Title: Battlefield V
Format: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: EA Dice
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
The Grade: B+
BF5 Haiku Review
Fight in World War II
Giant multiplayer maps
Still can’t fly a plane
What is it? A first-person shooter that takes place during World War II. Much like its predecessor, “Battlefield 1,” this latest edition of the long running series features single player War Stories and huge multiplayer maps where gamers can drive a wide range of military vehicles.
Highs: “Battlefield” games are known for their multiplayer modes but the first thing I dove into in “Battlefield V” is War Stories. This single player mode continues what worked so well in “Battlefield 1,” centering an engaging plot on individual journeys. War Stories are gripping, as the characters you play as have well developed personalities and go through emotionally turmoil.
The single player campaign also has high replay value. Usually in a shooter I’ll only go through the campaign once. But with a number of collectibles to find and challenges to accomplish, I found myself frequently going back into “Battlefield V’s” single player mode.
If War Stories is this game’s appetizer, the main course in “Battlefield V” is its significant multiplayer mode. Online play is divided into three categories. Infantry Focus is for infantry only battles on a smaller scale. Conquest are enormous maps with up to 64 players. Here, gamers can use vehicles, including planes. Grand Operations takes both modes and mashes them together and leads to some seriously long games as the action takes place across several different maps and missions.
This variety allows for online aficionados to truly play the style that suits them best. In Conquest I’d typically be a sniper, hiding in buildings and trees and taking enemies out from a distance. In Infantry Focus I’d have an Assault load out, toting a machine gun and charging into the fray. In Grand Operations I’d change my things up depending on the map. You’re not stuck to one style in “Battlefield V” and I never felt overwhelmed online, even when playing against more experienced gamers.
“Battlefield V” has a number of improvements (character movement is more fluid, you can now build fortifications) but what really blew me away while playing online are the destructible environments. This isn’t a new feature, “Battlefield” games have had this for a while, but seeing buildings slowly break apart and watching debris fly is a visceral experience and it looks better than ever in “Battlefield V.”
Lows: “Battlefield V” has some minor annoyances that distract from the fun. Load times for online gaming can be time consuming, multiplayer matches sometimes last a bit too long (around 30 minutes) and there’s a not nearly enough character customization.
That said, my biggest issue with this game is with the flight controls. To be fair, they’re relatively simple. But because they don’t match the standard control scheme you’ll find in most other titles they just don’t feel intuitive. And because you’ll get to fly so rarely, chances are you won’t be able to fine tune your technique. Or maybe I’m just a horrible pilot.
The Grade: This title is loaded but “Battlefield V” will continue expanding with new maps, single player experiences and a Battle Royale mode. Best of all, every gamer will get these things gratis since there is no Season/Premium Pass to purchase. A game that’s a blast to play with more fun free content on the way makes “Battlefield V” well worth your time.
Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist. He has written for numerous publications including GamePro, GamesBeat, PC World, GameZone, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.