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June 11, 2018

E3 2018 - Battlefield V Hands On

Heading into E3, there were many games that I was excited to play, but Battlefield V ranked up towards the very top, sure one might argue that its just more Battlefield, which is a good thing, but given they were investing heavily into multiplayer, with new modes like Conquest and now Battle Royale, going hands on, offered a chance to see if they were on the right track.

I was paired up with around 30 other players, as we jumped into a game of conquest, which had us playing two different types of matches, back to back, simulating a large scale battle. While it would have been cooler, if they had just changed modes in the middle of the match, rather than breaking them up into two distinct parts, the combined effect was no less thrilling. The game offered up 5 playable classes, Support, Engineer and so on, the usual suspects by this point, but each class can be given a speciality, or subclass, giving them more unique skills and weapons.

Once the character was selected, it was time to go to war, I was on the English side, our first objecting, was to destroy a host of anti-aircraft weapons, and doing so was no easy task. As we were starting out in planes, you could jump out when you were ready, but doing that would put you away from the action, taking your time and waiting until the plane got closer to land was the better course of action, but in doing that, you left yourself open to anti-aircraft fire. In the meantime, the enemy forces were able to set up more obstacles and defences for us to overcome.

On the ground, the gameplay was pure battlefield, at this point, I feel I should have no need to describe it, it played beautifully and thanks to many hours in the past games, I was able to get a kill early on. But killing is not the only way to win in the game, sure its important, but taking out objectives will earn you points, wiping out a squad, taking down a barrier or three will also do it, but as always supporting your squad will help the most. Each task earns you various amounts of points and combined they can help put you towards the top of the leaderboard at the end of the round.

But the main task for my side was to destroy those guns, not an easy task and made slightly more challenging, by the fact that not everyone carried explosives. If a player had explosives, when they were killed they would be dropped, letting someone else collect them, so it was important to stick together, to try and reach the objective. Running off on your own, caused delays and made things difficult, especially if you got to a gun and found you did not have explosives. When you add in that you need more than a single explosive to destroy a gun, it made things more interesting, but thankfully you can still deploy onto your squad, so getting back into the action is easy.

There is however a catch to that, should your planned squad member, be under fire, you cannot spawn on them, the game will not let you, which is nice as it avoids spawning only to die. Your option at that point is to wait or redeploy back at base. If you choose the latter option, you will then choose to spawn into a vehicle if there is one available, which can let you cover ground faster, or deal out some major damage. Vehicles also played a role in the moving of defences, large ground cannons, which were designed for tanks and such, can now be picked up and moved around the map. Doing so means that if you found a spot where such a weapon would be better used, you can tow one to it, even if someone else is using it at the time. Having someone use the gun while you are towing it, is possible, but dangerous and the person being towed, is still open to enemy fire.

While all that was happening, the team managed to take down 3 of the 4 guns, by the end of the timer, which left myside in with a good chance at the next round. At this point though, the computer I was playing on had crashed, thanks to the LA heat, so I moved onto another machine and funnily enough, to the other side. The second round, had my now German side, defending against the invading English, while we had the defensive line, the English could expand and flank much easier.

As we were defending, we had supply caches around us, making it easier to stay stocked up on goods, which is a much more crucial element than before. Sure you can still carry with you a few hundred rounds of ammo for you main weapon and if someone has the ability to drop an ammo pouch, you can get resupplied mid-battle, but other things like grenades, can only be done at base or a supply cache. The best part is, at one point I was in a tank, just blowing buildings apart, leaving very little cover for the enemies to use, when trying to reach our final control point, at this stage, we had lost two of the three. When my tank ran out of ammo, I had three options, I could return to base to resupply, which was a long way away, I could attempt to locate a supply cache and stock up there, or I could abandon the tank.

I selected the last option, because I thought it would be funny for someone to jump into a tank and find no ammo. Thankfully, my path of destruction was quite thorough, letting me move forward with ease, but as much as the world is destructible, it is also buildable. The opposing team had started to create barriers in between the rubble that I had created, equipping the build tool, allows for anyone to be able to craft a wall of sandbags, or barbed wire, what it builds depends on where you are building, but the options have a pro and con to them. Whilst building, you are also open to enemy fire, so doing that, in the middle of a conflict is not a good idea.

At this point, the timer had fun down and my team had won the second round, we lost two of the three control points, but as the English team had to capture all three of them, it meant we had won. A nice cinematic played out at the end, explaining that with the line held, the German forces were able to regroup and push back the English. Rather than show up the stats right away, the game started to show off, the squad that performed the best, again showing that as a squad you are much stronger than solo.

Battlefield V’s multiplayer is a fast and chaotic as ever, but with the new way of interacting with the maps and other players, it felt like the choices I was making, was defining how the map and game changed over time. While other modes might be better or worse, there is no denying that Conquest is one heck of a good time.

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