So, I have seen some posts about individual EA play experiences and thought I should add my own after finally having enough time to kill at work. I would like to start off by briefly summarizing the event itself while diving into my personal game play session, I apologize if I get any details wrong please feel free to add your input if I do as it has been a few days and I have a lot of things on my mind. Also, I would have prepared this sooner, but the forum ate my draft so whatever. I will try to answer as many questions as possible but did not have as much in-depth time as some other posters. I will try to organize my thoughts on the game in sections, it might repeat or tie things back into themselves depending on my caffeine level, fair warning.
I’d like to start off by saying AWESOME! EA sure knows how to throw a great event for FREE! I went with some friends and we had fun participating in other games and events. There were a lot of games that you could demo with prizes and goodies given out after you participated and could claim them at a prize booth with your ticket wristband, which had an NFC chip tied to your registration email. Pretty cool! I will include some pictures of the venue and the best keepsake of all.
Pros and cons? Don’t know how to organize it all
All I would have to say about this is WOW! DICE nailed ***most aspects of the design as always, with top notch visuals and sounds. They truly are the best in the industry, but as we all know great graphics do not make a great game, remember the first Star Wars Battlefront?
I won’t really go into detail about the classes or weapons because I feel like the youtuber mouthpieces have already covered this better than I could. What I will mention is my critical unfiltered impression of the game without fear of reprisal from EA. R.I.P. revive medics and support resuppliers.
- So how does the game play and feel?
Well with my limited time with the game I can say is that TTK2.0 was just the tip of the iceberg as many predicted after its release. The game is noticeably faster paced with EVEN FASTER TTK at close range. The damage model and BTK made me feel like we were playing COD with a prettier skin. I stupidly have preferred the team deathmatch mode since Battlefield 3 ( old COD4 [word that is a garden tool & starts with H]), and my stats somewhat reflect that if my score could be normalized and weighted but that does not mean that I think Battlefield should turn into TDM for every mode! Random bullet deviation has thankfully been removed, so accuracy should in theory be better right? I think it was a design choice or maybe a glitch, but I could not ADS a machine gun and basically zoomed in like in battlefront with my crosshairs disappearing and I had to guess where I was aiming, kinda stupid. My friend also mentioned that the tracer bloom for the sniper rifle bullets made it difficult to track his shots and experienced weird expansion and contraction of his bullets, we chalked it up to alpha issues as I did not play scout to confirm.
If I could sum up Battlefield V in one phrase it would have to be this: unsure of itself.
The faster TTK created an unusual sensation for me that is difficult to explain because it is contradictory. Basically, the gunplay felt fast but the gameplay was slow. I will try to explain, while the shooting was very quick and mostly accurate, character movement was inconsistent with the faster TTK. For me at times the sprint speed was difficult to detect and I had to check to see if I really was sprinting. My friends felt the same way, fast TTK slow movement. This of course creates a problem, one where the fluidity of movement is affected and based on what DICE has said (soldiers stumbling feeling more realistic etc.) I think it affects the game in subtle but deeper ways. Maybe it was a combination of factors (FOV, suppression etc.) but I think the movement changes could disturb many players. It was a feeling we could not shake and is the primary reason why our BFV hype was extinguished among other minor things.
The new revive system basically makes the medics useless since it is too slow, I did not get revived by anyone and will make the medic revive skip problem even worse. Gotta show off those sweet cosmetics in your face somehow! The same could be said for resupplies since you have to actively pick out ammo, I had to switch to support as my friends played assault against vehicles and we constantly ran out of ammo. Resupplying from dead enemies was possible but distracting as the player model’s left hand visibly picks up an ammo pouch which obstructed my view, one armed LMG Rambo’s will love this though. Ammo 3.0 will work this time right guys?
My biggest concern would be the Archetypes, I do not see the *gameplay* point of these “extra” classes existing on top of the holy trinity of Assault, Support and Medic (sorry Scouts you are useless without “passive” 3d spotting). In their current implementation I do not understand their inclusion in the game and just add a level of obfuscation to the class roles and selection. Why can’t Archetypes just be a specialized class loadout? I see no difference really. I DO understand the business decisions on why they were added to BFV and that is to drive sales most likely. Maybe EA wants to sell new character archetypes or have exclusive shiny skins for them sort of like operators in RS6, at this point in time I do not know the real reason for their inclusion, so I will pay careful attention to it. My biggest issue against their inclusion is that they are steering slightly towards Battlefront 2 in which statistical/mathematical modifiers to the game are being added. Archetypes have stats tied to them such as suppression effects reduction, sprint speed and something else I forget maybe health regen speed? This is not a good direction for the game and could be worse for the franchise moving forward, even worse than ridiculous cosmetics because they affect actual gameplay.
Whenever Archetypes are mentioned I can’t help but think of the EXO suits in Infinite Warfare and I had the same feeling when movement speed was changed and my loadout kit was restricted from picking different gadgets from the preset ones for the Archetype ( movement speed is subjective most likely but I am VERY sensitive to this as I noticed changes in BF1 after not playing for a while and was correct in my observation back then). I do not like being pigeon holed into an even more specific role for my chosen class without an option to mix and match. For example, I could not select the AT mine and the ammo crate together, I think which was limited to the Engineer Archetype and Machine Gunner Archetypes respectively. Assuming DICE wants the design of the Archetypes to continue in its current form, then I can’t stand behind this choice. Why can’t they just add class perks/specializations like in previous Battlefield’s and call it a day?
I will not mention cosmetics because I have made my stance on them very clear, and do not want to invite any wasted words addressing supporters of it. What I will mention though is the confusion that does happen with enemy players despite their default standard uniforms, which definitely stems from inexperience and lack of familiarity. The difficulty distinguishing friend from foe made me basically shoot at anything that moved and wasted ammo. The reason this kept happening was the lack of HUD elements clearly conveying vital information which takes me to me next point.
My assumptions were correct after the terrible release trailer in regard to the HUD and by extent the UI. The HUD chases a minimalist design and disappoints achieving its intended function. Who would have thought white text and icons on a blurred background would be difficult to see on a snow map?/s Sometimes I would forget my health status since it was on the bottom of the screen. I hope DICE gives us the option to rearrange HUD elements or changes the default health bar location because the new health system fundamentally changes gameplay.
The biggest UI issue for me was the mini map and the lack of any compass feature in the HUD, it is very important for me to locate my relative position to my squadmates and the objectives. I felt so strongly about this issue that I spoke to a Dev about it after my session and said they will take this feedback into consideration. I honestly believe the lack of a compass clearly signals the direction of this game. If DICE even remotely cared about tactics or meaningful squadplay, then such a small, trivial, but major feature for the game should not have been missed in an ALPHA build of the game. They got all the other stuff in why not this? Everything they have been saying about meaningful play is just lip service at this point.
The squad nameplate and friendly nameplate indicators need adjustment as they did not appear in my field of view until I was practically within melee distance and thus defeats its purpose. Also, the minimap did not convey squad locations properly, with dead squadmates and teammates appearing as a tiny X mark, green and blue respectively. Maybe the map zoom radius was not to my liking but the map itself still feels too barebones. One positive thing about the minimap was the addition of topography markings offering indicators for vertical sections such as hills and is an excellent addition to the game.
The “bleedout” screen was also practically useless and made the skip to revive feature actually look amazing by comparison. The bleedout timer by default was extremely fast, it took us a while to figure out that we could delay the timer by repeatedly clicking the left mouse button, with a medic callout mapped to the right button. This basically turned the bleedout mechanic into a cookie clicker simulator that offers no positive gameplay benefits. Instead, I can’t believe I am saying this, but I would like to request a return to the skip to revive button and “invert” the bleedout timer to be actively held to skip instead of actively clicked to extend. The design of “active game elements” so to speak also spill out into the resupply and heal functions. Now you have to manually pick up ammo and health, and based on the bleedout implementation and actual gameplay, it is very, very annoying. So far in the marketing DICE has mentioned multiple aspects that require active presses by the player such as ledge grabbing and rolling, I do not want to wear out my buttons by repetitively performing inane tasks.
The squad redeploy screen is fresh and exciting with a third person camera view of the selected squad mate and is a good addition to the game.
Overall my impression was mixed on one hand it was good but not great and my friends also agreed with me, having mixed feelings as well. It is frustrating to leave the event without the massive hype that we thought we would feel once we got our hands on the game. IDK it’s just the way I personally feel right now and stems from my criticisms of the design direction being impacted by business greed.
This post is getting long already, and I did not mention the options settings, respawn mechanics, fortifications, squad commands etc. If anyone would like to hear more just let me know. With that out of the way what do you guys think based on what I have said and what has been shown. Will you buy this game day one or wait and see where it is headed?