EA is back with Battlefield V – the sixteenth instalment in the Battlefield series. This time the Battlefield franchise is set to return to World War II, but it’s not going to be the standard WWII you’ve played a million times or a throwback. Instead, you’ll tackle conflicts never seen before. We received an early access code from EA to tackle the latest that Battlefield V has to offer. Battlefield V’s multiplayer includes the usual return modes like Conquest, Team Deathmatch, and Domination. They’ve also added two new modes: Grand Operations – which was built on Operations from BF1 and Firestorm, BFV’s rendition of Battle Royale. Because Firestorm was not available during the Beta, I will not be talking about it – but I am excited to play the 64 player Battle Royale mode when the game is out. With operations being a massive part of Battlefield 1, it’s no surprise that EA decided to bring it back and of course, take it a step further in BFV. This mode will take place over four in-game days, spanning multiple maps and modes. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still at it after some hours when the game is out, playing the first two phases in the beta already felt longer than usual matches, it sure sounds like a long haul type mode so be sure to be comfy. EA DICE made BFV more strategic and encourages deeper teamplay. You are spawned with scarce supplies, so you have to rely on your support class for ammunition. It’s definitely a neat idea if you want players to do more squad play, but it is nerve-wracking. Imagine being alone and surrounded by enemies while holding a tiny pistol trying to survive. Yikes. However, even with this, strangers aren’t too hot on the idea. Somehow everyone just wants to play for kills – the number of times I was given any supplies can be counted on one hand, it was definitely not worth playing as an assault during those times. BFV also changed their ‘bleeding out’ phase – teammates can now heal you too, but it takes away your ability to rush back into the fight, which is frustrating. It’s a choice between laying on the debris-filled war-torn streets of the map while button mashing to reach the respawn screen or raising your bloodied hand in despair and cry out for a medic since only they can give you full HP. It worked at one point, but it made Battlefield V feel slow. Waiting while bleeding was like being in slow traffic, frequently having a halting moment during your journey. Sure the scenery is beautiful, but I don’t always want time to think about my life choices, or sit through my soldier’s terrified screams and calls to god as he clutches his wounds waiting for a medic or teammate to wander by and save him – which seldom happens. It’s also not always worth it – even if a medic were to revive you during your bleeding out, you’d be sent back into the fight with the same ammo you had when you “died”. It’s worse when a teammate saves you as you’ll be revived with half the HP and the same resources. Dying soon after meant going through the process all over again. The contrast between the indoor and outdoor was really drastic, one moment you’re staring at the pitch blackness of the indoors, and the next you’re blinded by the light outdoors… There’s a lot of visual noise too, like snow going full force in your face and busy environments, debris randomly flying out at you and such. This makes spotting essential again, give the scout players something to do other than camp and piss me off by taking pot-shots at me while I mind my own business. One thing I did like was the environmental destruction which felt more physics based. Buildings fell more organically when you destroyed them. Building destruction can be done inside, and flying debris kills enemies running by. Bullets can also penetrate the walls outside the buildings too so you can shred any enemy troops inside. I usually go for the rocket launcher approach, I not only destroy the building but also the pesky sniper that camped for the next head-shot. Rebuilding is also an option in BFV which allows you to fortify structures, and create new things. Each soldier can build his or her own set of items, but the Support classes are faster and produce more. I did notice small things like debris crashing to the floor during a tank vs soldier dynamite battle due to vibrations from the explosives. That made the animation more appealing, as things drop with each concussive blow. It’s small moments like that which make a game feel real. It was fantastic. Movement has also been revamped, making it more fluid and smooth. I almost never get stuck vaulting through windows and over sandbags, allowing for surprise attacks and retreating when overrun! One big change is that EA’s done away their ‘pay to play’ season pass system. This has been replaced by a free live service called ‘Tides of War’. As the game ages, new content will be released, that means entirely new maps and modes to play from which gives the whole game a refresh. With Tides of War, every new map and mode that is released for Battlefield 5 will be free. Right now I’m feeling really positive on the latest addition to the Battlefield franchise – Hopefully, it lives up to expectations when it’s released this November. Battlefield V will be available on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Origin (PC) from November 15, 2018.