Gamers concerned with the direction of DICE's Battlefield V need not worry. EA unveiled the game's multiplayer component during their pre-E3 2018 press conference this weekend, and Screen Rant had the chance to go hands-on with the game shortly thereafter at the publisher's EA Play event in Los Angeles, where Grand Operations was playable. The pre-alpha demo - a condensed version of the full release's Grand Operations - was centered on Norway, the same operation shown in the game's E3 multiplayer trailer, though only the first two stages were available.
From the get-go, Grand Operations differentiates itself from Battlefield 1's Operations mode by having the attackers, who are the Allies in this instance, drop into battle via parachute (hence the Airborne mode) while the Germans fortify their positions and attempt to stave off the Allied invasion and the destruction of their artillery equipment. That's the objective for Day 1, which takes place at night and in the middle of a snowstorm - and it truly shows what the Frostbite engine can do. While Battlefield V's graphics are certainly an improvement compared to Battlefield 1, the game's weather mechanics have been tweaked to make it less of a nuisance and more of a factor in strategy and immersion.
Once (and if) the Allies are successful in Day 1, then Day 2 - which, in this case, the Germans simply needed to hold their positions and avoid losing their capture points - can be much easier since the results from the first battle carry over into the second, including the team's number of tickets left and each player's resources. In that regard, Battlefield V changes strategy, squad play, and teamwork by restricting the number of resources (read: ammo and such) players have when spawning. Instead of charging into battle with hundreds of rounds and potentially multiple grenades, players need to acquire resources from other players or equipment stations in order to properly be equipped to attack or defend during that spawn.
Attacking is relatively straightforward, but defending is when Battlefield V's new fortification system starts to shine. Unfortunately, players can't use the toolkit just anywhere; there are specified points in which the toolkit can be used to create all sorts of fortifications, from sandbags to fences and so forth. And since buildings are easily destroyed in the game (though they can't be brought down entirely), defensive players are encouraged to fortify a destroyed building so that their team can continue to defend from that point, which is a vital gameplay mechanic that cannot be understated.
Battlefield V Augments Franchise Gameplay
A lot of the promised mechanics work as advertised; reviving squadmates without being a medic, for instance, is relatively slow and it doesn't heal the player all the way to max, and performing such an act is something that players will need to think: is that something worth risking your life over in that particular situation. Another new mechanic is fortification, which is unlimited (meaning there's no economy to it), but it takes some time to fortify an area enough to make it feel worthwhile, and that's not easy to do in the middle of a firefight, and that's another reason teamwork is emphasized in this title, moreso than usual.
Every new and upgraded aspect of Battlefield V's gameplay (in comparison to Battlefield 1) is meant to augment familiar play styles, various classes, and squad play, which is evident with the fortification system (allowing for better defense and more cover) and the aforementioned squad revives (in fact, all revives have an animation now), among other things. As for weapons, the Battlefield franchise has never been about twitch shooting and quick scopes - and that rings true in Battlefield V. The game's weapons and redesigned recoil feel more real and important. Every action is something players need to think through this time around. It's not about charging into battle, getting one kill, dying, respawning, and doing it all over again; it won't work.
What's particularly impressive about Battlefield V is that DICE managed to take everything they had with Battlefield 1 and enhance it. And that can vary from the inside of buildings feeling more atmospheric (increased lighting, space, and interactivity) to the environment acting as it should considering that somewhat real-world physics are applied. For instance, the animation to jump through windows, run through doors, and vaulting fences (yes, that's possible now) are all much more fluid and realistic than they were in Battlefield 1. Of course, some mechanics need fine-tuning, such as crawling, but a lot of Frostbite's legacy issues (from Battlefield 4 onward) have seemingly been addressed and fixed in Battlefield V.
Battlefield V Is All About Teamwork
In Battlefield V, one person cannot take on an army on their own; this game is built around teamwork - and that goes above and beyond simply resupplying players. While it wasn't used in our gameplay demo, the squad leader has the option of calling down various types of strikes or equipment in order to help defeat certain enemies or take certain points. For instance, after accumulating enough points, the squad leader can call down a missile to take out a plane or a tank so that their squad may advance. That's just the tip of the iceberg as DICE says there are many more options available to squad leaders that weren't shown in the demo.
Overall, Battlefield V's gameplay (so far) delivers on what was promised during the game's big reveal last month: upgraded combat, a fortification system (one that works quite well), and various tweaks and refinements that make the title feel much more immersive and grounded compared to Battlefield 1. And despite all the changes and updates, Battlefield V still feels very much like a Battlefield game - it's not an arena shooter as its competitors but truly a war game (thanks to Grand Operations). Sure, there are female characters (which weren't too noticeable in the demo), advanced customization, and a more intimate style of play, but none of that hasn't changed the fundamentals of the game - and the franchise, for that matter.