The year and change since Battlefield V’s launch, and the months which preceded it, to be honest, haven’t exactly instilled even its die-hard fan base with confidence. DICE hasn’t really followed through on a lot of promises, consistently delaying content, messing around with unwanted modes, and dangling private servers like a carrot on a stick for months on end.

But it’s important that DICE stuck with Battlefield V. Leaving it to languish and rot could cause irreparable harm to the Battlefield franchise. Just as they’ve done with Star Wars Battlefront 2, they’ve stuck with it and, like a USS battleship deep in the Pacific, they’re slowly turning things around.

The goobers had it in from day one, of course. Those folks who were needlessly angry over a reveal trailer which, for a variety of reasons, saw the tide first turn against Battlefield V.

Yet through these choppy waters, BFV sailed on regardless. We waited six months and received just a single new map. We were spawning with black screens. Occasionally our weapons would disappear. DICE threw its weight behind a Combined Arms co-op mode which nobody had any interest in playing. And Firestorm battle royale is great but ultimately a distraction from the core issue of Battlefield V being content-light since launch. 

The reason that Battlefield V is somehow still chugging along through all this, through thick and thin, is because at its very core this is a great Battlefield game. BFV looks fantastic, it feels great, and there’s a great deal of variety between all of the weapons, tools and vehicles that are now at our fingertips. All it was really lacking were more substantial ‘battlefield’ maps, a more regular stream of fresh content, and those pesky bugs squashed. 

For those who’ve stuck with it, the payoff feels as if it’s finally here, or at least in sight. DICE has dropped the free War in the Pacific update for Battlefield V, adding the Japanese and US factions, plenty of new weapons, two new maps, and a bona fide classic is on the way in December in the form of Wake Island.

The maps we do have are absolutely stonking though. Breakthrough on Iwo Jima is an absolute sight to behold. It’s the sort of video game beach landing you’ve always dreamed of, as perverse as that statement sounds. Landing craft are pouring up the beach, tanks are rolling in, and a nest of machine gunners desperately tries to keep the pack at bay. The map takes you from the beaches to an underground cave network, up over the hills, before culminated in an almighty battle atop the summit of the volcano itself. It’s a mind-blowing spectacle and feels like a satisfying victory for Battlefield fans who’ve been starved of genuinely ‘battlefield-like’ moments. 

As a template for how BFV should be handled in the months and years ahead (the next Battlefield isn’t due until holiday 2021), War in the Pacific is a great indicator that there’s plenty of life left in this old dog yet. It’s really something and there’s still a bit of time to check it out for yourself if you want to see what all the fuss is about. There’s a weekend free trial running until November 4th which includes access to the full game on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. It’s a hell of a large download at this point though, so good luck getting it set up in time.

So calling all Battlefield fans, haters, and everything in between, what do you make of the current state of Battlefield V? Has DICE rescued it from the mire, or should it just hurry up with Bad Company 3? Let us know your thoughts below!