Intro

Battlefield V PC Game Review & Ultra DX12 DXR Performance 

Battlefield V released worldwide yesterday, and it is such an important game that it required two BTR reviewers to cover it properly.  Battlefield V is also a very large and a visually stunning game that has improved over its predecessor, and it features the very first ray tracing found in any video game.

BabelTechReviews received two press copies of Battlefield V last week from EA/NVIDIA.  Both of us immediately began playing it, and we have each put many hours into the game.  Mario tackled multiplayer, and Mark played through the single player War Stories and benchmarked Ultra performance including Ultra DXR reflections with nine video cards.

The War Stories

The War Stories are single player missions that consist of three individual stories which are considered “untold” although they are somewhat loosely-based on historical events.  They are each quite challenging, especially on the higher difficulties, and they may take many hours to complete.

If you choose an easy difficulty, you can run and gun, but if you choose the higher difficulties, you will be forced to use strategy, and crawling prone is often necessary to achieve your objectives.  In all cases, strategy is important to disable alarms to prevent reinforcements from being called which will make your objectives much more difficult to achieve.

Under No Flag

“Under No Flag” is the story of one rebellious misfit who was given a choice of remaining in jail or serving in the British Army.

“Under No Flag” is a very good story with great voice acting, and although your character becomes a hero, it is still realistic and exciting.  You become the demolition expert seeking redemption and whose goal is to blow up the German Luftwaffe bases behind enemy lines who are terrorizing the Allied infantry.  This story explores your relationship with your commanding officer.

“Under No Flag” is set in the North African desert and there are excellent graphics, but with less chance for reflections until later on, although puddles of water and shiny objects offer good reflections.  Here is a scene in the rain.  We noticed some artifacting with the rain drops using Radeons that were improved somewhat by the latest 18.11.2 driver, but they are still visible as translucent boxes.  This particular issue does not affect GeForce gamers.

The scope and the map size of “Under No Flag” are huge and there is a good variety of terrain, objectives, and with plenty of things to blow up. Here is an Ansel capture showing a panoramic view of one scene.

Nordlys

The second War Story, “Nordlys,” makes a great contrast to the desert that is set in a frozen world of snow and ice which offers great reflections on the frozen lakes with good opportunities for rendering accurate DXR reflections.  “Nordlys” is a story of the Norwegian resistance, and the focus is on two women fighters who are heroes.

“Nordlys” is a cold world with a lot of snow and frozen surfaces.  Even without reflections, it is quite impressive visually.  This map seems smaller than the other two War Stories’ maps, although there are also multiple objectives.  Here is another Ansel screenshot.

“Nordlys” starts out great, with superb voice acting and a logical sequence of events. The main characters speak mostly Norwegian and German, and subtitles translate what is being said.  We get a deep look at the relationship between the two heroines and their daunting tasks that face them, to first investigate and then stop a major threat that could turn the tide of the war in Germany’s favor.

The skiing scenes leading to the frozen-over lake are not only fun but visually stunning as is this scene captured by NVIDIA’s Ansel.  There are a few minor issues with the visuals as the rectangular grids that divide the map are visible in the snow and on the ice in some scenes.

Unfortunately, halfway through the story it degenerates into immersion-breaking stupidity in an effort to set the social justice record right all-at-once regarding the role of women in World War II.  It is historical fact that there were thousands of women who served on the front lines. Some women acted as infantry and even carried arms and took on the German soldiers directly in combat, and some of these women were highly decorated as war heroes – in the Russian army.

The other allied armies generally used women for support, although thousands of women died alongside the men.  However, this story could have used any gender, and it would still have been a failure.  For example, the heroine is dressed warmly, then suddenly after a turning point, she has to dart from campfire to campfire just to stay warm enough to survive.

After falling into a frozen lake and not warming up nor drying her clothes, she becomes a superwoman while still freezing.  Completely unarmed, she is able to knock out a helmeted German soldier with only a bottle, and then strangles him, after which she goes on a killing rampage that no ‘Rambo’ of any gender could dream of.

This sudden shift in tone was so immersion-breaking that this editor began to laugh out loud.  Our objective changed to wanting to finish this episode as quickly as possible because this potentially great story was ruined by incredibly poor writing in an effort to somehow elevate women into goddesses.

Tirailleur

The Tirailleurs, or sharpshooter riflemen, were a corps of Senegalese colonial infantry in the French Army that were originally recruited from Senegal, French West Africa. The designation was given by the French Army to mostly indigenous men of color recruited from the colonies and possessions of the French Empire during the 19th and 20th centuries.  They also fought in World War I.

This third War Story is about two brothers who believed that they had something to prove.  Their goal was to beat the German army and to do what the regular French army could not accomplish by retaking the South of France.

Both brothers had very different points of view and different personal goals. The huge scope of these maps, along with that of the first story are utterly impressive.  You actually feel like you are part of a huge battle taking place and there is an urgency to accomplish goals quickly to keep your comrades in arms alive.

You can run in any direction and pick your objectives in the order you choose as long as you do not stray out of the Combat Area.  If you do, you will be given a warning message and have ten seconds to return to it or you will fail and be returned to the last checkpoint.  As usual, we hate the checkpoint system although it is fairly well implemented in War Stories.

This episode is one of the very most intense areas for DXR reflections anywhere, and at its beginning, a RTX 2080 Ti may even struggle at 1920×1080 resolution with DXR on.  There are dense foliage, lakes, and puddles of water everywhere.  There is plenty of water which reflects, and the explosions look incredible with fire being reflected accurately, no matter from which angle you look. Let’s check out DXR ray traced reflections.

Battlefield V

$59.99
8.6

Overall

8.6/10

Multiplayer

8.0/10

Single Player

8.4/10

Graphics

9.5/10

Pros

  • Potential to be the best entry in the franchise
  • Beautiful graphics and RTX is a great bonus
  • Squad-focused gameplay is fun and

Cons

  • The games feels incomplete and needs a lot of patches
  • RTX halves performance in most cases and is not optimized
  • Bugs and more bugs need to be ironed out