Waukee High School • 555 University Avenue • Waukee, Iowa 50263 • Volume 26, Edition 4 • December 2018
win a dozen free donuts from the waukee arrowhead! submit your funniest memory to @waukeearrowhead on twitter to be entered in a drawing.
in this issue... Seasonal Features
4 | 10 activities to do in iowa for new year’s 5 | toys for tots 6 | staying swole in the off season 7 | Holiday treats recipes
front cover | donuts contest 3 | tweets of the month 14 | battlefield V review
community & Opinion
8 | 1 in 2100: Carrie Wilhite 9 | this month’s upcoming events 10 & 11 | Waukee audit report
12 | sports spotlight: basketball 13 | warriors on ice
a note from the photographer
I found out i can take great photos from my back deck with my phone. No cool camera, no fancy equipment, just my iPhone and an app I used to edit. I think it really shows that you can make something look cool without having all the super advanced equipment (even though that is great). It also shows how photo editing, if used correctly, is an art, and isn’t always a negative concept when it comes to pictures. It’s all about creativity and how you use it! -Aubrey Mahoney
dear students, explore our website!
The Arrowhead is a student-led, student-funded paper distributed to students, faculty and more than 60 businesses around Waukee, Iowa. Our paper is a two-way communication system and welcomes students to contact The Arrowhead staff with questions, concerns or news through email@example.com or through any of our linked social media. The views expressed in the Arrowhead do not reflect those of the Waukee Community School District. The rights and responsibilites of the student journalists are protected by the Iowa Code 280.22.
- The Arrowhead Staff
tweets of the month
activities to do in Iowa for New Year’s
Are you struggling because you can’t find something to do this New Year’s Eve? The biggest night of the year is almost here. Don’t want to stay home and do the countdown in bed? Don’t worry, many places exist where you can go out and do something exciting somewhere near you. Below are ten things happening in central Iowa this New Years. Let’s receive this new year out of bed celebrating with friends and family and saying hello to 2019 with a smile on our faces!
New Years Party with DJ Tone Zone: Dance into a New Year @Salt of the Hearth in West Des Moines $40 ticket Includes: Welcome NYE Swag Bag DJ Tone Zone (local talent, Tony Galloro!) Dance Floor, Welcome Drink, - Glass Bubbly at Midnight, Discounted Food & Drinks ALL NIGHT! Monday, Decembe 31, 2018 - Jan 1, 2019 8pm- 1AM
Welcome New Year’s with relaxed vibes at Wooly’s in Des Moines. New Year’s bash is back! Includes: Free photo booth and a balloon drop while Tony Bohnenkamp and Jerry Lorenson play all your favorite tunes on the ivories! Monday December 31, 2018 Doors open: 7 PM / Show: 9 PM TICKETS: $20 - $150
From Wicked to Glee , Kristin Chenoweth and her quintet will led you to New Year with a concert enjoyable for many. TICKETS ADULT: $119 COLLEGE STUDENT: $119 YOUTH: $119 Monday, December 31, 2018, 9:30 pm Iowa City, IA Hadley Stage
Start your New Year’s Eve watching Iowa Wild hopefully take a win against the Chicago Wolves. Includes: Post-game fireworks & Dollar Dog night! Monday, December 31, 2018 Start Time: 2:30 pm TICKETS: $11 - $55 Okoboji, IA The Gardens
Bring on the new year by skating the last night away at Brenton Skating Plaza in Des Moines. Featuring stunning city landscape backdropped on top of smooth ice and can provide quite the healthy way of finishing off the old year. Times: 12PM- 11:59 PM TICKETS: $8.50 Skate Rentals: $4.75
This year, ring in the New Year with the soaring sounds of Broadway (from Wicked to West Side Story) the greatest songs of Broadway backed by the full orchestral power of your Des Moines Symphony! Monday, December 31, 2018 Start Time: 8:00 PM TICKETS: $35- $90 Des Moines, IA Des Moines Civic Center
The New Year’s Eve celebration at the Des Moines Science Center of Iowa is the place to celebrate the new year 12 hours early by enjoying fun activities like: face-painting, magic tricks, and a massive balloon drop at noon, you can really make a full day out of it by exploring the other daily exhibits offered by the Science Center after the celebration. December 31, 2018 9:00AM3:00 TICKETS: $12
Start a new year with happiness filling your heart. TRIPLE ESPRESSO tells the story of three guys whose bid for showbiz fame and fortune ended in four minutes of magnificent failure on national television. Start/End Time: December 31, 2018- Jan 6 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM Ticket Price: $20 - $50 Des Moines Performing Arts Temple
Celebrate a New Year with the band Burnin’ Sensations at the district venue! Unlimited gourmet, complimentary appetizers, complimentary champagne toast at midnight. TICKETS: $35 Mon, Dec 31, 2018, 7:30 PM –Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 1:30 AM Ankeny, IA The District
Start your New Year with friends and family looking at the sky light up with beautiful colorful fireworks. December 31, 2018 Start time: 11:45pm Okoboji, IA The Gardens
By Stephanie Diaz Reporter
Article by Marissa Garton, Reporter Layout by Rashed Alsharqi, Reporter
Snow falling, music playing, and the holiday spirit in the air makes these months of November and December special. Some families put a few Christmas lights around the perimeter of the home, while some just cuddle by the warm fire. “For the past five years or so, we have been trying to figure out a way to incorporate some ‘good’ with our display,” stated Valerie Bauer. She, as well as her two kids and her husband, light up the street for almost every holiday. Mrs Bauer has been decorating her house from top to bottom for approximately 17 years. She started in the 2000’s when she lived alone. Years later she meet her husband Eric Bauer and he proposed this question; Why do you do this? Just as he was saying this a neighborhood child walked by, his eyes lit up, and his mouth dropped. Valerie turned to Eric and stated ‘that is why I do it!’ For the past five years, the Bauers have been trying to find something that they could incorporate to help with the Christmas season. With years and years of
thinking of ideas, this years they knew they had to do Toys for Tots. After filling out an application, she quickly sent an email to the Marines to ask if it was okay and if her family could do this. They got a response almost immediatally. After reading the email, they went and picked up five boxes from KCCI where the visitors could place their donated items. “I sometimes blame the over- thetop decorations and new additions on the kids,” reflected Mrs Bauer. Valerie and Eric have two kids, Olivia (9) and Austin(8) that share the holiday spirits with them. The couple then explained how the kids help out as much as possible and are getting really good at the process that goes into setting them up, as well as tearing them down. With the enormous amount of setups that swarm the yard, they also decorate the inside of the house as well. Throughout the house, the Bauers have seven fully decorated trees, serval animated characters, and a kitchen filled with holiday themed stuffed animals. Since Christmas is still one of their favorite holidays, they unintentionally keep adding more to their collection. The Bauers spend anywhere from 20 to 30 hours making sure
everything is working and set up how they want it. They also stated that their neighbors have not been anything but gracious about the volume of cars that their holiday lights and holiday spirits bring to their neighborhood. “I really love how great our neighborhood is and that in all of the years our family has decorated, there hasn’t been a single Grinch upset about any of our decorations,” said V. Bauer. This year, not only starting the tradition with Toys for Tots, they had Santa and Mrs. Claus and the reindeer join them outside while they greet every car that drives by and every family that walks the sidewalk the night of December 1st. “We love to do it and share with our neighbors, seeing how happy it makes the kids (and parents and grandparents) fuels us to keep it up and make it better and better each year!” ended V. Bauer.
You can visit the Toys for Tots home and seeing the decorations for yourself at 3465 Berkshire pwky Clive, 50325
Staying swole during the off-season By: Audra Wilkinson
hard to make time since most of my activities are after school. That is why I weight lift in the morning,” explained Cade Tjaden. Along with the school weightlifting, some players choose to workout on their own time. “I wake up at 5:30 and go to the YMCA until 6:45. At the Y, I do lifting and then a mile run to finish “How do I stay in shape? it out,” explained Drew Morgan. Along with weightlifting, severI don’t.” al Waukee football players play in various sports and activities. “I play to be prepared for football season other sports like wrestling and track next fall. Since the cold months to keep building muscle,” explained have arrived and ice is rapidly Matt Kapustka. “I do throwing for approaching, it would seem difficult to find ways to stay active, but track,” added Morgan. “I also parthese athletes have a plan. There are ticipate in show choir and school soccer, along with intramurals,” various strategies that the Waukee said Tjaden. The boys easily keep football players will be following to keep the winter layers off during themselves busy focusing on other sports during their time off of the “I wake up at 5:30 and go football field. to the YMCA until 6:45.” off-season. A very common method of exercise for the Waukee football players is weightlifting. “There’s tons of football guys, freshman through senior. There’s always positive energy in the weight room,” stated Waukee athlete, Janiah Jones. The school provides before and after school weight training for any students, which football players are encouraged to participate in. “It’s “How do I stay in shape? I don’t,” said sophomore Caleb Paulus. When football season ends it may seem like a break to some, but in reality most of the players continue their exercise throughout the entire year. The players must stay in shape and continue to build muscle
Some of the boys find it difficult to continue their weekly
“I also participate in show choir and school soccer, along with intramurals.” fitness routines during the winter season. Tjaden admitted, “It’s hard sometimes to stay motivated because I can’t see that progress every day; but I know that in the long run it will benefit me, which will equally help my team.” The players focus on the positive outcome resulting from their hard work outside of football practice.
“i know that in the long run it will benefit me, which will equally help my team.”
“Sometimes when it’s really early I don’t want to wake up, but I know I just need to get better,” commented senior Nathan Brush. With hard work, motivation, and dedication given by each player, the Waukee players will continue to make improvements every day, so that in fall the boys will be ready for the next game day.
Holiday Treats By angela Trinh
Ingredients: 12 oz. melted white chocolate 1 c. sweetened condensed milk 1 tsp. nutmeg 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. ginger Red and green nonpareils
Photo by Ethan Calabrese | Delish.com
Marbled Dipped Apples
Directions: Mix the white chocolate and condensed milk together in a large bowl. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. Stir till the ingredients are well mixed, and put in the desired amount of nonpareils. Stir once again. Move the fudge into a parchment-lined baking dish, and smooth over top. Sprinkle some nonpareils on top and let it sit firm in the fridge for at least an hour.
Ingredients: Apples Lollipop sticks 2-4 c. white melting chocolate Â˝ c. red melting chocolate Â˝ c. green melting chocolate
Directions: Stick a lollipop stick into each apple, and set them aside. Pour the three colors into three separate bowls, having a bigger one for the white chocolate, which will serve as the base color. Drizzle a bit of the red and green chocolate onto the top of the white chocolate. Dip the apple down into the mixture, twisting slightly then stop and remove the apple from the chocolate.
Photo by Angie | bigbearswife.com
Sleigh Riding Teddy Bears Ingredients: Snickers Bite Size Bars Mini candy canes Mini Teddy Grahams Chocolate Frosting
Directions: Cut the teddy grahams in half horizontally across the stomach. Place frosting on the bottom of each bar, and stick two candy canes on the same place. Frost the bottom of each teddy graham, and place both on the top of the bar.
1CARRIEinWILHITE 2100 By: KEEGAN PICKERING
Carrie Wilhite is a junior who loves to keep a busy schedule and prides herself in being involved with lots of different things. She enjoys theatre, taking part in the school’s play, ‘The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later.’ Wilhite also enjoys choir and is going to be in NOVA, an all-girls choir group starting up early next year. She also enjoys being a part of the Girls’ golf team in her free time. Wilhite has been in every school play she could sign up for, and on top of that was a director, actor and crew member for Friday Night Live for multiple years. Wilhite aims to be a part of the Thespian Board, a newly introduced group of upperclassmen who act as the student council for the theatre program, overseeing things like FNL. She enjoys theatre, but thinks of it as more of a hobby than any kind of profession. She knew she wanted to be involved in the arts when she was young, growing up with her older sister who was a big inspiration for her. One of Wilhite’s proudest achievements is taking part in a pageant where she won 2nd place overall, but
“I’m really involved in theatre and choir... I do everything possible.” finished in 1st for other sub-categories. When asked about her role models, Wilhite replied, “I really like Emma Stone and all the stuff she’s been in… and people like Darren Criss who are musicians and theatre because those are two things I love to do.” She enjoys artists like Troye Sivan, a former Youtuber, and Panic At The Disco. Wilhite fondly remembers the time she travelled all the way to California to see Sivan in concert. “It was really cool. I went with my mom. We had plane tickets we had to use or else they would disappear… so my mom said ‘okay you can go
anywhere you want but it has to be this weekend’. I was like ‘Troye Sivan is in California this weekend, so let’s go!’”Wilhite explained. Wilhite strangely remembered having a dream about the concert years prior. “It was weird, because the venue it was in, I’d never been there before or seen pictures, but a year or two ago I had a dream about being there, standing right where I was,” Wilhite explained, stunned by the coincidence. Although she loves certain artists, she’ll listen to any genre of
“... I had a dream about being there, standing right where I was” music as long as it’s not rap. Her family has a playlist they call ‘Boat Music’, a mix of country, pop, and other genres that they listen to on the lake. “[Being on the lake] is cool, but I have an insane fear of seaweed. I like to go tubing and kneeboarding, but I can’t fall off or I’ll touch seaweed and that’s really gross,” stated Wilhite. Wilhite recalls going to a lake in Wisconsin with her best friend and her family. “We went and watched fireworks on the boat for the Fourth of July, and it was really cool because there was like a hundred boats just sitting there right next to each other in the middle of the lake with fireworks going off,” Wilhite recalled. Also on her list of activities is playing for the Girls’ Golf team, which her parents encouraged she sign up for. Although her parents made her do it, Wilhite still enjoys being on the team and playing the sport. Wilhite admits she has some trouble fitting it into her busy schedule of theatre and choir, but she in the end she finds a little time for everything.
Ma Ci fr an ah So t
waukee Girls’ and Boys’ Bowling team Competes against
waukee Girls’ basketball team
December 18th and 21st
is having a match against Mason City High @ Mason City High School, 6:15-8:15 and home game in the field house against Southeast Polk from 6:15 to 9:30pm.
WDM Valley @ Val Lanes Recreation Center from 3:45 to 6:45pm.
waukee boys’ basketball team
waukee boys’ swim team is having a meet against Sioux City West and Atlantic CSD @ the Nisha Valley YMCA at 5:30pm.
Mason city @ Mason City High School on from 7:45 to 9:45pm and Waukee is having a home game against Southeast Polk in the Field House at 7:45pm.
December 18th and 21st waukee Wrestling team is having a meet against WDM Valley in the Waukee Field House at 6:30pm.
Go out and
support your waukee teams
DISCLAIMER: All photos used are from last season Community
On December 6th, Iowa’s State Auditor, Mary Mosiman, released a report detailing an investigation of the Waukee Community School District, regarding allegations of inappropriate financial expenditures within the district, as well as alleged mideeds by the Chief Operating Officer of the district, Eric Rose. The investigation found evidence of misconduct by Rose, along with more than $130,000 of expenditures that, according to Mosiman, “were not in the best interests of the tax payers.” The audit covered the period from Jul 1, 2013 through December 31, 2017. In addition to the financial expenditures in question, the audit identified a lack of communication and transparency between district managers and staff. The audit stated, “The lawsuits filed against the District are further evidence of the unfavorable environment and working conditions at the District.” Total: $27,903.01 The audit schoolhouse fund $16,684.05 paid for furniture stated, “The total purchase price for these items ap$10,596.96 paid for 8 lounge pears excessive and may chairs not meet the test of public ($1,324.62 each) purpose.” $622.00 paid for office for former CFO
From July 1st, 2013 - December 31, 2017
$8,669.51 at Spaghetti Works $8.179.60 at Jethros BBQ $6,364.74 at Perkins $6,041.77 at In the Bag $4,615.66 at Palmers Deli $3,823.03 at Pizza Ranch
$3,534.71 at Biaggis $2,702.92 at Jasons Deli $2,611.68 at Echos Cookies $2,063.75 at Bravo Total: $48,607.37 in meals
$82,234.08 on district retreats in Kansas City and Omaha. The total includes $67,904.83 on lodging, $13,286.68 on meals as well as expenses such as escape rooms ($790.17) and pedal pubs ($642.00). The audit found a district retreat was not held in 2018 due to public scrutiny of prior retreats.
Lawsuit settlements Terry Welker (former director of HR) received $993,120 Nick Bavas (former operations manager) received $175,000 A third lawsuit has not been settled or tried
Story, revision, and statistics by Erin Hollar, Katie Ogden, Rashed Alsharqi, Felicia Williams, Keegan Pickering, Stephen Holko, Marissa Garton; with additional assistance from Zoe Lenart Layout by Dana Aguilar
“I told him it was potentially illegal activity. I couldn’t look the other direction, and [Rose] reiterated it wouldn’t go well for my job. So basically, he was warning me with an open threat.” That from former HR director Terry Welker received a settlement of $993,120 after being dismissed due to alleged budget cuts. “I refused the severance package they offered me originally, just because I didn’t think it was in good faith,” Welker stated. He claimed to have witnessed illegal and immoral behavior— for example, timecard falsification. Sophomore Kylie Dove expressed, “How does the school district find time and money to go on trips and spend money on random things they ‘need’ when as students we need much more help? It could be put towards club scholarships for the students and much more.” Many people have strong thoughts about the questionable expenditures at district office and the management skills of Waukee School’s chief operating officer (COO) Eric Rose. Given the position of COO, Rose took on the responsibility of placing effective financial procedures within the district. Some individuals would argue that Rose is not living up to his job description. “A Waukee Schools’ internal investigation conducted in March 2016 found Rose kept a district snowblower at his home, had employees run errands for him while on the clock, provided his wife and son with key card access to district buildings and solicited donations for his son’s
“In regards to the board and your oversight, let me also remind the board that oversight is defined as a watchful and responsible care of the taxpayers’ dollars, and I think that the audit report puts that in question.” For some, the misuse of taxpayer dollars raises suspicion towards whether more funding for public education is in the community’s best interest. “The purchases are not something a school district should be spending the taxpayers’ money on […] The money needs to be spent on items that will enhance the education for kids of the district,” shared concerned citizen and mother of two, Carol Turpen. “He [Rose] needs to be fired for mishandling of school expenses.” Communications Coordinator Nicole Lawrence stated that the district has updated several board policies on top of improving employee training in order to improve transparency. However, former legislator Rob Taylor believes the policies still have not been changed enough to prevent further misuse of school funding. Whistleblower Nicholas Bavas, who felt he was forced out after publicizing Rose’s misconduct, sued the district for wrongful termination and settled for $175,000. Bavas tions first surfaced, Rose was still re- told TV8 News, “When I was there, warded with a 5.78% raise. Following it was a culture of ‘do as you’re told and don’t ask questions... and I asked the audit, Rose was placed on paid questions. […] I did the right thing administrative leave. and it cost me my job.” Bavas warned, At the board meeting that took “Until the taxpayer wakes up and asks place on Dec. 10, so packed that viewers spilled into the hallway, state for change, it’s gonna keep going the same.” representative Rob Taylor said, hockey team from district vendors using his work email address,” reported DSM Register reporter Kim Norvell. Then, a state audit released on Dec. 6 confirmed financial misdeeds at Waukee. Even after allega
Sport Spotlight: Basketball Article by Aubrey Mahoney Reporter
Last year they made history by being the first Waukee basketball team to win not just one -- but two -- games at Wells Fargo. This caused them to finish their season strong, placing third in the State Championships. Coming off of a record breaking year, how has the Waukee varsity basketball team prepared for the 2018-2019 season? “We started practice on November 12 and the players have worked hard since the start of practice,” commented head coach Justin Ohl. “We have a lot of guys who have put in time outside of practice to get ready for the season.” Senior and point guard Noah Hart details the specifics on how the team has been preparing for the season ahead. “We did a bunch of team workouts and team camps in the summer, which definitely helped our chemistry going into the real season,” he stated. “A lot of us also got in the gym together Page12 Page 89
randomly to play pickup games.” Along with extra team practices and work outs, Hart has been doing some training of his own in order to have a successful season. “It’s been early mornings and late nights in the gym, always getting shots up and working on my ball handling,”
in practice, and they have also made some game goals, so we are working together to reach those goals,” explained Coach Ohl. “Our bigger goals include going undefeated at home, win our conference, get back to Wells and win a state championship,” Hart explained.
claims Hart. “Another challenge is that we can’t be settlers... which means we can’t be satisfied with getting third last year. We need to look past that and improve on that!” Hart explains why he is looking forward to this season in particular, and how he has connected with his teammates. “I’ve been looking forward to being a senior captain for a long time and now that it’s finally here I am just excited to go on this run with my guys,” he says. “I think this group really gets along well and we are going to make a lot of memories both on and off the court.” “The team is excithe claimed. “Another However, despite last ed to start games and prething that has helped me year’s successes, every paring for different oppoimprove was my comseason brings its own set nents,” voiced Coach Ohl. mitment to weight room of challenges. “One of the “We have a great group this offseason. I definitely challenges of this year is of guys that have worked spent a lot of time in there that we are an extremehard and put themselves which helped me improve ly deep team. Which in in a good position for our my game in different reality turns itself into team to have a successful ways.” strength. Only five guys season.” Now, what exactly is can be out on the floor all of this work being put at once and everyone is towards? “Our players fighting for one of those have some team goals that spots, which keeps things they are working towards competitive at practice,” Feature Sports Feature
Winter has finally arrived! Cold weather is a hint that hockey season is around the corner. Many students can not wait any longer to glide their skates across the fresh ice. Waukee High School has multiple students that participate in hockey and are passionate about the sport. “I continue to play hockey because it’s what I love and look forward to it everyday. It’s an escape from everything, for two hours every day,” stated sophomore Brooks Doerrfeld. Parents tend to let their children play in many different sports when they are younger, but some athletes know their favorite one from the beginning. Doerrfeld remembers starting hockey when he was very young. Along with other players, they do not stop playing or change sports. Brooks has been skating as long as he can remember.
“I continue to play hockey because it’s what I love and look forward to it everyday. It’s an escape from everything, for two hours every day.” Doerrfeld, along with other Waukee hockey players, such as Hunter Barton and Caleb Paulus, are all on different teams throughout the Des Moines area. Some of these teams include the Des Moines Oak Leafs and the Des Moines Capitals, both which are part of the Midwest High School Hockey League, also known as MHSHL. The MHSHL players in Des Moines are chosen by a draft during their freshman year. Once drafted by either the Oak Leafs or Capitals, they will play for that same team throughout their high school career. Hunter Barton commented, “Most major towns in the Midwest have a hockey team and all the teams in the league play each other and the top teams go to the playoffs at the end of the season.” The Oak Leafs and Capitals players are lucky that they get to play in Des Moines and sleep in their own beds. Other teams like the Iowa Wild AAA
Warriors on Ice Article and layout by: Delaney Deering
have kids from all over the country that live with families in Des Moines. Many of these high school players started hockey as part of the Des Moines Youth Hockey Association Jr. Buccaneers program. The association starts kids in their “learn to play” program when they are as young three or four years old. Once they start playing competitive hockey, they are divided by age groups and ability levels. Players start playing in the Mite age group from seven to eight years old. After Mites, players move to Squirts when they are ages nine to ten, followed by Peewees from ages 11 to 12 and Bantams when they are13 and 14. Along with being grouped by age, there are different levels of competition for the youth players as well. These teams will travel for games ranging from no travel for house league teams to weekend travel a few times a month for the more competitive travel teams. All these teams are typically coached by volunteer parents. A large number of the players that play for the Jr. Buccaneers will go on to play for either the Oak Leafs or the Capitals once they are in high school. Each team becomes a family, bonding through practice, playing games, and even the traveling. “I’ve traveled all around for hockey, including Fargo on a team bus for a week long tournament,” Doerrfeld added. The top teams go to the playoffs at the end of the season.
“Always keep your head up and keep moving.” Hockey is a winter sport, but some Des Moines athletes play it year round. Throughout the year teams practice and work on drills to improve their skills. When asked for tips for when players take the ice, Caleb Paulus commented, “Always keep your head up and keep moving.” If you are caught skating with your head down you are an easy target to be checked by your opponent. While many of these players are highly skilled, the chances of playing in the NHL are extremely low. They are all playing for the love of the game.
Battlefield V: Flawless or Flop? Opinion by: Evan Phillips
The newest installment from DICE’s Battlefield series goes back to the world’s most deadly conflict, World War II. This is the studio’s first WWII game in 9 years, with Battlefield 1943 being made in 2009. The campaign was immaculate and the multiplayer was fast paced and diverse. The campaign told the story of WWI in a way that left players itching for more gameplay, but also with an understanding of the sacrifices soldiers made. It had an even mix of infantry and vehicle combat, and with numerous multiplayer game modes to choose from, it really did have something for everybody. So how does Battlefield V stack up? A main point of Battlefield V is that it focuses on the lesser known battles of the war. The first campaign, Under No Flag, is about Billy Bridger, a failed bank robber who is employed by the British government to fight in a specialized task force known as the Special Boat Section, or SBS. I thoroughly enjoyed this campaign. The graphics were immaculate and the levels were well structured to give you multiple ways to complete the objectives. The characters were also refreshing, as Billy’s charisma and sarcastic attitude added some much needed depth to the story, as well as some comic relief. However, it could be glitchy at times. The anti-tank guns instrumental to holding off the armored advances in the final chapter are bugged, making them hard to use. Also, you have to go back and watch the ending cinematic again after completing the campaign or else you will not get credit for completion. The next campaign, Nordly’s, focuses on Solveig, a teenage girl participating in armed resistance of the Nazi occupation of Norway. The main story focuses on her and her mother trying to halt the German production and distribution of heavy water, a substance needed by the Nazis to develop a nuclear device. This campaign has a large emphasis on stealth, as you are merely one girl against large quantities of German soldiers. I think that it integrates females into the story well, much in the same way that Nothing is Written did in Battlefield 1. In the final currently available campaign, Tirailleur, you play as Deme, a member of the tirailleurs, a regiment of French soldiers from the French colonies in Africa. Your driving force for your heroic acts is the fame you will receive after the war. However, the sad truth is revealed as history is whitewashed and the plights of the tirailleurs are forgotten. This campaign is the hardest of the three, as you go in ill equipped and ill prepared. It also watches how you play, where reckless actions will decrease the men at your disposal, making advancing later on much more difficult. Beating this campaign on hardcore is not for those quick to give up. While Battlefield V’s campaign is not yet per-
fect, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Overall, the campaign is very good and does a good job of humanizing the war. You get right up and close with all of the death and struggle, and you begin to form personal connections with characters. A gripe I have with this game is the lack of a vehicle based campaign. Battlefield V is currently only really focused on the infantry side of things. It is fun for a while, but eventually it leaves you wanting more. The fourth part of the campaign, The Last Tiger, will focus on a German Tiger commander. This will give those more vehicularly inclined a chance to stretch their legs and really catch their stride. It seems, however, that there will not be a campaign with a focus on air to air combat. This is fairly disappointing, as Friends in High Places was my favorite campaign from the previous game. There is a serious lack of American involvement as well, which makes sense given the direction that the game takes. However this makes it less relatable for a large part of the game’s audience, as the heroic stories of American forces both in Europe and the Pacific never fail to make people excited. Some have been complaining about the character customization, as you can play as either a man or a woman. They say that this isn’t keeping the game historically accurate. I do not have a problem with it. It is a well known fact that in the real war men did a large majority of the fighting while women served as nurses or worked in factories back home. Grand Operations, a new gamemode, puts players into conflicts that take place over multiple in-game days. The results of the last day will directly impact the next. It is relatively the same as Operations from Battlefield 1, though the objective for each day changes. This spices up the gameplay and makes you adapt your play style to complete that day’s task. In conclusion, the game hits all the marks a World War II game should. The combat is entertaining, the campaign is fun and engaging, and visuals have improved between the last installment. Battlefield games tend to be larger and more in depth than their counterparts, and that is reflected in the bugs present. I fully believe however that DICE will take charge, step up, and improve their game as they did with Battlefield 1. I expect that more nations will enter the battlefield through DLCs, and that bugs will be fixed as the game continues. This game definitely has the potential to become the cult classic that Battlefield 1 has become, but to get there it must go through the same trials and continue to be improved.
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