when it comes to war-focused multiplayer games Battlefield is one of the biggest franchises in the medium. With an extensive library of games, this series has always delivered immersive and engaging experiences. Now, developer DICE are returning to their roots and diving back into the World War II setting with Battlefield V. While the game was playable during E3, a Closed Alpha was released on PC for those wanting to get their hands on this title.
Keep in mind this title is still in Alpha, so bugs are expected and any mechanics are subject to change. Our code for the Battlefield V Closed Alpha was supplied by NVIDIA.
As someone who has been playing the Battlefield franchise for a long time, it’s remarkable how familiar everything feels in BFV. There are still four classes – Assault, Recon, Support, and Medic – each of which possesses their own unique gear and weapon archetypes. This makes having a balanced squad critical since their various roles can easily swing a losing fight in your forever. The Medic’s skill to revive players is invaluable and the Recon class can still fire a flare into the air that spots nearby enemies. If you are familiar with any Battlefield game – especially the most recent entries – then this will be very familiar.
Squads now earn points as they kill, capture objectives, or generally perform class-specific actions such as healing. This will all accumulate into a shared pool, which the squad-leader can use to call in powerful artillery strikes on specific areas. It’s a smart inclusion and keeps the focus on working together rather than being the 80th lone wolf sniper on a hill. The only issue is this relies on having a competent squad leader that knows how to use these special tools once they’ve unlocked.
What’s different is every class carriers a hammer which can be used to construct cover in pre-determined locations. This is a brand new mechanic that allows users to quickly provide cover to allies in destroyed buildings or open terrain. The concept itself is fantastic, as it adds another layer of depth to Battlefield’s gameplay. In previous Battlefield titles, most of the cover is destroyed around an objective halfway into the match. Not only did this make holding objectives difficult, but produced some awkward moments where defending a point wasn’t worth the effort.
However, thanks to this fortification mechanic, players can quickly lay down cover even if a building or location is destroyed. Currently, users can only make are sandbag walls at various heights, which is disappointing. We hope that DICE expands the roster of emplacements that can be produced instead of just limiting it to making walls. Being able to hinder armor from advancing or enemies from pushing from a certain direction would add tactical depth to Battlefield V beyond the squad-based gameplay.
During the Alpha, we only had access to both the Conquest and Grand Operations game mode, but we were limited to a single map. Conquest is still the bread and butter of Battlefield, as two teams fight to control various objectives across the map. It’s still a fun experience and there was a decent balance to the level itself – even if German side had a bit more cover thanks to the large town by their main spawn.
Grand Operations plays like a more advanced and dynamic version of the mode introduced in Battlefield 1. It’s still based around large-scale assaults on continuously changing objectives. One of the coolest additions is players on the attacking side can now drop from a plane that flies overhead. Not only does this allow players to get right into the action, but it looks really slick. However, dropping into battle is a double-edged sword since enemies can see you parachuting and even shoot at the planes overhead. This adds a nice risk vs reward factor to spawning and it we look forward to seeing how this is integrated into other maps.
Gunplay is still solid and extremely satisfying, even if the time-to-kill has been drastically reduced. Players only had access to a small arsenal of weapons, but each of them felt great to use. Their designs all look great and none of them felt too overpowered in firefights. Vehicles are still a blast to use and users can now move stationary guns around the map. Even though this is a neat idea, we rarely saw it used in any of our matches.
Battlefield V is still pretty rough around the edges, but there’s a solid foundation here. While I encountered numerous bugs during my time with the Closed Alpha, there was nothing game-breaking. This is not a reinvention of the iconic franchise, but a polishing of the familiar mechanics and formula. There’s a lot of intriguing ideas on display in Battlefield V and we look forward to seeing how the game progresses in the coming months.
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