I do not blame you for ignoring the medical crate that I helpfully placed

It's fine, OK. It's fine. I mean, yes, you needed the health. Let's not forget it was you who initiated this. "Request medic." You said that. No, sorry, it's fine. It's just… you requested health and so I placed a medical crate. And sure, I'll admit that it wasn't a wholly altruistic act. I was trying to complete Battlefield 5's Tides of War objective to heal 400 points of damage with crates. This was a marriage of convenience. You needed the health. I needed someone to heal.

And then you ran past my health crate, and what? Died? Was that your plan? I don't think that was your plan, but it's what happened. 

I'm not going to revive you, you know. There was a perfectly good medical crate right next to you, and you charged in regardless and now you're dead. And look, I don't blame you, per se, but if there was such a thing as objective blame, I think you have to admit that some of it is yours.

But it's fine. After all, this is a confusing war that we're dealing with here. It's loud and it's disorientating and people die easily and, it seems, avoidably. And the rules aren't consistent. If you run over a dead enemy soldier you'll automatically pick up their ammo. If a medic throws you a bandage you'll automatically be healed. But crates don't work that way. You have to actively pick up the bandages. You have to press a whole button. Who's got that kind of time? Other than people who don't want to wait to respawn because they just got themselves killed.

Sorry. That was uncalled for.

Maybe I'm to blame. I was carrying the medical crate instead of the bandages. That was on me. I mean, sure, the crate not only gives you full health but also a bandage that you can use to heal yourself at a later date, were—perish the thought—you were to be injured again. That seems like a pretty good thing. But the fact that neither yourself nor any other player on this map has ever used one, maybe I should have known better. That's fine. It's fine. I was wrong for trying.

Maybe nobody is to blame. Perhaps this is just one of those things that happens. And I'll grant you that crates are easy to miss. They don't show up on the minimap, although the way you charged towards all of those red dots denoting enemy combatants suggests you weren't paying attention to that. And hey, on my first attempt I placed the crate on a hill and it clipped through into some unknowable void. But then I tried again, making sure to sprint in front of you so the crate would appear directly in your eyeline. It's fine, though. I get it. You were just busy, I'm sure. You didn't want healing, despite telling me just seconds ago that you did.

It's fine. I mean, yes, there's a cooldown on placing these things and by not even bothering to look at the crate as you ran past to your death you stopped me from helping someone else. Except they wouldn't have picked up a bandage either, so really it's fine.

In my darker moments, I wonder why DICE created this new system after decades of medical crates automatically healing in an area-of-effect around them. In other Battlefield games the healing would have just happened to you. In other Battlefield games, I might have been able to save you from yourself. Maybe this was your protest. Maybe you think health crates should return to the previous system, or that you should automatically grab the bandage as you run past, or that there should be some form of compromise where the crate automatically heals but you can only restock your supply of bandages by grabbing one. Maybe you thought you were an analytical martyr, your death yet another datapoint arguing that crates aren't working as intended. 

If that is the case I'd counter that war is unfair. Medical crates require an active participant—that's just how it is—and now you're dead and I'm not going to revive you. And, oh look, we've lost the round. It's fine. It's. Fine.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.