Hands-On: Battlefield V’s Grand Operations Mode is Stellar | Tech News
Unlike Activision’s Call of Duty franchise, Battlefield games do not release yearly. This gives the franchise a chance to further improve upon its already celebrated mechanics. Much like the most recent Call of Duty, Battlefield is going back to World War II. Battlefield V has elements which are both new and old. One new mode is Grand Operations, which is an evolution of Battlefield 1‘s Operations mode. I had a chance to try out the new mode during this year’s EA Play event. Though I died more times than I care to admit, I found Grand Operations quite engaging and exceptionally realized.
Grand Operations takes place over the course of three in-game days. Players choose between being attackers or defenders. Depending on how well your team does, you’ll get additional resources like medkits, ammunition, and even troops on subsequent days. On the third and final day, players cannot respawn. Since supplies are limited, players must either give each other supplies or find them at certain points in the map. In addition to fighting, players can also build fortifications they can use for cover. There’s quite a lot happening in Grand Operations, but this is exactly what makes the mode so appealing.
The demo featured four character types: Grenadier, Sniper, Engineer, and Medic. I swapped back and forth between Grenadier and Sniper. What can I say? I like to shoot stuff and not think too much about it. My character came equipped with a submachine gun and pistol as primary weapons. Each one had a distinct feel. Given that the game features old-school WWII weaponry, aiming and shooting isn’t easy. I suppose this gives combat more of an authentic feel, even if it is a tad cumbersome.
As an attacker, I arrived on the battlefield (pun intended) via parachute at the base of a hill the enemy occupied. Upon landing, I immediately ran for cover and tried to get the lay of the land. Since this particular map takes place at night during a light snow storm, it was difficult to tell what was going on. Instead of running forward to the enemy’s position, I crouched and zig-zagged to my objective. I did my best to stay close to my allies in case they or I needed help. It did not take long before I found the enemy and died a quick death. This happened quite a lot throughout the 45-minute long demo.
Despite constantly getting myself killed, my team somehow managed to win the first day. On the second day, our team was placed further up the hill. I noticed I had less ammunition than before, which wasn’t much of a problem considering I didn’t live long enough to use most of it. Whenever I died, I could respawn near an ally, provided they weren’t under fire. Sometimes, I would respawn in an airplane or tank. Flying airplanes is fun, but it’s also extremely difficult. When it comes to planes, trees are more dangerous than anti-aircraft fire. The tank was a personal favorite since I could just drive forward and unleash destruction.
One thing is clear about Grand Operations: in order to succeed, you need to work together. I am not excusing my crappy FPS skills, but I’m sure I would have done better had my team actually communicated. Teamwork is crucial, but you’ll invariably get cut off from your allies at one point or another. If this happens, you can look for resupply crates scattered throughout the map for more ammo and health. One of the reasons some gamers prefer Battlefield over Call of Duty is because teamwork is such an important aspect. I can see Grand Operations becoming a huge draw for more strategic-minded gamers.
The demo I played ran on a PC outfitted with a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card running at 1440p at 60fps. Graphics-wise, it is one of the most impressive games I have ever seen. I understand gorgeous graphics are par for the course with Battlefield games, but holy cow is this game pretty. I especially liked how the aurora borealis illuminated the night sky. I’m sure I could have appreciated the beautiful graphics more if I survived long enough to take it all in. The game will no doubt look fantastic on consoles (especially the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X), but if you want to see the full splendor of Battlefield V, you’re going to need a beastly PC.
Despite my ineptitude when it comes to first-person shooters, I enjoyed playing Battlefield V. I can definitely see Grand Operations becoming a hit with fans of the franchise. Expect more updates from DICE and EA before the game’s October 19 release.
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