Everything We Learnt About Battlefield V

DICE is making big changes to the Battlefield formula in Battlefield V, and having sat in on an event in London deep diving into all of those changes, here’s a list covering everything you need to know about this year’s game.

We’re headed back to the series’ origins, with a focus on unexplored locations
World War 2 is back, and it’s back with a bang. It’s evident that the team have yearned to go back to their origins, and this year’s entry is going to be taking place in a handful of locations yet to be fully explored by games before.

Locations like North Africa, Norway, and Scandinavia were all mentioned during our deep dive presentation, with the team promising a Battlefield experience that will showcase World War 2 “like you’ve never seen it.”

Conquest, Team Deathmatch, and Domination return
Some of the best Battlefield modes are returning in Battlefield V, and it’s understandable — why would they go anywhere? Each mode presents a different style of gameplay experience, and they will each take place in some of the darkest parts of the second World War.

Operations is being reworked into a limited-time, large-scale event mode called Grand Operations
Operations, which was an objective-based game mode introduced in Battlefield 1, is getting a major revamp in Battlefield V. Rather than focusing on one map, Grand Operations will instead be split over four fictional days, and results of each day will have a huge impact on the day that follows. Further, each day will have some sort of combination of custom rules and map layouts, meaning nothing will ever feel the same as you play. It’s a neat idea, and creates a sense of uniqueness in the grand scheme of things.

Players will compete against one another in large-scale maps with the aforementioned custom set of rules, and will try and accomplish a set goal. If they fail, they’ll have ramifications in the following day’s events.

The example given to us was on the Rotterdam map, where you start off as a paratrooper trying to break through enemy defences in order to disable long-range weaponry, which would, in turn, help your main invasion force when they arrive a day later. If you fail this objective, the main invasion force will be mostly wiped and you’ll have less spawn tickets to use — alongside a lack of resources — in the second day of the operation.

You can end the event on the third day if you’ve clearly dominated over the days prior, though if each day has been close you’ll head to day 4 — which is known as ‘Final Stand’. This is where you’ll stage your final assault/defence, and you only have one life and finite resources at your disposal. You’ll have to ensure you communicate with your squad to stay alive, and drive back the enemy to win.

This mode will continue to change and develop over time, and the fact custom rules and map layouts are included here means almost every big Grand Operations event will be different.

There’s a huge emphasis on squad play
Throughout the two-hour presentation, DICE continued to press the point that this year’s Battlefield is all about playing together as a squad. You’ll be rewarded for this, too, and will in turn be able to bring in some badass weaponry to take on the opposition.

How do you get there, though? Completing objectives, playing to squad leader orders, and generally being good buds throughout the experience. As such, you’ll be rewarded with Squad Reinforcement points, and will be able to bring in the big guns in-game. It’s worth noting these vehicles and weapons are strictly tied to Squad Reinforcement points, which means lone wolfs out there will not be able to earn these rewards.

That’s not all that bad though, because DICE wants you to play as a squad and communicate together. Unless you specifically say you don’t want to be part of a squad, you’ll always be joined up with a team when you enter a game in Battlefield V — and that’s pretty sweet.

You can learn more about squad play in Battlefield V here.

Scarcity is a big part of the Battlefield V experience
We know what it’s like to spawn in and play Battlefield like a Call of Duty game, and while it can be effective it’s not the most practical way of doing things. DICE are looking to eliminate that style of play in the sense that scarcity is a big part of this year’s experience.

When you spawn in, you’ll quickly realise that you’ve got a finite amount of resources available to you. You could go in for a firefight and take some enemies on, but will quickly run out of ammo and will be in a bit of a struggle. However, playing as a squad will allow you to resupply (thanks, support player!) and continue on. You’ll also be able to pick up ammo from enemies that have been killed, too, which is something I’ve wanted to see introduced for a while. Resupply stations are also around the place, and will allow you to resupply as you go.

It’s evident that, from what I saw and heard, the developers really want to make Battlefield V a game that encourages you to be mindful of your resources, and hammer home the idea that you can’t be this gun-toting hooligan with infinite ammo anymore. You have to be mindful of your decisions on the field, and rely on your squad to help you out.

You can now build fortifications across the battlefield
A new addition to the gameplay of Battlefield V is the fact you can now build fortifications. Things like fox holes, trenches, and a pile of sandbags can be used wherever you see fit, and all of your squad mates can build.

You can also set up fortifications on flags, rebuild damaged buildings to a state where you can set up camp and have a tactical advantage over other players, and generally set them up anywhere you see fit.

You can read more about fortifications and new gameplay additions here.

Say goodbye to unreliable weaponry, say hello to towable AA guns
DICE stressed the importance of refining the weapons in Battlefield V to a point where players can now actively depend on the reliability of firing accuracy. That means that, overtime, you can practice and give time to a weapon, learn its firing patterns, and become an expert on how it handles.

Another new addition is that you can now tow heavy artillery and machinery across the map in vehicles in whatever way you want. Say hello to the tiger tank with a AA gun on the back!

The game’s spotting system has been altered
Rather than spotting enemy positions and tagging them, Battlefield V’s spotting system now relies on the location rather than the person spotted. If you see a bush moving suspiciously, you won’t know if that tag is a person or if it’s you just being paranoid thanks to the fact you’ll just be marking the bush rather than the player trying to hide.

It’s a realistic approach to a system that has been around for many, many years, and I’m really happy to see it included.

Combined Arms is a new co-op experience for squads
If you’re new to the Battlefield experience or just want to have some fun with mates, Battlefield V’s co-op mode Combined Arms will allow you to drop in and have at it without the pressures of large-scale multiplayer warfare.

Interestingly, this mode has a ‘mission generator,’ which will dynamically change objectives across maps so the experience remains fresh. More on that here.

War Stories returns
Something I really liked in Battlefield 1, War Stories returns in this year’s Battlefield and will cover some of the nooks and crannies of World War 2 that a lot of us haven’t really read too much on. An brief glimpse given was a story about a resistance fighter in German-occupied Norway.

Customisation is a big deal in Battlefield V
Battlefield V is all about the customisation — soldiers, vehicles, and weaponry are all customisable, and quite customisable too. As you play through the game you’ll unlock new items to use, new things to make use of, and more ways of showing off your experience in Battlefield.

Weapon customisation is particularly interesting, with each weapon having 5-7 modifiable parts. While they are visual-only upgrades, you can put branches on the end of a rifle to make it harder to see while playing, different kinds of cloth over the weapon, and so on.

The developers really wanted to press the idea that customisation is an integral part of Battlefield V, and there seems to be a lot players will be able to unlock. Combined with the Tides of War events (more on that below) alongside general progression, and it becomes clear that this year’s Battlefield experience could well be the most personalised one to date.

Tides of War brings Battlefield into a new era (say goodbye to premium pass!)
The community begged for it, and DICE have finally conceded. Battlefield’s premium pass is gone, and is now replaced with a live service called Tides of War. The team wanted to implement this as they didn’t want the community to become segregated through map packs and the like, and so Tides of War acts as kind of a hub area for events.

Every three or so months a new part of the Tides of War experience will open up, and will allow players to jump into limited-event modes that give them a bunch of rewards. DICE want to “constantly introduce new ways to play” here, providing “more meaningful progression for the player”.

You can read all about Tides of War here.

So there are some of the big, big changes coming to this year’s Battlefield game. There’s a lot to take in, but this one’s shaping up to be a big step up from the previous entry and we can’t wait to get our hands on it at EA Play in June.

Battlefield V launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 19.