At the time of writing this, anyone can download a beta version of Battlefield V and try it out. As a massive Battlefield fan, I did just this on the PS4 but, sadly, I came away very disappointed.
First, let me explain my Battlefield background. I came into the franchise pretty late during Battlefield 3 on the PS3. But I loved it. So much, I went back and bought the previous Battlefield games (I have quite the veteran status). It also introduced me to gaming clans, online play and chat parties, none of which I’d been interested in before. Today, I struggle to play games for any length without doing it online with a group of gaming friends.
Battlefield 4 came out and I got it on the day of release, along with Premium as well, ensuring I got regular battlepacks and free DLCs on the day of release. As soon as I got my PS4, I upgraded it to that. But, if you don’t remember, BF4 was a mess when it first came out – it improved over time immensely but it was never quite as good as BF3 (especially the maps, imo). Never-the-less, I got to maximum rank quickly and then continued playing.
Battlefield: Hardline came out, which I got, but I was disappointed with – it was obviously built upon the original version of BF4 and retained the original, flawed gameplay mechanism (which was overhauled eventually in BF4).
Then we had Star Wars: Battlefront. I was really looking forward to this and whilst the audio and visuals was amazing, the gameplay was a massive let-down. By this time we’d heard of Battlefield 1, set during the First World War, and our desperate hope was that it wouldn’t be based on Battlefront. It was. I hated it but many of my fellow gaming friends didn’t. BF4 had already began to die out massively due to its age and BF1 finished this off. I moved to The Division and then Titanfall 2, both of which are excellent games.
Eventually, I was left on my own. Friends had moved away from the games I’d been playing and I was missing gaming with other people. So I went back to Battlefield 1. It grew on me a little but I still remained underwhelmed by it – the gameplay was just so lacking. In the end, I moved away again to Overwatch.
And that brings us up to date.
Thursday night I got a chance to try Battlefield V, set during the Second World War. A group of my friends, all Battlefield veterans, were with me and the overwhelming conclusions was that it was… overwhelming. No, you know what word was used – “boring”.
It’s based on the mechanics of BF1, so looks and feels much the same. But some of the changes really didn’t land well with us…
- They’ve added a Battle Royale style mode and added some basic building abilities to compete with Fortnite. These felt tacked on and badly thought out.
- They’re removed some features that make Battlefield the unique license that it is – for example, being able to spot people.
- They’ve changed basic control mechanism that have been in place for many years – e.g. on the PS4, switching from a gadget back to your main gun is done by pressing the triangle button. But, try as I might, I couldn’t get it to work (in the end I was shot before I could work out how it was done). What they’ve actually done is make it so that you double click triangle instead now.
- They have stripped back what you get from the out-set before unlocking anything. A friend flew a plane and found there was little he could do until he got the appropriate unlocks.
We played a number of games and although the servers were full we hardly saw anybody – I don’t know whether the maps were too big or what but it felt as if we were on near-empty servers.
There are also frustrating issues with the Beta, although that’s precisely what you’d expect. All of were regularly being killed quickly by enemy soldiers, yet we were able to empty entire clips into people without them dying. It was affecting all of those in the party and, yes, the enemy soldiers were using the same guns.
So, after a few games, I left, deflated and a little bored. And I haven’t returned since. Sorry, but EA won’t be getting my money for this one – the first Battlefield I won’t have bought. It’s repetitive and unexciting – make a current generation version of Battlefield 3 or Bad Company and then we’ll talk.