We shall fight on the beaches… over and over again

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTENT -

The heavy, rapid thud of our as­sault ri­fle as we take down some un­wit­ting sol­diers pok­ing up above cover; scrunch­ing for­ward through snow as we stay low to the ground; the drone of planes over­head punc­tu­ated by in­ter­mit­tent ma­chine gun fire; and the whirr of treads as a tank crashes through a nearby build­ing – friend or foe? Per­verse as it may be, all that’s the sound of home. To clear a cap­ture point we lob a grenade into a first­storey win­dow. It ex­plodes and the in­te­rior of the build­ing crum­bles piece by piece around the ca­dav­ers of the en­e­mies within, the col­lected snow slid­ing off the roof as it col­lapses out­ward. With en­emy sol­diers cleared for now we rally and cap­ture the point.

That’s a story of suc­cess. But across these huge mul­ti­player maps tons of these lit­tle mi­cro-sto­ries are play­ing out at once. As we cap­ture this point, just across the way com­rades are beaten back. There’s a rea­son the game’s called Bat­tle­field, af­ter all. Check your quick­fire death­matches at the door – con­flict in Bat­tle­field V is epic, sprawl­ing, chaotic, and al­ways, al­ways deadly. Lone wolves will get the team killed, and squad play is the key to that big “V” vic­tory.


Our lat­est hands-on with Bat­tle­field V is played as the game should be – with heaps of other peo­ple run­ning amok thanks to the shooter’s Tides Of War mode. With 64 play­ers in a game, it’s the sort of


thing you can only truly ex­pe­ri­ence along­side many fel­low on­line sol­diers, where you’ll make quick friend­ships with your com­rades, and also forge heated ri­val­ries as you con­test points.

The Dutch city of Rot­ter­dam was dev­as­tated dur­ing World War 2, but here we play through it early in the con­flict while it’s still fairly in­tact, nav­i­gat­ing wide roads and el­e­vated train tracks, duck­ing through nar­row al­leys, and weav­ing be­tween open build­ings around the port. The huge num­ber of dif­fer­ent routes through the streets can eas­ily see your team de-syn­er­gise if you’re not care­ful. There’s a whole new sense of tan­gi­bil­ity and phys­i­cal­ity to how you scram­ble over the maps, fight­ing to con­trol crit­i­cal points in the city.

We get to play around with each of the four main classes: As­sault, Re­con, Medic, and Sup­port, with one com­bat role to try for each (though in the full game, each main class will have sev­eral pos­si­ble roles). With each class hav­ing dif­fer­ent load­outs and traits, get­ting a good spread in your team is a must. As­sault’s Gre­nadier role is per­fect for flush­ing out points, Re­con’s Sniper is great for pick­ing off ad­vanc­ing troops, and the Field Medic can use Sy­ringe Re­vive to re­cover any fallen ally (reg­u­lar troops can re­vive their squad­mates – squads are sub-teams of four play­ers that can act as a unit, and

pro­vide mov­ing spawn points).


The Arc­tic Fjord map, set in Nor­way, also im­presses for other rea­sons. The snowy set­ting couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent to Rot­ter­dam’s port city streets, not just be­cause we have to bat­tle the Scan­di­na­vian el­e­ments, but be­cause it’s a wider map that seems to lead to some stricter lan­ing and tighter squad play as a re­sult. Even when you play in Con­quest mode, aim­ing to con­trol key points just like in Rot­ter­dam, it feels quite dif­fer­ent. But the Fjords are also the set­ting for a taste of the new Grand Op­er­a­tions mode – where, in the full game, four in-game day mini-matches roll into the next from one an­other.

In our two-day taster of the Fall Of Nor­way op­er­a­tion, we play through Air­borne, which sees para­troop­ers on a night-time raid es­cort­ing ex­plo­sives to de­stroy anti-air­craft guns, and then a match of Break­through the morn­ing af­ter, where two points at a time have to be cap­tured and held be­fore mov­ing on to the next seg­ment of the map, as ter­ri­tory is bat­tled for fiercely and big pushes are made to gain ground.

Things aren’t go­ing too well for a while as we tus­sle for con­trol over the fi­nal two cap­ture points. It’s a bit of a stale­mate, and both teams are nearly neck-and-neck with re­vives as the clock ticks down. But then we hop in a tank – a big Bri­tish Churchill Croc­o­dile – and all our cares melt away as we trun­dle down the hill to the fi­nal point, rag-dolling en­e­mies out the way with mas­sive ex­plo­sions. Our tank is taken down, of course, but it pro­vides just enough of a win­dow for us to get that last cap­ture. And that’s just day two of the Grand Op­er­a­tion – with two more days to play through, who knows how it will progress from here? As usual, there’s go­ing to be plenty of con­tent to chew on in Bat­tle­field V, but the true war sto­ries are go­ing to be the ones we make our­selves along the way.

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