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Letters from the Front

Rotterdam3

In September 1939, the world went to war once again with Britain and France declaring war on Germany after their invasion of Poland but no major operations took place on the Western Front until 8 months later when the German Army broke through the Ardennes Forest and invaded France and the Low Countries.

After World War II broke out, the Netherlands had hoped to remain neutral as they had done during The Great War back in 1914. To make sure that the Netherlands would remain neutral in the upcoming conflict, the Dutch Army mobilized and entrenched themselves.

After the German invasion of Denmark and Norway in April 1940, which was followed by a warning from the Japanese in the Pacific that a German invasion was inevitable, it became clear that the Dutch couldn’t stay out of the conflict and their historic neutrality would prove to be worthless so they began to prepare for war with Germany with increased activity on the Dutch-German border with countermeasures being taken against assaults on airfields, ports, and harbors.

A month later, the German Army invaded France and the Low Countries which became known as Fall Gelb with Dutch citizens awakening to the sound of German aircraft and German paratroopers descending with the Dutch Government surrendering a few weeks later after the aerial bombing of Rotterdam. The German occupation began on May 17th, 1940 and it wouldn’t be until 1944 that an ambitious plan involving Allied paratroopers would attempt to liberate the Netherlands but this plan failed and it wasn’t until the very end of the war that the Netherlands would be free from German occupation.

Rotterdam

Rotterdam

It has been about a couple of weeks since I last played Battlefield V which was during the second round of the Closed Alpha back in the middle of August and before that, I played it at EA Play and at E3 where I got access to the same map which was available on the Closed Alpha version of the game. That map was Narvik which takes place during the German invasion of Norway.

The Rotterdam map is completely different from Sinai Desert and Narvik, the previous map that I had to chance to play on in the earlier alphas and the E3 build. Rotterdam is an urban map and it reminds me heavily of Seine Crossing and remixed with Amiens, a map from Battlefield 1’s base game. Rotterdam is very much your classic Battlefield map; combining armored vehicles and infantry all into one into this pot of city streets, alleyways, riverfronts, and more and it makes for excellent gameplay.

Rotterdam is a very different map from Amiens. You have the train station that defines vertical gameplay, a collapsed metro tunnel towards the Steel Bridge that runs across the Nieuwe Maas that connects to the outskirts and part of the Steel Bridge can be accessed to have the jump on the enemy. Rotterdam is very much the love child of Amiens and Seine Crossing, the structure of the map screams Seine Crossing while the overall gameplay screams Amiens with long distance fights and armored vehicles duking it out on the riverfront. Rifles and LMGs will really make an impact here.

The Rotterdam map feels like it’s one map combined into many as opposed to Sinai Desert from Battlefield 1’s open beta back in 2016. Tanks duke it out for control of a pathway that lays on the outskirts, the northwest section sits inside the Witte Huis which is on the Nieuwe Maas, and the northeast section forces enemy squads into close-quarters battles as opposed to the long-range combat that was seen in Battlefield 1’s Sinai Desert from the open beta. These points on the map change as the battle progresses and the weather begins to play a role so you have to factor that in. Sometimes, it begins to rain but others its fog and the fog rolls across the map and obscure your line of sight and forces you to engage the enemy in CQC.

These changes are of tactical significance, these changes allow you to quickly think on the go and allow you to play tactically, something that was missing in Battlefield 1. The control points on the map are open to you at the beginning of the round, waiting for you to capture it and build a layer of defenses on the point. These are called Fortifications and they create a counter-play for classes carrying Panzerfausts or Bazookas, if a point is well-defended and you can’t get across then you might have to call in a Squad reinforcement like a Sturmtiger or a V1 Rocket to turn the tide. The V1 Rocket was available to me as we had gathered enough points to call one in.

The V1 Rocket is part of the Wehrmacht’s squad reinforcements, these squad reinforcements are something similar to Killstreaks from Call of Duty and they allow you to call in heavy weapons to turn the tide of battle in your favor. You can earn them by just doing squad things like capturing control points or getting kills which contribute to you building the required points to call one of these beasts in.

rotter

After getting hands-on with the game multiple times through E3 2018 and through the two Closed Alpha sessions that I was invited too and after getting hands-on with the beta for about 2 hours, I’m convinced that this is one of the best Battlefield games in recent memory and its a nice return to World War II viewed through the lens that you have never seen before.

Everything that the game will offer will be complete if you can gather a few friends together and play as a squad, there’s nothing quite out there like a good squad that can hold its own on the field. The game plays very different to that of Battlefield 1 and will play differently when you have a good squad that can hold its own as opposed to just lone-wolfing it. From what I’ve seen so far, Battlefield V marks the return of classic Battlefield and it is worth the tryout.

( Battlefield V: Open Beta will begin on September 6th. Come back tomorrow for my hands on impressions of Grand Operations in this build of the game.) 

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