It's pretty safe to say that Battlefield 5 performed below expectations, even though its reviews were mostly positive. With physical sales in launch week down more than half on Battlefield 1, it seemed like fans were tiring of the churn and many of them were deserting the series for the greener pastures of the ever expanding battle royale genre.
Even I, a seasoned Battlefield player who has enjoyed every other game in the series, decided to skip this one after finding it underwhelming at a Gamescom preview event. However, after going hands on with Firestorm, Battlefield 5's take on the battle royale genre, I don't mind admitting that I'll be picking up a copy specifically to play that mode.
Firestorm lives in the space between PUBG and Call of Duty: Blackout. There's a sense of realism and tension there that war-sim fans will appreciate, but occasionally the action can ramp up in such a way that it starts to leans towards the arcadey-end of the spectrum. This means anyone who's turned off by the cartoony antics of Fortnite or the intense speed of Apex Legends will feel right at home in Firestorm, but thanks to the ease of its loot system, casual players should also be able to pick up the game with relative ease.
The most impressive thing about this take on battle royale is the ferocious wall of flames that Firestorm is named after. The power of the firestorm is incredible and watching it tear everything in its path to shreds as it advances across the map is as visually impressive as it is utterly terrifying. Honestly, the standard forcefields you have to avoid in other battle royale games seem comically tame when compared to the destructive power of the firestorm.
As you'll be able to see in the video above, being inside of the firestorm is like running through the gates of hell, or being at ground zero during an apocalyptic event. Alongside being able to watch what the firestorm is capable of, the video is full of awesome Firestorm moments and in it I talk about 21 things that you need to know about the game; tips which will hopefully help you hit the ground running when the game launches next week.
If you'd rather watch some Battlefield 5 Firestorm gameplay that doesn't feature me nattering away over the top of it however, you can check out a full Firestorm match in the video below. This footage follows me from the beginning moments in the aircraft hanger lobby, right through to a triumphant victory on a tiny island surrounded by an intimidating wall of fire.
You can get a snippet of almost every core moment from a Firestorm match in this video, from furious looting and erratic driving through to some tense moments of squad-on-squad combat and of course, loads of lovely destruction.
As it stands, I can't wait to play more Firestorm when it launches on March 25th. I do wonder if it will be enough to lure players back to the battlefield though, especially considering it's not launching as a free-to-play service like Apex Legends or Fortnite. Only time will tell, I guess, but if you're a fan of the battle royale genre and already own the game I'd heartily recommend dropping in and giving it a go.