We expect, and are delivered with pushed back release dates. Battlefield 5 was unfortunately pushed back into November for its release, but that didn’t stop the Open Beta dropping, which is fighting fit, full of FPS and Battlefield Vets alike. From the beta we have gained a greater understanding of what experience the full game will be like, and I will be putting across to you my own good and bad points, in a hope that Dice will recognise these errors and hopefully make some changes before release.
Regardless of whether it’s a feature, graphics or playability, it will be straight forward points, that hopefully some of you who have played the beta so far will agree with, or may have views of your own. So, in no particular order here are my good points.
Graphics – It’s a very stunning game; compared to some of the other previous battlefield games, both the Narvik and Rotterdam maps both make you feel you are in a true battlefield. For a beta the textures and destruction are incredible, so it’s hats off to the graphic designers for their modelling skills.
Movement and Mobility – Moving around is smoother than ever, the flow and free movement feels smooth, whether your sprinting through a door or crashing through a window or jumping off a high edge. The only issue is with this is you can’t tell yet what is too high, but I’m sure players will figure this out.
Few Glitches – So far there is the occasional glitch here and there but nothing major. No server connection issues have caused me to disconnect, just the occasional backing out of a server as it would have too much lag to handle.
Intense Combat – At first it was a little bit strange to play, as it always is, because when you jump into a new map it takes time to find what I call ‘Hot Zones’ which are areas where players will congregate in mass, either for tactical situation, or purely because it’s a lemming situation, as in everyone just follows the guy in front because there is safety in numbers. But once you capture or have to push to specific objectives, it’s clear how Dice have thought through how players will take specific positions, which in turn creates a variety of intense range and close-quarter battles and firefights.
Spotting – The spotting feature has taken a different turn, which balances out quite well. It used to be when you spot someone, their position would be tracked on the map for several seconds, depending if you had your eyes on them. Now, when you spot something cut places a marker on the position you have spotted instead of the player, so on the one hand this will tell your team that there are enemies in that direction, or that you have seen something, and on the other side of you feel like you have been spotted, you can move away to a more ideal position. Being mindful of this creates new ways to approach firefights, as the tag will either be yellow, or red, depending if you have directly spotted an enemy, or have an inkling on their location.
Reinforcements – The Squad Leader has a more important role rather than asking his squad to attack position A or protect position D. With the new reinforcements, they can be game changing to any firefight. The re-supply is probably the least favourite; I rarely used this as the map was cluttered with resources from dead enemies to supplies at each capture location. However, the upgrades and specialised tanks, I did call in, and they pack serious firepower. Probably the most used and the most effective, was the V1 Rocket. It costs a lot of points to use, but if you are really effective, you can use this twice in one game. Its destruction is incomparable to anything we’ve really seen; buildings and destructible structures just crumble at the sight of it, they obliterate any cover and even if a friendly team mate uses it close to your position, you will fall over and lose your footing from the blast. It’s amazing to see and even better to use when you get it right.
Animations – The game is a lot more animated, which creates a lot of immersion and realism to gameplay, such as getting into vehicles, to reviving teammates, or giving squad mates a pat on the shoulder, after they’ve had an entire SMG clip loaded into their chest.
I’m sure there’s a ton of more good points to add, as well as a ton of content to release in the full game (watch this space for a review on the full game too.). Sadly, nothing is quite perfect, so here are the bad points which I hope can be rectified, or at least noted by the developers, in the hopes of making the game a much better experience.
The Revival System – Although yes, very visually realistic and a lot better than chaining a string of medics together to create a revival chain like in Battlefield 1, there are some problems with the system itself. The system involves you deciding whether you want to prolong your demise by asking for aid from a medic or squad member, or to speed up the process by staring at the sky, which I did A LOT. The time it takes for you to skip the revival process though takes too long, and could be reduced. Also, I know it’s down to your squadmates or medics to revive you, but they need to make it more noticeable, maybe a bigger flashing icon for those asking a revive, as you don’t exactly scream or get their attention well enough. During the stream I did, I could have nearly got us kicked from twitch, due to the frustration of having a medic right above you, just to run off and ignore you. Lucky that I have a high tolerance and can remain tight lipped.
Spawn Times – When your wounded, there’s about 15 seconds where your rolling on the floor, begging to be saved by a mate, so when you inevitably get rejected and sent to respawn, why the hell should you have to wait for another 7 seconds to respawn, it’s too long! Either the time you spend on the floor needs to be a little faster, or the time you spend in the respawn screen needs to be reduced to maybe 4 to 5 seconds instead of 7. It’s too long being out of the game, and with the issue of spawning straight into a game and dying within 3 seconds VERY POSSIBLE, it puts players off spending that amount of time not being able to trust play the game.
Squad Connection Issues – The Issues was somewhat revised within a day about this issue, but essentially the game matches you up with a squad of 4 first, and then into a game. But what actually happened was you matched up in a squad of 4 to play conquest, only for the squad leader to choose Grand Operations, or more likely sit in the lobby for 10 to 15 minutes. The reason was Dice wanted players to be in a squad immediately to prevent players from playing on their own, but their system needs somewhat revising, and has reverted to the reliable system of match making into a game first, and then a squad afterwards.
Menu Management – We’ll start with the menu structure when you start up the game. It’s simple enough to navigate, until you get to customising your weapons. You see, you have 2 forces; Allies and Axis, but if you change certain weapons or gadgets from the Assault Class on the Allies, such as put a scope on your Assault Rifle, it won’t be changed for the Axis side, which when you forget can really mess you up of you switch sides. Although yes, this can be changed whilst you’re in game, you can only change weapons and gadgets, but can’t insert scope attachments onto them. Another menu I struggled with is the radial menu you can use to interact with your squad. During game, you can ask for a ride, for health, ammunition, what the next objective to attack should be, and as a squad leader, what objective your squad should attack next. The problem with this, is sometimes either the cursor doesn’t go where you want it to go, or they somewhat overlap. I’m telling you, there’s nothing more annoying when you want to tell your squad to attack objective D, and you end up asking for ammunition 5 times in a row instead.
Brightness – Not sure if this is something to do on my end, but did anyone think that the brightness levels were a bit off? When I first loaded the game up I thought I’d ascended into heaven, since it was that bright. But that’s not the major issue, I tried sorting out my bright level issue and the adjustments barely changed them. The map Narvik was particularly difficult to play, as whites were brighter than the sun, but going into buildings was as dark as night. Inside of buildings was particularly difficult as you couldn’t see anyone hiding in them, so maybe these levels can be adjusted a little bit better on release?
Weapon Customisation – This was a feature I thought was making its return to the Battlefield series since Battlefield 4 was the last game to have this, but I was wrong. I’m not sure if anyone else was under the impression that when Dice said that you can customise weapon attachments, you can replace parts such as longer barrels, extended magazines, fore grips and so on. But no, the only thing you can change on your weapon is the scope, to engage at short or longer distances. That’s it. Everything else is cosmetic only, which really let me down. I don’t care if my gun is gold, or has leaves on it, couldn’t that have been a separate customisation option? I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I miss having the options to play around with different weapon attachments to make my weapon how I like it. And yeah, I understand there isn’t too many modifications you could do to your weapon in the WW2 era, but it’s been a feature that’s been included in many WW2 games, so why stop it now?
Weapon Upgrades – To add insult to injury, Dice have implemented a Weapon Upgrades feature, instead of weapon attachments. The weapon is broken into 2 different skill trees, in which you spend credits to unlock traits which affect how your weapon performs, such as less vertical recoil, increased accuracy on the move or stationary, hip fire accuracy and so on. Once you go down a skill tree, there’s no turning back, and you are stuck with whichever path you chose to go down. It’s just a flawed system. I mean, there isn’t any negative effects or counter effects from the selected traits, like increased rate of fire doesn’t make your weapon less accurate at longer ranges. This, again, could have easily been solved if Dice had just brought back the weapon attachments feature, it would have been a lot more balanced. But instead we will just have players running around with upgrades guns with no negative effects from it, looking like they just grabbed their rifle from a hedge with its cosmetic looks. I know I’ve said it, but I can’t stress it enough. Dice, please, just BRING BACK WEAPON ATTACHMENTS.
Overall, the game is making good progress, and hopefully there will be enough resounding feedback for the final game to implement some changes before release. But what do you guys think? Have I missed any features or issues that could have been covered? Let me know via our twitter @XNVROfficial, and @XNVRSkinner.