Richard Bellis

Battlefield V: review

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Though this game had been through a lot of controversy, I was still looking forward to it when it came out. However, I have to say it has been disappointing.

The controversy of this game has its origins in the marketing: it was as if there were two separate campaigns for the game both saying two very different things. The first was that the game was going to be one of the most realistic World War Two shooters on the market, which got a lot of people excited; the second showed a different side of the game, a different, more inclusive take on the war, including roles for women (many women did fight in the war, though not robotic-armed, Boudicca-looking women).

Then, marketing admitted they were making up some weapons and tanks, which a lot of people were not happy about. To add to this, one of the designers dismissed the concerns with an ‘if you don’t agree with the game, don’t buy it’ statement – a bad move by EA.

I loved Battlefield 1 and still think it’s one of the best games on the current generation of consoles: it was fun, had a diverse number of maps, guns and tanks and was set in a war that had not been covered much before (The First World War), allowing players to see there were different sides to the conflict.

As the original was so good, the developers of Battlefield V have taken a lot from it: many are calling it a copy and paste job, as many of the guns are copied over. This has outraged some players as it feels like Battlefield 1 but worse – a lack of character and soul in the game, something created by a company because the First World War game did so well, therefore World War Two must sell as well.

The campaign follows the same beats as the Battlefield 1 campaign, following several ‘war stories’ that take place across each year of the war, but they do nothing new. Usually, each war story will feature a stealth mission, a driving mission and then a big mission where you can choose which object you want to destroy first. This just gets repetitive and boring.

I also dislike the way you become a super soldier, a trained assassin able to take on a whole army by yourself; in the shooters of the early 00s, you were an ordinary guy fighting your way through the war and it felt more grounded in reality.

There are also fewer campaigns than in Battlefield 1 and they didn’t even finish one of them until after the launch of the game.

This game generally feels very rushed: there are glitches all over the place, some of which are game-breaking. For example, I was on a campaign mission and there was a glitch where I kept falling through the floor and, ultimately, I had to start again.

There are even odd times in the multiplayer where glitches that were in the beta still persist, like when you are a medic and you revive someone but you end up with their class for some reason.

The multiplayer maps are not much better. They lack any form of playability and, again, there are fewer than in Battlefield 1. One map takes place near a bridge over a swamp and it’s so big that you will never bump into anyone; then again, due to the large amount of trees, you’d probably never see them anyway. I have not found much fun on any of the maps I’ve played so far.

A free dlc season called ‘Tides of War’, which follows the course of the war after the fall of France in 1940 – and then to 1945 – has been promised. They have already confirmed Greece will be coming but a lot of people are demanding Stalingrad, Berlin, Pearl Harbour and Poland. However, they are unconfirmed, and do not stick to the theme of unknown conflicts of the war which DICE is going for, so their inclusion is unlikely.

The game does have some positives: the graphics are ace (as is to be expected from makers DICE), the scenery is stunning, from the Norwegian Fjords to the North African desert and it looks amazing. It’s just a shame they did not put as much time into the story and characters – a recurring theme in DICE games. It also looks like all future dlc will be free, though this may mean the company will have less incentive to produce any – Battlefront 2 suffered this fate with notable lack of post launch content.

Overall, this game is okay if you like to switch off and shoot something and aren’t too bothered about realism; the graphics are excellent but the gameplay certainly isn’t.

I think it could have been one of the generation’s best games and, although it is salvageable with future patches and dlcs, it may well remain a disappointment.

Graphics 9/10

Story 4/10

Sound design 9/10

Multiplayer 6/10

Addictiveness 5/10