EA published Battlefield V towards the end of 2018. As the 15th overall entry in the franchise, the World War II first-person shooter garnered an average—for such a high profile title—critical reception. More importantly, commercially, Battlefield V failed to meet expectations, even if the shooter still sold respectably.
Putting aside stopgap entries like Battlefield Hardline, the series tends to produce a mainline game every two years. Therefore, 2020 should coincide with the release of the next Battlefield. As of the moment, nothing is really known about the yet-to-be-revealed sequel; however, rest assured that the future definitely holds a Battlefield VI. Here are five things Battlefield 2020 needs to be successful, and five things that should be removed from Battlefield V.
10 Drop: Counter-Productive PR
Admittedly, this is less of a feature and more of a suggestion. This may come as a surprise, but advising customers to not buy a product is not exactly a great marketing strategy, especially for EA.
Instigated by a poorly-received trailer that valued representation over historical accuracy, Battlefield V's pre-release rhetoric was dominated by the game's politics rather than choices. Battlefield 2020 needs to ensure that its gameplay is the focus.
9 Needs: Focused Single-Player Campaign
Recently, Battlefield has taken to creating "War Stories" based on historical battles. Serving more as short vignettes rather than fully fledged experiences, "War Stories" provide an exciting snapshot of encounters that were crucial in determining the outcome of the World Wars.
Battlefield V launched with three "War Stories," each requiring less than two hours to be completed. That is far too little time to properly become invested in the characters, so the campaigns simply do not leave a particularly long-lasting impression. Hopefully, Battlefield V will focus on telling a singular but effective narrative.
8 Drop: Historical Setting
Following a string of modern shooters, fans were calling out for a return to the good old days of the World Wars. Battlefield 1 came as a breath of fresh air, which may explain why it performed incredibly well with both critics and fans. In comparison, Battlefield V offered more of the same.
Along with Call of Duty: WWII, the genre has become somewhat oversaturated with historical shooters. While a Vietnam setting could be interesting, Battlefield 2020 may be better served jumping forward to the present day.
7 Needs: Super Grand Operations
Battlefield 1 introduced "Operations," a mode that saw 64 players compete to take over a single terrain. It was a welcome addition and arguably one of the best modes in the game. Later on, Battlefield V upped the ante with "Grand Operations," an incredible game mode that tasks players with completing a series of missions over the course of four days.
It goes without saying that Battlefield 2020 needs to include something akin to "Grand Operations," but EA DICE may even be capable of outdoing itself yet again. If a modern setting is elected, maybe "Grand Operations" can take on a more fantastical tone.
6 Drop: Battle Royale
Now, in all fairness, Battlefield V: Firestorm is among the better battle royales on the market, but such a mode requires a constantly high player count that the game has struggled to maintain. Unless EA plans to publish a free-to-play battle royale, then Battlefield 2020 should just drop the mode altogether.
While Fortnite continues to be a resounding success, everyone else seems destined to be playing catch-up. By the time the next Battlefield is released, the ship should have truly sailed when it comes to battle royales.
5 Needs: Even More Vehicular Combat
While most can presumably agree that Battlefield V was a slight step back from Battlefield 1, 2018's FPS is still a polished game with occasional moments of brilliance. Including an array of tanks and even planes, Battlefield V's vehicles control incredibly well and are a ton of fun to use. Few experiences are quite as exciting as storming onto a battlefield in a Churchill Mk VII.
Battlefield 2020 must expand on this aspect of the gameplay. We are not only talking about increasing the number of vehicles but also broadening the types available to the player.
4 Drop: Stealth Missions
Okay, completely eliminating stealth missions may be a bit harsh. After all, they provide a welcome change of pace to the single-player's standard large-scale warfare. Battlefield 1 peppered in just enough "sneaking behind enemy lines" style missions for them to serve as a nice distraction without becoming tiresome.
On the other hand, Battlefield V opted to double down and, consequently, stealth quickly overstayed its welcome. The mission "Under No Flag" is particularly boring and a chore to play through; so much so, we will be perfectly happy if Battlefield never touches stealth again.
3 Needs: Better Customization
In defense of Battlefield V, the World War II setting greatly limits DICE's options in terms of customization. Compared to other multiplayer-focused titles on the market, Battlefield lacks much in the way of awesome or even mildly amusing cosmetics. Very few of Battlefield V's weapon skins are worth collecting, so online matches often consist of identical looking equipment.
Assuming EA DICE steps away from the World Wars, then the studio should be able to develop more customization options. Apex Legends has done well in this department, so there is no reason Battlefield 2020 cannot do the same.
2 Drop: Emphasis On Roadmap
In the age of games as live services, a roadmap is unavoidable. Battlefield 2020 will undoubtedly seek to trickle down content over the course of a year or so. In theory, this strategy should keep players engaged through the periodic release of new maps. Unfortunately, studios have begun to use the roadmap as a crutch to publish incomplete titles which promise to eventually mature into something worth playing.
Anthem was a complete disaster, with EA even going as far as to remove the game's roadmap from the company's website. Battlefield 2020 must disassociate itself from EA's recent failures, and dropping a roadmap sounds like a solid first step.
1 Needs: A Solid Day 1
Be it due to uncooperative online servers or an array of glitches, Battlefield has amassed a reputation for launching in a rocky state. Battlefield 4 debuted in a notoriously defective state, while Battlefield V hit shelves without most of its modes. Although the former eventually came good, the latter never truly recovered from its mediocre initial reception.
Battlefield 2020 cannot afford to be another slow starter. Ship with all the multiplayer game modes, a robust single-player, and ready-to-go co-op. Another failure to launch could spell the end for Battlefield, as EA has simply used up all of its goodwill.