Battlefield 5

My Thoughts About the Beta (Very Long)

I've played the beta since release for close to 12 hours now. Initially the game seemed alright but that feeling didn't really last long. I don't think this is a bad game per se, I just don't think this games current design has anything to do with the Battlefield formula. It feels more like Modern Warfare 2019's Ground War to me. It's playable to some extent but not what I'm looking for in a core Battlefield title. I'm going to cross my fingers for some meaningful changes at release and hopefully a sick Portal mode to fill the void. A lot of people have made these points already but I figured I should join in and maybe if enough complaints come through the devs will take notice. Here are my thoughts so far… :

  • Operator system is awful. Seeing clones of everyone running around is very immersion breaking. Not being able to tell who is an enemy at a glance feels awful. I'm not sure what they were thinking and I'm convinced this was some corporate focus tested market research bullshit type thing that was forced on the developers… They could fix this by making enemy models generic soldiers (like it should have been for both teams in the first place imo). The design of the operators has stripped away Class identity that is (in my opinion) core to the Battlefield formula. The developers have allowed for too much freedom with loadouts which has caused people to abandon the typical battlefield role-play. Why take an ammo box when you can take a rocket launcher? Why take a repair tool when you can take an AA launcher? Why play as a medic when you can just grappling hook around or set up a turret and hold a point. This can be fixed by reimagining each operator as a class archetype and limiting their weapons, tools, and abilities accordingly. Force players to have the tools and abilities to be a medic if they want to use a particular group of weapons and gadgets (and fix the awful revive mechanics… aka Defibs please). I know this will just never get changed, but I'm still going to bitch about it…

  • This may be an unpopular opinion, but the Character controller is just way too insane. The mobility and speed feels pretty obnoxious and incentivizes players to play stupid and aggressive. Slower characters with less insane mobility will make players play more carefully and rely more on teammates in certain scenarios I believe. This game feels like CoD with the Spawn -> Die -> Spawn loop every 2 seconds and the speed (and operator system) I believe plays into that… Also, the character controller seems super janky when just trying to walk around but is fine when I'm slip sliding like an Apex character.

  • Any sense of teamwork is completely absent from a Battlefield game. The above 2 points are all related to this… Everyone is just running and gunning as a solo one-person-army. I never get revived. I'm either always running out of ammo because no one is throwing boxes or I never need the boxes because enemies drop ammo pouches… The fact that that's a sustainable thing says it all. I've yet to have that moment in a Battlefield game where everyone feels like they're working towards the same goal and supporting each other. The whole games design is completely counter to the idea of teamwork and in my opinion completely goes against what differentiated Battlefield from other games. They've enabled this in every way possible it seems and certainly wasn't a mistake or unforeseen consequence of other design choices…

  • The Scoreboard really needs to be a thing. We should be able to open it at any point and see everyone's stats in the lobby. Information like kda and SCORE! With the above changes and point incentives players will play their role to push their score up the leaderboards. If you're a medic, reviving and healing people should give you extra points, If you're a support you should get bonus points when you resupply people with ammo, etc etc. This is basic shit that has been in multiple Battlefield titles. I hope this is just a Beta thing.

  • I miss spotting, even if it's just brief and requires a little accuracy. I really hope this is just bugged or something but I've given up trying. Sometimes I hear my Operator call out enemies when I Q ping but its really inconsistent.

  • The map design feels detached. It's like each cap point is it's own map which in theory seems interesting but in my experience it hasn't been great. With so many players these little pockets of objectives become both too spread out and too dense. It's weird but it's like the map has zero nuance, it's always one end of an extreme. There needs to be less 'empty' space between the points, or they need to be much bigger. Less dead area, bigger cap zones, and the interesting 'connections' between them could help with this issues. This very well could be a problem with just this map and maybe there are much much better ones in the full release. It sometimes makes it feel like 128 players is actually too many if the maps need to be spread this thin…

  • Weapon customization. The 'cross' system or whatever seemed interesting at first but after using it constantly it feels slightly pointless. For starters having to customize your weapon every single match feels so annoying after a while… especially when you figure out that most guns have some pretty redundant attachments. The very nature of this system means we will have a pretty limited selection of attachments just because too many for each gun will overcrowd the Cross UI… So it may have actually dictated some design choices unfortunately. In the end you will most likely find your build for a particular gun and use it exactly the same every time, with the exception of swapping out scopes depending on the circumstances… which is another problem. If like 95% of the time the only thing people really swap around mid combat is their weapons optics capability, the whole system becomes gimmicky. Instead why not just let us use multi sight setups and the Cross system to switch between them. Like Tarkov style, you can attach canted sights with your scopes on certain guns, or actually make those Acogs with the reddots on them usable when you need it. Tap T to cycle Optics, hold T to select ironsights? These can have stat penalties in exchange for the utility. I personally feel like that's a much less redundant system. Also, give us weapon loadouts that we can edit outside of a match please. I hope this is another beta thing and it's already in the full release…

  • The audio in the Beta is hit and miss. I don't mean the quality necessarily (although it's not my favorite out of the Battlefields I've played), its more the mix and which sounds are front and center. We really need footsteps to be louder. It's way too easy to sneak up on someone. You can be running along a wall on the other side of an enemy and they wont hear you. You can't really hear footsteps until they're like 2 feet away from you. Things like Grenades are completely silent for some god awful reason (Please let this be a bug). The Operator voice line are annoying and it makes me hate the system even more.

  • The UI is rough. Aside from crazy shit that makes no sense like Grenade warnings not being a thing to being unable to open the fucking map… I'm sure this is just Beta symptoms, right? There's too much noise and clutter with the UI. It's information overload with shit that feels unimportant in the moment being front and center… while making it difficult to notice the stuff that really matters in a given moment at a glance. I struggle constantly to tell if a point is capped because the game just stops rendering the distant cap points for some reason while still spamming my screen with notification after notification. Player and enemy indicators disappear frequently.

  • Weapons. Something about the gunplay in this game feels off. I just don't like any of the guns really. It's probably just me… But they're missing the type of feedback that gives them character or identity or whatever the hell it is… This one is difficult for me to put my finger on… They all had one thing in common, they feel like generic versions of their respective gun type. None of them really have a defining feel aside from generic laser beam assault rifle, or the bullet vomiting SMG, the… shotgunny shotgun…, or the Infinite Ammo LMG. The marksmen and sniper rifle felt bad both in feel and performance. The Magnum pistol was close to that unique feel and feedback. Like hitting a headshot with that thing just felt good for reasons I can't identify. Again this is probably just a me problem. It could also be a sample size problem and there will be more noticeable uniqueness when we have access to the full arsenal.

  • Helicopters are immortal I think? Doesn't matter how many times you shoot them with the AA-launcher in my experience. Any competent pilot will be untouchable for the entire match and will single-handedly win the game for their team. While I appreciate skilled pilots I feel like we need some more counter play… I think this is a consequence of giving everyone an AA missile launcher… its quantity over quality… they have to suck. If the Engineer archetype was the only class that had these weapons available they can be balanced better and have more strengths. Maybe this wont be so bad in full release when airdropping anti-air vehicles is more reliable (The 'B' airdrop menu NEVER works for me).

Aside from all of that I will say the games atmosphere is pretty amazing especially when it's storming out and the tornado spawns. There was a pretty epic moment today in a match where the tornado caused the shuttle to explode. It was a spectacle for sure… Still these types of flashy events can't carry the game and at the end of the day the beta has caused me a lot of disappointment. I personally want a modern battlefield that shared the same design principles as Battlefield 4. There is a certain genre niche that a game like that falls into. It's like a sandbox FPS roleplaying "immersive sim"… almost kinda… Lot's of immersion and mechanics that allow for emergent gameplay along with military roleplay (aka, teamwork). That's what I personally want out of a Battlefield title.

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