Battlefield V is well worth your time and attention
Hands-on ahead of the delay
FORMAT: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE | PUBLISHER: EA | DEVELOPER: DICE | RELEASE: 20 NOV 2018 | PLAYERS: 64
It’s difficult to not be a little taken aback by what DICE is presenting to the world this time around, with respect to visual fidelity, scope of action and immersion. When the studio first unleashed Battlefield 1942, the industry quickly became mesmerised by DICE’S vision of all-out multiplayer warfare, one that was set against the backdrop of World War II. We never imagined that it could get any better. Oh, how naive we were.
It’s games like Battlefield V that force you to take pause, to take the time to really consider just how far the industry has come in 16 years. Truth be told, it’s a little breathtaking. The scope of these battlegrounds is, to be frank, a little ridiculous. While each draws inspiration from a real theatre of war, they all feel perfectly scaled to bring out the best in Battlefield’s considered tactical, squad-based play. The frontline is also constantly shifting – that is in part thanks to the introduction of Fortifications. These let you shut down lanes and rebuild elements of the map to better create reinforcement routes for ground infantry and vehicles. Every map we have encountered thus far has such clearly defined flank routes and lines of sight that DICE’S authority over level design in the multiplayer space is really placed into perspective.
The feel and weight of the weapons has also been greatly improved over DICE’S previous flirtations with historical conflicts. The weapon handling isn’t realistic in any sense of the word, but the depiction better lines up with how you’d imagine these guns would feel in your hands. This is, after all, an entertainment product, and the weapons feel ideally placed to let you re-create moments of heroics and domineering action that have largely been reserved for Hollywood depictions of the conflict. And then there’s the visual fidelity, which can only be described as awe-inspiring. We’ve had our hands on the PC build and, honestly, it’s absolutely crazy. If you’d have asked us 16 years ago, we’d have never believed that online shooters could ever look quite as good as this. The Frostbite Engine has always been fantastic for complementing DICE’S ability to create excellent art assets, but never before has the package looked so grandiose and allencompassing, especially when paired with such an impressive degree of procedural-destruction.
What we’re trying to say is that Battlefield V is the FPS that you should have your eyes on as we approach the winter rush. It’s now releasing 20 November and, given the options currently available to you, we’re certain that this is going to be a defining moment of the year – if not for the series as a whole. We talk a lot about immersion in this sphere and it can be difficult to define. For good reason too, nobody wants too ‘realistic’ an interpretation of World War II. It simply wouldn’t lend itself to a fun and engaging multiplayer shooter, something which BFV achieves with ease.
It’s fast, ruthless and utterly arresting of your attention once you get into it. What more could we possibly ask for?
Above: the scope, flexibility and look of BFV'S battlegrounds is quite simply game-changing.