Reviews - Updated on April 10, 2022

When Apex Legends was unexpectedly released, it seemed that the Battle Royale in Battlefield V could be put an end to. The last DICE shooter already annoyed the audience for many reasons, and now there seemed to be no point in waiting for a new mode. As it turned out, Respawn’s hit “Firestorm” in BFV has almost nothing in common, and fans of Apex Legends are unlikely to like it. Much more the mode resembles PUBG, and it will attract the audience of this shooter in the first place.

Slowly but surely

The fact is that Firestorm, unlike many other royal battles, is not suitable for those who prefer an aggressive style of play. In Fortnite, you can quickly respond to shooting by building a wall, in Black Ops 4 the character is mobile and can at least make a slide. In Battlefield V, you’re a typical World War II soldier who struggles to climb over fences and is nowhere near as athletic as the wall-climbing heroes of Apex Legends. And there are noticeably fewer shelters here than in the Respawn shooter – if someone notices you and opens fire, you won’t last long.

The chance of winning is much higher for those who are as accurate as possible, do not climb on the rampage once again, lie down on the ground, and do not run around in front of everyone, trying to provoke someone. Therefore, the single mode is literally full of “campers” that do not get out of the houses or hide in the bushes with a sniper rifle. Some run near the ring of fire, trying to catch those who left the danger zone later than expected. Others lie motionless in the tall grass, watching you through the scope and trying not to make a sound. Of course, not everyone behaves this way, but at the end of the match you often die at the hands of just such players.

This is largely due to how awkward some things are done in the game. You start the match with a damaged Level 1 Safety Vest and must find a plate to use and place on your torso. In this case, you no longer have 150 health units, but a little more. To increase the amount of available armor, you need to find a higher quality vest – in rare there are two slots for such plates, in epic – three.

In the vest found on the ground or in the house, the plates are already installed, but if you take it from the killed player, then it turns out to be empty. It is necessary not only to put on a vest, but also to apply two or three times the plate. But you can only carry a maximum of three pieces with you – that is, the reward for defeating a well-equipped enemy will be the depletion of inventory due to the fact that you are repairing his armor.

Feel like Superman.

Needles in a haystack

Yes, you can restore the supply of plates by searching the belongings of the same enemy – he probably carried something with him. That’s just how the process of “looting” opponents is arranged here – a real mockery. If in almost all normal royal battles items are put into a bag or box, then here everything just falls out of the pockets of a defeated opponent to the ground. Weapons, cartridges, grenades, plates, protective vests, “Panzerfausts” – everything is somehow scattered, and the player aims at this disgrace and tries to snatch out the desired item. Obviously, doing this immediately after a shootout in an open field is suicide: until you understand what is where and what you generally need, a horde of opponents will come running. If I did this, remaining on a server with 20 opponents, then I did it only after a 10-second pause and lying in the grass.

The most annoying thing is that the character instantly picks up the weapon when the button is pressed. Therefore, digging through a pile of trash, you can inadvertently replace your machine gun with a sniper rifle and find yourself in an uncomfortable position. At the same time, if you switch back to the automatic, it will suddenly turn out to be not loaded, and you will have to wait for the hero to change the clip. Each gun you pick up ends up in your inventory with an empty magazine, whether you took it from the house or from the enemy. It is clear that this was done in order to save ammo, which is usually scarce anyway, but because of the inconvenient interface, this stupid feature spoils life.

It’s good that there are no weapon modifications, otherwise you could go crazy with such an interface after a couple of matches. In Firestorm, guns work in much the same way as in Fortnite. The same rifle or shotgun has three versions. The simplest, which is not difficult to find, is the standard version of the weapon. A rare variant already boasts either a good sight, or a high-quality stock or an enlarged magazine. The epic version, which is the hardest to find, has all the necessary body kits. At least that’s what the developers say – you can’t find out about the installed modifications anywhere in the game itself.

Well, how to quickly find the right things in this heap?

You can carry two main weapons, a pistol, as well as auxiliary items like smoke, fragmentation and incendiary grenades, grenade launchers, sticky explosives, mines and more. With such an arsenal of equipment, which is full here, it turns out to be not very useful, at least when playing alone. It not only makes a lot of noise, but also quickly falls apart, especially considering that you can carry up to six charges of “Panzerfaust” with you. Cars, armored personnel carriers and helicopters can become a death trap if someone notices you, but the tank will be stronger. But it is also more difficult to get it – to open the bunker where it is hidden, you need to turn two valves for 20 seconds, not being able to react to the appearance of the enemy. It is not recommended to do this alone, but in a detachment the process is simplified – you can ask your comrades to cover you while you are trying to get into the bunker.

Not surprised

Otherwise, the gameplay is not much different from analogues: all 64 participants fall out of the plane, land, search houses, look for backpacks and put trash in them. At first glance, the firestorm that gets closer as the game area narrows seems to work somehow differently than in other similar games. This is not just a zone where you gradually lose health – here the fire literally destroys everything in its path. Equipment, houses, small fortifications and flimsy buildings – everything falls apart as soon as fire reaches these objects. It looks terribly spectacular, but in reality this is the most common storm – you won’t burn out in it instantly and you can run in it for several minutes in a row if you have first-aid kits.

However, there are a couple of innovations. Firstly, supply points periodically appear on the map – if you capture one of them, a lot of valuable trophies fell to the ground, including rare or even epic weapons. When playing solo, capturing points is more difficult – all participants in the match see that someone is in that area, and at least one villain will surely come running to kill you. But in squads, you encounter such a problem less often, and it’s easier to respond to danger by playing with the team and communicating via voice communication.

In this mode, destructibility has been preserved, so at the end of the match you can smoke out campers with grenades and stickies.

Secondly, “Firestorm” is the first “piano” in my memory in which a wounded member of the squad does not kneel idle, waiting for help, but can stand up for himself, taking a gun in his hand. However, this feature, as expected, does not bring anything good in itself. Now there is no need to hope that the enemy will leave you alone and try to kill your partners – he will definitely finish you off so as not to risk it. And, unfortunately, there are no resurrections in the spirit of Apex Legends in the game – if you die, you can immediately leave the match. As a result, this innovation did not improve, but worsened the usual gameplay.

Elements like this make Battle Royale feel dated in Battlefield V. You can’t revive allies, mark targets too (a stupid mark when you click on R1, which it’s not clear what it points to, doesn’t count), searching corpses is more difficult than exchanging fire with opponents. The inventory is also strange – it not only takes up most of the screen, but is also inconvenient. It takes so many clicks to get an item out of the backpack and put it in the main slot that sometimes you decide not to do it at all. First you open the inventory, then with the right stick you go down to the very bottom, there you take items, return with the stick a little higher, place, close the inventory … How many such games have come out, you could steal ideas from competitors!

There are a lot of such shortcomings here: either there are problems with hit registration, or the raised weapon is not picked up immediately, which becomes a problem at the very beginning of the match. The sound also raises a lot of questions – for example, why is the character’s stomping so loud that every time it seems like someone is running next to you? Well, spoiled Apex Legends players will miss the quick launch of matches: in Firestorm, the search is not so fast, and you have to stand in the starting zone for exactly a minute, and you fall for too long. Although this forces you to take a more responsible approach to each match and appreciate your only life, it is unlikely that the developers have made the process so long for this reason.

There are as many as 10 types of melee weapons in Firestorm.

***

Some of the flaws will probably be fixed soon, but Firestorm will still remain only an additional Battlefield V mode, and not the main one. It is unlikely that they will actively support it, periodically changing the map, introducing new weapons and generally somehow modifying it. Now it can be fun to play: after all, this is the familiar Battlefield – with excellent shooting, impressive graphics and a variety of vehicles. However, this is the problem – it will be of interest only to the owners of the fifth part, who have already bought the game, but it is unlikely to inspire everyone else to purchase a shooter. This should have either been offered immediately, or done as a separate shareware project. And so – in a month, interest in the “Firestorm” will fade away even among loyal fans.

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