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Letters from the Front

Battlefield V is the most polarizing game I have ever played and it is the most polarizing game in the franchise. It’s true, I haven’t seen a game so hated and so divisive that it splits the community right down the middle.

To order to understand the state of the game now, we have it to rewind it back to a year ago when things were looking quite bleak. Battlefield V’s reveal is not what the community nor fans of the franchise wanted, the reveal trailer wasn’t World War II nor did it give off the vibes of World War II and ended up being a trailer that pushed social justice more than World War II, a conflict that has shaped the world 74 years after its conclusion and a conflict that can still be felt in today’s world. That reveal trailer not only mocked World War II but it was a great disgrace to the franchise’s past and the fundamental idea of the Battlefield franchise, a franchise that pushed the ideas of realism, immersive gameplay, and authenticity more than Call of Duty. From then on, the game went into a downhill spiral with its marketing campaign and lack of information regarding the next entry into the franchise.

Many players had felt like they had been slapped in the face before they even got a chance to remotely play the game on top of the hatred that was already flowing through the veins of many players, including myself. The way how EA and DICE handled the negative backlash to their first trailer had sealed the fate for the game and it didn’t help either that the game was barely showed off at EA Play or at E3 2018. What followed was when shit really hit the fan which caused the game to sink even more into the sunken place which it’s currently trying to get out of. This sort of backhanding the community and the fans went on for months, long after EA Play or E3 2018, DICE and EA kept on putting petrol on the fire which sunk the game even more. It was the most bizarre thing I have ever witnessed and at the same time, one of the most saddest things I have ever witnessed as I saw a beloved company fall from grace.

September 2018 came around and the open beta released to the public which included the maps Rotterdam and Narvik. There were big issues but that was later fixed and then the game was delayed to November 2018 which screwed the game’s launch plans and its post-launch plans. When November 2018 came around, the game launched and it received good to middling reviews but the game has ended up being quite polarizing as the game’s identity is all over the place and the game cannot decide either to be an authentic and immersive WW2 game or a fantasy version of WW2 where everyone is wearing wacky cosmetics, Battlefield V is a far cry from Battlefield 1, a game that was heralded and praised as one of the best shooters of the decade as it was arguably the first AAA game to be set within the First World War and it was quite immersive and authentic as compared to Battlefield V.

Compared to the last few games, Battlefield V destroyed what the previous games set forward but at the same time pushing the franchise to new heights with its gameplay mechanics, excellent gunplay that rewards skill and aim, excellent teamwork mechanics that returned the franchise back to the days of Battlefield 2 where teamwork mattered. My positive attitude started to dwindle right after launch as little content made its way into the game and things were not looking great as a new map released and there was no new content on the horizon which left many players, including myself, wondering if the game would quickly die out after the release of Firestorm.

As the months dragged on, I started to play the game even less until Firestorm released. When Firestorm released, it garnered good praise as it was the first time that Battlefield had ever done it and it was a good solid Battle Royale but it came too late. Firestorm released right on the heels of Apex Legends and at a time when Fortnite is still the biggest Battle Royale game, Firestorm failed to make a mark or failed to make its footprint into the sand despite being a good step forward and a good Battle Royale mode.

Things started to change right after that. A new map, new weapons, new cosmetics, and much more has been coming to the game including patches that helped improve visibility and stability across all platforms. It is refreshing to play a new map and it is refreshing to see the game’s future so bright, the game is headed in a new direction. The game is trending upwards but there’s still more work to do as they aren’t out of the clear just yet as they need a huge win.

Things are starting to turn the corner but there’s still the feeling of not enough has been done to patch things up. DICE has been taking two steps backwards and one step forward as the game is still garnering controversy to this day: The Armory is usually a hot bed of controversies, removal of game modes that launched and were marketed with the game are now gone, the MTX that launched sometime earlier this year, the Elite Soldiers that launched a few weeks back, the epic bundles that launched last month. There’s no shortage of things to complain about when it comes to Battlefield V and that too needs to be fixed as well.

Things maybe turning the corner but that doesn’t mean that the game is in the clear. The huge win that Battlefield V desperately needs is by doing the Pacific Theater right. The Pacific Theater needs to be done right as the Pacific is one of the most iconic places of World War II: The Pacific Theater needs to be historically accurate, the factions need to be wearing their respective uniforms instead of Fortnite-looking cosmetics that has no place in a game dealing with history, the factions need to be historically accurate as well, everything has to be done right and with respect to the source material if this game has a chance to win.

All of this begs the question if is all this content coming too late? Has the marketing campaign and the reveal trailer caused irretrievable damage to Battlefield V? I believe so, yes as first impressions matter the most and if you fail to give a good first impression of remotely anything then you already failed to get off the ground but this game has the chance to make a second comeback and deliver what it set out to do way back in the reveal on top of delivering the promise of an authentic World War II experience, this is the first time in nearly 17 years that the franchise has returned to the setting and it would be a shame if it didn’t deliver the goods.

Battlefield V is finally coming around. It hasn’t quite reached the end of the tunnel but I think with the arrival of the Pacific and if the Pacific is done right with accuracy and detail then we’ll see Battlefield V truly turn around for the better.

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