1. Where are all the Builders?!
A major addition that has repeatedly slipped my mind is the new building mechanic. All players regardless of class are now equipped with a toolkit that enables them to fortify pre-determined sections of the map to pose stronger defenses against incoming attacks. The idea sounds right in line with Battlefield’s formula, but I’ve yet to witness it fulfill a fraction of its potential. Truthfully, I haven’t seen anyone build a thing since E3. At the show, a few of my teammates and I managed to erect a measly wall of sandbags to cover a set of turrets guarding an objective. While it undoubtedly provided us with additional cover against the onslaught of enemy gunfire, the process of achieving it wasn’t particularly enjoyable. While support players are capable of building faster, building anything takes a fair amount of time which exposes you to conniving snipers hiding in the hills. However, I feel the lack of building is due in part to the lack of communication among squads. Most players who’ve participated in both the E3 and alpha builds have yet to play in squads with their friends. My buddies and I are capable of achieving much when effectively working together, and I imagine building will appear more frequently in the final build of the game.
2. Lack of Faction Specific Weaponry
The absence of faction specific weapons aligns with Battlefield V’s player customization, but it admittedly bums me out. While DICE’s “our take on WWII” statement is chuckle-inducing, I don’t fault their team for trying something new. In fact, I appreciate it. But while it’s bold and daring, I don’t believe it entirely complements the gameplay. Battlefield V seemingly rides the line of immersion and creative liberty. At E3 and during the alpha, both Allied and Axis forces wielded German weaponry. It’s all in the name of balance, which is admirable, but it eliminates the immersive and diverse aspects of playing on either side. My dissatisfaction is partially due to my underwhelming experience with Call of Duty: WWII. Sledgehammer’s shooter has many great elements, but it ultimately didn’t scratch the growing itch I had for WWII shooters at the time. I’m hoping Battlefield V fills that void in October. As bizarre as it may be to see a Nazi wielding an M1 Garand, I can’t deny the fun I’ve had so far.
3. Bound to One Side
Between E3 and the alpha build, I’ve yet to play on defense in Grand Operations. Therefore, my overall impressions of the mode are limited to one side. Barreling out of a plane under heavy artillery fire in the midst of a blizzard is exhilarating, and the mode itself is a ton of fun. But it’s tough to determine the balance of each match having only experienced offense. I’m typically aware of balance issues regardless of whether they’re in my favor, and I would’ve loved a chance to play a match or two on defense. Unfortunately, everyone was locked to either side for the entirety of the alpha without the option to switch sides. All in all, it’s not necessarily an overtly bad thing, but it certainly would’ve assisted me in thoroughly analyzing every aspect of Grand Operations in its current state.
Battlefield V releases for EA Access members on October 11, on October 16 for Deluxe Edition early enlisters, and globally on October 19 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
***Closed-Alpha code provided by EA for impressions and feedback***