Battlefield V's New Battle Royale Can't Stand With The Competition

Battlefield V’s new mode Firestorm is a 64-player battle royale full of that true and tested Battlefield flavour. I jumped in for a few hours to find out how it plays. Check out the video above to see it in action or read some of my thoughts below.

I’ve always loved the Battlefield franchise. When it comes to teamplay, few games nail the thrill of capturing a point alongside a swarm of fellow teammates and then defending it when another wave of enemies attempts to take the objective back.

So Firestorm takes these pieces and builds a battle royale that’s playable either alone or with three buddies. The major difference from the rest of Battlefield V is that your class no longer impacts your gameplay; you don’t start off with special weapons or med kits. Picking a class now only lets you pick from the four characters you’ve created, allowing you to use them as skins.

You and your teammates all start on the ground, with nothing but a knife in each of your hands as you comb structures for any solid weaponry, armour plates, special weapons, throwables and health. After playing other more fast-paced battle royales like Blackout and Apex Legends, the more slow and methodical pace of Firestorm is a welcome change.

The new map is named Halvoy, and it’s ten times the size of Hamada and currently holds the record for the largest Battlefield V map. There are 12 major areas that are filled with desirable loot and are clearly where you’ll want to head first. The map will have safes and strongboxes that contain rarer loot, so it’s also good to keep an eye out for those.

On the other hand, cracking one of those containers open tends to leave me with one of my major complaints so far with Firestorm, which is the difficulty of making sense of your inventory in the heat of the moment.

As you look down and hover over items, it takes an extra second to process what ammo is needed and what you have space for. And once you take out an enemy, trying to salsa dance over their corpse to precisely highlight the one weapon that’s taking up the same space as an ammo box or health kit can be extremely frustrating.

Trying to do that in the middle of a firefight is almost impossible, and it really makes me hope Criterion Games and DICE clean up the item pickup problem in future updates.

I also think the look of the inventory UI needs an overhaul. It takes up a chunk of your screen, which isn’t the most optimal use of visual real estate. Trying to manage my inventory on the fly takes up time, too, and when every second counts, it’s not something I enjoy messing with during a match.

The game bears some similarity to Apex Legends by including a ping button. Using your spot key will now highlight whatever’s on the ground for fellow teammates to pick up. I do miss the way Apex Legends does audio callouts from individual characters, which can sometimes help remind players of what it is being highlighted.

The destructive force of the actual storm is pretty fun to witness up close, especially as it swallows buildings and wildlife whole during the middle of a firefight. I haven’t experimented much with vehicles yet, but finding the right squad to pilot one with can prove to be extremely useful depending on the storm’s path and where the final circle ends up.

It seems to me like there are too many variables to rely on vehicles, though, and as someone who never sets foot inside of vehicles in other modes, I doubt I’ll experiment further unless I’m trying to cover a large amount of ground really quickly.

You can’t respawn once you’re eliminated, but you aren’t completely defenseless once you’re downed. You do have the ability to crawl, and if you managed to previously find a pistol with enough ammo, you can fire off a couple of shots from the hip. I’ve had teammates ignore enemy squads while attempting to revive me, only for me to take out my pistol and finish what they could’ve easily ended.

For me, the level of destruction that the game introduces is what will set Firestorm apart. Being able to flush out enemies with a well-placed explosive or artillery strike is exciting and something new for my battle royale vocabulary. Unfortunately, nothing else about the game sticks out to me.

With Battlefield, I always felt like I was a part of a much larger fight, with my tiny contributions lending to a much larger war. In Firestorm, I often feel like I’m scrambling to help or seek help. That can actually be exciting, but more often than not, it just feels anticlimactic.

I need something more from Firestorm if it wants to compete with all the other battle royales that I already love.


Comments

    I've loved the Battlefield series for a long time but I have no interest in the battle royale. Battlefield is such a unique experience on it's own without chasing the BR craze. I wish they'd just focus their attention on the content lacking in the main game.

      Maximum cash grab on a failed game. I expect BF6 announced/teased very soon.

        Yehhhhh. I think they've lost me for this iteration.

          Well they did push some of their player base away with the "Don't like it, don't buy"

            not really they just stated a fact if you do not like the game do not buy it. If people did not buy the game even if they wanted to play it because of that line then it's their loss.

              And yet, the game's sales are below acceptable figures. It's a PR nightmare/mistake to tell *anyone* to not buy your product. I don't care if you're being woke or whatever. That one comment probably lost people jobs that had no input in anything beyond their portion of the game.

                I believe the guy who said that DID end up leaving EA shortly (months) after.

                  I'm not happy to hear that. I never want people to lose their jobs over stupid comments. They just need to use their heads!

                  He left of his violition (as far as we can see) @Niomo.

    No comparison to PUBG......wadu? Slow and deliberate opens the door for players that prefer a combination of skill and tactics to get that chicken dinner. Will give it a whirl tonight and hope its nothing like APEX personally.

    It was always always going to fail regardless if its good or not. Its waaaay to late to the game after COD and Apex.

      Apex hasn't even been out 2 months... I wager some people probably argued it was 'too late' to the game as well.

        Apex is free, that the big difference

          That's irrelevant to my point.

          Also, COD (your other example) was not free.

            Blackout is pretty dead since Apex released.

    Coming from someone who cant stand apex Legends and its unbalanced gameplay, this firestorm mode is brilliant.

    It offers far more options to play the game, has more content to it and has far more intense and fun moments that can only be matched by Fortnites BR mode.

    This idea that Firestorm is already dead is not correct. If you dont like it that doesnt mean everyone else does.

    Many of my mates wont touch Apex anymore for the simple fact that its gameplay is too similar to everything else to warrent a continued interest.

    I wish I cared about battlefield V. I’ve been all over every battlefield since the very beginning. But something was off about V. Never got interested.

    May have been when I realised that the single player set pieces weren’t the scenarios I wanted to play from WW2.

    Speaking of which I wonder how much battlefield owes to movies like Saving Private Ryan which came out just before COD3 from memory.

    Last edited 26/03/19 4:41 pm

    Tried it last night and it wasn't bad but the inventory system is terrible and the worst console bullshit I've ever seen copy pasted to PC.

    The last BF I played was 4, and I wasn't impressed with it at all.
    I'm hoping that they get back to their roots and make an enjoyable game, but to be honest they seem more interested in levolution and pretties than actual gameplay.

    I’m getting 200+ ping on every game of solo anyone else? Squads seemed ok but I don’t play with randoms.

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