Out in the open, and happily chugging along. That’s one of the best things that we can say about EA’s most recent entry into its long-lauded Battlefield franchise.
In a line-up like 2018, it’s kind of hard to not feel that way. The name of the game for many big-budget publishers continues to be first-person shooters – and it’s easy to see why.
But why not mix it up a little?
Perhaps therein lies the biggest challenge that Battlefield V faces – it feels at times a lot like more of the same.
When Battlefield 1 dropped, it was hard to deny that this was something new from DICE. The more sombre approach to warfare, the new engine, the fact that it was the first time a AAA studio dared to take on The Great War – BF1 had a lot riding on it.
It’s a bit of a letdown, then, that that BFV seems to be riding its predecessor’s coattails just a little too much.
Does the game bring enough to the table for die-hard fans to relish and enjoy? Of course. It even retains the history-focused approach of its predecessor, although certainly not to the same extent. No, BFV finds itself in a weird spot. Caught in between advancing its own legacy and playing into the flavour of the season, Battlefield V certainly feels less self-assured than its previous iteration – even with all its faults on display.
The best example of this would be the current iteration of reward structures within BFV. Like every other major player, DICE has opted to implement a Fortnite-like seasonal reward structure that gives players special objectives to pursue on an unlockable path. The more you play, the more you complete, the more rewards you obtain for your company outfit.
This is all well and good, except for the fact that the modern push for cosmetics, accessories, and all sorts of colourful bells and whistles flies in the face of the realism that BFV is attempting to uphold from its predecessor. As such, the “rewards” on offer are little other than dull and muted colour combinations for some of the era’s most popular weapons.
We just can’t help but wonder what kind of game BFV could have been if DICE had been freed from the expectation of playing into genre fads.
While the majority of the systems they’ve implemented are just fine and dandy, we’ll be the first to say that we feel like some of the innovations of BF1 were just simply thrown out with the rest of the bathwater.
BFV has only just begun to hit its stride, and there’ll certainly be many more interesting updates down the road if the development history of BF1 is anything to go off. Let’s just all keep our phalanges crossed for some dreadnaughts, eh?