Battlefield V Open Beta Now Live

          By the time you’re reading this, the Open Beta for Battlefield V has begun. The latest edition of the franchise is following its historical predecessor, this time taking the player to the most gruesome war that the world has ever seen: World War II.

          While the Battlefield V Open Beta officially unlocked this morning at 8:00 UTC (4:00am EST), that doesn’t mean others haven’t been playing. If you are an EA Access member, an Origin Access member or even simply already preordered BFV you’ve been able to jump in since the 4th. There have been two previous closed alpha tests, and older builds of the game have been playable at a few recent gaming expos (E3, Gamescom, etc…). However, now the general populous can get their hands on the game to test it for themselves on their own hardware.

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Key Information provided by Gamespot/EA.

          So what’s included in this version of the title? Well firstly we’ll be taking a look at gamemodes. Of course, the staple point-based grandscale warfare is back in Conquest. Similar to other Battlefield games, these large 64 player battles feature a mix of infantry and vehicle combat. Apart from that, we are also able to test out the brand-new ‘Grand Operations’ mode. Similar to the Operations of Battlefield 1, two opposing armies will be fighting back and forth on territory until one side claims victory. This objective based mode takes a long time, and crafts a story to tie each conflict together. It seems the new system has been fleshed out, and is more ambitious than ever.

          Players may duke it out on two new maps: Arctic Fjord and Rotterdam. The first takes place in the frozen tundra of Norway, during the Battles of Narvik. Here the British Army challenges invading Wehrmacht forces across a harsh mountainous climate. The latter of the two, Rotterdam, is set during the Battle of the Netherlands campaign. The city has a lot to offer, and  is almost a polar opposite of the first setting. Urban scenarios range from wide bridges and streets to narrow back alleys and buildings, so expect a mixed bag of close/long range engagements. In this state of the game only Arctic Fjord supports Grand Operations.

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Breakdown of maps & gamemodes by Gamespot/EA.

          Similar to past titles in the series, gameplay has been split up into four distinct classes. Assault wields anti-vehicle weapons and is designed to destroy enemy armor or break defensive lines with assault rifles, shotguns and semi-automatic rifles. Medic carries around healing supplies, and may quickly revive fallen teammates. Since medics are in the thick of it all, they feature close range weapons such as submachine guns. Support may resupply the ammunition of allies, and suppress enemies with light/heavy machine guns. Finally, there’s Recon. Recon’s role is similar to previous installments, where players will use reconnaissance and engage enemies in mid-long range combat through sniper rifles.

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Summary of each class and their available weapons. Image courtesy of Gamespot/EA.

          There’s tons to cover on the topic of ‘what’s new’ so let’s jump right into it. Firstly, destruction has been enhanced, so much so that even different caliber rounds will leave different sized holes in walls. Fortifications are scattered across maps. Sandbags, foxholes, barbed wire, ladders, supply depots and more are available for construction. While all classes may build, only Supports can craft machine guns and field cannons. Supports also build at a faster speed than the other classes. Attrition has been added, where health no longer automatically regenerates to 100%. The player’s health bar is instead split into different ‘stages’ (for example 33%) and if your health falls below one of the stages, you will only fill up to the current stage naturally. This emphasizes teamplay, since you will need a medpack to heal back up to full. Each kit may hold one medpack at a time, and medics can refill your stash.

          Reviving is no longer class-specific, as anyone can revive now. Downed-but-not-out players reach out their hand and scream for aid, waiting for someone to come by before they bleed out. On top of this, reviving a fallen ally is no longer instant. There’s now a full animation that must be completed, leaving you vulnerable. Medics have a shortened animation, and pick players back up at 100% health. Movement too has been overhauled, and you can dive in any direction. Finally, you can now tow various pieces of equipment around the map. Vehicles such as tanks and half-trucks have the ability to move AA guns, supply depots and field cannons to try and give their team the upperhand.

          After the lootbox fiasco that EA had earlier, all DLC and maps will be free as they are completed. Through a new ‘Tides of War’ system, Battlefield V’s ongoing event program, players will receive challenges to receive cosmetic gear, appearing reminiscent of Fortnite’s seasons. This build of the game hosts the ‘Shock Troops Chapter’ event, and completing the task will net you the Tides of War Beta dog tag in the final release.

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Screenshot of the Tides of War challenges, which potentially will reward the player with an exclusive dogtag. Photo courtesy of DICE/EA.

          So as you can see, there’s a lot of new features and things to experiment with. The beta is free, so if you’re even slightly interested there’s no reason not to try it. You can download the roughly 10GB test client on Xbox One, PS4 and PC via Origin. The Battlefield V Open Beta will continue to run until September 11th, and progression will not carry over to the full game when the WWII shooter officially hits the stores on November 20th, 2018.

Works Cited: Gamespot.com, EA.com, Eurogamer.net, Battlefield.com

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