Battlefield V begins with an intro level, talked through to you by Kingsman actor and Vue voiceover guy who tells you not to talk during the film, Mark Strong, as you’re given a brief, playable run-through of a number of key moments in World War II, showing how this brilliantly follows on from 2016’s Battlefield 1, when EA and Dice took us to World War I.
I loved that game, but wished the campaign was about twice as long. I get that these sorts of games are largely aimed at multiplayer action – and I’m just a single-player kind of guy, but while I have to take my enjoyment where I can find it in modern gaming, this is why I’ve given the likes of Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and Fallout 76 a swerve, since they’re multiplayer-only.
So, for me, it’ll be all about the single-player mode, War Stories, where there are three ‘levels’ (Under No Flag, Nordlys, and Tirailleur) with a fourth (The Last Tiger) due to be unlocked on December 4th, and which will be free to play for everyone who has bought this.
Note that when the game was first announced, the trailer showed a woman with a hook for a hand, and all the SJWs (Social Justice Warriors) cried out not only because she was a woman, but also because she had a hook, and how it was completely unlikely to have been the case that she was out in action. Personally, I don’t know – it’s a videogame, not a history lesson. Just enjoy it for what it is.
Anyhoo, I was more concerned – why was she there when she’s not in the game? Unless she’s the lead character in The Last Tiger? Well, no, she’s not. That’ll be a man called Peter Muller. So, what happened to this lady? Is she the one on the cover and has magically regrown her hands, since she looks nothing like Solveig, the sole lead female, in the second war story.
Battlefield V – Official Launch Maps
For a bit of background about the missions, Under No Flag is set in North Africa, 1942, where you play Private William Bridger, being let out of jail to take part in the war, as a second chance in life, and assigned to the Special Boat Section. An expert in explosives, he’s recruited for this mission by George Mason, played by Craig Fairbrass (Cliffhanger, Rise of the Footsoldier), whose character has a great likeness to the actor, and I instantly recognised his voice.
Second up is Nordlys, set in Norway, 1943, where you play as 18-year-old Solveig Fia Bjørnstad. She’s affiliated with the indigenous resistance movement, opposed to the German occupying forces, there. Her mother is Astrid Bjørnstad, a fellow resistance member, but when she’s captured, you have to not onlu rescue her, but also depeat the German scheme to export heavy water which would result in nuclear weapons.
Finally, you take the role of Deme Cisse, a Senegalese Tirailleur, in Provence, 1944. He’s a 25-year-old member of the Senegalese colonial contingent of the Free French Army, fighting to liberate the homeland in the southern France campaign of August and September 1944. He has an idealistic view of war and just wants to get in there and fight… but his experiences make him a grown man very quickly, and his is a very affecting story as they defeated the Nazis, especially since his unit’s successes were largely painted out of history at the time, as they didn’t want to have black faces on the frontline. The final look on his face, in 1944, perfectly shows how quickly battle-scarred he has become – a look of “Was all that sacrifice necessary?”
Battlefield V – Official Single Player Teaser Trailer
Each level has several parts to them, which makes for handy checkpoints since I’m so glad I don’t have to repeat the entire thing if I die (I mean, *WHEN* I die), as that would lead to endless frustration. There’s also several different ways amd paths to achieve your objectives, so for example, you can approach an area from any angle to find a way in, such as Infiltrate Enemy Comms Bunker, where I couldn’t figure it out at first, so watched a bit of someone else’s video and saw their approach was from the other side. On the plus side, I saw my endgame, but I still stayed where I was, atop a hill, created a ruckus with a rocket launcher, then waited for them to come to me and I finished them off one by one… well, most of them. Then I went down and did for the rest!
A few tips:
- Quietly stalk out your prey and try not to get caught.
- If you get shot, try and hide to regain your lost strength.
- I swapped to use their weapons so they would think they were hearing their own weaponry… although that didn’t seem to work, so maybe don’t worry about that one too much.
- when the baddies are after oyu, wait and it will tell you when they have stopped looking for you… but that said, it’s certainly not easy to avoid the guy with the flamethrower!
- As I died many times, it shows there are several ways you can get from A to B, as you try different paths to get to your objectives. Generally, the quietest path is the most successful one.
At least, as I’m playing this on PC, if I did delve into the Multiplayer mode, which allows for 32-64 players at once, I’d be doing so without any additional outlay such as that enforced by Sony and Microsoft, and while I may give it a quick dabble, I’m most likely to get my ass handed to me very quickly.
Battlefield V – Official Multiplayer Trailer
As before, it’s all crash/bang/wallop when all hell breaks lose, but there have been the occasional graphical glitches, but these are fairly few and far between. Quite often, it’s a case of heads and feet sticking through doors or the sides of trucks, or when you cap someone, and their normally-lifeless corpse keeps jittering about like someone’s taken a vibrator and stuck it where the sun don’t shine.
Oh, and sometimes you crouch down and it still just pushes you along as if you crouched on oil and are sliding along, or you’re on a conveyor belt at the airport… It’s weird.
The major problem (for me) is how short the campaign mode is. People have complained that doesn’t tell enough war stories, and that’s true since there are only three war stories in this game and it could do with more of them, giving a feel that the game is about half the length that it should be. The Last Tiger will take that from 50% to two-thirds. EA should take their cue from the length of the single-player campaigns in the Sniper Elite series, for example.
Also, the level selection (“acts”, like chapters on a DVD) once you finished the game is pathetic. There’s just two of them, plus the closing CGI movie piece. so if you need to redo a piece of gameplay footage. you might have to repeat an awful lot of content, as I found when nVidia’s Shadowplay went wrong during the third story and I missed that moment, as I wanted to record them in full.
Plus, it’s sometimes easy to fumble a bit and press the wrong button, so I accidentally let off a shot when I meant to quietly do something else – and so, everyone comes for me! However, that’s also prevalent in other favourite franchises of mine such as Hitman 2 and Sniper Elite 4…. maybe it’s just me, and because I’m a ‘Billy Big-hands’?
Battlefield V has come in for a lot of stick, including for the delay of its release date from October to November, which was set out as being to tweak the game, yet everyone could tell it was to avoid being sandwiched inbetween Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2, but we have some very strong stories here in the single-player campaign, and while it’s a stack of cash to lay out just for those, then if you’re into multiplayer too, and will get a ton of fun from that, then this is certainly worth your consideration.
- Developer: EA Dice
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Players: single-player, multiplayer
- HDTV options: 720p/1080i/1080p
- Languages: English (Under No Flag), Norwegian (Nordlys), French (Tirailleur)
- Subtitles: English
Battlefield V – Official Reveal Trailer
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.