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Battlefield V – Still worth playing?

The video game Battlefield V, developed by EA Dice and published by Electronic Arts, was released worldwide 20.11.2018. It is a first-person shooter (fps for short), based on World War 2. Battlefield V is the sixteenth game in the Battlefield series, and is available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Personally, I haven’t tried it on console, only on PC. For me, the FPS-genre works best on a PC, using keyboard and mouse. It is probably just a habit, but I find it a lot harder to aim fast and precise enough using a console controller.

As with all other games, this one has had its share of both praise and criticism. Praise for gameplay, but criticism for lacking content at launch, and for little innovation. By the end of 2018, Electronic Arts had sold “only” 7.3 million copies, making it a commercial disappointment for Electronic Arts. But despite the criticism, is it still worth playing, and worth buying? I’ll get into that in this article.

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Gameplay

You can play this game in both single-player and multi-player mode. The latest is the main focus of the game, and it is meant to be played in teams. Running solo when playing online is not the optimal way to do it, and the other players will have a harder time completing the missions without you around, and vice versa.

Single player

For single player, there are four campaigns you can play. They are “Under No Flag”, “Nordlys”, “Tirailleur” and “The Last Tiger”. The stories are well written, although criticized for not being accurate historically. But Electronic Arts says that they always put fun before accurate, and if you do play the game for fun, it is brilliant. I have never thought much over it being historically correct or not, and that is not the point with this game either.

The campaigns are challenging, at least if you play on normal and hard difficulty. You will die quite a few times, but succeed in the end, changing your strategy for completing the missions. You can to some extent choose your own path, more or less depending on the map you are playing. And yes, some of the maps are pretty large.

Multiplayer

This is the largest part of the game, multiplayer, consists of several modes to play:

  • Conquest : Classical all-out war. Capture the flags and kill off the enemy.
  • Domination : Much like conquest, but smaller part of the map, and you spawn randomly on the map, not on your captured flags. Same goal – reduce the enemy tickets (lives) to zero.
  • Grand Operations : This is a narrative-based mode over four fictional days, spanning several maps. Your results on one map affects parameters on the next map, like spawn time, ammunition, vehicle spawn time, and more. This is the longest mode, and it takes some time to play through all the maps, unless you join right in the middle of an ongoing campaign.
  • Team Deathmatch : As the name says, this is a fight to the death. No flags, just kill off the enemy team until the tickets reach zeo.
  • Breakthrough : Here one team is the attacker and the other is defending areas / flags. If they fall, the defenders have to retread to their next flags, and so on, until the attackers manage to capture the last flags, or the defenders kills off all the attackers. (Reduces their tickets / lives to zero.)
  • Frontlines : A bit like breakthrough, but here all flags are in a fixed order. You cannot capture the next before you have the previous one, making it an intense fight over each flag, back and forth, until one team manages to push the other back.
  • Squad Conquest : Like conquest, but with a smaller part of the map, and fewer flags. These rounds usually go pretty fast.
  • Firestorm : This is the battle royale mode, like Fortnite and other games in that genre. Everyone starts off at random points of the map, having to find equipment, and trying to survive until you are the last man or woman standing. The area you have available shrinks all the time, forcing the players to draw together in the end for the final battle.
  • Tides of War : This isn’t a multiplayer mode in itself, but more a weekly challenge with very varied objectives to complete. You can achieve these across many of the other modes, and if you complete it all, you unlock a reward in the end. This can be a weapon or an outfit for example.

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As you play, you earn points for completing game objectives and killing the enemy, spending them on upgrading your weapons and outfit. Rising in ranks unlocks items, as well as earning points with the individual weapons unlocks stuff for those.

In-game purchase

As you play the multiplayer part, you earn credits. These can be used to unlock weapons and weapon upgrades and looks, as well as unlocking looks an apparel for your characters. The looks are purely for making things look cooler, they don’t give you any other advantage. Weapon upgrades makes the guns better, more accurate, and so on. You don’t have to spend any real money on this, since you earn credits in-game.

Not long ago EA introduced purchases with real cash, to buy special outfits and such. You don’t have to buy any of that, unless you find it worth spending money for character appearance. Some players like it, some don’t, like everything else in this world.

Updates

EA / Dice updates the game regularly with fixes and content. Tides of War update every week, since it is a weekly challenge. They have released a few new maps for the game as well, but these are not so frequent. But the ones they have released is nice, well-made and fun to play.

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Lacking balance

I do play the multiplayer part of the game quite a lot, and for me the most frustrating thing (besides the retards that cheat) are the lack of balance when playing a round. If for some reason several players quit on one team, leaving them outnumbered, the game will not force players on the other team to switch sides. Likewise, if one team is leading way too much over the other, making it an impossible task to win. (Outnumbered in score, not in number of players.) Many players have complained about this, and EA surely knows about this. (They do read forums, as well as you and I.) But then again, the developers have to prioritize the most important issues first, namely updates and addressing errors. Hopefully they will get around to the balance issue further down their list.

Of course, when it is very unbalanced, it is easy to give up and rage quit. That doesn’t help your teammates, though.

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Cheating

Yes, there are some players who cheat in this game, and Electronic
Arts / Dice has so far no addressed this issue enough. It affects the
online multiplayer game, and is frustrating since it gives them an
unfair advantage over you. For instance, shooting you or spotting you
through buildings and items, revealing your position on the map, and
more. May players have criticized EA for not doing enough to stop the
cheating, since it is ruining the game experience.

Hungry for harddrive space

This game happily eats away at your precious gigabytes of storage. I strongly recommend that you invest in a solid state drive (SSD) for this title, as it does a lot of loading between missions / campaigns. Installed on the drive, this game uses over 80 gigabytes of storage, and updates for it is typically 30-40 gigabytes every time. You can configure the Origin game client to automatically update your game, but it is somewhat annoying when you finally squeezed in an hour to shoot a bit, but have to download 30 gigabytes of updates first. So much for that shooting. Thank god for having other games installed as well, so you can do something fun while you wait for it to complete. Having a fast internet connection helps. I bought a 120GB SSD drive for the game, naming it my Battlefield V “cartridge”. (I have other SSDs for other titles, Playerunknowns Battlegrounds for example, which also loves loading much data.)

Alas, yesterday when I tried to update, it said I was out of storage space. So I had to empty two 128GB drives, and make one new spanned volume across both disks (converting to dynamic disk in Windows), to get one “disk” with 256GB space. It worked perfectly, but it took a while to re-download the entire game. Probably could have moved it to another regular harddrive, and then back again on the new drive volume, but didn’t do it. So – 240-256GB SSD recommended. Or fork out some extra cash for an even faster M2 SSD, if your motherboard supports these. It’s on my wishlist.

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Should you buy it?

If you love first-person shooters, and the world war 2 genre, then this game should be for you. And if you like battling it out online, well even more so. There are many online modes to choose from, to suit your liking, from plain deathmatch to large campaigns. You can pick up this game for a good price, it is on sale now and then on the Origin game client, or pysically in stores here and there. It is not necessary to buy the ultimate version of it, it just gives you some extra stuff to beef up the looks of your characters and guns. These are earned as you play anyway. I have personally spent over 200 hours playing it, so it was worth the price. Yes, the cheaters are annoying, and hopefully it will be addressed soon, but it is still fun to play. Most players don’t cheat, and it is possible for everyone to be very good at playing this game. It just takes a lot of practice to get there. That’s my two cents, pick it up at a physical or online store near you. =)

Have you played this game? What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Tom-Inge Nilsen

2 Comments

    • Thanks for your comment. Yes, I’ve spent over 200 hours playing it, and I’m sure he has put in some hours as well. Very fun to play, even better when playing cooperatively with your friends.

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