My Thoughts on Battlefield 5 Open Beta

Battlefield 5 had an open beta, so I decided to dip my toes into the game and see what it is like. This one is a bit harder to write for me because I feel that Battlefield is tailored to a specific audience while Call of Duty is a game built for everyone. Because of that, I feel that whatever I say about the game can be undermined by Battlefield fans as 'it's just another casual player.' So, here is what I am going to say before I get in: I am a casual player of the game (the only other one I have really played is Battlefield 1). This blog is my point of view as a casual player trying to play the game. So, let's get right into it.

I did play Battlefield 1 back when the game came out, but I have little memory of it now. Still, I can say that in large part, this is still a Battlefield game. Not really much of a shocker, but as someone who doesn't really play a lot of the series that is the first thing I noticed. I'm not saying that is a bad thing, I'm just setting expectations. The modes offered are the same, the general map structure is the same, and the classes are the same (at least as far as I can tell). But this game does have some changes, for better or for worse, that I think or know are unique to Battlefield 5, so I want to get into those. And if they aren't changes from previous games, then they are just things I noticed throughout my time with the game worth talking about.

The biggest thing that popped out to me were what I think are the changes stated to make more squad-like play. I could be wrong if they are changes from the previous game, but these aspects I noticed were things I don't remember noticing when playing BF1. These changes I am talking about are how much ammo you can carry, a different revive system,and the squad size being cut down to four. I didn't really care about the squad size, but the ammo amount and revive system really bothered me. Most of the time I got killed, the game would put me into a revive state. There I had three options: speed up the meter ticking down to my death, slow it down in hopes of someone reviving me, or press neither button. In this game, anyone can revive you but medics do it faster. But I found that not a lot of people try to revive me because even the medics and their revive speed couldn't be fast enough to heal then hide from enemy fire (probably some sniper off in the distance picking people off). Because of that, I wasn't revived all that much and I chose to speed up the death meter instead. So, where is the issue in this? The issue is that it takes way too long to get back into the game. After leaving the revive screen, you have to wait another eight seconds to respawn. I counted how long it takes from you dying and holding the quick death option to respawn and it is around fifteen seconds. I'm not asking for immediate respawns, but fifteen seconds is pretty ridiculous. The only bright side to this is that I started striking up conversations with others in that time. At one point, I was talking to another person and they said they take snack breaks every time they die. If you can take a snack break every time you die (unless you are talking about a no respawn game of course), then I think it takes too long to respawn. But it was a bigger issue for me than others because I am a casual player who quite frankly sucks at the game. I have good moments here and there and I can accept losing in a firefight, but I feel that most of my deaths are from snipers off in the distance who are super good at the game. And I know that this is a Battlefield thing, but having that plus a super long respawn time made the game a bit hard to play for me.

Expect to see this a lot.

Expect to see this a lot.

The other change I noticed is the ammo count. Unless you play as the support class (who technically has unlimited ammo), the classes have very little ammo. And I mean VERY little. Most guns (other than the support ones of course) will only start you with one extra magazine. That means if a gun has a thirty bullet magazine, you will only get thirty bullets extra. And the max amount of ammo that can be carried for these guns are only one clip extra. That means if you are relatively decent at the game and you are not a support class, you will have to constantly depend on either finding an ammo crate or another player who is running a support class. This to me felt pretty ridiculous, especially considering you are carrying nine magazines of pistol ammo. I felt constantly tethered to an ammo source when playing with these classes, which meant I didn't really want to rush anything which sucks because both the assault and medic classes have good rushing guns. Because of this limitation, I mostly ran with the support class because I didn't want to constantly have to ask for ammo. And because of that, I felt that the assault class, other than having the most fun weaponry, felt useless(I know it's a good anti-vehicle class, but the support class also has some good anti-vehicle items too). Another issue similar to this is health regen. Unless you are a medic, you only regenerate your health to around half health. The health limitation feels like a similar problem as the ammo problem, but it felt more manageable because picking up health from a health crate gives you an extra health pack, which made me feel slightly less tethered to a medic or health crate. Still, I found this to be annoying as well.

I know why these annoyances are in place though (or at least I think I do). I get that these changes are to promote more team-oriented play. They want you to stick with your squad and play more tactically than go Rambo. But these changes didn't feel like a push towards teamplay, it felt like a forceful shove. I remember playing solo in Battlefield 1 to be harder but doable, but this game is much more difficult solo (unless you play the support class). And I get this game isn't for everyone like Call of Duty is trying to be, but it made the game harder to jump into for people like me, and I feel like even if I was really into the game it would still be hard to jump in by myself. I did play with friends and we did try to play a bit more tactically (choosing specific classes, sticking together, etc.), but I think ultimately we were trying to have fun more than play tactically and I think we didn't do as well because of it (unless we were in a tank, because there we did great!). I am not calling for this game to be open for anyone to play like Call of Duty, but I believe these changes push towards a more hardcore audience while making casual play not as fun. 

While I feel strongly about the small changes above, I did find another small change to be surprisingly fun and useful. You can build in this game. No, this game isn't the next Fortnite or anything, but the maps offer various places to build sand mounds, walls, and sometimes even turrets. Anyone can build them, but some classes can build them faster. I really like this option to build because in a game filled with talented snipers, building cover felt really useful. Also, I think only having specific places to build instead of anywhere is the right choice. You can't just build a sandbag barrier anywhere; you have to find the selected place to build it. The building mechanic offers a good way to defend a place while not being some free-for-all for building whatever wherever. 

As always, the game is a looker. This was taken in-game with the screenshot ability.

As always, the game is a looker. This was taken in-game with the screenshot ability.

I went over the bigger aspects of the game that I noticed, so let's go over the smaller ones. I won't go over the modes offered (because they are pretty much the same as last game), but I really liked the maps I played on. One map is a snowy mining area while the other is a beautiful city, and both are quite the spectacle. Weapons feel like they have more depth because now you can level them up and upgrade them. The one thing I have always enjoyed in Call of Duty is weapon progression and working towards attachments and skins, and this game sort of offers that. For me, having weapon progression keeps me in a multiplayer game longer because I love having physical progression and it is something worth working for. That was something not present in BF1, but having it here is pretty big for me. One issue I have with the upgrades are that the upgrades branch into two paths, and if you want to remap them then you have to repay for those upgrades. Weapon skins are now segmented to different parts of the gun instead of the gun as a whole. I am still not quite sure how these skins are obtained (other than the fact that they are not random), but instead of a skin for the gun you get a skin for the barrel or the magazine or whatever part you get it for. One thing I surprisingly enjoyed is the music. Whether it be in the game or in the menu, the music did a good job at setting the tone while still being something worth listening to on my free time. And last but not least, I'll talk about the state of the beta. It was fine for the most part. The biggest issues I noticed are bad spawns (I had multiple times where I spawn right next to an enemy), slower frame rate at spots, and bodies sometimes dangling in midair. I generally don't judge a beta for how well it performs because, well, it's a beta; but I never encountered any major issues which is nice.

In conclusion, I feel that Battlefield 5, at least from what I experienced, is more Battlefield. It's changes, though small, feel tailored towards more hardcore players but in annoying ways instead of good ones. I feel that to really enjoy the game I have to play with friends instead of just being able to manage by myself. After this beta, I feel less inclined to pick the game, but my interest in the game doesn't lie in multiplayer. For me, I want to see what their co-op mode and battle royale look like, so I still have interest in what the game will turn out to be. While some positives like building and weapon progression feel good in the game, I can't help but think about my experience and think of the negative aspects. 

Those are my thoughts on the game, but what about yours? From what I have seen, different people are liking or disliking the game for different reasons, so I want to see what your thoughts are down below. Also, if you want to know my thoughts on anything else BF5 then you can also ask down below. And as always, thank you for reading.