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Behind All The Battlefield V Controversy There’s a Really Good Game

William Schwartz on

Battlefield V is looking incredibly promising in Alpha.

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Battlefield V has mostly been in the news for all the wrong reasons.  The conversation around the game hasn’t actually been about what Battlefield V is.  Hell, the controversy started before anyone had seen actual gameplay let alone played the game.  The Battlefield V Closed Alpha is currently going on, and we finally get a chance to see if the outrage is warranted.  If you’re looking for a definitive answer to whether the outrage is warranted or not, you’re going to need to look elsewhere.  We rarely do political/social commentary on Attack of the Fanboy regarding games, it’s just not our thing.  My personal opinion for all games is that it’s someone else’s art.  They should adhere to their vision of the game.  Creatives are in creative positions for a reason, and I think that too much feedback is a bad thing and likely compromises the actual vision for a project, big or small.

Regardless, there are women running around the battlefield in Battlefield V.  At least in the Alpha you can hear their voices and screams, they’re all denominations and nationalities, it appears that Battlefield players are going to have to deal with it.

Battlefield V – Grand Assault Gameplay

Assuming that a Battlefield fan can, there’s a really good game on the way from DICE.  I’ve sunk about 5 hours into the Closed Alpha so these are incredibly early impressions, but I’m really liking what I’m playing in Battlefield V.  A lot has changed in the game, and it all feels pretty good.  Sure there are your technical problems such as frame rate issues and occasional graphical oddities, but for a game that is still months off with some polish due before this fall’s release, Battlefield V is hitting all the right notes.

I fell off of the Battlefield series after Battlefield 4.  While both Battlefield: Hardline and Battlefield 1 were great games, and fun for a bit, they did not hold my interest in the way that Battlefield 4 did.  The trajectory was pointing down for me with the series in terms of the amount of time I was putting into these games.  It probably peaked at the tail-end of Battlefield 3 all the way in through the life of Battlefield 4 and then started to taper off with Hardline and then became almost nonexistent with Battlefield 1 after the first month of release.  For me it was all about the settings of the last two games, neither held my interest.  Needless to say, I was personally disappointed when DICE announced that they’d be doing a WW2 game.

It’s one of the good surprises about gaming.  We pass judgement on things that we’ve neither played or seen, and then games have a chance to either change that opinion or confirm your beliefs.  With Battlefield V I was worried that I’d not like the weapons, the vehicles, and ultimately the pace of the game.  Boy was I wrong.

This iteration of the series  will seemingly add just the right amount of new mechanics to make the game feel fresh, by adding on to the existing gameplay in a natural way.  We’ve all heard the bullet points about what’s changed for Battlefield V.  The big things are that health uses a replenishment system that’s resembles the popular Battle Royale games and that players can now build fortifications.  There have certainly been some changes to the way that the weapons handle and fire.  The movement system has been refined as well.  A lot of things have been given updates and tweaks, and even in this early stage the game is shaping up to be one of DICE’s best yet.

Fortifications seem like an unnecessary idea, until you actually play a round of Conquest with them and see how much this changes the game.  Teams that can fortify an area will now have a huge advantage over their enemies.  Cover can be deployed, holes can be patched up, and any player can do it.  The Support Class can bring in different items as well, like turrets for example, as the dedicated builder.  This aspect adds a new meta to the game that spices up the traditional Battlefield formula of just throwing as many men as possible at a flag to take it down and it provides for some great battles.  There’s a nice sense of accomplishment on the attackers side if they manage to topple a heavily fortified outpost, and it feels equally rewarding to build up a building or area and hold off an assault.

The other stuff feels like natural evolutions of the gameplay systems of Battlefield.  The change to health meters, ammunition, and class abilities all seem to funnel back into making the game feel more realistic and visceral.  Very few games can accomplish the level of tension and excitement than a single multiplayer battle can in Battlefield V.  That said, it’s still a Battlefield game.  You’re still going to have a ton of snipers on the map, picking you off if you stay still for too long.  Although now, that sniper can be tucked away in a fortified area that makes them tougher to get to. Though it appears that DICE is continuing their war on lone wolves, using gameplay systems to make players rely on their squad mates even more.

DICE really has a golden opportunity with Battlefield V.  While the Alpha is just a single map with a couple of modes and sliver of the weapons and loadouts that you can use, the thought of a retail release with more of this feels incredibly promising.  That is if all the other stuff that’s going to be layered on to the game in terms of player customization and downloadable content is reasonable.  The giant elephant in the room is still Battlefield’s Battle Royale game.  This could be a huge success for the franchise depending on what it shapes into.  Playing Battlefield V and thinking about the possibilities for all of this stuff to be carried over into a Battle Royale game could end up making it go down as the best one yet, pleasing both longtime fans and those who are on to the latest trend.  There’s no denying that Battlefield is tailor made to slide right into the Battle Royale genre and take a slice of the pie.

This isn’t a glowing recommendation of Battlefield V, or an endorsement of anything at all. It’s not even an in-depth preview of the game.  It’s hopeful optimism that the game has changed my opinion on the franchise and that Electronic Arts might actually be trying to earn back some of the confidence that they’ve lost from those that enjoy their games.