than the older games of Battlefield 3 and 4. It feels a little faster than Battlefield 1 as well, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. With medics no longer being able to place a med crate and have health be automatically given to the player, players are liable to die quickly. With much less ammo than previous games, you must be more considerate of when you fire and how much, and not to waste any ammo. This goes for all parts of the game, even tanks and planes. Tanks are absolutely beautifully designed and feel just like a metal beast of war. I still have quarrels with the planes not feeling “right,” and instead awkward. The specializations as you level up your weapons and vehicles is an excellent change to the game, and you can reset your tree down the line. However, I do very much enjoy my Panzer IV that sticky explosives cannot effect and an S Mine launcher for those enemies that get just a little too close.
The bugs that were in the beta have been fixed, but there are still some here and there that I have noticed. But given that Dice and EA have stated that ALL DLC for BFV will be completely free and accessible to all players, as well as the quality of the game, I highly recommend picking this game up as soon as you possibly can. Christmas is right around the corner and would also be an excellent gift for people you know that game. Overall, I rate this game a solid 8.5/10.
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