There’s never been a game so directly named after the exact thing it is. Call of Duty? More like Usain Bolt with a gun. War? Pfft, more like Battlefield V.

If you’ve played Battlefield 1 from last year then it’s safe to say that Battlefield V doesn’t do anything drastically different from it. In fact, EA DICE has taken a safer approach by sticking to the basics and spit shining the already established game mechanics.

So how does it hold up in the end-of-the-year shootout? Let's find out.

War, war never changes

This year Battlefield has gone back to its roots of World War II which we’ve seen in Battlefield 1942.

Although EA had made ample clear about their intentions about single player games, Battlefield V’s War Stories is a great effort on the contrary. Albeit. It still feels like a chunky tutorial but hey, it's better than last time.

War Stories is a four-part anthology (with one coming in December) with each of them telling a story of personal sacrifices and endeavours from World War II. One of my favourites was Tirailleur where Senegalese units of the French Colonial Forces took up arms to fight for a country they never even saw. These intimate stories are really polished and a few factual pointers in the end will make you realise the impact of it all.

Much of these stories are completely solo rather than your group style combat expected from a Battlefield game but they’re definitely worth a try.

Stick together team

Battlefield’s idea of multiplayer could scare away potential newbies and seasoned veterans of the game will dive head first into a 64 player online ruckus. This has always been the case and might even continue to be so, but this year’s minor yet meaningful updates to the gameplay might make it welcoming for everyone.

For instance, now anyone from your team can revive you so you don’t need a medic in your four-man squad. Although a medic can revive you faster than anyone else in the team. These customizable classes compliment each other by giving bonuses when achieving goals together. So Mr. Soloridah94 will actually not benefit from drifting away from the squad. This forces players to play together and if you already have a four team squad then you’re in for a treat.

Maps are very well detailed and made to bring out the best of each class without favouring any of the other classes. The aerodrome is one of my favourite maps where tank battle and sniping is a lot of fun. The deep valley cuts along with an uneven surface which means you cannot completely dominate the map just by sniping and the centralised aerodrome structure can shift the game tide easily because of how heavily fortified it is to attack and defend. So Support and Assualt classes can easily dominate inside it. Meanwhile, snipers and tanks are usually pointless there.

Every map is purposefully built. From mammoth sized structures in Twisted Steel to tight infantry focused combat in Devastation. All of the maps offer some unique way to change gameplay style and wreak havoc. Panzerstorm is inspired by the first major tank battle of World War II and will be the first DLC map to come.

Modes of War

Of course, war brings chaos and Battlefield’s modes try to focus that chaos into something worth fighting for.

The classics are all here with Team Deathmatch, Conquest and Domination making a return and forming the bread and butter of the multiplayer experience. Whereas the Operations mode is back too and renamed Grand Operation which starts with parachuting off a plane and securing the site. The results from this carry on to the next round where you attack and defend objectives along with tanks and other vehicular support, and then finish off the game with the last man standing where each player only gets one life and limited ammo.

This creates a new degree of tension and makes the game more intense and the team more focused. An actual Battle Royale mode will be coming to Battlefield V in March along with Combined Arms, a great take on four-player co-op without the stress of facing the pros.

UPDATE: Ray’s Anatomy

It’s very selfless of EA to start dishing out meaningful updates without charging us a kidney and half. Jokes aside, the recent partnership with Nvidia didn’t meet with expectations in the graphical department. Don’t get us wrong, Ray Tracing looks absolutely gorgeous and to see it happen in real time got our nerdy senses pinging faster than Spidey but it came at a performance cost. That’s about to change.

The new update from Nvidia and EA DICE bumps up the frame rate performance of the game with DXR on (Ray Tracing). We got around 60 frames on 2K as promised by the update but only on certain maps. Graphical stunners like the Rotterdam map chipped away our frame rate to 50 and even 45 during explosions. If you’re gaming on Full HD, 60FPS is a guarantee even when Ray Tracing is set to High.

Another thing is that now there’s a noticeable visual difference between the lower and the higher settings for Ray Tracing.


Battlefield V: verdict

Without a doubt, Battlefield V is the strongest title in the series. Partly because EA DICE played it safe by adding no extra gimmick to the gameplay and also because of Tides of War. A fancy term for continuing support to the game well after launch with DLCs and additional content that will be rolling out over the course of time. Wait, don’t hide your wallet just yet, EA DICE says it will be FREE! Yes, you read that right and now your EA memes are no longer funny.

Brilliant multiplayer and weighted game mechanics make the Battlefield world very interesting and quite ripe to dig into the 64 player sandbox chaos. War Stories, on the other hand, is compelling to play but it won’t satisfy everyone because of its ‘oh this is an elaborate tutorial’ nature.

The customizable classes and maps are very well balanced but the menu could be tricky to navigate. It’s quite layered and requires prior knowledge or trial and error to understand.

So if you’re torn between which of the two shooters to pick up this Christmas then know that both are quite different. CoD is fast paced with more emphasis on solo kills and achievements but if you’re looking for a slow and strategic sandbox shooter experience then look no further than Battlefield V.

Stuff says... 

Battlefield V review

Minor meaningful upgrades make this sandbox experience the best in the business. Battlefield V is a good place to join EA DICE’s epic shooter legacy.
Good Stuff 
War Stories is worth a try
Well balanced maps
Looks and feels amazing
Upcoming free content? Yay
Bad Stuff 
Menu needs some simplification
War stories are too short