War never changes.
Although these three words are synonymous with Bethesda’s Fallout 3, they feel somewhat suited to EA DICE’s latest WWII epic, Battlefield.
This is because it’s more of the same – glorious visuals and sprawling, sand-box style maps supporting large-scale battles and mass destruction.
Here, we go through five things you need to consider if you’re thinking about picking up Battlefield V this Christmas.
If you’re after a visual-tour-de-force, look no further.
Battlefield V is powered by the Frostbite engine – the same powerhouse as FIFA 19 – although it’s far more impressive here.
Although some forums claim the visual upgrade is minimal when compared with Battlefield 1, look closely and you’ll see a host of small improvements across the board.
The big addition to Battlefield’s armoury, though, is DXR real-time ray tracing – that’s if you’re lucky enough to have an Nvidia GeForce RTX card.
So how does it work? Essentially an algorithm traces the path of light from many different viewpoints and simulates the way it interacts with 3D objects in the scene.
As the ray moves through the scene it accumulates colour and light information along the way from all objects it encounters. These interactions are then combined to produce the final colour of a pixel, that will be displayed on screen.
Now, this doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a huge difference in overall visual quality.
As we’ve seen in FIFA, the Frostbite engine is prone to the odd visual hiccup – but expect these to get patched out in the coming months.
There are 8 huge maps
If linear Team Deathmatch shootouts are your thing then may want to look elsewhere. Battlefield is all about large-scale warfare, with up to 64 players battling it out at once.
There are eight maps available at launch, with more promised as times goes on – but they’re diverse enough to stave off monotony.
Maps range from Twisted Steel – which features a giant bridge – to Rotterdam, which lends itself to shootouts in burnt-out buildings.
The most graphically impressive map comes in the form of Narvik’s snowy peaks – arguably providing the best visuals yet in the series.
As per usual in a Battlefield game, there are plenty of vehicles to navigate the play areas – from planes and tanks to jeeps and trucks.
Destruction plays a huge part, too – with nearly everything able to be reduced to a pile of rubble.
If you’re a camper, you have been warned.
A plethora of modes
Thankfully, the maps are (mostly) designed to cater to the wide variety of modes on offer.
Conquest, Team Deathmatch and Domination return with aplomb, but Grand Operations is perhaps the standout mode.
Much like Operations in the last game, these are huge skirmishes that take place across multiple maps.
To help keep the momentum going, an Attrition system provides your team with health and ammunition stations when you’ve captured an objective.
Fortifications also allow your team to build defensive structures at key points – making it harder for the opposition to break through.
There’s no Battle Royale Mode… yet
Yes, you heard that correctly.
We’ll have to wait until March for Firestorm, DICE’s take on the Battle Royale genre.
However, there is Final Stand, which – providing it’s a stalemate during Grand Operations – gives you a brief glimpse of what a battle royale mode could be like.
But this is not enough to win over fans of the battle royale genre alone – so many may wait until March when Firestorm arrives as a free update.
Advantage COD: Black Ops 4.
Unlike COD, though, Battlefield V offers a fully-fleshed out single player – in the form of War Stories.
Now, many won’t go near this offering, opting to jump straight into multiplayer, but there’s still some appeal here.
For one, they’re short – with the three campaigns clocking around six hours.
The first campaign, Under No Flag, sees you play as a British Special Boat Service vet, which ends with a (ridiculous) Rambo-style one-man versus an army set piece.
Next up Nordlys, where you play a young female resistance fighter in a frozen, Nazi-occupied Norway. Here, stealth is key – which is a welcome variation from all the action.
Finally, Tirailleur focuses on the liberation of France – and sees you take part in large, brutal battles.
There’s limited replayability, bar the odd achievement challenges, but if anything, War Stories are a great introduction to core mechanics for those new to the series.
So, is Battlefield V worth getting? Yes, but you may want to wait a few months.