With Battlefield 5, DICE has made small but important changes to the multiplayer from Battlefield 1, and overall the online experience is stronger. However, the single player content is now clearly an afterthought and the lack of content on release strongly suggests that Battlefield 5 is not finished. I’m giving Battlefield 5 three stars out of five, which on my scale means that the game is average. That doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, there are some great moments in here, the sort of scenes only a Battlefield game can deliver. However, once the novelty of new maps wears off, you’re left with a less exciting feeling of familiarity. A feeling that you’ve played something incredibly similar before and don’t need to again. The timing of a review is always important when it comes to online focused games. The meta changes constantly, bugs get patched, patches introduce new bugs, and they get patched. The timing of any Battlefield 5 review is more significant than normal with content being released piecemeal over the next five months.December brings with it a new war story and multiplayer map, alongside the new Tides of War mode, and by the end of March we should also have Firestorm, the battle royale mode. Once all this content is out, I can imagine upping my review score to a four, however there are enough niggling problems on show in the current state of Battlefield 5 to make that far from a guarantee.This system of content distribution is so extreme that if you’re watching this review in 2019 you might as well turn the video off now and find a more up-to-date one. Even the single-player content is affected by this odd release schedule. Battlefield 5 brings back the war stories that debuted in Battlefield 1. There are only three on launch but a fourth is coming next month. You’ll be lucky to get six hours out of the three war stories and it’s unlikely you’ll want to replay any of them given how dull they are. If you’re one of the few people who still buy Battlefield games for the campaign then I strongly recommend you skip this one or wait until the game is heavily discounted.As with Battlefield 1, you have to play through a forced introduction before you can get into any of the action. While it lacked subtlety, I found the opening of Battlefield 1 to be incredibly impactful and it did a decent job expressing the senseless waste of the war. Battlefield 5 opts to quickly shove you into loads of different scenarios so you barely get time to warm up your joystick in the air over Hamburg before you’re traipsing through mud on the ground in The Netherlands.I’ve already forgotten most of it. The war stories start off with Under No Flag. You play as Billy Bridger, a young bank robber who is recruited from prison by Mason due to his skills with explosives. He’s drafted into the Special Boat Service and tasked with blowing up planes and resources before they can do any damage to the allied troops. Bridger and Mason have an entertaining father son chemistry and, with their strong cockney accents, I couldn’t help but imagine them as a young Danny Dyer and a younger Ray Winstone. The standout moment is when they find a radio and start singing while shooting down enemy planes. It’s hard not to smile and sing along with them. Unfortunately, the rest of this story is a bit of a dud and establishes a pattern consistent throughout all three to a certain extent. Dice seemingly wants you to play Battlefield as a stealth game. Most of your time is spent infiltrating enemy camps, sabotaging alarms, silently killing as many enemies as possible, and then going all guns blazing when you inevitably get caught.If that sounds a lot like Far Cry, then you would be correct. Far Cry can get away with this because it’s an open world game, however Battlefield attempts to use a similar mission structure just without the open world. Halfway through Bridger’s story, you’re given three camps to sneak into and blow something up. The three camps are all spread out but there’s no life between them except the odd truck driving around. I guess this is supposed to be player freedom, but it’s just letting you choose the order you tackle three identical tasks. The camps are far enough apart that gunfire or even a raised alarm won’t affect those at the other camps. In fact, gunfire often doesn’t even alert those at the same camp, although sometimes it does. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of consistency.I experimented with the difficulty levels and believe that guards are more likely to react to the sound of a rifle shot on the harder settings however even that isn’t conclusive. I didn’t enjoy this sneaking around at all. Other than the ability to throw lures, there are no stealth mechanics as such, nor any silenced weapons in this story, although like I said, whether or not enemies hear gunshots is seemingly random. Most of the time I let myself get caught after disabling the alarm just so I could get in some gun fights. Battlefield isn’t supposed to be a stealth game and I don’t understand the desire to continually make it into one beyond the pretense of giving players a choice of playstyles. The second war story, Nordlys, hits the stealth notes even harder, except this time you’re at least given knives to help you remain undetected, although again, I found it more fun just to let the firefights happen.There’s also a pointless survival section tacked on where you have to move from fire to fire trying to stay warm and then once again you have three camps to invade, complete with alarms to deactivate and soldiers to sneak up on. At least you have a set of skis on hand which are a fun way to get from camp to camp. You play as Solveig a young woman trying to rescue her mother from the occupying German force in Norway.I’m not entirely sure why the mother is being held captive. The Germans have developed a substance called Heavy Water which was part of their plan to develop atomic bombs. There are hints of an interesting relationship between the mother and the German commander in charge, however there’s nowhere near enough time to flesh it out. The short runtime means the ending doesn’t have the emotional impact it should and the slower sections where you’re walking through the snow feel like an unearned break. Things pick up in the third story, Tirailleur, which finally lets you partake in some large scale battles which work to Battlefield’s strengths. You’re Deme, one of the Tirailleur, drafted in from Senegal by France to help with the war effort. Deme is eager to make a difference whereas his older brother Idrissa just wants to get home to his wife and child. The Tirailleur are initially tasked with digging trenches however when the French army fails to bring down the German guns, the French captain turns to the Tirailleur to get the job done.It’s yet another example of these stories being too short to convey any meaning. One second Deme is handed a shovel, the next he gets a nod and a smile from the captain. Still, outside of this introduction, the third mission is the best by far because you’re part of a squad and it’s a little more grounded compared to the other two if that’s a word that can ever be used to describe games like this. This mission makes you feel more like a generic soldier than James Bond. The Special Boat Squad from the first story were a real squad, but it was a little odd to recruit someone from prison just because of his safecracker specials. Likewise, heavy water was a real threat, however a single person going in alone throwing knives while skiing all felt a bit silly. As part of the marketing, Dice and EA talked up the campaign as being about the untold stories of World War 2. It’s a noble aim and each story is based in reality.There really was a group of commandos who took out heavy water supplies and apparently they did this without spilling any blood. However, the key word there is group. These untold stories, and indeed many of the familiar ones, are painful because of how relatively insignificant each death became. The war effort rarely relied on one person to infiltrate enemy camps. Turning individuals into super-heroes seems to be entirely missing the point. The third story doesn’t make this mistake and still manages to make the player feel appropriately badass and connects us to the protagonist and his brother. Even though the campaign is short, I still encountered a fair few bugs. There’s a day one patch that may fix some of them, but I’m not sure which of the many release dates day one is supposed to be. For what it’s worth, I consider “day one” to be the first day the full version is playable, so that would be November 8th in this case, not November 15th or 18th. Anyway, bugs do generally get fixed, but it’s indicative of the lack of quality and inescapable feeling that this was rushed out.Enemies have a tendency to walk through solid objects which is a huge problem when you’re hiding behind one of those objects. Once, an enemy got suspicious but instead of walking towards me he walked off straight through a wall and then a few minutes later he randomly decided to go and check out that spot I’d been at but long since left. There was also a really bizarre bug where the scope of my sniper rifle got shunted all the way up to the top of the screen. More minor bugs include being able to see a texture layer appearing square by square as you walk near the water.There are a lot of low res textures all round actually, presumably a consequence of creating larger environments for the single player modes. I can’t escape the conclusion that Dice doesn’t know what to do with the Battlefield campaign anymore. It’s persevering with the war stories model, but its heart isn’t really in it. Effort is clearly made with the writing and direction of cutscenes, but the missions themselves couldn’t be much less imaginative. The war stories all felt like typical sub-par pieces of DLC for a Far Cry game. Perhaps it’s time to go back to full length campaigns or drop the single-player content entirely because content this weak only makes the overall package look worse.The single-player campaign is a step down from that of Battlefield 1, however multiplayer has seen a few tweaks and I’m having a slightly better time as a result. In case it isn’t already startlingly obvious from the footage, I’m far from a star player. Typically, I’m astonishingly average however this is my first time playing Battlefield on PC so I’m not even at that giddy high yet. Therefore some of my comments on multiplayer may not be relevant if you play at a higher level. Bear that in mind. As of the first release date, there are eight multiplayer maps with another on the way in December. Grand Operations is an improved version of Operations that debuted back in Battlefield 1 while War Pigeons has been removed much to the disappointment of about seven people. Conquest is still where it’s at, however there’s also team deathmatch, domination, breakthrough and frontlines if you want to mix things up a bit.The multiplayer feels immediately familiar to anyone who played Battlefield 1, which let’s face it, felt like a World War 2 game with a world war one skin, however there are a few notable changes that improve the experience. First of all, you can’t spot people anymore with the quick tap of a button. Recons can use a special scope to spot them but that requires pulling out a separate piece of equipment and is mainly of benefit to the rest of the team not the person doing the spotting so you can just imagine how many people are using it. You can still point out general locations to squad mates, however, and suppressing enemies places a marker above their heads briefly. The inability to spot enemies feels like a huge problem at first, however I’m already used to not having it and think this was a sensible decision. Battlefield 1 had already taken steps in this direction by stopping players from spot spamming, so perhaps Dice was testing the waters with that one. One huge change for Grand Operations is the removal of the special vehicles such as blimps and trains that were designed to level the playing field when battles became too unbalanced.These vehicles looked spectacular, but they were fairly annoying once the novelty wore off. Dying because some chump randomly fired a gun from a boat 500 meters away never felt entirely fair. The blimp made for great gifs but not great battles. Even without these supposed levellers, most matches of Grand Operations have been incredibly close with a couple ending in ties which are then decided via a Final Stand where each player only has one life and the arena gets slowly smaller.Try to wrap your heads around such a thing. Conquest has been similarly competitive. I’ve had a lot of matches ending with a single digit number of lives left on one side and most have fewer than 100. Hopefully this will continue on the full release. Another new feature is the ability to build fortifications around zones. The builds are fixed so the capture zones will end up roughly the same each time assuming people bother building, but it’s still satisfying to create blockades and even dig your own trenches to provide cover. Most importantly, you can build ammo and health refill stations which are crucial because attrition plays a big role this time around, even for someone like myself who in previous games was not alive long enough for it to be much of a factor. The exception to this is probably the recon class who get a surprising amount of ammo with each life, letting them sit deep and keep picking people off for a while without having to resupply. I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets nerfed.The fortification system is a bit of a wash in conquest mode. By the time you’ve thrown down a few sandbags, your team is all moving to the next zone so any barricades you make will end up being turned against you when the circle comes back around and you’re on the attack. However, in Grand Operations, you’re much more likely to be defending one spot so digging trenches and erecting barricades is important to the overall effort. With matches easily capable of lasting an hour, players are more likely to work for the benefit of the team, which includes fortifying defensive positions and reviving players who go down which is a rare occurrence in conquest.Whatever mode you’re playing on, the maps all look stunning. I don’t usually place much significance on graphical fidelity, especially when it’s striving for realism, however moments in Battlefield 5 are simply spectacular in a way that genuinely makes you want to slow down and take it all in. Fighting under the aurora borealis is as beautiful as you’d imagine. The sound design also helps you revel in the mundane such as trudging through the mud in France or crushing the snow underfoot in Norway. This is to be expected of Dice games, however we shouldn’t take it for granted. There are no maps I dread playing on yet, however there’s a couple that are starting to grate. Fjell 652 is set in the mountains with thin paths separating all the flags. Effectively everything is a choke point and you nearly always know where enemies will come from next. The two Rotterdam maps offer a great before and after perspective but they’re far too busy for my personal tastes.Hamada is in danger of being too big. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a large map, but there’s a limit. Hamada has two sections divided by a long bridge and more than once I decided to just wait for people to come to my side of the map instead of crossing the bridge and attacking a new zone. It was just too far to run. On a more positive note, Twisted Steel is excellent. There’s another massive bridge in the middle but this one has two capture points that are a predictable but enjoyable scene of absolute chaos. I also enjoyed Aerodrome in Northern Africa and found the aerodrome centerpiece a much more entertaining arena than the equivalent cathedral in Rotterdam. Overall, I’m still not enjoying multiplayer as much in the two recent settings as I did with Battlefield 4 and Bad Company 2. Battlefield 1 felt like a cross between the modern Battlefront and Battlefield 4 and this is much the same.The pace is clearly faster than the older military shooters and death doesn’t have the impact it used to because you’re back in the action so quickly. People charge into crowded areas because they’re rewarded for any damage done to enemies. I’d personally like to see XP shift more towards defending and capturing zones to hopefully slow things down a bit. Other issues with the more recent games are partly a consequence of the setting. The lack of verticality is disappointing with the top of a church tower representing one of the few vantage points on otherwise flat maps. There’s also a lack of vehicles which contributes to large maps feeling like a chore at times.A helicopter could get five people across the map quickly while also posing a significant threat, however due to the setting, we’re limited to slow moving tanks and a handful of small but fragile quads. Some maps have planes however they aren’t there to transport people around. I’m not really sure what they are there for, to be honest. Whenever I watch people using them, they just fly around either doing nothing or shooting other planes. Their presence adds to the atmosphere but apart from the odd kill here and there, they don’t contribute much. This is my way of saying I suck at flying planes and miss helicopters. As with single-player, the multiplayer content brings its own unique set of glitches and bugs, some of which will no doubt be fixed, while others will just become part of the experience.Floating assets seem to be a particular issue. This bell in the tower has a tendency to float around even once the rest of the building has been destroyed and you’ll often run into smaller assets such as ammo packs hanging around in the air. Hurdling and climbing is still inconsistent and a major pain the arse. You can get stuck on a foot of snow and won’t always be able to climb walls you know you can climb. I’ve been having a lot of the usual teething problems that will likely go away with time such as lag, images of enemies getting frozen in place long after they have moved on, and even tanks appearing out of nowhere. I’ve also had instances where the revive point is different to where the body is located.You’ll also be shocked to hear that spawns are bad in launch week of a Battlefield game. I don’t like to turn down easy kills but seeing people appear in front of me isn’t fun for anyone and is especially frustrating when it happens to you. I can live with a few bugs here and there but the glitches and lag need to be cleaned up by the time the battle royale mode arrives. It’s one thing to die due to a bug in a conquest battle where you can be back in the action in 5 seconds, but that can’t happen in a battle royale and it’s going to really annoy people if they lose due to a silly glitch. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the reason Firestorm was delayed until March. So overall, the multiplayer is enjoyable enough.There’s not a great deal of it right now and it resembles a bunch of DLC maps to Battlefield 1. However, that doesn’t need to be a huge negative when the core concept is fun. Ultimately, it just feels a little flat. I never felt like I was playing a new game that I’d waited two years for. Perhaps that’s the problem. Dice likely needs more than two years to pump these games out and perhaps a three year cycle like that of the dev teams working on Call of Duty would be more appropriate. EA also has Battlefront and Titanfall so it should be able to work on three year cycles with a bit of planning. More content is on the way, although I find EA’s release strategy somewhat baffling and I’m worried it will backfire. The major positive is that there’s no premium pass. All new maps and modes will be free to those who own the base game. There are no micrortransactions in the game right now, however there clearly will be. It looks like microtransactions will be restricted to cosmetics which you can buy directly and not through lootboxes.I can live with this if it means the entire player base is getting extra content for free. But are we going to get extra content? The release schedule for the next five months feels a lot like it’s finishing off the base game and not giving out free DLC. Who knows what will come after that. If you care about cosmetics, then be warned, they are expensive to buy with the in-game currency. You earn a paltry amount so be prepared to grind or pay real money for the fancy stuff. On that note, the customization menus are a lot better this time. You can alter your classes from the main menu which should be a given, but wasn’t the case with Battlefield 1. Alright, that’s it from me for this review. As I said at the beginning, there’s every chance I’ll be able to bump the score up to a four once all the content is out depending on its quality. As things stand, I recommend waiting on Battlefield 5 because it will clearly go on sale before the end of March and isn’t really worth $60 for the current amount of content.Let me know what you think of Battlefield 5 in the comments and consider leaving a like, sharing the video and subscribing to see more content. If you’re feeling generous, you can throw me a dollar on Patreon and get your name in the credits. The next video will almost certainly be the big Mass Effect critique near the end of the month. Okay, cheers. .