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Letters from the Front

Battlefield V has been out for three months, it launched with eight maps and draped itself in the early war setting that many videogames and media about World War II has failed to acknowledge or in many cases ignore. In December 2018, the first post-launch content released and took the war to Belgium with Panzerstorm, a map I believe is okay and offers a little bit more of the countryside battles that we’ve become accustomed too in World War II era videogames. On top of a new map, we’ve had new game modes enter the mix with Squad Conquest and the upcoming Rush game mode, a key mode in Battlefield franchise history and brand new Tides of War unlocks like brand new vehicles like the Stug IV and the Archer on top of brand new weapons.

I have to admit that I haven’t been playing the game as often as I would like and the main reason for that is that currently, Battlefield V is so barebones that there’s barely any fun to be had and that it doesn’t necessarily come off as a World War II-era videogame. There’s nothing that gives me the feeling like I am playing a World War II videogame, it doesn’t offer that vibe that all of us has come to expect in a World War II videogame. There’s a major lack of content in the game and a major lack of maps and factions on top of that grindy aspect that Battlefield games are often known for like the level cap being increased. Since, we already know the future of the game and what is coming later on in the month in the form of Firestorm, the brand new Battle Royale mode coming to Battlefield V and Greece, I want to take a look at the Tides of War Live Service and see if its working as intended.

Most of the things that have been released so far aren’t compelling and it doesn’t keep me engaged or want to come back for more, a lot of the weapons have been recycled from Battlefield 1 like the Ross Mk. III or the Ribeyrolles and it’s not that exciting on top of a very lackluster co-operative mode that somehow changed from reveal to the launch of Combined Arms and the Practice Range is practically useless and was an utter disappointment given how well it was done in Battlefield 4. By today’s standards and how Live Service games are quickly pumping out content for free, Battlefield V is not cutting it and its an utter disappointment of a Live Service game and how a Live Service should be handled despite being a very promising game and one of the most intriguing game in the franchise since Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3.

Personally, Battlefield V is a great game and its in a good spot right now with Operation Sunrise shortly kicking off and DICE attempting to fix their mistakes and acknowledging that some of their decisions haven’t been really the best ones to make but its, in fact, a really good game but it needs more to really get the ball rolling. It’s boring to play on the same maps again and again, it’s boring to use the same weapons that I used in Battlefield 1, it’s boring to play as the same two factions again and again. There hasn’t been much word on what’s coming next to Battlefield V after the release of Firestorm and The Fall of Greece, this game needs actual World War II content to thrive like the American Army making their appearance in multiplayer with their appropriate equipment and the Japanese making their debut in multiplayer alongside the Soviet Union and some of the iconic battles that took place in this very early section of World War II like Wake Island, Midway, the Coral Sea, Sevastopol, and others. It needs new content now or else Battlefield V will end up like Star Wars: Battlefront II.

Battlefield V needs a massive injection of the things that we have come to expect from World War II era videogames. The reason why Battlefield V is so barebones is because this game didn’t have enough time in the oven like Battlefield 1 did, it was an 18 month development time which isn’t enough time to fully kick things off and since November, DICE has been taking the time to pull off an Operation Health-esque type of operation on the game to fix multiple bugs, glitches, and more which somewhat, I believe, hindered some of their plans to kick off the Live Service in a way that would knock everyone’s socks off. It asks a question, one that might’ve been true, would new content come out sooner if the development team had more time to work on the base game and pushed the release back to March or April 2019? Yes, I believe so but we’ll probably never know although it does propose several new questions that will never be answered and I wonder what could be fixed. Could’ve the game be better managed by DICE? Was their ambition a little to high, because to be fair, setting a World War II game in the early 1940s is quite ambitious as you have a wealth of overlooked battles that has been ignored. Maybe a decision could’ve been made to cut the War Stories from Battlefield V and release it solely as a multiplayer-only title, a callback to the early Battlefield games before the launch of the original Bad Company which introduced Single-Player to the franchise? Multiplayer is the sole reason why Battlefield, as a franchise, is so successful in the first time. You don’t remember the campaign, you remember the awesome times you’ve had with your friends and remember that awesome, wild moment like engaging in a dogfight, bailing out of the jet, and blowing up the enemy aircraft with an RPG then freefalling or placing C4 on your jeep and diving off a cliff. Those are the moments that Battlefield is known for and that is what the franchise is known for. An open sandbox that is open to you and you could do whatever you want in that sandbox.

What has happened so far in the history of Battlefield V is so bad that I think the reputation that DICE has had so far has tanked and some of the goodwill that they have garnered has been shot through the window. It’s gotten so bad that DICE is starting to fall out of favor with certain people in the community, on Reddit, on the Youtube comments, on Twitter, and numerous places like that and not everyone is like that, people like myself still have some sort of hope that DICE will turn around and give us the WW2 experience that everyone literally wanted from the very beginning and the idea of a WW2 Battlefield game that has been in our heads since forever.

Now that the future of the game looks somewhat bright, I hope DICE takes this lesson and turns it around and give us what we want which is an epic WW2 game that encompasses not only the greatest battles that made it into the history books but also the lesser known battles that have escaped time and has faded and to also take this lesson as a warning and improve the next time a new Battlefield game releases. The concept of the Live Service is fairly new and it will take a long time for people like myself, who prefers actual expansion packs to come around to it but the Live Service component of Battlefield V hasn’t been very great to begin with and its needs to be better. So good that it knocks off our socks, World War II was made for a videogame like Battlefield: it has everything that a military shooter like Battlefield needs to succeed, it has naval battles, air battles, ground battles, jungle fights and more. I’m not sure how you could butcher it unless you really wanted too. It needs more content to stay relevant in the community’s mind, it needs to capitalize on that WW2 factor, and its to entice new players on picking up the game and that is done by bringing new content into the game like factions, iconic battles like Arnhem and Guadalcanal, famous and iconic weapons of World War II like the M1 Garand or the M2 Browning. I like Battlefield V and I want this game to succeed.

There’s a new day on the horizon and I hope that DICE begins to truly expand on the Live Service and begin to show us what they have in store. Stay tuned for my Trial by Fire First Impressions coming later this month.

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