Written by Remko Molenaar (Proxzor)
As a fan of shooters, I have to admit that I am a little bit disappointed with the shooters of the past few years. Most shooters these days feel like they take you in for this roller coaster ride, but at the end of it you don’t feel like going back in the queue. Battlefield One was no different. While the game was rock solid in my eyes, there were a few things that put me off and I never really played the game for as long as I had hoped for. I suppose the first World War wasn’t as interesting to me as all the other historical wars or concepts we have seen so far. Mainly the weapons weren’t all that exciting to me, but since Battlefield V is bringing back the second World War, I am very intrigued to find out what EA has in store for us.
If you are expecting a rant about female soldiers and whatnot, or the obvious ‘twist’ in realism then you are at the wrong door. Frankly the older I get, the less I start to care about factual correctness. I just want to have a fun time, and I really don’t care what EA throws at us, as long as its fun. With that said, lets give a fair look at what the open beta for Battlefield V has shown us so far, and if its looking promising if you are interested in the Battlefield series.
Since Battlefield V is more about areas we haven’t really seen or discovered yet in Battlefield and other games, this game is already very promising in my book.I was happy to find out that the public beta included a Norwegian map that we have seen in the majority of the trailers called Narvik, and a city in my own beautiful little country, Rotterdam in the Netherlands! The beta included game modes such as the Grand Operations and Tides of War that are story driven chapters, or the conquest game mode that you have seen in previous Battlefield games. When the doors opened and I got the chance to play, I obviously jumped straight away into Rotterdam, to find out how much detail has been put in this map, and to find out historical bits and pieces because the city in itself has had to endure a lot during the real war.
Having played both maps in great detail, and having put around twenty hours into this beta, I can already tell I’m pleased, but also somewhat disappointed with the current state of the game. Let’s start with the maps first. Both Narvik and Rotterdam look exceptionally beautiful, and I can tell a great amount of work has been put into both maps to make them very pleasing looking. The issue with both maps, and mainly Rotterdam in general, is that it feels like there were a lot of different filters to make the game look pretty, while instead it makes the game a bit messy looking. It feels like there is just too much happening on the screen that it takes away the sense of reality. It makes you wonder what the hell happened to the very gritty and somber looking Battlefield One where you were able to tell that war wasn’t something pretty, but instead a horrible turn of events that made this game a lot more ‘serious’.
After turning off all these filters, I also noticed a lot more flaws in both of these maps, and they are not graphics related. Both the maps we have seen so far feature long distances between many of the objectives, resulting in people having a bit of a hike on all sides of the map. And even though the servers have 64 slots, completely full servers can feel empty, and at times make you scratch your head where exactly the enemy is. The amount of snipers is rampantly increasing, and logically so. The snipers deal a hefty amount of damage, two shotting pretty much anyone. For anyone with a good aim, they can instantly kill anyone with a head shot, resulting in a lot of instant deaths, and not being sure where exactly you are getting shot from. While Rotterdam features a few places that does engage the player to fight in close quarters combat, getting to one of these key points proves to be difficult at times, and for some people it can be quite the frustrating experience.
I am a veteran of shooters, played them on a very serious level myself, and can pretty much get along with the top players in any shooter I decide to pick up. Despite this experience, even I can notice how much people sometimes have to struggle to find the ‘fun factor’ in Battlefield V. Even though people are pretty much able to resurrect anyone, not a lot of people do, because sitting still means catching a bullet in the head. No one wants to stare mindlessly at the screen for a good half a minute, before being able to spawn somewhere in the open and repeating the same process. While the incentive has been put in squad play, and sticking close to each other, everyone kinda runs off, trying to find their optimal and safest route to wherever you want to go. It also doesn’t help that usually half your squad is sniping away and not really going for the objectives, and I also am a huge part of this problem.
The only satisfying type of play is sniping in this game so far. Sitting from a safe distance, getting instant kills, or assist that count as kills is a very easy and fun thing to do, and I mean, who can blame you? The run and gunning type of play that Battlefield offers is just very boring, and it almost feels like the developers want the people to just rush somewhere, get a kill, and then also die by the other team that is trying the same. People are always short on supplies; after a kill or two, you are pretty much left with no ammunition, and while the support class are able to give you some, they’re proven to be the least popular of the four available classes, and you can find yourself running back and forth between these special stashes that are scattered around on the map.
There hasn’t been a lot of thought put into the fun factor, and I am very disappointed with the game so far. Not because it’s not fun, but because there are so many small features that make the overall feeling of the game disappointing, and I personally have been hoping for a better experience. I don’t have a memorable moment in this beta apart from sniping. While it feels awesome having this special spot, where you can get kill after kill, I can’t say I have experienced something similar with normal weaponry, such as an Assault Rifle or a Submachine gun. Even when playing with friends, I didn’t really feel like there has been a memorable situation, that we really kept each-other up and we were trying to fight tooth and nail to keep an objective, like so many of the previous Battlefield games had to offer. This time around, you feel like you are throwing bodies at the place, just trying to capture a flag, just to have it taken from you ten seconds later. Its a very frustrating and disappointing experience, that I hope the other maps we haven’t had the chance of playing yet, do this a lot better.
Overall I have had a bit of a mixed feeling when looking back at this open beta. I do want to say that I enjoyed playing Battlefield V, but at the same time there were so many flaws, problems, and bugs that it kinda threw me off. I like the feeling of the game, and after turning down so many of the graphical effects, the game definitely grew on me and I felt like there is a spark of hope in there. The maps are a bit too bland, the distances between objectives are too long, and it promotes sniping that a lot of people love and hate. I love sniping; it’s fun and it takes a bit of skill compared to spraying a gun and hoping for the best. But at the same time, it shouldn’t be the most popular role, and the other classes shouldn’t get punished by them all too much either. Currently this is what happens and why people are a little disappointed with the beta so far. I get that real wars usually mean throwing bodies at a location, and eventually winning by having more. But this doesn’t mean a game should be like this, the run and gun play just isn’t too interesting in Battlefield V, and I hope that they take this extra time to build on that, and improve the general experience for everyone, no matter what type of role they decide to play.
Battlefield V Open Beta Screenshots: