Battlefield is one of the most played FPS titles on the market year after year because it continues to deliver a complete package of powerful war stories and an addictive multiplayer experience. After getting some hands on time with the new Grand Operations mode at EA Play 2018, I can safely say Battlefield V is shaping up to be my favourite shooter this holiday season.
Grand Operations is a fantastic concept for a war simulation experience that only the Battlefield franchise could ever accomplish at such a grand scale. By taking the groundwork from Battlefield 1’s Operations mode and building it out with more story elements and game types, Dice has crafted Grand Operations to be much more ambitious experience that players will want to sink hours of play into. Over 5 possible days of combat, players will push their skills to the limit to accomplish a variety of objectives, from destroying anti-vehicle weaponry, to capturing points of interest on the map to push back the enemy team. Each day has a different objective for both factions to accomplish and by utilizing constant communication and cohesive play with their squad mates, players will turn the tide of the war in their favor.
Playing as the attacking British Forces, my teams objective on the first day of Grand Operations was to parachute into the snowy hills of Norway and blow up 4 AA guns scattered around the map with powerful explosives. Breaking through the fortified German forces was an enjoyable struggle. The enemy had used the new fortification mechanic to erect sand bags, barbed wire and boarded up windows to secure their foothold on the bunkers on top of the hills. By launching rockets and sending in tanks to disrupt them, we were eventually able to blow each turret up with minimal causalities to our respawn ticket count.
In just this one match I was able to see so many new and exciting changes to the classic Battlefield formula. The revamped movement system was the first noticeable change. Unlike in previous entries, my character no longer felt stiff and clunky to control. Instead, now there’s a feeling of smoothness as you adjust positions and traverse the environment. While I was still getting caught in some of the geometry when I tried to vault over certain obstacles, Battlefield V is still in its alpha stages and these hiccups can be corrected before launch.
Gunplay is also considerably sharper in Battlefield V with the removal of visual recoil. During my time with other entries in the franchise, I always found it annoying that my sights would jump around and obstruct my target. This has been fixed for the better. Guns still have recoil patterns, but now when a player aims their gun and targets an enemy they know that’s where their bullets are going to go and register a hit.
The second day of Grand Operations was a classic Rush style game type where the attackers had to capture sets of multiple objective points to push the defending team back. This is where the destructible environments of Battlefield V were on full display as both teams broke down the surrounding terrain and buildings with vehicular firepower, explosives and artillery. As the terrain crumbled like Papier-mâché, this opened up the defenders to an onslaught of attacking forces. Sadly, we weren’t able to take over the last two control points to seize the day.
This is where our session was cut off and I was already clamoring for more. Because this session only gave us a glimpse at the first two days of combat, we weren’t able to really experience the consequences of losing a part of the campaign. At first glance we were able to see our ticket count continued to dwindle, but by the end of the campaign we should be losing access to our most powerful vehicles and resources until the last day of the operation where both sides are facing off in a last man standing match with a single magazine to end the war.
Battlefield V is packing in a lot of value into its already impressive package. Players will be able to experience new perspectives in War Stories, play with their squad mates in new multiplayer game types, and eventually get their hands on Dice’s vision of Battle Royale. What I can’t wait to hear more about though is how Dice plans to structure their new events and progression system that will keep players coming back for more World War II action throughout the year. Until then, Battlefield V releases on October 19 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC via Origin.