Battlefield V review: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
Battlefield V (XO/PS4/PC) ★★★★ Age: 18+
Always under-promise and over-deliver, never the other way round. In one sense, Battlefield V stands head held high, pulsating with thunderous, exhilarating action as it tackles World War II.
But in another sense, this sequel to the rebooted Battlefield One (don't ask where II, III and IV went) fumbles and stumbles as it arrives missing a good half of what will eventually make up the finished game. It couldn't be as simple as publishing giant EA being too grasping to miss the Christmas release window, could it?
Suckers (sorry, er, customers) who buy it now will find Battlefield V lacks the 'Battle Royale' mode that has set the gaming world alight, as seen in other titles from Fortnite to Call of Duty to (the originator) PUBG. You'll be waiting three or four months for that.
Also (ahem) missing in action is co-op mode and the 'Tides of War' live service akin to a war campaign. The wait will be shorter for these elements, but it smacks of cheek to charge full whack in the meantime.
All of which is a crying shame, because when it's good, Battlefield V is very, very good. The single-player campaign shouldn't be overlooked, even though the enemies sport all the intelligence of a dumb rock. But the multiplayer gameplay is often nothing short of sublime, fantastically detailed arenas of chaos conveying all the tumult of war, sweetly tuned with a broad arsenal of weapons.
Here, Battlefield V almost makes up for its sins, only to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by a copious complement of bugs.
EA will no doubt point to Battlefield V's ongoing development as an excuse, but imagine releasing a book or TV series without much-touted key chapters? Yes, quite.
Lego DC Super-Villains
(PS4/XO/PC) ★★★ Age: 7+
Who doesn't want to play the baddies? If a turn as The Joker, Harley Quinn and many more DC villains (about 80 apparently) whets the appetite, this latest Lego crossover hits the spot.
Sure, the gameplay is so old it practically has whiskers, and the flaws of the long-running Lego series go uncorrected. Truth be told, the villains can't really indulge their evil instincts either.
But as always, this is amusing fare for young 'uns who'll get plenty of entertainment from its knockabout, undemanding game world.