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Letters from the Front

What should’ve been the most easiest job of all ended up being a disaster and there is no words to explain or no explanation on how everything went sideways when it should’ve been so easy. World War II. The easiest conflict of all should’ve been a hit, especially right on the heels of Battlefield 1, a game that took the world by storm. A game that was just as revolutionary as the previous games before it, World War I was never done before in the history of military shooters and in the history of the FPS genre. Battlefield 1 broke ground and laid the groundwork for what could’ve been an excellent sequel that would’ve brought World War II to life in ways that mirrored Battlefield 1.

There are many reasons why Battlefield V ended the way it did: from the lack of development time, far less than two years or even four years when compared to Battlefield 1 to the lack of direction to identity to the lack of the very bad PR and marketing campaign. The lack of development time, lack of identity, and the very bad PR and marketing campaign didn’t help the game’s case. If you’re going to market the game as a World War II game, you should probably take that into consideration and actually make it a game based on World War II, Battlefield V lacked identity from the very beginning: It didn’t feel like World War II, it felt like a game that was trying to be Fortnite: a game that was silly as opposed to a game that was pretty serious and dark which World War II was. Battlefield is a game that is based on warfare, based on these huge moments that Battlefield can only do, doing stuff that no other game can do and that’s what makes it so unique as there is nothing out there that is as rich as Battlefield is. It’s the only game where you can do some of these silly antics in a huge sandbox but at the same time, you know that you’re in a war and you’re a soldier but Battlefield V wasn’t that at all.

DICE tried to push the franchise into a more hardcore, tactical direction which was the Battlefield 2 way of doing things but ever since Battlefield 3 and 4, the franchise wasn’t that anymore so DICE tried to go back and it worked for a time until it was put into action and the system failed. Ever since Battlefield 3 and 4, Battlefield has been a casual sort of romp and when you try and implant more hardcore mechanics into a game that has been known for being casual, the result is frustrating. For example, scarcity of ammo only sought to make gameplay more frustrating than it should really be, because you could only engage in one or two gunfights before needing to disengage and spend time trying to find bullets. Over the course of 2019, DICE pulled the feature away and made it more on the level of Battlefield 1 or Battlefield 4, however there are animations that make the game so jarring: What is this game trying to be? A hardcore tactical experience or a casual romp across some of these battles. DICE attempted to bring order and they failed epically.

Ever since 2016, DICE has attempted to take direct control of emergent gameplay and you cannot take control of something that is usually left up to you. They’ve been attempted to offer a clearer experience for players, an “official” experience as opposed to games like Battlefield 3 or 4 where you hopped into a server, with whatever settings and you could have wildly different experience. By taking direct control, DICE has been shifting all of the responsibility to themselves as opposed to previous games which allowed the community to do whatever that community wanted to do. Battlefield is a sandbox experience, you’re supposed to be seeing crazy things, things that you wouldn’t see otherwise. The experience is clear to see: it’s chaos and in Battlefield, chaos is good.

Battlefield is about big and crazy moments, creating these “wow” moments that make you fall in love with the franchise and Battlefield V lacked it extremely. With Bad Company 2, it was a bold infantry experience and with Battlefield 3, it was combined arms coming together on this huge field which was the same for Battlefield 4. With Battlefield 1, however, everything changed: the experience was close quarters combat in the trenches of Passchendaele, in the trenches of the Somme, and in the Argonne Forest to mimic the combat that is often associated with The First World War and the experience was all-out warfare alongside this immersive atmosphere that made you feel like you were in the trenches and experiencing not just a game but an experience and Battlefield V never had any of these points. Battlefield V lacked in almost every category which is simply absurd.

In the end, was Battlefield V being cancelled the right move? I believe so. There was nothing good about Battlefield V except the War in the Pacific but numerous issues like changing the TTK, not offering that World War II experience that all of us have come to know, not offering that authentic and immersive World War II experience that all of us wanted from the very beginning, all of the mistakes alongside the cancellations of features and modes and all the backtracks destroyed the game from the very beginning.

*****

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