For some of the gaming world’s biggest releases, The Washington Post is polling its newsroom to compile the top-level takeaways and gather opinions on whether it’s best to grab the game now, wait for a price drop or pass altogether. Readers can offer their own thoughts in the comments, and we’ll highlight the best ones.
These are written from the perspective of frequent gamers, so if there’s a term or acronym you don’t recognize, here’s a helpful resource. You’re welcome.
Metacritic score (as of Nov. 26)
PS4: 76 | PC: 81 | Xbox: 79
High: 95 (GameSpace)
The Post’s official review: The Battlefield series has never gone in order or even really added up. “Battlefield V” is technically the 15th game in the series (depending on how you count), not the fifth. It’s the direct sequel to “Battlefield 1,” which was the 14th game, not the first. The first was 2002’s “Battlefied: 1942.” 2005’s “Battlefield 2” was actually the third in the series, and there were seven games released between it and “Battlefield 3.” Though the title of each always seems straightforward, when you look back across the series, it seems to have lost track of itself. These are games built around moments that blend together without ever really connecting.
Perhaps for that reason, DICE has taken “Battlefield V” back to the familiar territory of World War II. The centerpiece, now as then, is the online multiplayer, which spreads six different modes across eight expansive maps loosely drawn from history. There are two in the idyllic marshlands of northern France, two in the snow-covered peaks of Norway, two in the cramped urban grid of Rotterdam and two in the dusty barrens of North Africa.
In the absence of big, new ideas, like “Battlefield 1’s” “Behemoths” or “Battlefield 4’s” system for radically transforming the terrain of maps with scripted catastrophes like tsunamis or a skyscraper collapsing, DICE has focused on a collection of gentle design nudges to encourage people to play in a slightly different way. Players start with less ammunition for guns, encouraging four-player squads to stick closer together. You no longer have to play as a Medic to revive squadmates, though it will take significantly longer to do so as another class. One new mode, Airborne, has players parachuting into the map from planes after each death. Another, Grand Operations, has players competing for the same handful of control points as other modes but spreads it across three different rounds that are meant to simulate three days of battle, with the team ahead given extra supplies to use for the next round. Unfortunately, these updates feel marginal. — Michael Thomsen (Read more)
The Post staff says …
Lindsay Testa (@LTesta_)
- This is my first Battlefield game, and I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. Squad mates did say that it didn’t have new tactics or ideas and is very similar to “Battlefield 1,” though.
- The War Stories are one-hour mini-campaigns that play out like movies with three acts switching among stealth, protect the fort and all-out aggression. These are great as tutorials to help you get a handle on how to play before going into multiplayer modes. The voice acting and story arcs are impressive, but there are no collection or side goals to the main campaign, so the actual content feels light.
- Conquest and Frontlines are the multiplayer modes I enjoyed the most, because they let me be more strategic about paths and roles to play.
- The key to winning is clearly map prowess; knowing the best hiding spots, or entryways, can make all the difference.
- There is a good amount of content that has not released yet, including another war story (coming December) and the battle royale mode (March). While there was enough content to keep me busy on launch, it feels as if I am not getting anything special for buying on launch date.
There is clearly an overwhelming amount of FPS games on the market for the holidays, and it may make sense to pick this one up on sale or when more content is released.
Amateur advice: Listen to your squad! Whether you are playing with friends or by yourself, online matches create a squad for you. If you are squad leader, you can give commands, and your squad will get extra points for completing those commands.
Wish I had known before I played ... : Tanks are amazing, and I spent way too much time out of tanks or getting killed by them. You are able to spawn inside a tank if available on the deploy overview view. Sometimes you may want to take a peek there before re-spawning on a teammate.
Mike Hume (@MikeHumePost)
- I’ve played the Battlefield franchise since "1942″ and have long enjoyed how immersive the maps feel. That’s only grown with the addition of dynamic elements such as changing weather and destructible environments. I similarly enjoy what I’ve seen from “Battlefield V,” from the house-to-house action of urban Rotterdam or expansive desert settings, which should give snipers, and their targets, all the feels.
- I was a big fan of the Operations mode in “Battlefield 1,” but something about Grand Operations — a three-stage battle that incorporates various game modes — leaves me a little unsatisfied. Both teams play all three stages regardless of the outcome of the previous stage(s), and there’s minimal impact from the previous result. Crush the opponent on Day 1? They’ll still see Day 2 with minimal penalty in terms of available re-spawns or a shortage of vehicles/equipment/ammo. Losing on Day 3 in the peaks of the (beautifully rendered) Norwegian mountains feels totally dumb when you’ve routed the foe twice at the shoreline.
- This will likely get ironed out in an update, but a lot of times when issuing or receiving orders the audio would instruct my squad to attack or destroy an objective, when we were assigned to keep it safe. That wasn’t confusing at all.
- The inclusion of women as playable soldiers on the battlefields of World War II caused quite a stir, because certain people believe video games like Battlefield are supposed to be completely historically accurate. Note to critics: Hope you’re not too fond of any Hollywood productions “based on a true story.” In the game, you’ll hear women shouting, crying and dying. It’s noticeable. If that bothers you, you probably shouldn’t buy the game.
- What will “Firestorm," Battlefield’s upcoming battle royale mode, look like? That’s my biggest disappointment with the initial release of BFV and my big remaining question. Will it be closer to the existing Battlefield multiplayer game play than “Blackout” — Call of Duty’s new battle royale offering — which feels like a totally different game (albeit an extremely enjoyable one) than COD? I would love to see a Battlefield dynamic with the player classes complementing each other as they do in the multiplayer game, with distinct bonuses and limitations for each class.
This is a good game. In time, with a few changes (please buff heavy tanks), maybe a very good game. But on the whole I found “Battlefield 1” more enjoyable in that it offered something totally new against a landscape of modern- or future-based shooters. As fun as V is, there’s nothing radical about it that makes me think anyone needs to buy it right this minute, particularly when there’s so much content — and the battle royale mode — yet to come. Find a good deal first.
Amateur advice: Take advantage of every point-producing chance you can. That means dropping plenty of med kits and ammo pouches for your teammates, spotting enemies and, as Lindsay mentioned, issuing/following orders to/from your squadmates. The game rewards you when you play as a team.
Wish I had known before I played ... : Sandbags will not stop a tank. As demonstrated by this unfortunate soul here.
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