‘Battlefield V’: Everything You Need to Know About War Stories

James Valentine
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While much is being made of  Battlefield V‘s multiplayer experiences on offer — including a Battle Royale mode called Firestorm that looks remarkable — we thought we’d catch you up on a few things you need to know about the singer player mode, War Stories. These encompass a variety of tales from some of World War II’s lesser told conflicts, with developers DICE taking you across the breadth of the globe. The result is a game that focuses on the word “world” as much as the one “war.” You’ll find a thrilling, dramatic FPS experience, unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

WHAT EXACTLY ARE “WAR STORIES”?

Instead of one campaign, Battlefield V revisits the format laid down on Battlefield 1 of breaking the single-player campaign into individual, brilliantly written, tonally diverse “War Stories.” One of our favorites is called “Nordys.” set in Rjukan, Norway, in the spring of 1943, which is the tale of a young resistance fighter charged with freeing an allied scientist being imprisoned behind enemy lines, taking her away from the interrogation that would allow the war to swing in the Nazi’s favor. It’s an extremely moving story, which pits you against the brutal chill of the Scandinavian wilds as much as it does more traditional German enemies. Oh, and you get to ski in it, too. Trust us when we say that you haven’t lived until you’ve skied away from a Nazi desperately bellowing, “Come back here!”

NO ONE WAY TO FIGHT

Variety is the key to understanding War Stories. DICE have been on record as saying they wanted to create experiences that could see you fly planes, drive tanks, as well as fight on the ground. The different stories allow you to do that. Similarly, there’s not just one way to play each story. Take “Nordys” for example. When you come to the Nazi base, you can either proceed with stealth or you can get in a truck and drive through the gate all guns blazing. There’s no one way to get from A to B. Different ways of playing unlock different experiences. These aren’t stories you’ll experience just once, but many times, and from many angles.

“Under No Flag” is probably the most traditional story on show, though it’s premise is far from boring. You’re Arthur Bridger, a bit of a bad seed who’s given the choice between spending the war behind bars or making up a brigade of young lads given the chance to work their crimes off by joining the fight. Arthur is a bit Danny Dyer, and also a bit Rambo. His story is written with strong emotions as well as some genuinely funny, laugh-out-loud moments — and it features a cool twist later on. There are also some intriguing strategy elements, like finding high ground to use your binoculars and plan the route ahead. We really want to tell you more about the twist, but we can’t. Just trust us when we say that it’s really, really good…

STORIES LESS TOLD

When we mentioned Battlefield V’s mission to shine a light on stories rarely told, we really weren’t exaggerating. “Tirailleur” positions you as a young Senegalese man called Deme Cisse, who is drafted to fight for a homeland he’s never even seen, as part of the French Colonial Empire. The story takes place within the framework of Operation Dragoon, which was the code name for the Allied invasion of Southern France on August 15, 1944. It’s another example of the game presenting a different take on World War II, showing you things the history books so frequently have failed to mention. It’s a story about racism and nationhood and the fight for acceptance. We’re not ashamed to admit that we found this one really moving.

More to Come

If that wasn’t enough, there’s a War Story coming post-launch, that might just be the most ambitious, nuanced story Battlefield has ever tried to tell. It’s called “The Last Tiger,” and it’s set from the perspective of the Nazis — the only War Story to do so — as the Allies close in on a decimated Berlin in the closing days of the war. In it, an exhausted, war-weary Tiger tank brigade tear apart the Nazi ideology that led them to this point. DICE needs to be applauded for such brave storytelling, and we’re really looking forward to the reaction to it. The story really is symbolic of what Battlefield V is trying to do, which is to entertain you, yes, but also to really immerse you within the varying emotions, motivations, and consequences to come out of the bloodiest battle the world has ever seen.

James Valentine
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