Starting on 6th September for everybody who owns a PS4, Xbox One or PC, the Battlefield V open beta will be the first opportunity for many to get hands-on with the title.
Those who have the game preordered, however, are able to jump into the action right now. And they should, because like most previous Battlefield games, it offers tense competitive warfare on a large scale. And while the jury’s still out on a lot of the changes that have been introduced, I can’t deny that I’m having a hell of a lot of fun with it.
The first thing that impressed me about the Battlefield V open beta is just how goddamn good it looks. Playing on Xbox One X, I’ve been enjoying its crisp textures, brilliant special effects and clean picture quality. Also, its implementation of HDR really brings its environments to life. Whether you’re battling at Narvik or Rotterdam, you’ll be constantly blown away with what you’re seeing. And of course, its framerate remains solid, allowing you to engage in firefights without frustration.
Enough about the visuals though; how it plays is probably what you’re most interested in, and the answer is: very well. Battlefield V‘s fluidity makes traversing its beautifully designed maps a pleasure, and its gunplay is simply exhilarating. Unfortunately the open beta doesn’t allow you to engage in the game’s new Battle Royale mode, but it does allow you to partake in the objective-based gameplay that the series is known for, including the new Tides of War mode.
Aiming to give battles context and keep players coming back on a regular basis, Tides of War is a hard one to judge at the moment. The battles I’ve engaged in up to now during the open beta do indeed feel more epic, but often also drawn out as a result. Despite the twist it provides on the game’s traditional objectives, I found myself drawn back to the quicker, more decisive conquest mode more often than not. It’ll be interesting to see how the Tides of War mode develops after launch though, as it’s a great idea in theory.
No matter which mode you play though, it’s the changes to Battlefield’s mechanics that will have players heading to the forums either with their pitchforks raised or to praise Battlefield V. With the time-to-kill reduced, death comes quicker than ever before. Some will hate it, but I don’t mind it too much. It just means you have to be more careful and not get caught out in the open. And coupled with the fact that you no longer regenerate all of your health when out of harm’s way, it puts more emphasis on team work.
To survive multiple encounters with one life, you’re probably going to need a medic to prop you up. You’re also going to need to collect ammo, as otherwise you’ll find yourself running out pretty fast. With many teams being made up of solo players, however, you’re going to spend a lot of time attempting to complete objectives injured, and you might even have to use your pistol to defend yourself more often than you’d like.
It’s hard to use the open beta to gauge just how good Battlefield V will actually be when it launches in November, but all signs point to it being yet another winner for DICE and EA. It looks great and plays well, but there’s nothing in the beta that’s really out of the ordinary. The small mechanical changes simply liven up the gameplay experience rather than revolutionise it.
But you don’t need to take my word for it. If you’re interested in Battlefield V in any way at all, make sure you download the open beta on your format of choice and give it a go. Despite the occasional glitch, it’s pretty solid, and provides hours of quality entertainment. It starts on the 6th September for all, and will run for a few days at least. And if you do take part, make sure you finish the Tides of War event for an exclusive in-game dog tag when the game launches on 20th November.