Battlefield V returns to the series' origins this fall, returning to World War II. Developer DICE appeared at EA's recent press conference at E3's adjacent event, EA Play, to provide more details about the recently announced shooter, including the single-player War Stories campaign and a somewhat predictable addition to a post. Start Battle Royale mode. We also took a closer look at "Grand Operations," Battlefield V 's expansion to the huge, asymmetric "Operation" bouts thrown by Battlefield I . After the presentation, we went out one of these "Grand Operations" and experienced the chaos of the war first-hand. It was sometimes overwhelming, but also an unquestionable spectacle that gave the battle a sense of volume and narrative flow that we have never experienced in a first-person shooter.
Is not that great?
Grand Operations are huge, asymmetric multi-phase battles for up to 64 players. While the operations in Battlefield I all pursued the same objectives, with an attacker and a defender trying to push or hold a front line, Grand Operations offers more diverse goals and unique circumstances. For our demo we fought as Germans to prevent an Allied invasion on a snowy Norwegian coast. The fight was split in two days ̵
Our original goal was to parachute while protecting the Allies to protect several important artillery positions. Holding our weapons would mean that we would be in a stronger position on the second day. All the strategic ambitions we had were quickly lost in the chaos of the fight. The battlefield was littered with hills, walls, buildings and smoke, leaving only a few clear lines of sight in each direction. Gunfire, explosions and shouts came from all sides. Death often came quickly and unexpectedly. If you go down, you have a short window where you can call for help and a teammate can revive you, but in our case, they never did that, so we spent much of our demo lying on the ground, around ours to scream fear of death in German against the deaf ears of our compatriots.
We lost all our artillery positions and had to retreat tactically. That meant we were on our back foot the second day. The Allies had dismantled our initial defensive line so they could use more tanks and heavy weapons than they could have otherwise. Tanks have given the battlefield an intimidating twist, causing panic as you turn a corner and face the steps down. For the second day we only had to hold our position, which we managed, but hardly. We ended up with just one in four control points, but it was enough to get us into a stronger position in the mountains for the next fight.
Battlefield V Compared with
Army of One is an Army of Nobody
We only felt our near loss due to lack of coordination . During the first unveiling of the game the developers of Battlefield V have emphasized that this is a squad-based game and players will live or die as a team. The chaotic, multi-faceted design of this Grand Operations supports this, so teamwork dramatically increases your chances of survival. The cacophony of the fight and the possibility of sudden death, if you catch them unprepared, means you always have someone with another pair of eyes on their backs, covering their flanks.
The various roles complement each other too, encouraging collaboration – citing Fortnite anyone in Battlefield V can build static fighters (though specialized engineers do this faster and having more options), but this takes time when you need to be protected or help your team, which facilitates a decision that is much easier and more effective when a team helps with the coordination.
Shooting is obviously a core mechanic in the game, but Battlefield V is great job to make it feel like a piece of the whole. Wars are not won with the fastest twitching reflexes – they are won through strategy, through proper use of terrain and resources, through wear and tear. Grand Operations was a lot to jump on, and that makes it all right, not just as a shooter, but also as a war game. The dynamic environment emphasized this: vaulting over low walls, breaking windows and shattering buildings with tanks gave the area a truly earthed sense of place that made it feel more than just a shooting arena.
Great operations are as impressive as they bring all this chaos and dynamism into a coherent, narrative shell. The structure of days with different goals, shaped by the results of the previous day, establishes what in a story with a meaningful arc could be a nightmare of smoke and bullets.
Save Private Ryan Comparisons may be a bit too old at the time, but the film was a watershed to show the World War II experience so loud, frightening and inglorious on the ground. Battlefield V will bring this level of authenticity into video games.
Battlefield V launches on October 19 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC (or on October 11, if you have EA or Origin Access).