“It’s a cin­e­matic start to my jour­ney. And then Skrat­man joins Dis­cord”

Low ex­pec­ta­tions are met in BAT­TLE­FIELD V


It’s with a sense of dread that I fire up the Bat­tle­field V beta for the first time, the sound of Bat­tle­field 1’ s Sop­with Camel bi­planes still buzzing in my ears. As the game opens, the cam­era slowly pans around a beau­ti­fully de­tailed soldier and the game’s melodic mu­sic sets a som­bre tone. He’s a man moulded by war, ev­ery pore on his face tells his hor­rific story, and now I’m about to step into his boots. It’s a stir­ring cin­e­matic start to my jour­ney. And then Skrat­man joins Dis­cord.

“Strike, how do I in­vite you into this?” he shouts, as I’m im­me­di­ately yanked out of sen­ti­men­tal­ity mode. I haven’t seen Skrat­man on­line for months, but BFV’s brought him out of hid­ing. He’s a bar­man from Maid­stone, and was an amaz­ing Black­hawk Pi­lot back in Bat­tle­field: Bad Com­pany 2.

“I don’t know mate, I’m con­fused al­ready,” I re­ply.

The next ten min­utes are spent bum­bling around through menu af­ter menu and rem­i­nisc­ing about how good Bad Com­pany 2 was. Fi­nally, we man­age to join each other.

We’re play­ing the snowy Narvik map in Con­quest mode, and I se­lect the last of the four icons. It looks like a steer­ing wheel, so I pre­sume it’s a sniper class. This is my first time play­ing so I’m hang­ing back.

I pop off a few shots to­wards a rail­way bridge and break my own rule im­me­di­ately by get­ting drawn in to­wards it. As I get closer there’s a ‘ping’ on my hel­met and I’m left reel­ing in agony on the floor like I’ve just slipped on a ba­nana peel. But this is a se­ri­ous his­tor­i­cal war game, and ra­tioning meant there def­i­nitely weren’t any ba­nanas dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.


As Skrat­man leads the way, I spot a cou­ple of en­e­mies in the ru­ins ahead and spam ‘Q’ to spot them, prompt­ing my soldier to shout ‘En­e­mies over there!’ in a lady’s voice. As we move for­ward I find one of the Ger­mans I spot­ted ly­ing on a pile of coal and I see him off with the last round in the cham­ber. The meaty shot com­bines with the great reload­ing an­i­ma­tion sounds to make the kill feel sat­is­fy­ing.

We find our­selves cap­tur­ing an ob­jec­tive within a group of houses on the shore­line, and soon re­al­ize more Ger­mans are com­ing. I only started with what seemed like a dozen bul­lets, but luck­ily there’s ammo nearby. “Watch this,” says Skrat­man, as he con­jures sand­bags out of thin air. “It’s Bat­tle-craft,” he says, and we laugh at the point­less­ness of it. I try to re­mem­ber the last time I wanted to build sand­cas­tles in Bat­tle­field, but draw a blank. This mon­key­ing around gets us both killed.

Af­ter a few rounds it’s clear that the menus, the UI and the over­all feel­ing of the game are sim­i­lar to BF1, mak­ing the BFV beta feel like an am­bi­tious DLC pack. This kind of Bat­tle­field is here to stay, but damn I miss those he­li­copters.

I’m left reel­ing in agony on the floor like I’ve just slipped on a ba­nana peel

“Hey Fritz, catch the Prosecco.”

Al­right, I re­ally need to up­grade my GPU.

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