Does Battlefield 5 deserve five Stars?

Battlefield V had a rough reveal, but is that evident of a bad game?


Vincent Towne, Staff Writer

EA (Electronic Arts) has had a history of making self-centered choices, focusing too much on money, rather than the fan base that supports them. Particularly in recent memory, EA has made several questionable decisions, when it came to the reveal and release of Battlefield V.

Battlefield V was first revealed back in May of 2018, starting off horrendously. EA and DICE, the companies that develop the Battlefield games, held a reveal event as per tradition. The first bad choice was having the less than satisfactory comedian, Trevor Noah, host the event. The fact that Noah had never touched a videogame in his life, was an insult to all the players who have diligently played every game in the franchise for over a decade. I could go on forever about his cheesy jokes and terrible puns he made, but the biggest problem was how the developers decided to interpret the World War Two setting.

When the very first reveal trailer dropped, people were confused and worried. Right from the get-go it showed a tank with stuffed animals and dead bodies draped over it, as war trophies. It then proceeded to feature a woman with a prosthetic hook for an arm running around blasting NAZIs and taking bullets left and right. Within this outlandish, dystopian world that they attempted to call World War Two, MG42s are slung around with one arm, and BF 109s are taken out of the sky with hand grenades. It was unreal in a bad way. DICE boasted having a “historically accurate” game while simultaneously talking about the plethora of customization available to the player. In-game footage and screen shots took a glimpse into the horror of tank-top bearing soldiers, wielding standard-issue katanas, and painting their faces like that of a warrior from Braveheart. The final scene beheld the captain-hook woman swinging a cricket bat in the faces of the Third Reich’s finest soldiers. This subsequently sealed the coffin of disappointment for many who were hoping for a real WWII shooter.

After this reveal was inevitably received terribly by the community, EA and DICE were somehow dumbfounded and confused on how their precious game could be rejected so badly. Some developers blamed it on a “small, angry minority” that hated to see women in games. Their short term memory served them poorly. Every other modern/futuristic shooter has featured women and no one complains. It’s when a historical setting is taken and warped beyond repair; that’s when things get heated.

So now that I got that out of the way, I’d like to say that Battlefield V is a good game. It might seem like with everything that I just said I would advise everyone to steer clear of purchasing the game, but hear me out. I don’t think that EA deserves to be a company anymore after their repeated crimes against the gaming community, but they managed to listen to the people this time.

After being bashed for the reveal, they tried to make excuses and squirm out of changing the game, but they eventually gave in. DICE managed to tone down all of the customization, making the game less of an eye sore. They also made sure to release traditional Battlefield style trailers after the first one.

When the game was announced, their pre-order sales had been lower than all of their previous games in the franchise. It took a lot of effort for them to come back from the PR disaster in May. I, being an avid Battlefield fanboy, pre-ordered it anyways. I was not disappointed. When the beta (public testing) dropped, I entered the game ready to want a refund, but I have never been more wrong in my life. The two maps that were playable at the time really captured the Battlefield experience, I felt like I was playing an upgraded BF4. I found myself ignoring the historical inconsistencies and atrocities, and just playing the game. Everything that I had problems with in BF1 were fixed. There was no more grenade spam, the character movement was smooth, the guns felt unique and worth the grind. One of the biggest improvements in this game has been the gunplay. I no longer feel like I’m running into war with a toaster, but an actual gun that hits hard and fast. Accompanied with this faster time-to-kill is the fact that, surprisingly, bullets go where you aim. I can’t tell how many times in BF1 I lost a gun fight because of bullet deviation or the infamous suppression mechanic. If you’re not familiar with this abomination, I’ll try to explain it. Suppression in BF1 happened when high caliber rounds were shot anywhere in your direction; you would hear your character start to freak out and your aim would start to sway and wobble, making your bullets go anywhere but the target. This essentially rewarded people for just dumping mags down range, and hoping that a few will hit.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on BF1, I’ve put an unhealthy amount of hours into that game. It’s good, but BFV is better.

Aside from the major improvements from BF1, BFV has so many good qualities. The maps, for one, do not disappoint. None of them seem too massive or empty; previous Battlefield titles featured maps that seemed too large, making players run seemingly forever between objectives without seeing a single enemy. Speaking of the objectives, BFV maps have very interesting objectives that always provide some sort of a tactical advantage. They are no longer just for gaining points for your side. Capturing an objective allows your team to use the ammunition and first aid stations there, and the longer you hold an objective, the better you can fortify it from an enemy counter-attack. Fortifications are also a new feature in the franchise which allow the player to dig fox holes, build sand-bag walls, barbed wire, tank stoppers, mounted machine guns and much more all over the map.

The vehicles that Battlefield games incorporate so well are amazing. Instead of having insanely over-powered tanks that crush everything in their path, it now takes some skill and mastery to top the leader board with one. It will no longer take an extremely coordinated squad to take a tank out. Another direct upgrade from BF1 would have to be the effectiveness of bombers. Bombers were fairly unpopular in the last installment of the franchise because of how easily they were taken down, terrible maneuverability, and payload inaccuracy. The new BFV bombers have a much better aiming system along with better ways to defend yourself in them.

BFV’s single-player is also worth playing. Battlefield has gone about their campaign in an unorthodox way, just like in BF1. Instead of following one character and their tale, you can play War Stories. This has multiple relatively short campaigns that take place all over the world, giving you the full WWII experience. DICE smartly decided to explore unknown settings in the war, considering that this genre has been played out quite a bit. My personal favorite would have to be The Last Tiger. I’m surprised that they decided to make a campaign from a German’s perspective. It puts you in the boots of a Tiger tank commander in Holland, showing his devotion to Germany, while also avoiding the glorification of NAZI Germany.

I don’t know how I’ve gone this long without talking about the graphics this game presents. As opposed to BF1’s intense, gritty graphics; BFV shows a very vibrant, beautiful world. Every map has its own color pallet, making them easily recognizable and engaging. From the devastated ruins of Rotterdam to the golden fields of Arras, the player can immerse themselves in WWII’s most unique battles. And just like every other Battlefield game in recent memory, the ability to scar and change the landscape allows for each match to play out differently. The amount destruction that the player can make creates extremely cinematic moments not easily forgotten.

On top of all the amazing gameplay and graphics that BFV has to offer, the game has been heavily discounted from the original $60 and all future updates will be free. The next DLC is going to be a huge one with the addition of the battle royal mode, Firestorm and the co-op, Combined Arms. Even though the reveal was rough and inevitably affected the launch, the game can only get better from here on out. It’s kind of sad that the game hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves, but the intense, chaotic gameplay mixed with improved guns earns five stars from me.