Even in its riskiest ventures, like Battlefield: Hardline, the series has more or less been consistently satisfying to fans with varying degrees of excellence. Battlefield V returns to the series roots much like Call of Duty did last year. It’s the first time that World War II is going to be seen in the 3.0 version of the Frostbite game engine. An engine that has a spotty history with non-Battlefield games, but looks fine as all hell when running Battlefield, that’s for sure.
The build we’re playing is in closed alpha, meaning that there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to ironing out bugs, glitches, strange visuals, optimization etc. So it’s unfair really to hold any of that against Battlefield V until a more complete version of the game is presented. That said, in spite of that reality, the game really did run great for the most part.
Let’s just get the buggy stuff out of the way quick though since you’re probably curious. Squads didn’t work properly all of the time, which, in the new Grand Operations mode where cooperation and squad spawning is crucial, was a downer in terms of competitive balance. When I died I’d occasionally fuse into the ground, and get a glitchy looking environment until I re-spawned. Some players were complaining about getting frozen at the deploy screen, but that never happened to me. There were times when the frame rate dropped a bit, but nothing too bad in my experience playing.
It doesn’t really matter because again, this stuff will be ironed out. I was more interested in how the game ran, sounded, and looked. All of that checks out so far. Battlefield V will be one of the most visually impressive games this year, certainly among shooters. Even without finishing touches that will inevitably occur before the game is fully released, the game already looks fantastic. Narvik is a great choice for a battlefield, as it sports beaches, mountains, and snow, all of which combine to give it a very unique and pretty aesthetic.
The basic gameplay is all there. In this closed alpha build, we only had access to the tried and true versions of the new specializations that are being added for Battlefield V. If you’ve played Battlefield 1 at all in the last few years, you’ll be extremely comfortable and familiar with how all of the four basic archetypes play. Scouts snipe and, well, scout. Medics heal and revive, etc.
Really, what impressed me the most was the sound. Even in closed alpha, everything just sounds so “authentic” (at least from a Hollywood perspective). Bullets whizzing by, planes flying overhead, gruesome calls for help from downed teammates and enemies, the scripted banter that takes place between you and nearby squad mmebers – all of it builds up an incredibly immersive experience that begs to be played with a high quality headset.
All in all, I’m not worried that Battlefield V is going to turn out anything less than “good.” Whether the series elevates itself, and builds on the excellent Battlefield 1, is going to be determined by the new stuff that we can’t play yet, such as the additional specializations of the four basic classes, and the new battle royale mode. But, at the bare minimum, we’re getting more Battlefield, and there’s no complaints from me there.