( Editor’s note: I just realized that I told you about the biggest changes to Battlefield V and didn’t really explain much so yesterday’s article has been changed accordingly. The first thing I noticed was the changes so here is everything that I played and saw at EA Play 2018.)
After the success of Battlefield 1 and it’s Operations mode, which was a historical beat by beat look of the grand battles that took place throughout World War I, DICE is now taking that concept and upping the scale. In Battlefield V, Operations has been renamed to Grand Operations and instead of taking the same approach to Battlefield 1, the experience now switches to 4 in-game days across multiple maps and modes. In what I played, the map Narvik takes place during Operation Weserübung which was the German invasion of Norway, you may start the battle as part of an airborne invasion where you’re dropped behind enemy lines before the main invasion force arrives on the mainland and you have to take out the 88 flak cannons so the main invasion force lands safely. In the beginning, every soldier spawns in the C-47 and pick where you want to jump as the C-47 moves across the map. German defenders must defend the DZ and the artillery cannons and if your team is successful then whatever happens that day will affect the outcome of Day 2 and the battle as a whole.
The version I played at EA Play was sped up for time constraints going through two days before the demo ended. It also didn’t include the squad point mechanics where the squad leader can call in super weapons like a V1 rocket or a Sturmtiger to turn the tide of the battle.
Much like Operations before it in Battlefield 1, Grand Operations revolves around a story being told in this massive war and this story gives you context and background to the battle you’re about to participate in. For this battle, it takes place before the British evacuation at Dunkirk and the German invasion of France. The British Expeditionary Force hopes to airborne in and recapture a vital Norwegian port that gives the Germans access to an important supply route across Norway. I played rounds on both sides to get a feel for it and to get a better understanding of the new tools that EA DICE is giving us in this world war.
I played as a German defender in the first round, I familiarized myself with what I had to do while building fortifications along the 88 flak cannons. Each soldier has a toolbox that they can equip to strengthen their position, one area allows you to build sandbags or a thicker wall or even a MG nest. Engineers can build MG nests, this system isn’t like Fortnite or anything like that, it’s much more grounded and realistic than building a 200 foot tower to protect yourself.
The German defenders can also take up AA guns, but the best option to defend the objective is with the flak cannons. I saw a teammate running up to one of these massive artillery guns and using it to knock out a few planes and kill a few players, so that’s pretty cool that you can interact with these massive weapons and use it to your and your team’s advantage.
The fortification system and the low ammo count really changes things up and for the better. You no longer spawn in with a boatload of ammo, you spawn in with limited ammo and when you’re done killing numerous people, you will be out of ammo and you’re going to have to run back or pick up ammo from dead enemies. I found myself running out of ammo often and killing enemies with my handgun way more than in previous Battlefield games. Requesting ammo or running to an ammo supply drop is a smart move and all of this extends to the medic pouches as well. You will have to face a choice if you want to heal yourself or heal your teammates as you have limited pouches, up to 3 pouches.
During the second run, I played as the attackers. Dropping in as a British paratrooper is kind of tense as the defenders are trying to shoot you out of the sky with AA guns and 88 flak cannons, you can wait to drop further behind German lines but this comes with a risk as the plane can go down at any moment. If you jump early then you won’t have this risk but the enemy is in a much better position to withhold your attacks as they have the high ground. When you die, you won’t respawn but instead you’ll be in a downed state where anybody on your team can revive you and if you’re not revived, then you’ll go back to the spawn screen or you can spawn back in with your current loadout.
Once you parachute in, you have to gather the satchel charges and detonate the 88 flak cannons hammering the C-47’s. We managed to destroy two before the timer ran out and it transitioned into Day 2 where the battle is taken further in Narvik where you battle across the port and the city itself. The next round is Breakthrough where you have to capture the enemy flags sector by sector which is the traditional operation game mode that was first seen in Battlefield 1.
The brief time that I played Battlefield 1, it was a ton of fun and I can’t stop thinking about it. It has that addictive quality that made Battlefield 1 so successful in my eyes, it has that same quality of where you want to return every week and every month to see what’s new and stick with it. However, there are still many questions that still linger like how many maps will there be at launch since it’s taking a very different approach to World War II where at launch is 1940 and with each new expansion and content drop, the war progresses and the iconic battles like El Alamein and the Hurtgen Forest will open up.
Stay tuned for more on Battlefield V when the beta comes around later this summer. Here is some gameplay from JackFrags: