Battlefield 4: Excitement and Irritation

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few days/weeks, you already know EA has confirmed Battlefield 4 and seemingly with a projected date of late 2013 for it to launch.  Although some sketchy twitter updates released in DICE’s camp did not instantly confirm this, it turned out true. This also seems to coincide with some speculation that this is also the time next gen consoles will be set to arrive.  For you Battlefield players that are on the “Premium” ride and enjoying your DLC content coming to you monthly, know that the DLC will be stopping in March 2013 with “End Game”.  EA/DICE can handle Battlefield 4 in a couple ways.  One way surely to upset and enrage die-hard Battlefield fans and the other to continue innovating, and providing fresh new ideas/content improvements in graphics and sound.

To make Battlefield 4 truly amazing they would need to highly consider doing the following

  • Improve upon the existing game engine. (Frostbite 2.5/3)
  • A different era of war i.e  a sequel to 2142 (2143 perhaps under a different name) and bring back Titan mode.

To induce absolute and utter rage on forums everywhere do the following

  • Do what Sledgehammer/Infinity Ward/Activision did with the CoD series, re-stamp the same game with some new maps and guns and call it a sequel.
  • Market Frostbite 2 onto next-gen console owners, having them experience what most PC players have already been enjoying graphics/sound wise.  Yet leave PC players with nothing new except basically what Battlefield 3 was.

While being a huge FPS fan I have a problem with a few things.  First and foremost, I enjoy longevity and replayability in my games, through DLC or community involvement, especially ones I spend the initial price on and then subsequent DLC content. I don’t know why, but I feel like with the final DLC being released in March of next year, the rush on getting another Battlefield 3 successor out is leaving a bad taste in my mouth.  Not speaking for others, but I probably would have been less irritated by this if there was an announcement for Bad Company 3.  There are those that would argue the more linear gameplay of Bad Company 2 catered to more of the console community and still retained die hard Battlefield 2 players in other forms.  Let’s take a look at the release dates of previous Battlefield games.

2002 Battlefield 1942
2003 Battlefield 1942: The Road to Rome
2003 Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII
2004 Battlefield Vietnam
2005 Battlefield 2
2005 Battlefield 2: Special Forces
2005 Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
2006 Battlefield 2: Euro Forces
2006 Battlefield 2: Armored Fury
2006 Battlefield 2142
2007 Battlefield 2142: Northern Strike
2008 Battlefield: Bad Company
2009 Battlefield Heroes
2009 Battlefield 1943
2010 Battlefield: Bad Company 2
2010 Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam
2010 Battlefield Online
2011 Battlefield Play4Free
2011 Battlefield 3
2011 Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand
2012 Battlefield 3: Close Quarters

Between Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 3 there was almost 6 years of time between them.  So why isn’t EA/DICE simply calling the next expansion simply something else to not alienate its existing large BF3 player base?  It’s really all speculation, but I sincerely believe and I hope that I am wrong and just being cynical, that EA is trying to milk all they can out of its loyal player base to continue buying new iterations of the same game (CoD Syndrome) over and over.  For those that know me, I am not 100 percent anti-EA everything, and I like to know facts before I pass judgement, but for right now things seem to be pointing to this.   Quite the opposite of my usual behavior of hopping on board the hype train at the first site of a fancy trailer (yes, it’s a bad habit of mine).  That viscous cycle did not affect me this go around for some reason.  Was it the fact that shoddy marketing tactics like touting a new game by enticing another game in its sub titles have anything to do with it?  Absolutely.  A two year life span for a main installment is not long enough and it has plenty of more room to go.

Conspiracy theories abound.  Sony has exclusive DLC early access for all its players, premium included for a week before all other platforms.  Could the big console companies out there be working in cohorts with EA to have launch day triple A titles?  There is enough money in either of the companies to cause this paradigm shift in release cycles for games and where there’s money EA no doubt follows.  Then again, let’s say the worst is confirmed, are some of us just whiney and bitter gamers out there that want to find faults in anything? Nobody is forcing us to buy anything.  Or are we the consumer wanting something that we know and love to retain its pure form of why we enjoyed it in the first place?

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