Battlefield V's take on battle royale was worthy of anticipation; DICE have made their name on endlessly replayable multiplayer experiences, filled to the brim with exciting destruction, so why would Firestorm be any different?
Getting into the mode proper, which I was subsequently able to do, I appreciated Firestorm’s greater sense of realism as compared to its contrived peers when it comes to shrinking the circular battlefield. Isolation and terror really begin to build as you hear the fiery inferno starting to make its way towards you, then, once the fire catches up, you’ll hear the screams and shouts of your character as their inevitable demise begins to sink in.
Bugs aside, the intended format is what you might expect from a battle royale game: drop, loot, sneak about, take a few shots, probably get killed by someone you didn't see. Only here, there are vehicles to contend with too. Could this be the USP for DICE’s entry into an already crowded marketplace?
Firestorm has the ingredients for at least a solid survival shooting experience from this tried and tested franchise.
Vehicles are dotted about the map, including amphibious ones, but unlike PUBG you can airdrop them in at will using limited signal flares. You’re even able to signal a fairly devastating airstrike, which can also inadvertently knock out your team if you aren't too careful. Ultimately, the vehicles haven't been the game-changing factor in close games so far, so the jury is still out.
The armour system, which essentially lets you replenish individual armour plates on the fly as you scavenge around the map, is honestly pretty neat. Hits on enemies will register as being deflected by armour specifically, so you have an idea of how much damage you're actually doing to their vitals.
Layer in a comparatively basic battle royale weapon set - appropriate to the time period, but still far from realistic - and you've got the ingredients for at least a solid survival shooting experience from this tried and tested franchise.
Whether Firestorm can hold people's attention versus the big boys of the genre, including EA's own Apex Legends, remains to be seen, but, for the time being, it's done enough to justify its own existence and feel like more than just a tacked-on afterthought.