‘Battlefield V,’ ‘Black Ops 4’ bring new modes

Grant Beltrami, Arts Editor

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“Battlefield V” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” both concluded their multiplayer betas last week.

Unsurprisingly, developers Dice and Treyarch did not attempt to re-invent their respective wheels.

However, both have added new game modes that may be of interest.

Battlefield’s new mode, Grand Operations, is a round based mode with an attacking and defending team where player actions in each round will grant bonuses or penalties to their team in the following rounds.

In the beta, Grand Operations was playable on one map, Narvik, a snowbound Norwegian fjord.

All players on the attacking team spawn as paratroopers and are tasked with destroying the defending team’s anti-air and anti-infantry emplacements.

Grand Operations also brings a new building and fortification mechanic. Constructing sandbag walls out of thin air and pulling turrets from some unknown pocket seems out of place in Battlefield’s semi-realistic sandbox. These fortifications are rarely worth the time it takes to build them and overall are a disappointing addition in its current form.

Where Battlefield really shines, as it always has, is in its environmental and sound design. Playing Battlefield with surround sound is a unique experience in gaming that never ceases to amaze.

Indoor spaces echo with gunfire and the voices of other soldiers and each weapon has a unique sound that allows experienced players to identify the dangers around them.

There’s nothing more terrifying in Battlefield than hearing a tank fast approaching and having nowhere to hide — except artillery fire.

In BFV, an artillery strike nearby will knock you down, turn your vision grey and make you unable to hear anything but high pitched ringing for a solid 15 seconds, that is if you are not killed outright.

“Battlefield V” is the series’ first mainline Battlefield game since 2002 to be focused on WWII; Dice has publicly stated that they intend for the game to focus on the lesser known battles of the war. BFV will also be the first in the franchise to feature female soldiers.

In addition to Narvik, the beta included Rotterdam, an infantry focused map reminiscent of Amiens and Prise de Tahure from “Battlefield 1.” While it is disappointing that they may choose not to remake classic maps like Wake Island and Normandy, it leaves room for a wholly new experience, which is a breath of fresh air in the WWII genre.

In the “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” beta there was nothing that stood out and made it feel like a new game. There are new jobs, abilities and weapons, and a few tweaks to the HUD, but not much that separates BO3 and BO4.

The most impactful change is having health displayed as a number and being required to heal instead of regenerating after a period of time. No big deal.

What really separates Black Ops 4 from its predecessors is the new “Blackout” game type, which is of course, a battle royale mode.

It’s no surprise that Treyarch and Activision are hopping on the battle royale bandwagon. What is surprising is how well executed Blackout is.

It is essentially “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” but better in every way. It runs smoothly, looks beautiful, and has familiar controls.

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