At E3 2018, Battlefield V was one of the EA's highlights. EA DICE's reimagining of World War II looked fantastic in its brief presentation. EA dropped details during the show, including gameplay types (Battle Royale, folks!), and hints at what was to come from the game's War Stories campaign mode. The highlight, though, was Grand Operations.

What is Battlefield V's Grand Operations?

I went hands-on with Battlefield V's Grand Operations mode at the event. Grand Operations is a massive battle that takes place over three days. Your team's success, either as attackers or defenders, will determine your resources on subsequent days, such as troops, ammo, and medkits. On the final day, no one is able to respawn, allowing the fight to determine the ultimate victor of the battle.

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I was only able to play the first two days of the battle, which took a whopping 45 minutes to complete. The Battlefield V team noted that a full three-day campaign can take up to an hour to play, or even more if the fight is close!

How does it work?

My fight took place in a snowy bay in Norway, with me joining the attackers storming the shore. I began by parachuting from an aircraft near the water, then rushing up a hill toward one of four artillery cannons dotted across the area. My squad's goal was to escort explosives to each of the four cannons and keep them from being defused long enough to detonate, a staple gameplay type typical of previous Battlefield games. The defense, meanwhile, was building various fortifications throughout the area to keep us out.

I played primarily as a grenadier or a field medic, each with a unique weapon loadout and skills. The field medic was able to toss medkits for others to pick up and had weapons better suited for distance; grenadiers, predictably, belong on the frontlines. There were a total of four load-outs available during my preview, including a sniper and engineer, and reportedly, even more will be available at launch. As is the case in previous Battlefield games, death grants the option to immediately respawn on a squad member. However, you can only do so while maintaining the same loadout, swapping to a different one will force you to deploy from an aircraft again, encouraging dedication to a specific class role in squad play.

At the end of the first day, each side received extra units and resources depending on how many points they managed to capture or defend. On the second day, we began further up the snowy shore on the edge of a town with a train depot on the side. There were two points ahead of us that we were tasked with capturing and the opposing side was tasked with defending. Similarly to Rush from previous titles, if we captured those two, there were two points further in to capture, and two further past that. At the end of the day, resources were rewarded based on how much we had captured or defended, respectively.

What is it like to play Grand Operations?

The enormous Nordic map took some time to get adjusted to. With so much going on, it was at times difficult to get my bearings. But I did find the constant motion forward and change of scenery refreshing. After running up the same hill multiple times, it felt good to move to a new area, especially if my particular skillset or playstyle was not working well in the terrain.

Those new areas often included landmarks and features such as enormous trains to hide behind, tunnels, various elevations, trees and brush, and empty houses in a town. Not only did these structures provide helpful cover, but many of them were destructible with heavy fire or vehicles such as tanks, showcasing levels of modular, realistic destruction not seen in the franchise since Battlefield Bad Company 2. This added to the constantly-changing situation and kept the battle varied and interesting.

Battlefield V's Grand Operations mode looks and feels amazing to play, but the constant variety of loadouts, location, and obstacles was what won me over. It showcased a plethora of small refinements DICE has brought to the Battlefield formula, details like animations for both entering and exiting vehicles, with improved movement and gunplay, and more realistic destruction mechanics. Assuming even more unit types and locations, I could get quickly lost in this mode alone, not to mention Tides of War, War Stories, and the mysterious Battle Royale mode we've been promised.

When can I revisit WWII?

Battlefield V launches on October 19, 2018 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and will cost $59.99. You can pre-order it right now at Microsoft and certain other stores.

Any questions?

Want to know more about Battlefield V or Grand Operations? Ask me in the comments!

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