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Letters from the Front

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In the beta, you’ll get access to two game modes. One of these modes is Grand Operations and Conquest, the traditional Battlefield game mode that has been a franchise main-stay since 1942 in 2002. Grand Operations, much like Battlefield 1, is a game mode inspired by real historical battles that took place during the course of the Second World War and allows you to participate in them. Grand Operations was only playable on the map that I played at E3 earlier this year, you might remember that map.

Today, we’ll take a look at the Narvik map and see how things have changed since then.

Battlefield 1 was a big change within the Battlefield franchise, for the first time in the series, the franchise went back to the World Wars and entered the First World War, a risky move that ended up being successful. Alongside the First World War setting, Battlefield 1 introduced Operations, which chained a series of maps and matches together and mimicked the grand battles that were fought across the world during the course of World War I. This mode was primitive in nature as it was solely about capturing flags in sequence and gaining ground.

In Battlefield V, Operations has been renamed to Grand Operations and it has seen a big change to the core concept that appeared in Battlefield 1. This big change strings together a series of battles over the course of four days with each battle you fought affecting the outcome of the overall campaign. The biggest change is the introduction of brand new modes that are being introduced in this game-mode and one of these brand new modes is called “Airborne.”

“Airborne.” mimics the real-life Airborne missions that both the Allied and German forces undertook during World War II as it was a brand new concept in how armies fought in the middle of the 20th century. In this mode, you drop in as a British paratrooper tasked with destroying the German artillery at night and in this moment, Battlefield V reminded me heavily of Medal of Honor: Airborne and felt like a whole brand new game that didn’t have any connection to Battlefield.

This mode keeps surprising me as it is something that it is unexpected from a Battlefield game. Sure, you can drop from airplanes any time in Conquest but take that concept to a brand new level with its own game mode and set of objectives is surprising.

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Dropping as a British paratrooper is quite nerve-wrecking as the enemy is firing 88 flak cannons and AA guns at your direction. You can wait a bit to jump behind enemy lines, but this comes at the cost of dying with the plane you jumped out from bursting into flames but if you drop early you won’t face the same circumstances although you’ll face a bitter battle up a hill as the Germans are in a much better position to throw you back across the sea. You must parachute in and carry the explosives to the 88 flak cannons and destroy them.

Battlefield is introducing brand new ways to interact with the environment around you. Destruction is more seamless and fortifications, a brand new feature allows you and your team to fortify a capture point. In Battlefield 1, all soldiers regardless of kit had access to a gas mask and in Battlefield V, the gas mask is being replaced with a toolkit and this allows you to build and fortify objectives in fixed locations across the map. You can build a sandbag wall and hedgehogs to withhold the enemy tanks.

The fortification system is more robust on the Rotterdam map than it is here, on Rotterdam, you can create fortifications like a bridge or create defense points to hold back the enemy; here, however, is a different scenario. On Narvik, you can create sandbags, trenches, hedgehogs, a sandbag wall, and fortify certain buildings to give you cover and help you deploy that LMG you got there. These structures allow you and your team to have a direct impact on the environment.

Arriving at an objective no longer means capping it and trying to use the cover there to defend it from the enemy but now you can cap it and build fortifications to hold off the enemy advance but they can be destroyed and you can find these fixed locations around Narvik and Rotterdam and build something to use against the enemy. A well-defended position means you can lock down certain areas that the enemy team will need to find a different route to capture that particular objective. Fortifications allow you to counter the destruction of areas and build a well-defended area in that room or building.

The full assessment of Battlefield V’s gameplay is really good and brings the franchise back to its roots. The gunplay and weapon mechanics has gotten a complete redesign. Where you aim is where you shoot this time around instead of your bullets deviating from your target and this is quite important as the weapon in your hand is the most important thing you’ll use within the game, this returns the gunplay and gameplay to being more of a skillful and tactical experience than Battlefield 1, the previous game in the franchise. The weapons feel more predictable than in Battlefield 1 so that is a good thing.

After the Grand Operations round came to an end, I came out of the experience feeling good and excited. My thoughts and feelings about Battlefield V haven’t changed and it’s good to play this game again.

Stay tuned for my post-beta thoughts coming soon.

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