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Battlefield V

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: DICE
Release Date: Nov. 20, 2018


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PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'Battlefield V'

by Cody Medellin on Sept. 6, 2018 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

Enter mankind's greatest conflict with Battlefield V as the series goes back to its roots with a never-before-seen portrayal of World War 2.

Pre-order Battlefield V

With the release date of the game recently pushed back, Battlefield V's open beta now acts as a way to keep the game fresh in the minds of players as opposed to being a beta meant to whet the appetites of those who could wait just one more month before the game hits. For those who didn't get a chance to jump into the closed alpha a few months ago, this beta has the same Arctic Fjord map along with both the Grand Operations and Conquest modes. The latter will be very familiar to Battlefield fans, while the former expands on the idea of giving different objectives to both attackers and defenders over the course of several in-game days, making the affair feel grand. We did some impressions of the closed alpha, and while the news may be nice for those just jumping in, those who have already played the alpha will want to know about what's new.

For starters, the beta has a basic version of the economy in place. There's no sign of any premium currency needed, so the coins you need to buy new guns or vehicle paint jobs all come from completing quests. There's a constant list of quests that are good for each mode and class, and daily quests also make an appearance, giving you a near-endless stream of ways to earn currency without any breaks.

As for maps, the game now has Rotterdam for Conquest mode, which is where you can get a good sense of how urban environments will play out. The flag spots are spread out pretty evenly, with territories large enough that you can start attacking or defending a spot from a decent distance. The spots themselves are also quite varied, as you'll go from a train depot to a bombed-out building to a garden, a hotel lobby, and the equivalent of a parking lot. The alleyways are narrow enough for some tense firefights, while wide-open spaces have abandoned cars and train cabins littering the street. Punctuating the streets and bridges are a few canals that aren't deep but at least provide a good reprieve from the gunfire, since many people won't bother looking there. Most of the buildings can be entered, there are plenty of windows to jump from, and while the destructibility of most buildings remains to be seen, there's never enough time to reduce the city to rubble. The elevation is more structured, so you can't misjudge a shot simply because you hit a small crater while moving forward. The lack of airplanes also makes the map more ground-focused, making it a good contrast to the more wide-open Arctic Fjord.

The beta's final new feature is a preview for Tides of War, which is a rather unusual move on the part of the publisher. The mode isn't meant to be in the game at launch, since it's supposed to be introduced as DLC later in the year (or perhaps next year, given the recent delay). That said, with the plan to discontinue season passes and make all future content for the game free, it is nice of them to show off what can be expected with the mode. For the beta, they're showing off a Shock Troopers path, which includes more challenges, from achieving a certain number of kills with a class to capturing a number of points in a specific map. The prize for completing all of this is a special beta-only dog tag, but it'll be interesting to see if Tides of War will evolve into something other than a challenge checklist.

From a gameplay perspective, Battlefield V remains the same, and that can be good or bad, depending on your outlook. Movement remains fast to the point where going out on foot means you can easily outrun most ground vehicles going at top speed. Gunplay is also fast in everything, from switching weapons to reloads to aiming and firing. Death and vehicle transitions ruin that pace, as the lengthy animations interrupt things for the sake of looking nice, which still results in some cheap deaths in the fight.

There's really only one mystery left, and that's the battle royale mode. We know that the mode will let you join up in squads, and the player count will be on the small side at 64, as opposed to the now-standard 100. What we don't know is how that'll translate with the series' gameplay mechanics in tow. Considering that it is the mode that is meant to attract some new players, it would have been nice to get a small sample of that here in the beta. Nevertheless, the beta lasts until Sept. 11, so if players who are still on the fence about the game should have plenty of time to decide on whether they like the core gameplay.

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