Battlefield V is visually stunning. As the opening prologue plays out that’s the first thing you’ll take in. A variety of locations are shown and each of them is eerily beautiful. In this beauty though the game tries to highlight the brutality of war in the gaming vignettes you play.
Although some of them are hit and miss it’s a smart way to start the game. After all, once you get into the flow of Battlefield and games like it it’s nothing but mindless shooting to survive. By opening the game in a way that reminds us all of the futility in trying to survive in war EA are at least showing they’re aware.
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Acclaimed actor Mark Strong delivers a great performance as the narrator too. It shouldn’t come as much of a shock as he’s a superb actor, but so many phone in performances when it comes to gaming. All of this must bode well for the single player offering of Battlefield V then… surely?
Unfortunately the cracks for the single player offering already begin to show in the prologue. Moments aren’t signposted the best they could be and AI at times seems to get a bit temperamental. That’s not to say you won’t have fun with the single player offering. In fact each level is presented in a way that you can get from A to B in fairly different ways, which helps with replayability.
In one of the stories another member of the GameByte team went in all guns blazing, taking out the wave of enemies to get to the objective. When I played it I put my sneaking shoes on and skulked around the camp to get to where I needed to be. It’s nice to have the variety and open world feel, but it doesn’t always work in making the game more enjoyable. The cutscenes are executed well enough, with some strong delivery but I did notice a few odd animation moments in my playthrough. Hopefully that’s all patched out at some point in the future.
Single player is just a small slice of the Battlefield experience though. After all, it’s the multiplayer that keeps players coming back to the franchise. Luckily it seems the multiplayer is as frantic as you’d expect it to be. Rushing to catch points with your team and trying to hold it as enemies descend keeps you on your toes. The maps that we’ve played are carefully designed with multiple ways to get to where you need to go.
Even on smaller scale infantry only skirmishes the maps have just the right amount of twists and turns – making dashes through the unfolding mayhem full of surprises. As with all multiplayer games there will be moments that your team might not be quite as good but, for the most part, you’ll still enjoy the battle in trying to survive.
The thing with Battlefield V is that EA obviously want to make this a living game, which means it could be completely different in 6 months time. They want to make it a game that players come back to for years. Their talk of Battle Royale earlier in the year sounded exciting but we now know players have to wait until 2019 to get their hands on it. Not even all the War Stories are included at launch. Yet all of these additions are at least free.
Whether the audience stay with it as loyally as they have previous games to make sure the additions get played we’ll have to wait and see. Either way Battlefield V is a beautiful looking game with a lot of potential. Hopefully the additions and tweaks that happen in the future will make it even better.