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Letters from the Front

We’re now approaching the one year release since Battlefield V launched, it has been a wild ride but not of the good kind. During the lead up to its November launch, DICE laid out its plans for the game and how it would change the FPS military genre by going back to World War II and redefining the World War II genre. The fan-favorite mode dubbed Operations would now be dubbed as Grand Operations that would take you on a narrative journey across World War II’s greatest fights, a co-op mode called Combined Arms would provide an always evolving experience and a new system would be in place for your soldiers called “The Company.” in where you could customize your soldiers, loadouts, and more. Not only that but it would come with Battle Royale dubbed Firestorm.

When Battlefield V’s launch date came around, the game was very incomplete and made it seem like it was a game under construction despite a very very good base to start building on. Fast forward to 9 months from that launch and the game is coming along nicely and we’ve already recieved all the promise features that DICE revealed at launch and it’s turning out to be a complete turn around for Battlefield V. This review of Battlefield V will take you through the first season of Tides of War from launch to the recent Chapter that released last week.

Launch

Despite a bad reveal trailer and an awful marketing campaign which led to an immense backlash, Battlefield V ended up showing a lot of promise and is one of the more interesting titles in the franchise in a very long time.

Set in the beginning of World War II, the launch of Battlefield V showed promise with 8 multiplayer maps and 2 factions at launch which DICE will later build upon as the war truly becomes a World War.

World War II has been a mainstay in the gaming space for a very long time, going back to the early 2000s with classic games like Battlefield 1942, Call of Duty, and Medal of Honor which showcased the iconic aspects of the war like D-Day and Stalingrad. Battlefield V has done the reverse, going back to the very beginning of World War II and building from there with the live service.

Showcasing 8 different battles across the globe at the beginning of the war, the base game was large scale warfare done right, very much in the vein of Battlefield 1. The base game was plagued with bugs and glitches despite having another month working on the game, DICE is attempting to fix all the issues as the game is heading towards Season 2 which is now confirmed to be the Pacific Theater and the introduction of the US Marine Corps and their vicious and deadly enemy, the Imperial Army and Navy of Japan . The state of the game at launch reinforced that Battlefield V should’ve been pushed back to March 2019 or later on in the year.

Chapter I: Overture

Despite a shortcoming with the release of the first chapter of the Fall of Europe content pack, Overture was a good step in the right direction and was a promising start to the 2 year journey that this game will take before the release of the next installment.

Overture didn’t add anything new to the base game since the theme revolved around Fall Gleb and the German invasion of Belgium. Overture added one new map called Panzerstorm which is inspired by the Battle of Hannut, the first major tank battle of the Second World War and added a Practice Range and a boatload of new content like new weapons and a handful of new equipment for the British and German factions on top of a brand new story in the form of The Last Tiger.

The Last Tiger was one of the interesting war stories and told the story of a German tank commander in the last days of the war as the Germans are beginning to collapse. This war story proved to be one of the better ones outside of Nordlys, the Norwegian war story. Overall, Overture was a good step in the right direction.

Chapter II: Lightning Strikes

Lighting Strikes was the follow-up to Overture, in many ways, Lightning Strikes was not only filler content for the game but it was Overture Part II given that many of the themes seen in Overture was brought over into Lightning Strikes.

Lightning Strikes continued the story from Overture and brought brand new content like a brand new Grand Operation, Rush, and Squad Conquest amongst brand new weapons like the MAS 44. Much like in other Live Services, Lightning Strikes was the filler content for Battlefield V.

Chapter III: Trial by Fire

Unlike the filler chapter that was Chapter 2, Chapter 3 was in many ways a new start for Battlefield V. Chapter 3 was technically the re-launch of Battlefield V as it came with all the features that DICE promised at launch and Battle Royale, the new mode that was announced at E3 2018.

Set in May 1941, Trial by Fire brought a load of new content into the game that revitalized Battlefield V to an extent as it began with the launch of Firestorm and ended with the Battle for Crete that launched Battlefield V into a new year and a new era. Starting off with Firestorm, the brand new Battle Royale mode for Battlefield V. Battlefield was made for the Battle Royale genre as it has all the trademarks of what makes Battle Royale, Battle Royale. From iconic vehicles of the Second World War to famous weapons like the Kar98 and the MP40 to the Luftwaffe M30 Drilling to epic destruction on an epic scale, Battlefield was made for this and Criterion Games pulled it off.

For the first time since Battlefield 3, Firestorm brought back the sandbox feeling that Battlefield has been missing. Since Battlefield 3, the franchise has moved on from the epic sandbox feeling that the older titles heavily pushed to something more linear, more open, and more close quartered to rival Call of Duty but that sandbox feeling that the franchise has always been known for returned in Firestorm albeit it was a tad too late. Firestorm ended up being a good fit for Battlefield V and hopefully Firestorm is turned into its own thing as Battle Royale was meant for Battlefield but it arrived too late which caused the mode to suffer.

In Trial by Fire, we also received a brand new map for multiplayer which was Operation Mercury, based upon the German invasion of Crete in 1941 before their invasion of the Soviet Union. The map was a nice refresh to the game and was something the game desperately needed. This chapter was what the game needed.

Chapter IV: Defying the Odds

We’ve finally arrived to the final piece of downloadable content for the first Season of Tides of War.

So far, Tides of War hasn’t been the hit that DICE expected it to be. It hasn’t done what it was sent out to do when DICE originally revealed it back during the reveal and Chapter IV encompasses that. Unlike the fresh breathe of air that Chapter III ended up being, Chapter IV has been a complete mess and has totally missed the point.

From delayed content to cancelled content that was promised to drop within this chapter, Chapter IV hasn’t been all that great. Al Sundan was originally going to release on June 27th and a competitive mode was supposed to release but it was canned and the two maps that were originally scheduled for that competitive mode have now been repurposed for the regular multiplayer component of Battlefield V, these maps being Lofoten Islands and Provence.

Chapter IV has killed any momentum that Battlefield V had and hampers the game’s progress to excite which has setback the game considerably, into a corner that does not look good for the game and for DICE Stockholm. Not only has Chapter IV been a complete mess, DICE Stockholm is struggling to maintain its reputation with leaks coming out of the studio via Glassdoor that paints the studio in a very concerning light alongside mass talent leaving the studio enmass, the second exodus of mass talent over the course of the year. It seems that Battlefield V and this game’s continuing disappointment alongside whatever is going on at the studio is doing more harm than it is doing good, Battlefield V has been in a complete downhill spiral and this chapter has completely destroyed the game which is very sad to see.

At the end of the day, Battlefield V is struggling with very few victories but a lot more losses that are plain to see and are obvious to point at. The next chapter of Tides of War and the beginning of Season 2 that launches with The Pacific and the introduction of the Marine Corps and their vicious enemy, the Japanese Empire will make or break this game. The first season of Tides of War has been a complete disaster with only two chapters showing great promise and the potential of Battlefield V which is fading every single day.

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