We're looking for new writers to join us!

Some thoughts on the Battlefield V Beta

by: Nicholas -
More On: Battlefield V

I've been playing the Battlefield V Beta almost all weekend, and inevitably have some things to say. So let's begin. 

First off, performance issues aside, this is overall, a fine display. The graphics are as perfect as one would expect them to be, and although it's clear some parts of the maps to be played (Narvik and Rotterdam) seem to at least be a bit too inspired by some maps in Battlefield 1, they serve to differentiate this entry from the previous one in the series well enough. 

But while the gameplay has certainly been adequate, it's not necessarily perfect. Both BF4 and BF1 had rough starts, but they have now both surged to have healthy populations and can even be considered competitors with one another. So it's not like certain omens unveiling themselves in the beta won't be washed away when the game really comes into its own.



Things feel different. And in my view, that's a good thing. Evolutions in architecture reflect themselves in the maps, and the open fields of World War I have been replaced by the regimented design of the shipping port on Narvik and the cluttered streets of Rotterdam. The guns also no longer feel like mirror reflections of each other, with assault rifles feeling appropriately heavier than SMGs, and there doesn't seem to be so many DMR-type weapons that BF1 is so thoroughly populated with. 

Narvik is amazing. With plenty of opportunities for long range sniper battles or short range skirmishes, nothing is saved on that map. 

Building Supports: Every class has the ability to create barriers or sandbags, providing for a bit more strategy and cover to the battlefield. It's refreshing, and while I haven't seen a whole lot of real change to the feel of the gameplay, I'm excited to see what else will be done with it. If you were to see me in a game of conquest, odds are I'll be piling sandbags in some random corner of the map. Sand is cool. 


DICE has made it clear that they want players to depend on each other a lot more, but they might have forgotten to factor in that some players just don't want to put on that mic. It's understandable, but I've encountered multiple instances in which I'll call for more ammo or health on the dialogue wheel, and am left in the dust because of my location, or the fact that there are no medics or engineers around. That doesn't mean that people won't use the dialogue wheel and come after the medics and engineers, but otherwise, the results consist of players flocking to the medic and munitions centers located in the middle of the bases. Jack Driscoll's oft-repeated "I need more magazines" perfectly describes the minute-to-minute gameplay. 

Rotterdam just feels like the BF1 map Amiens turned 90 degrees and with a body of water dropped in the middle instead of a train track. There are also parts of the map that don't feel like a location, but rather a game map. Part of what makes any Battlefield map is that they feel like real places. There is a section near Base E that is overshadowed by an overland train, and the train is derailed. I wish that instead of the train already being derailed, actions performed by players could instead derail the train. A personal sentiment, yes, but it feels too much like one of the maps from the latest Black Ops 4 beta, which provide numerous, if regimented routes for player transportation. 

The sound is probably the most disappointing part about this beta. Although I'm sure it will be improved by the final release, right now, it sounds like everyone is taking pot shots at one another, rather than pelting out bullets at furious rates, scraping and scratching for survival. 

Everyone having the ability to revive is cheap and inconsistent, there's no way around it. That I can still be revived after getting downed by a headshot or a blast from a tank's main turret is bad enough, but when it's not ever clear whether I'll be revived due to technical issues, or when I take down 3 out of 4 enemy players, but then get killed by the fourth, and have to watch every single one of them get revived, it's downright infuriating. 

Vehicle controls are still bonkers. I haven't actually felt good at driving vehicles since the 3rd and 4th Battlefield games, not that those were anything to write home about. But come on, can I just have some good handling for once?

Overall, I feel just fine about Battlefield V. It clearly has a long way to go, but it differentiates itself enough from the previous entry that I don't feel like I'm playing the same game. Tech issues aside, I think this is a game that will definitely need some time to grow.