|Release||November 20, 2018|
|Genre(s)||First-person shooter, battle royale|
Battlefield V is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA DICE and published by Electronic Arts. Battlefield V is the sixteenth installment in the Battlefield series. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 20, 2018. Those who pre-ordered the Deluxe Edition of the game were granted early access to the game on November 15, 2018, and Origin Access Premium subscribers on PC received access to the game on November 9, 2018. The game is based on World War II and is a thematic continuation of its World War I based precursor Battlefield 1.
Pre-release reception of the game was mixed, with the announcement trailer causing backlash from fans of the series for a perceived lack of historical accuracy and the inclusion of female soldiers. Upon release, Battlefield V received generally favourable reviews from critics, being praised for its gameplay but criticized for its shortage of content at launch and lack of innovation.
Battlefield V will focus extensively on party-based features and mechanics, scarcity of resources, and removing "abstractions" from game mechanics to increase realism. There will be an expanded focus on player customization through the new Company system, where players will be able to create multiple characters with various cosmetic and weapon options. Cosmetic items, and currency used to purchase others, will be earned by completing in-game objectives.
The game will feature several new multiplayer modes, including the "continuous" campaign mode "Tides of War", "Firestorm", and "Grand Operations". The Grand Operations mode is an expansion of the "Operations" mode introduced in Battlefield 1, which focuses on matches taking place across multiple stages to simulate a campaign from the war. In Grand Operations, each round will have specific objectives, and performance in each stage will influence the next. Games will culminate with a "Final Stand", with players using only a primary weapon with limited ammo, and no respawns. Similarly to Battlefield 1, the game will feature a collection of single-player "war stories" based on aspects of World War II. The game also features a cooperative mode not seen since Battlefield 3 called "Combined Arms", where four players can undertake missions together and features dynamic missions and objectives so missions cannot be played the same way each time. Combined Arms is scheduled to be released after launch. The Battle Royale mode will be built around the franchise's "core pillars of destruction, team play, and vehicles". The name "Firestorm" is derived from a literal storm of fire that engulfs players similar to the popular Battle Royale game mechanic of restricting the play area. Furthermore, this particular game mode is not being developed by EA DICE themselves, but has been outsourced to Criterion Games and features the biggest map created by the franchise to date. It is playable by 64 players, which are divided into up to 16 squads with a focus on team work. Firestorm is scheduled to be released in March 2019.
As in Battlefield 1, the single-player campaign is divided into episodic War Stories, three of which are available at launch: "Nordlys" takes place from the point-of-view of a Norwegian resistance fighter taking part in the sabotage of the German nuclear program, "Tirailleur" tells the story of a Senegalese Tirallieur during Operation Dragoon, and "Under No Flag" puts the player in the shoes of Billy Bridger, a convicted bank robber and explosives expert conscripted into the Special Boat Service to take part in Operation Albumen. A fourth campaign, "The Last Tiger", was released on December 5, 2018, which depicts the struggles of a German Tiger I tank crew during the Ruhr Pocket in the closing days of the war.
Under No Flag
Convicted bank robber Billy Bridger volunteers to join the British army in order to avoid jail time, and is assigned as a demolitions expert to a Special Boat Service team led by Mason. Billy and Mason infiltrate the island of Crete in order to sabotage German airfields. However, things don't go as planned at the first airfield when one of Billy's bombs fails to detonate, forcing him to commandeer an anti-aircraft gun to destroy the final plane. Mason is wounded during the fighting, forcing Billy to infiltrate the second airfield alone. Billy is able to destroy the objectives, but detours to a nearby bunker to collect medical supplies for Mason, and uses the radio there to call the HMS Sussex for evacuation. After destroying the base's radar stations, Billy returns to report to Mason. However, Mason is furious when he finds out Billy radioed for help, since it would alert the Germans to their exact location. A massive German force begins to pursue them and they are forced to hide in some ruins. Billy begins to express doubts at his own competence and their chances of survival. Mason confides in Billy that he picked him to volunteer for the unit because his many attempts to rob banks showed him as a "tryer", a person who doesn't easily give up. Inspired, Billy fights alongside Mason in a last stand. They manage to hold off the German forces long enough for British reinforcements to arrive, and the Germans are subsequently routed. In the aftermath, Billy and Mason have a newfound respect for each other as they head off for their next mission.
In Rjukjan, Norway, a British commando unit is killed attempting to infiltrate a German occupied facility and Astrid, the Norwegian resistance fighter assisting them, is captured. Meanwhile, Astrid's daughter Solveig fights her way into the facility to rescue her. However, Astrid refuses to leave, insisting that the facility must be destroyed first since it is producing heavy water for Germany's nuclear weapon research. The pair manage to sabotage the facility, but much of the heavy water is evacuated by truck. They attempt to pursue, but are cornered on a bridge by German forces. Entrusting Solveig with the mission to destroy the heavy water, Astrid pushes her off the bridge to prevent her from being captured. Narrowly surviving the fall, Solveig carries on the mission, pursuing the trucks and destroying all of them. Unfortunately, the Germans have already loaded Astrid and some of the heavy water on board a U-boat, and Solveig is unable to board it. Astrid steals a grenade and uses it to destroy the U-boat and the heavy water, sacrificing herself in the process. It is left unclear whether Solveig survived the explosion or not.
After the Allied landings at Normandy, Senegalese soldiers are sent to help liberate France from German occupation. One of these soldiers is the young recruit Deme, who meets his older brother Idrissa upon arriving in France. However, Deme quickly experiences discrimination from the French army, with the Senegalese being blocked from fighting on the frontlines and instead assigned to perform menial tasks such as filling sandbags. Finally, the Senegalese are allowed to participate in an assault on a heavily fortified German position by moving to destroy a set of anti-aircraft guns defending the area. The Senegalese are ambushed on the way to their objective, but they are able to capture and hold a German strongpoint. Idrissa is reluctant to proceed further since their commanders are dead and they have no support, but Deme is determined to keep pushing to the anti-aircraft guns in order to win recognition from the French army, and he convinces the rest of the unit to follow him. They are successful in destroying the anti-aircraft guns, but suffer heavy casualties in the process. In addition, a wounded German soldier boasts they will be surrounded and destroyed in the inevitable counterattack. Idrissa considers withdrawing, but Deme insists that they do what the Germans won't expect them to: directly attack the German headquarters. They manage to break into the headquarters, but are ambushed by a Tiger tank. Idrissa sacrifices himself to destroy the Tiger, much to Deme's shock. Despite Deme's unit having taken the headquarters, their involvement in the operation is covered up and forgotten. In the present, an elderly Deme recounts his story and declares that no matter what happens, nothing can erase what he and his comrades had done.
The Last Tiger
In the spring of 1945, Tiger I commander Peter Müller and his tank crew participates in the defense of the Rhine-Ruhr against invading American forces, with orders from High Command that all German soldiers must fight to the death. After surviving a series of heavy engagements, the Tiger is forced to take cover from Allied bombers. At the behest of Schröder, the crew's young and fanatically patriotic gunner, Müller has young loader Hartmann scout the ruins ahead for a passage through. A large American tank column suddenly appears, forcing the crew to leave Hartmann behind. The Tiger receives orders to regroup at the cathedral with other remaining German forces for a final defense; en route, they discover Hartmann had been executed by hanging along with several other accused deserters. They reach the cathedral, only to find it abandoned and are quickly surrounded by the American army, who demand their surrender. With new orders to defend their position, the crew fights off the enemy before making their way to the bridge, which leads back to German lines. The bridge is suddenly destroyed by a series of explosions, and the Tiger is disabled. Kertz, the crew's veteran driver, expresses his disillusionment in the German cause and decides to desert despite Müller's pleading; Kertz is then shot dead by Schröder. As Müller cradles his friend's corpse, American soldiers arrive and again demand their surrender, but the fanatical Schröder continues to fight. Müller discards his Knight's Cross and raises his arms in surrender, after which an enraged Schröder aims his MP40 at him. The screen cuts to black and a burst of gunfire is heard.
DICE unveiled the first details surrounding Battlefield V on May 23, 2018, with more information to be unveiled during the EA Play press conference near E3 2018 in June. DICE has stated that, unlike Battlefield 1, it does not plan to use paid downloadable content, or "loot boxes" for non-cosmetic items within Battlefield V; new content will be added to the game for all players over time (which, itself, will progress through the different stages of World War II), at no additional charge. The decision to exclude these features was made following the outrage over the loot box system in Star Wars Battlefront II, another EA DICE title. The game was originally set to release on October 19, but was delayed to November 20 to enable the developers to "make some final adjustments to core gameplay".
The announcement trailer was met with a backlash from fans of the series who criticized the game for a lack of historical accuracy and authenticity. Complaints were given to the use of certain weapons, prosthetics, and body art as being very uncommon in that time period. Some fans were also frustrated with the portrayal of women in the game, specifically with the British woman featured in the trailer as British women never participated in frontline combat and were mostly relegated to supporting roles. Although acknowledging that British women were rarely on the frontline, critics have responded that female soldiers did participate in World War II, highlighting real-life examples from multiple countries, and that previous games in the Battlefield series are not seen as a completely realistic portrayal of war. Some also suggested that the backlash was partly due to misogyny, rather than genuine worries over historical accuracy.
In response to the outcry, the game's executive producer Aleksander Grøndal wrote on Twitter that the team would "always put fun over authentic." DICE's general manager Oskar Gabrielson also responded on Twitter, saying "Player choice and female playable characters are here to stay ... Our commitment as a studio is to do everything we can to create games that are inclusive and diverse. We always set out to push boundaries and deliver unexpected experiences." EA chief creative officer Patrick Söderlund said the developer was uninterested in taking flak for diversifying the gaming space. "We stand up for the cause, because I think those people who don’t understand it, well, you have two choices: either accept it or don’t buy the game," he said. "I’m fine with either or." Söderlund went on to say that the development team itself pushed for women in Battlefield V. In September, after the game was delayed by a month, DICE revealed they are planning on "dialing back" the character customization to attempt to "give more authenticity to the game", saying "We want players to be excited about customizing their characters with authentic gear. We dialed it back a bit. It was pretty crazy, We wanted to offer some authenticity, and that’s important to us, that’s important to our players.”
According to review aggregator Metacritic, Battlefield V received "generally favorable" reviews for the PC and Xbox One versions and "mixed or average" reviews for the PlayStation 4 version.
In GameInformer's 8/10 review, they wrote, "Ultimately, Battlefield V will be defined by the success or failure of the pending Combined Arms cooperative mode, Firestorm battle royale mode, and whether or not DICE can continually provide new and engaging content." GamesRadar+ gave the game 3.5/5 stars, praising the gameplay but criticizing the online multiplayer, writing: "Not as drastic a change up as its WW1 predecessor, nor as wild or wondrous, Battlefield 5's deliberative design sidelines its strengths as a simulative sandbox."
In November, it was reported that Battlefield V sold fewer than half the physical copies that Battlefield 1 did upon its launch during the same period of time.
- Additional work by Criterion Games
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