World War 2 has broken out once again as EA DICE heads back to the 1940s with Battlefield V, a theoretically safe sequel with some curious, and possibly divisive, ideas at its core.
After the thematic reset that was Battlefield 1 I wasn’t expecting much from this year’s instalment of the long-running shooter series – class tweaks, new period accessories and still-higher fidelity explosions, all of it fed through the same mix of giant, vehicle-strewn maps and objective modes. There’s certainly a lot here that’s familiar, but EA DICE has made some dramatic changes to Battlefield’s squad system that shunt an already team-oriented game even further away from lone wolf play. That’s in addition to the ability to rebuild trashed structures, fortifying maps that hitherto existed only to be ripped apart, and, less attractively, a tsunami of live service and earning mechanisms gathered under the banner of the “Tides of War”. As I discovered during a two-hour presentation today in London, it’s a riskier, more stimulating prospect than the “return to roots” messaging suggests. (more…)