One of the most well known and established gaming franchises is the Battlefield franchise. Initially released back in 2005, Battlefield has come a long way, and, despite its controversy over the years, has established a very loyal fanbase including both old (veteran) players as well as newcomers to the franchise. With the Battlefield 5 release date 2018 being the 20th of November, the game has much to live up to especially because its predecessor, Battlefield 1, released 2 years ago, has been a major success, featuring exciting gameplay, stunning graphics, and visuals and has been well received from both critics and players alike.
Take a look at my Battlefield 5 review and decide for yourself whether you should invest your money into Battlefield 5.
The Battlefield 5 marketing controversy
The initial announcement for Battlefield V was made back in May 2018, when DICE and EA released a trailer giving us a first glance at what the game has to offer. The problem is that, instead of focusing on the core gameplay and what new features would be included in the game, EA decided to release a trailer that not only does not make the game’s WWII era any justice but also does not show any exciting features of the game that the fans of the franchise could be excited for. A lot of controversies had been going on, blaming the game publishers for adding female characters to the game along with prosthetic arms and general customization options that are not reminiscent of the WWII era. EA and DICE were also accused of appealing to the SJW movement with the addition of female characters, something that would bring a huge backlash on the Battlefield V marketing campaign, making the initial Battlefield trailer one of the most downvoted Youtube videos in history. Reports came in that Battlefield 5 preorders were 85% weaker than the new Call of Duty installment: COD BO4 and most people advocated that this happened due to the fact that Battlefield V was poisoned by political propaganda and the “effort” of EA to please the SJW movement. The truth is that many fans were disappointed by the trailer and decided to not preorder the game since the hype was gone.
You can check out the initial Battlefield V trailer below:
The lackluster trailer was not the only thing that kept Battlefield V from reaching its full potential: One EA employee, Patrick Soderlund, called fans of the franchise “uneducated” for not knowing that women actually fought in WWII and continued by implying that games nowadays are played by both genders, who should have the option to play both as a male and female. He concluded saying that “either accept it or don’t buy it”. This was the breaking phrase because when you say to your fanbase “either accept it or don’t buy it”, guess what most fans will do: They will not buy it. Shortly after his statement, Patrick Soderlund was fired from the publisher’s team and EA refrained from his statement saying that Patrick Soderlund’s words are his own and do not represent EA’s opinion.
Read the whole Patrick Soderlund statement here.
All Battlefield 5 release dates explained
EA and DICE also announced that Battlefield 5 release date would be pushed back to November the 20th form its initial 19th October release date since the developers felt that the time frame is too short to deliver the game in a finished state. This release date “pushback” was conceived by the community with mixed emotions but most fans agreed that it is ok to wait a little longer and, at least get a finished game than a lackluster and rushed experience.
Besides the 20th November release date, there are two additional release dates, which I will explain below:
1. If you had bought the Standard Edition, the release date was the 20th of November.
2. If you had bought the Deluxe Edition, you could play the game 5 days earlier, starting on the 15th of November.
3. If you are an Origin Access Basic or Origin Access Premier member, you could start playing on November 8th and get access to either the full game with Origin Access Premier or a 10-hour trail with Origin Access Basic.
Pretty confusing you might think but it is EA after all we are talking about. The Origin Access Premier membership is especially worth it if you mainly play EA games because you get permanent pre-release access to all current and EA future titles in their deluxe edition for $100/year. Or you could just spend $15/month and play Battlefield 5 early as I did, and then cancel your membership and buy the standard edition. It is up to you but, in my opinion, it is great having options as to when you want to start playing the game.
After this initial backlash, is Battlefield 5 worth buying?
Fact is that failed marketing campaigns like these will hurt a game’s marketing potential immensely and this is exactly what happened to Battlefield 5. Thankfully, DICE picked up after that and by constantly communicating with the fanbase and focusing on actual gameplay features and things that the community wanted, they managed to turn things around for Battlefield 5 and showcase that it is indeed a very promising game and a worthwhile successor to Battlefield 1. Battlefield 5 has been improved in almost every aspect from sound and graphics to gameplay with new interesting details that make the game look much more realistic than any other previous installment of the franchise.
The only reason you might want to hold off buying Battlefield 5 at the moment is its few glitches and bugs that make the gameplay a bit annoying at times but will be fixed soon as DICE is aware of them and going to fix them soon. The main reason you would want to wait before picking up Battlefield 5 is the lack of content at the moment. While you are getting eight multiplayer maps compared to the 4 maps in the beginning phase of Battlefield 1 and three War Stories that feature small stories of untold WWII experiences, the developers have published their roadmap and promised to deliver two more maps, one tank-oriented map called “Panzerstorm” which will be released in December, as well as one map featuring Greece coming in March. Additionally, DICE will release a practice range in December similar to the practice range in Battlefield 4 as well as vehicle customization which is not available in-game at the moment, despite the fact that guns and soldiers can be customized individually.
The most exciting but missing feature of Battlefield 5 is the Battle Royal mode called: “Firestorm” which a lot of fans have been waiting for. Fans falsely hoped to be getting Firestorm on release in order to compete against Blackout from Call Of Duty. All information we have right now is that Firestorm will feature 16 squads of 4 players (64 players in total) and that the game mode will be much more tactical and aligned to the overall Battlefield “feel”. The bad news is that Firestorm will not come to the game until March since the game mode is still under development by a different studio, Criteria and not by DICE themselves. Arguably, these two facts might be enough reason for you to hold off buying the game, and that is totally justifiable. However, overall, the gameplay in Battlefield 5 is solid and glitches, which are typical to be expected in a Battlefield title, are restricted and the game feels and plays amazing. If you can put aside the political propaganda, the bad marketing startup and the lack of content and focus on the game itself, you will be surprised by how good the game is.
No Premium Pass or loot boxes for Battlefield 5
Finally, EA decided to ditch the Premium Pass model for their major franchise, meaning that all future content will be free for all players. For those of you being skeptical, as Battlefront II also had no premium pass but the progression system was tied to loot boxes, rest assured that the progression system in Battlefield 5 is simple: you play with a class and weapon, you upgrade that class and weapon and get free customization items for that specific weapon. No more loot boxes tied to the progression system. As for the in-game currency, there are two types of it, Company Coin and Battlefield Currency:
1. Company Coin is an in-game currency which can be earned by completing missions, assignments and playing the game in general. Company Coin can also be used to upgrade your weapon’s specializations and buy cosmetic items.
2. Battlefield Currency translates to real money which can only be used to buy cosmetic items. Battlefield Currency cannot be spent on weapon enhancements or on anything that will give you an unfair advantage over any other player. For now, Battlefield Currency is still not available in-game and will be added with a patch in upcoming months.
Let us take an in-depth look into Battlefield 5 and what it has to offer:
10 unique Battlefield 5 gameplay mechanics
The unique Battlefield 5 gameplay mechanics are what makes Battlefield 5 such a distinguishable game compared to previous installments. These mechanics alone make the game a totally different experience from Battlefield 1. These are the 10 most game-changing mechanics introduced in Battlefield 5:
- Squad Spawn: When you die, you are given the option to either spawn back to the overall map just like in previous games or you can spawn on a squad member that is alive, as long as he is not in combat at that given moment. This feature saves you time and lets you observe what your fellow squadmates are doing, increasing teamwork within your squad.
- Squad Revive: Apart from the Medic class, which can revive all team members, members within your squad including all classes have the ability to revive you. The revive is accompanied by an animation, but bear in mind that the squad revive takes significantly longer than the medic revive. It is a nice feature which makes being in a squad much more meaningful since all squad members can help each other out. Both squad and medic revives have their own animations adding to the realism of the game.
- Fortifications: Fortifications can be built at objectives to fortify the objective against the enemy team. You can build walls, LMG nests, and razor wires to protect your objective against the enemy team. With fortifications, it makes sense to protect a certain objective and not just rush from one to another with no particular reasons. All classes are able to build fortifications but the Support class can build them much faster.
- Attrition System: In Battlefield 5, you spawn with limited supplies of ammunition. Once you experience ammo scarcity, you have to either ask a support player for ammunition or seek out a nearby ammo stack which can be found near objectives. But be careful, since both ammo and medic stashes need to be built with fortifications and only the ammo and medic stashes at the first objective will be pre-built. These stashes can also be destroyed by the enemy so remember to locate them via your minimap and build them. As far as medical supplies are concerned, you start with one medic pack which you have to use manually. Auto-healing is only enabled after a certain amount of time (if you manage to stay alive) and only regenerates health up to 50%. To regain health you have to either ask a medic player for supply or find a medical stash. The attrition system is a feature which is either loved or hated by players. Personally, I like it, because it enhances teamplay and makes battlefield 5 much more tactical than previous releases.
- Individual gun feel and pattern: Each gun has its unique feel and pattern which have to be learned by the player. While there are not a huge plethora of games available, learning each gun and getting accustomed to it makes every gun feel unique and mastering every weapon takes time and practice.
- Gun customization: In Battlefield 5, you can customize your guns to your liking. From the get-go, you have the ability to add scopes to your guns and the more you play a certain gun the more customizable items will be unlocked for you.
- Progression system: The progression system is tied to how much you play the game and the classes, weapons, and vehicles you use. There are five types of rankings in Battlefield 5:
1. Overall Rank: Your overall rank in the game. The more you play, the more you level up.
2. Tides Chapter Rank: Related to the Tides Of War Live Service. The ranking will start once the live service becomes available on December the 6th.
3. Class Rank: The rank of each class. The more you play a class, the more it ranks up.
4. Weapon Rank: Each weapon has its own rank and in the four initial ranks of each weapon you unlock specializations for each weapon.
5. Vehicle Rank: Your vehicles have their own rank and specializations, too. The more you play a certain vehicle, the more it ranks up. Again, the four initial vehicle ranks yield specializations to upgrade each vehicle.
- Class archetypes: Each class has their own archetypes and each archetype has specific abilities. For example, one support class archetype focuses more on fortifications while the other gives you the ability to mark a suppressed enemy for your team. For now, the archetypes for each class are limited to two, but DICE has announced that they will provide more with future updates. The idea is that you can build multiple soldiers of each class with certain abilities adapted to your playstyle.
- Back Crouching: Crouching backward is an option in Battlefield 5. This feature is especially useful if you want to move away from a spot unseen and you also witness what is happening in front of you while moving away.
- Explosion animations: Explosions are much more prominent in Battlefield 5 than any other title. Shooting at buildings with an LMG, tank or RPG, might tear apart buildings depending on what type of building it is. Driving with tanks through buildings causes destruction. Players react to explosions pretty realistically, too. When someone launches a V1 rocket and it hits the ground, the explosion is followed by a red light on the horizon and the player falling down and getting shocked by the explosion. DICE has really worked to make certain elements of the game much more realistic.
Battlefield 5 War Stories
The war stories in Battlefield 5 are the single-player campaign in the game. Following the model of its predecessor, Battlefield 5 features three war stories each taking place in a different location and dealing with different characters. The currently available war stories are Nordlys, Tirailleur, and Under No Flag. Furthermore, you also get a Prologue to the game the first time you launch the game, and although fun to play, it can barely be considered a war story due to its the small length.
In Nordlys you play as a female resistance fighter in Norway during the German occupation in 1943, trying to free your mother from the Nazis and stop the production of an atomic weapon and its transportation to Berlin able to turn the tides of war in favor of the Nazis.
In Tirailleur, you play as Deme who is part of the Senegalese Tirailleurs unit which comprises of Africans and was deployed to fight the second world war for France although they had never set foot on the country. The Senegalese Tirailleurs unit achieved great things for France in WWII but their efforts and achievements like the invasion of southern France were only recently recognized by France. Deme has an older brother and finds out eventually that there is no glory to war and there are more things at stake than simply winning the battle and survive.
Under No Flag displays the story of a fictional character Billy Bridger who was well-known for his ability to blow up stuff. He was caught by British Special Boat Section (SBS) and their commander George Mason. The SBS was a British unit comprised of soldiers not willing to follow strict orders and were sent off to take on some dangerous missions during WWII. Billy Bridger’s lack of military training and complaining is evident but George Mason decides to take him with him due to his ability to blow stuff up. Billy Bridger’s talent in explosions makes up for his mouth big time when he effectively blows up planes, tanks and RPG nests one after another.
In general, the War Stories are quite nice to play through and while there are some intriguing and interesting moments especially in Tirailleur and Under No Flag, the small length and unresponsive AI take away from the overall experience. It would be a good idea if DICE would stick to a fully-fletched campaign next time and give us a lengthy, interesting and compelling story with the same characters throughout. Although I enjoyed the war stories, I know people who skipped them entirely and just focused on the multiplayer aspect of the game. That does not mean that DICE should skip the campaign entirely like Call of Duty Black Ops 4, but a lengthy campaign would make people care more and make it equally impressive to the multiplayer. By giving the player a lengthy campaign he is more likely to care for the characters as the developers will have more time to unfold the characters in the campaign. Each war story does not take more than 1-2 hours to complete and this period is way too small to make the player care about the characters, even if some of them like Deme in Tirailleur had great potential if DICE had invested more time into it.
On December 4th we can expect a new war story as you can see in the picture below titled: “The Last Tiger”, introducing a WWII story as witnessed by a Nazi German. This is particularly interesting because we rarely see a WWII story narrated by the evil forces of the war. It will be interesting to see what DICE will come up with in this war story.
Battlefield 5 Multiplayer
New Game Modes & Maps
Let us be honest here. Battlefield has always been known by its great multiplayer experience. No other game comes close to Battlefield in terms of displaying what iconic battles could look like. The big scale of the maps, the destruction capabilities, and the war simulation are things that are unique to Battlefield, and Battlefield 5 is no different. You get all the classic multiplayer modes like Domination, Deathmatch, and Frontlines firstly introduced in Battlefield 1. Operations have been renamed to “Breakthrough” and feature two teams fighting over two objectives each time. One team plays as the offense and the other as the defense. The team who manages to defeat their opponent and either capture or defend all objectives wins. The game mode was renamed in order to not get confused with Grand Operations which is an entirely new game mode.
Grand Operations is a game mode that can extend up to four days in total and extends across different game modes and maps. The winning team carries over their survivors to the next day and has an advantage over the losing team. DICE has the freedom to decide which game modes will be included in Grand Operations. If, after the third match, it is a tie the fourth day features a mini battle royale mode called “Final Stand”. Although it has not yet been clarified by DICE what “triggers” this game mode, it is a nice introduction to what we can expect from the Firestorm Battle Royale mode.
Check out the video below by Jackfrags to see more details regarding Final Stand. Also, make sure to subscribe to his channel for amazing content regarding Battlefield 5.
DICE decided to take out War Pigeons entirely, which was a Battlefield 1 exclusive and connected to the time frame of WWI and include “Rush” only as part of the Tides Of War Live Service. It is a fact that Rush, firstly introduced in Battlefield 3, has been somewhat overlooked in Battlefield 1 and most players used to play Conquest and Operations and leave Rush as a second or third choice. Rush was very fun to play in BF3 and BF4 and by including it in the Tides Of War Live Service, DICE thinks that maybe people will be more interested in playing Rush if it is available for a short amount of time. We will have to wait and see, although I would like to be able to play Rush as a standard Battlefield 5 mode.
The game launched with 8 multiplayer maps with two of them already known for everyone who played the beta: Navik, Rotterdam (Beta maps), Fjell, Devastation, Hamada, Aerodrome, Twisted Steel, and Arras. All maps are generally great but I sometimes feel that we get to play only 5 unique maps. Let me explain: Fjell and Navik are taking place in Norway and the former is a simplified version of Narvik in the Norwegian mountains. Nice map but nothing special. Devastation looks amazing but, ultimately, is WWII version of the city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam after being destroyed by bombings from the Nazis. Hamada is an amazing map just as Aerodrome but both feature a similar setting with sand and huge areas. Aerodrome stands out more due to its hangar in the middle of the map, and, although Hamada is nothing short of amazing, too, I can not ignore the fact that the setting of the maps is quite similar. Twisted Steel is awesome with a huge bridge in the middle of the map which is a crucial objective for both teams and Arras takes place in France and features a beautiful, yellow flower field and many small rivers floating through the map. Arras strongly reminds me of Rupture in Battlefield 1.
It is understandable that DICE made similar looking maps to support their Grand Operations game mode with consecutive days of the war, but I still would expect something more. This is, of course, my opinion. Nevertheless, all the maps play extremely well and are interesting with Narvik and Rotterdam being the most boring maps, in my opinion, which is weird considering the fact that they were included in the beta version of the game back in September.
Tides Of War Live Service
Unfortunately, there is not enough information available for the Tides Of War Live Service. What we know, however, is that the Live Service will follow the whole WWII timeline starting in 1939 up to the Fall of Berlin in 1945. The purpose of this service is to give players weekly updates with unique content so that players are engaged with Battlefield 5 for more than just a few months. What concerns me is whether or not we are getting new maps besides the Panzerstorm and the map in Greece. I do not want to consider that the Tides Of War Live Service would be the reason for DICE to not create more maps down the line. Two maps in six months are not very promising, in my opinion.
Graphics, Audio & Optimization
Battlefield 1 was and is still being considered a stunningly looking game but DICE managed to push the Frostbite engine to its limits by improving the graphical fidelity of the game. Do not expect huge differences but the world feels much more responsive and realistic, reflections are better in Battlefield 5 as well as explosions and even small details like the movement of grass when the wind is blowing and the movement of the water when you are swimming are these little details that make a big difference.
What Battlefield 5 excels at is Optimization. Frame drops are rare, I have never experienced a crush although I have an overclocked graphics card and processor. Frame rate with my GTX 1080Ti ranges from 100-144 fps depending on the map in WQHD (1440P) with an i7 8700k. Of course, you do not need high-end specs to play the game at decent frame rates even in 1440p, although bear in mind that the game is extremely CPU-intensive. If you were having issues with the CPU utilization in Battlefield 1, Battlefield 5 does not make things easier for your CPU. If you want to check out how the game plays on medium-range and older hardware, check out the video below from Hardware Unboxed:
For a detailed graphical comparison between Battlefield 1 and Battlefield 5, make sure to check out the video below by Nick 930 who has an entire channel devoted to game comparisons. His channel is great and I suggest you check it out. Below you can also see how DICE managed to improve on the audio of the game adding to the realism of Battlefield 5.
Battlefield 5 is a great game, only overshadowed by its sloppy initial marketing campaign that made the community focus more on political agendas than what the game actually has to offer. Battlefield 5 is a great example that marketing your game correctly is as important as the game itself. Fortunately, the developers at DICE finally took over and started publishing information regarding the game and communicating with their fanbase on a regular basis and implementing features that the community actually wanted. The beta was not received well as well but most problems from the beta were absent in the final version of the game. DICE used the beta to get crucial feedback and improve their game, something that other developers (Activision, anyone?) should start doing and not just use the beta to promote their game and increase sales.
Battlefield 5 has too many differences to be considered a Battlefield 1 rip-off and the developers managed to improve every aspect of it while keeping their fanbase happy after the beta release. It is obvious that a lot of work has been put into the game and characteristics like the new gameplay mechanics and game modes and customization options for characters, guns, and vehicles are a step in the right direction for the Battlefield franchise. In spite of the advantages, however, it has to be said that Battlefield 5 lacks content like the Firestorm Battle Royale Mode and the Tides of War Live Service, some of the maps feel too similar and the War Stories, although not bad by any means are underwhelming.
Delaying of the Battlefield 5 release date for one month was a great decision as DICE had enough time to deliver a polished gaming experience although somewhat underwhelming in terms of content. The game will be considered complete when all core features of the game will be available for players to play and that will be roughly in March 2018.
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|New Game Mechanics||Underwhelming War Stories|
|Improved Graphics & Audio||Lack of core features like Firestorm Battle Royale|
|New Game Modes||Some maps feel too similar|
|More realistic||Rush included only in Tides Of War|
|Customization options for vehicles, guns and characters||Bugs can be annoying sometimes|
Final Score: 7/10
This concludes my Battlefield 5 review. I am interested to hear your opinion about the game. What do you think of Battlefield 5? Are you already on the battlefield, will pick it up later or not at all? Leave a comment below.