When Battlefield is good, it’s really, really good. There’s a magic to be found when zipping to a distant capture point in an armoured vehicle, your friends in tow as you man the rear guns and take potshots at the fighter plane above that then comes screaming down in a streak of fire and crashes into a building, sending it tumbling to the ground and taking out the squad that was camping there. It’s breathless stuff – and when Battlefield’s sandbox delivers, there’s nothing quite like it.
Of course, there’s the other side to Battlefield as well. The one where you’re running aimlessly across a vast map, not entirely sure where to head next, and having your long journey to a capture point cut short by some sniper camping out on some faraway hill. It’s frustrating to the extreme. Or maybe you just fell foul to one of the many glitches to be found. When Battlefield’s bad, it can be really, really bad.
True to form, Battlefield 5 has offered a bit of both. It launched just under a year ago, undercooked and with support in its first few months patchy at best. Firestorm made a belated debut earlier this year, and offered a fascinating take on the Battle Royale genre, though support seems to have petered out, while elsewhere new maps were only being added sporadically. Being a Battlefield 5 player has been, more often than not, a deeply frustrating experience.