'Battlefield V’ is a buggy, yet totally fun return to World War II

Entertainment

Battlefield V has finally arrived, and we’re shipping out to fight the Second World War, again.


There’s a lot to be said about the franchise’s return to World War II — something its main competitor tried last last year — but where Call of Duty: WWII felt overdone and bland, Battlefield V is refreshing, while still very much a Battlefield game.

The newest addition in the series delivers the total war we’ve come to expect, while at the same time paying homage to the game that started it all 16 years ago: Battlefield 1942. I didn’t realize it, but I really did miss wreaking havoc in a Tiger tank, and shrugging off small arms fire with impunity — though, I can’t say I missed having my rampage come to a flaming end thanks to some guy with dynamite.

Some things change, but war in Battlefield seems to stay the same.

Task & Purpose had a chance to preview Battlefield V on Xbox One, ahead of its Nov. 20 release, so it seemed like a good idea to highlight some of the new features — and frustratingly predictable issues — with DICE’s latest installment in its popular first person shooter franchise.

Though BFV includes a number of single player mini-campaigns which span a broad cast of characters and battles, the main draw is multiplayer, so we’ve kept this list focused on that.

It’s a newly released Battlefield game, so you know what that means: Bugs.

The newest installment has a number of minor technical glitches. If you remember the troubled launch of Battlefield 4, this isn’t surprising.

Here are a few examples: Weapons will sometimes appear blocky; your avatar may not fully load, leaving your rifle floating in the air in front of you; shadows and reflections appear and then vanish abruptly; when starting a new match your vision will occasionally be blurry, as if your soldier left his BCGs at home. The rendering issues can be a real pain when you’re low-crawling over rubble and trying to get a shot off during an already cluttered and massive battle: Is that an enemy soldier hiding over there, or a random glitch? Wait it’s gone. No, it’s back. Oh shit, it was a sniper. I’m dead.

The destructible environment, a staple of the franchise, is still there, but it behaves unpredictably. You can blow up a reinforced enemy position with a single frag grenade, but fire a rocket at the side of a house, and nothing happens until the the soldier hiding inside pops out and shoots you in the face. Then there’s the way debris or wreckage from an explosion will sometimes fly across the map in implausible ways.

After spending the last week playing the Battlefield V, I didn’t run across any glitches that utterly ruined the game, but it does make the whole thing feel a bit unpolished. That said, DICE has a good track record of fixing these kinds of problems with updates, so it’s unlikely these issues will remain for long. My suggestion: If you’re not in a rush to play BFV, wait a few months before shelling out $60 for the game.

It’s total war like you’ve never seen before.

Glitches aside, Battlefield V delivers on scale, with up to 64 players duking it out on eight massive maps that span North Africa and Western Europe, and with a number of its tried and battle tested standbys, like Conquest and Team Deathmatch. The maps themselves are beautiful; each one feels distinct, and also deadly: More so than other games in the series, you now absolutely have to look every which way (including up and down), when you’re moving around the map — there’s just that many places for an enemy to hide.

Oh, that's a nice tank down there... sure would be a shame if something happened to it.Battlefield V

When it comes to the game modes, the real standout is Grand Operations, which is like a sampler platter of World War II, taking place over multiple matches, with the outcome of each impacting the next. Depending on which Grand Operation you’re in, players get a mix of tense street-to-street fighting; tank combat and sniper warfare across arid deserts; brutal slogs through muddy fields, as you’re forced to navigate razor wire and machine gun fire from entrenched defenders; or shoot down incoming aircraft to stop an airborne invasion.

At launch, the game covers only the early years of World War II, and is limited to German and British forces, but the free expansions (yes, you read that correctly, no more premium passes) will move the timeline forward, and bring along new maps, weapons and armies.

You can run while crouched, build fortifications, and call in score streaks.

With Battlefield V, there are tons of changes in gameplay mechanics, some subtle, others dramatic. You can now dive into the prone from just about any direction, and you can run while crouched, which adds a level of twitchy gameplay to BFV that used to be the domain of shooters like Call of Duty.

Any player can revive a downed member of their squad in "Battlefield V."Battlefield V

Some other changes include adding fortifications to the game so players can toss down sandbags or build barriers, and DICE has removed randomized bullet drop, so where you shoot is where you hit, which might take away from realism, but adds to playability. You can now revive members of your squad even if you’re not a medic — though medics can revive anyone on their team. And lest I forget, you can call in score streaks like the V1 rocket. Sorry, I meant to say "squad reinforcements" which cost points that you and your squad mates rack up during a match… you know what, let’s just call them what they are: They’re score streaks.

Battlefield V has score streaks now, accept it.

Fight the war your way, just don't expect to do it with an M1 Garand.

While Battlefield V still limits what weapons each class can use, they’ve made some changes to how the classes work. Each of the main classes — assault, medic, support, and recon — now has a choice of two roles. Take the assault class, which you can play as either light infantry, or as a tank buster, with passive perks that aid each style of play. They’ve also made some tweaks to which kits get what gear, for example: The assault class is now the default rifleman, and the medic has taken over as “that one guy who only ever uses submachine guns.”

Additionally, there’s now specializations for weapons, which work like a mix between perks and attachments: Some improve rate of fire or magazine size, while others allow you to switch weapons more quickly, or aim down the sights faster.

On the whole, Battlefield V has potential, but it’s not there yet. With luck, it’ll improve over time as new expansion packs drop in the coming months. If nothing else, I’ll keep playing in the hopes that they finally add the M1 Garand, which is inexplicably missing in action.

Battlefield V is out now for PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One.

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Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.

"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.

"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."

The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.

On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.

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Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)

President Donald Trump has ended the decade-long saga of Maj. Matthew Golsteyn by ordering a murder charge against the former Green Beret dismissed with a full pardon.

The Army charged Golsteyn with murder in December 2018 after he repeatedly acknowledged that he killed an unarmed Afghan man in 2010. Golsteyn's charge sheet identifies the man as "Rasoul."

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(Screenshot from 'Leavenworth')

President Donald Trump has signed a full pardon for former 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, who had been convicted of murder for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men, two of whom were killed.

Lorance will now be released from the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he had been serving a 19-year sentence.

"He has served more than six years of a 19-year sentence he received. Many Americans have sought executive clemency for Lorance, including 124,000 people who have signed a petition to the White House, as well as several members of Congress," said a White House statement released Friday.

"The President, as Commander-in-Chief, is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the law is enforced and when appropriate, that mercy is granted. For more than two hundred years, presidents have used their authority to offer second chances to deserving individuals, including those in uniform who have served our country. These actions are in keeping with this long history. As the President has stated, 'when our soldiers have to fight for our country, I want to give them the confidence to fight.'"

Additionally, Trump pardoned Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, who was to go on trial for murder charges next year, and restored the rank of Navy SEAL Chief Edward Gallagher, who was found not guilty of murdering a wounded ISIS prisoner but convicted of taking an unauthorized photo with the corpse.

Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth first announced on Nov. 4 that the president was expected to intervene in the Lorance case was well as exonerate Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, who has been charged with murder after he admitted to killing an unarmed Afghan man whom he believed was a Taliban bomb maker, and restore Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher's rank to E-7.

For the past week, members of Lorance's family and his legal team have been holding a constant vigil in Kansas anticipating his release, said Lorance's attorney Don Brown.

Now that he has been exonerated of committing a war crime, Lorance wants to return to active duty, Brown told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.

"He loves the Army," Brown said prior to the president's announcement. "He doesn't have any animosity. He's hoping that his case – and even his time at Leavenworth – can be used for good to deal with some issues regarding rules of engagement on a permanent basis so that our warfighters are better protected, so that we have stronger presumptions favoring warfighters and they aren't treated like criminals on the South Side of Chicago."

In the Starz documentary "Leavenworth," Lorance's platoon members discuss the series of events that took place on July 2, 2012, when the two Afghan men were killed during a patrol in Kandahar province.They claim that Lorance ordered one of his soldiers to fire at three Afghan men riding a motorcycle. The three men got off their motorcycle and started walking toward Afghan troops, who ordered them to return to their motorcycle.

At that point, Lorance ordered the turret gunner on a nearby Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle to shoot the three men, according to the documentary. That order was initially ignored, but the turret gunner eventually opened fire with his M-240, killing two of the men.

But Lorance told the documentary makers that his former soldiers' account of what happened was "ill-informed."

"From my experience of what actually went down, when my guy fired at it, and it kept coming, that signified hostile intent, because he didn't stop immediately," Lorance said in the documentary's second episode.

Brown argues that not only is Lorance innocent of murder, he should never have been prosecuted in the first case.

"He made a call and when you look at the evidence itself, the call was made within a matter of seconds," Brown said "He would make that call again."

The new Call of Duty Modern Warfare takes gaming to a new level. In fact, it's the best damn video game of 2019 (in my humble opinion).

You can watch video of the awesome gameplay for CoD above, and make sure to follow the Task & Purpose team on Twitch here.

This post was sponsored by GoatGuns.Com. Use the code TP15 for 15% off your next order.

A new trailer just dropped for the upcoming World War I action flick The Great War.

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