Good Ol’ WWII

Battlefield V.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Battlefield V.

It’s been said that history repeats itself. 

Nearly every shooter in the late ‘90s and early 2000s took place in WWII, before Call of Duty came and set modern warfare as the new standard. It now seems like we’ve gone long enough for the WWII fever to heat up again. 

Unlike Black Ops 4, which unwisely chucked campaign mode to the winds, Battlefield V sticks by their usual route of having multiple chapters in the single-player campaign. It’s now called called War Stories and takes place across different theatres such as Africa, France, and Norway. 

War Stories are self-contained tales with multiple acts, and the best thing is that some of these stages are wide open so you can complete objectives in your own way. Stealth is even a viable option in most of them. 

I thoroughly enjoyed sneaking around, spotting enemies with my binoculars and then silently killing or avoiding them. It’s a novel idea for Battlefield V and I sure hope that future installments would follow suit, so long as it remains optional; players shouldn’t be penalized for wanting to run and gun their way through either. 

Locations in the game ranged from the desolate deserts of North Africa to the frozen wastelands of Norway and the lush countryside near Provence, France. They’re all different enough to make viewing and playing in them interesting but they’re still subject to some pretty bad pop-in. With the new binoculars to spot enemies with, I could also see muddy, low resolution textures on far away objects and environments. Ground textures are particularly irksome, as they can look really bad when zoomed in from a distance. 

Another issue I encountered was the unnaturally accurate AI. They can be excellent shots, even when they’re using machine guns from far away. It seems like they can even nail you through smokescreen, leaving you the only one handicapped. All of this happened on Medium difficulty, too. 

Then again, one doesn’t buy Battlefield V for single-player only, no matter how compelling it is. 

There’s a lot to unlock in multi-player: Weapon Specializations, Class, and Rank. You don’t have to do anything special for these three paths; simply playing the game gets you XP.

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I’m against the idea of vehicle unlocks though. It seems unreasonable to gate off some vehicles behind ranks, making fights feel lopsided against newer players. It’s a good thing that none of them are unbalanced so far, but I prefer the older approach where everything was available for everyone. 

I found that the maps in Battlefield V are much better than the previous game. My favorite is Devastation on Conquest, where you fight for control of a cinema and a cathedral in a ruined city. It’s an awesome blend of close-quarters street fighting with long sightlines and chokepoints. Coupled with the ability to build fortifications, the fighting gets thick and heavy fast. It’s fun and heavily reminiscent of my past highlights such as Battlefield 3’s Operation Metro. 

However, the maps are more static now. I loved how the Behemoths in Battlefield 1 and the massive terrain destruction in Battlefield 4 mixed things up, affecting both the visuals and gameplay. In Battlefield V, maps end in pretty much the same condition as when you started. 

On the subject of maps, they made an awesome decision by having all upcoming Battlefield V content free. One of the reasons past games dropped off the radar was due to the fragmented player base, separated by expansions or maps. 

Grand Operations mode is sorely underplayed though, which is a shame considering it’s just as fun as, if not more so, than the series stalwart Conquest mode. Even with a custom search, I only found three Asian servers running Grand Operations and none of them were full. Of course, Conquest doesn’t suffer from the same issue. There are a ton of Asian servers available, and in fact it’s quite hard to get into a local server since they’re almost always full, especially if you’re searching for 64 player games. 

It goes without saying that Battlefield V is a must-buy if you’re into shooters. The great gameplay, tons of multiplayer unlockables, local servers (woo hoo!) and, best of all, free post-launch content all make for great fun and value. 


One of the better shooters this year, plus free content brings long term playability. 

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Locales in the game range from African deserts to Norway’s frozen wastelands.

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 Some vehicles are only unlocked as you progress through your rank in the game. 

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