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The Battlefield V closed alpha test went live yesterday, and this is giving a number of fans their first chance to try the World War II shooter. This has moved the conversation away from crying about women and character customization to the mechanics of the shooting, the movement, and the various systems. And the consensus from those fans is the same one I came away from E3 with: Battlefield V has some of the best gunplay and character physics in the history of the series.

Developer DICE is continuing to make improvements to the shooter because it seems slightly faster in this alpha. So running around, jumping over obstacles, and firing weapons all feel wonderful in Battlefield V. I especially like how easy it is to understand why your shots are missing. Bullets are bright and easily visible as they leave your weapon, which helped me see that I was firing over enemy heads when I aimed at them from the high ground. When I started aiming closer to center mass, I started getting a lot more kills from that position.

But even as Battlefield V feels great and keeps me wanting to come back for more, I’m still missing key aspects of how to survive and thrive under the new attrition system. In this game, DICE has made it so that you can spawn with fewer rounds of ammo and other supplies as you get deeper into matches. The studio did this to encourage squads to stick together … but I’m not doing that.


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I’m playing Battlefield V wrong.

I’m still having a good time and getting a handful of kills, but I’m not sure if that is contributing to success for my squad or my team. And once I get separate from my squad, if they are in an area where I can’t spawn on them because they’re in the middle of a fight, it doesn’t seem worth it to try to get to them. Either they will die or I will die before I get to their location.

Playing with your squad seems like the easiest and most obvious way to have plenty of ammo. Even if no one is playing support, you can pick ammunition off of downed enemies — and that’s easier to do when you have backup and cover.

But I think you can do more to ensure you have more ammo. Maybe your rear bases have supply stations, and I think you can build new supply stations on other points. But I haven’t really noticed those spots yet. It hasn’t occurred to me during gameplay that I’m starting with fewer rounds until I am suddenly out of ammunition way faster than I expected. So I’m not even looking at the world from the perspective of trying to keep my character stocked — I have to change how I approach it, and that’s going to take time.

I’m sure if I play enough I’ll get the hang of some of these aspects eventually, but I’m concerned the squad mechanic might never come together. Even with Battlefield V amplifying all of the benefits of playing alongside your temporary buddies, everyone on the squad will still end up doing their own lonewolf thing.

I plan to play some more today, and I’m going to dedicate myself to understanding the attrition system and trying to stay close to my squad. Let’s hope DICE can make this work.

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