Fighter planes tear across the sky, buildings and bridges are razed, soldiers charge and scramble, tanks and jeeps bounce and bump across muddied fields and Battlefield V prepares its full-frontal assault on fall season wallets. 

The Battlefield franchise is back in 2018 with World War II providing the thematic backdrop for players to hurl themselves across historic theatres of war in search of unexpected thrills and deftly-wielded skills. 

After Call of Duty visited the Second Great War in 2017, Battlefield V needs to prove it can do the same thing better, especially as it launches so close to both Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and the game that caused CoD to abandon its usual release date for fear of taking heavy damage, Red Dead Redemption 2



With all the excitement around the battle royale genre, in which 100 players strive to be the last person or last team standing, a format championed by PlayerUnknown’s Battelgrounds and Fortnite, Battlefield V had been rumoured to have its own equivalent in development for some point after launch. 

Even if the franchise already has several key ingredients in place, there was no battle royale talk during the reveal – indeed, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 restricted its own Blackout mode announcement to what was fundamentally a concept reel – and Battlefield V instead focused on what would be available at launch. 

That means multiplayer modes for up to 64 players, a broad range character customisation, new co-operative squad mode Combined Arms, a Tides of War campaign, and the series’ destructible buildings and characteristic clashes between infantry, tanks and planes. 

New in Battlefield V are stationary weapons that can be towed to new positions (and fired while being transported), soldiers that can go prone on their fronts or backs, grenades that can be thrown back or even shot out of the air and, in a thematically-appropriate twist on Fortnite, infantry who can rapidly construct sandbag walls, assemble stationary weapons, and repair and fortify structures for tactical advantage. 

Controversially for some sections of a video gaming audience, female combatants are in the mix; for others, realism in a historical first-person shooter is something of a façade to begin with, given the War-As-Entertainment concept it relies upon. 

Battlefield V debuts Oct 19, 2018 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One, in between Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Oct 12) and Red Dead Redemption (Oct 26). 

Publisher Electronic Arts is encouraging fans to pre-order in advance of review feedback with the offer of early access to a Battlefield V Open Beta as well as various character customization perks – an indicator of its post-release revenue plans. — AFP Relaxnews


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