Let's Get Handsy with Battlefield V

Battlefield V

Now that E3 has come and gone we shall, of course, unpack every detail of every conference, break down every second of every trailer and personally curb or feed our excitement over the next round of income AAA titles. That’s just what we do as gamers in this age of streamed conventions. But, remember that nothing gets a player more hyped or deflated for a game than hands-on time and that’s exactly what I got when I attended EA Play and was able to get my hands on Battlefield V.

EA Play: Was it Worth It?

Let's Get Handsy with Battlefield V
Battlefield V at EA Play • Jan Ole PeekCC BY-ND Attribution-NoDerivs

In short, no. My wife and I waited longer to get into EA Play than we spent inside EA Play. The venue wasn’t very large, the lines were rather long but the weather was amazing. Granted, I’m from Southern California so it was a moderately mild June day, but for those outside of the region, it must have been a hot one. While bottled water was by no means in short supply, the gaming time was. I had pre-registered for a 10:00 AM playtime with Battlefield V, which really meant nothing as the timeslot was arbitrary and the registered timeslot more closely equated to a Disneyland “fast pass”. You basically got to get in the fast lane once but the wait time was about double the amount of time you actually got to play Battlefield V. However, I do feel that the wait time was worth the price of admission because Battlefield V did impress me for the following reasons.

Audio & Visual

Let's Get Handsy with Battlefield V
Battlefield V • EA • Licensed by Owner

First and foremost, Battlefield V is a visually BEAUTIFUL game. The cinematics rendered with amazing smooth quality and the in-game graphics were the best that I had ever seen from a shooter to date. If graphical fidelity is your thing then I doubt you’ll be upset.

As usual, the audio is on-point. It is a DICE game after all, and if there is one thing that they nail on a consistent basis it’s the audio design. I think the most impressive aspect of the audio was when you were wounded. No longer is your player simply screaming “Medic!” They now scream more haunting phrases such as “Momma” and “Oh god…” in a tone of voice that is one part physical pain and one part fear of dying. It’s a page taken right from the D-Day beach landing scene in Saving Private Ryan when one unnamed soldier is crying out in pain as his guts are spilled all over the Normandy beach. At first, I thought it was one of the more immersive things DICE had done from an audio design standpoint, but after hearing it a few times it did start to creep me out a bit. I think the most unnerving thing about the screaming is that because the time to death is relatively short, it instills a sense of urgency in the player to be revived and therefore should instill that same sense of urgency in the squad and team’s medics to save lives.

New Game Mode: Grand Operations

Let's Get Handsy with Battlefield V
Battlefield V • EA • Licensed by Owner

At EA Play we were treated to a very nice introductory video to Grand Operations, which explained to us rather briefly what this new game mode is and how you play it. In a nutshell, Grand Operations takes place over a series of days (aka rounds) in which British paratroopers square off against German ground forces and each side has a unique objective to accomplish by the end of the day. Naturally, the Germans’ objective is to stop the British. It’s not the most exciting objective ever devised but that’s what happens when you’re the defending team  Thankfully, DICE has spiced up the defenders’ lives. Now you are able to construct fortifications to make the assault on the gun emplacements that much harder for the Allies.

The British on the other hand need to destroy a number of gun emplacements on Day 1 and capture key control points on the map during Day 1 to win the game. What’s unique and really well thought out is that the outcome of each day has an impact upon the overall outcome of the game. For example, if you’re playing as the British and you successfully complete your Day 1 objective then you start Day 2 at an advantage over the Germans because you have them on the ropes. However, if you fail to meet your Day 1 objective and the Germans are able to win Day 1 by holding back the British, then you start out at a disadvantage because the Germans have the momentum. It’s a really innovative idea that I feel is going to be one of the more popular game modes in Battlefield V.

The Importance of Teamwork

Let's Get Handsy with Battlefield V
Battlefield V • EA • Licensed by Owner

Teamwork didn’t exist at EA Play, which was understandable as each one of us were trying to get our heads wrapped around this new game and game mode. But what I can say with a certain level of confidence from this experience is that teamwork will be vital to your success in Battlefield V. This is because, as I mentioned before, the amount of time that you’re wounded and bleeding out has been decreased. Medics and teammates need to be more aware of what’s going on and revive allies when they can. When you spawn you carry less than 100 rounds which means that support players need to lay down ammo packs whenever possible, otherwise you’re going to run out of ammo and be forced to leave the fight in search of a resupply station. Obviously with what’s at stake in Grand Operations having multiple players leaving the fight to go resupply isn’t going to be doing your team any favors.

Final Thoughts

I really did enjoy my brief time playing Grand Operations at EA Play. It showed me something different, something innovative in an otherwise tired genre. For the first time in years, I’m actually excited for the release of a new Battlefield game!

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