( Played on Breakthrough.)
In 1941, after the American entry into the Second World War, the Japanese occupied the Gilbert Islands and built a small base on Makin Atoll, dispersing troops along the coastlines to monitor American movement as the war in the Pacific kicked off.
The Marshall Islands themselves are located 350 km to the northwest of the Gilbert Islands and had been occupied by the Japanese since the closing days of the Great War as part of the South Pacific Mandate, the Mandate was given to Japan by the League of Nations to occupy the islands that once belonged to the former German Empire which now had been dissolved, the Marshall Islands and the Gilbert Islands were regarded as a very important outpost for the Japanese Navy.
Throughout the course of the Pacific War, the Americans would capture the Gilbert Islands in late November 1943 which ended in an American victory which came at a very high cost which delayed the invasion of the Marshall Islands as supplies, manpower, and material were all spent on the invasion and capture of the Gilbert Islands.
After the successful capture of the Gilberts, the Japanese were now unsure of which islands would be next and ordered Japanese troops to be dispersed to the outer islands but thanks to American intelligence, the Americans were informed of which islands would be the most defended so they decided to invade the least heavily defended areas which were Eniwetok, Kwajalein, and Majuro which were strategically important to the island hopping campaign.
The Marshall Islands were an easier landing than that in the Gilbert Islands. The Americans used the lessons that were learned at Tarawa and constructed airfields and naval bases on the islands which would serve to assault the Marianas and Palau, which were now heavily defended and the Americans would pay an extreme price.
Battlefield 4 had some of the most iconic maps in the Battlefield franchise, from the well known Siege of Shanghai to Golmund Railway, one of those iconic maps was Paracel Storm. Paracel Storm would become one of the highlights of the Battlefield 4 base game, it brought everything together in a nicely fashion and became a legend in it’s own right.
Battlefield V has brought the same feel and that same iconic format to Pacific Storm which has shades of and is clearly inspired by Paracel Storm, especially with the hurricane coming in. Pacific Storm is set on a set of islands that is apparently based on the invasions of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands that began quite early in the Pacific War, Pacific Storm is quite the map.
Pacific Storm is comprised of small little islands that begins with securing the beachhead and American forces moving up onto the rest of the island. The maps in this update, especially Iwo Jima, were designed with Breakthrough in mind, which puts these on a similar scale to the maps seen in Battlefield 1 as the gameplay moves naturally from storming the beach to wide open spaces that is comprised of forests, trenches, bunkers, outposts, and much more and is a very heavy vehicle centric map as Shermans and LVTs are available. Out of the two maps available right now, Pacific Storm is very much the classic Battlefield experience that we have come to know and love throughout the franchise’s history as you have vehicles, airplanes, infantry combat coming together to form something memorable. It’s very reminiscent of Paracel Storm and Nansha Strike from Battlefield 4 with how naval combat and infantry combat comes together.
Pacific Storm also has a bit of levolution in it with this huge storm that rolls in during the match which blocks line of sights and makes combat more close quartered and it’s a very epic moment as trees blow in the wind, the sea level has risen, and rain comes pouring down as Marines and the Japanese go at each other tooth and nail to secure the objective. By the end of the match on Breakthrough, we have a similar situation to what occurs on Iwo Jima: The Americans must storm the main island and secure an airfield alongside a communications base where Shermans and Corsairs alongside infantry come together to take the objective and win the match, the defenses are stronger with the Japanese having control of a large bunker that is dug in and multiple outposts where Snipers can hide. This is the perfect example of how Breakthrough should be.
Pacific Storm does not have the same epic feeling as Iwo Jima does but that doesn’t make it a good map, Pacific Storm is a brilliant map that shows the iconic parts of the war in the Pacific during World War II: you have a bit of everything on this map, from storming the beach to jungle fights and beyond, Pacific Storm has it all. It offers a very good and solid mix of everything, it is and feels like a classic Battlefield map: you have the all-out war aspect and that iconic invasion fantasy that everyone wants when it comes to World War II. You want to storm the beaches and capture the bunkers and move inland as epic fighting is all around you in a game about World War II, this is what Battlefield V should’ve been from the very start a year ago. DICE has absolutely nailed this, the Pacific is everything that Battlefield V isn’t: you feel like you’re in a massive conflict, you feel like you’re there in the heat of it as you hear the screams of Japanese soldiers coming at you, seeing the Sherman torching Japanese soldiers with it’s built in flamethrower, seeing LVTs all around you as you get ready to disembark on the beaches, this is Battlefield. It’s the Battlefield that isn’t at all present within Battlefield V, it is a completely different game.
The difference between the Pacific Theater and what has come before is really night and day. The Pacific brings experiences to Battlefield V that has never existed in the game up until now: this is what World War II is, this is what a World War II game looks like, it is an absolute fantastic update. DICE deserves this victory lap and hope that it gets better from here on out.
Stay tuned for my Iwo Jima First Impressions coming tomorrow.
* * * *