Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Will Battlefield 4 mean the end of Battlefield 3


I think it would be naive to think that Battlefield 3 will be like its predecessors in the sense that the gaps between titles will be a few years.  The gap between Battlefield 2 and 3 is six years and you can see the huge leap in gameplay, style and content.  People still play Battlefield 2 today, although its mostly through dedicated mod teams such as forgotten hope 2 and project realism.

Last week it was revealed that those players who preorder Medal of honor warfighter will get early access to the Battlefield 4 beta.  Does anyone else think medal of honor has become a sideshow attraction these days?  Something that gets a half arsed sequel simply to shift copies on the promise of a beta for a new battlefield title.  The previous medal of honor game gave players access to the Battlefield 3 beta, so I guess we can expect the medal of honor after this new one to include the beta for Battlefield 5.

The announcement of a new battlefield game so soon after the release of battlefield 3 has left many players worried that support and future content for it will be dropped in favour of the new title.  I think they are justified in thinking this way since EA and DICE are now in a real race against Activision.  Call of duty has been an annual hit now for several years, bringing on bigger and bigger sales with each title.  Black ops 2 coming later this year will likely dent EA's sales figures for BF3 so the only way to compete is to copy their strategy.

So what do I expect from a sequel to battlefield 3 in such a short space of time?  Not much lets be honest.  It will probably be the frostbite engine again which is a nice engine visually.  I imagine they will add more map variety in terms of enviroment, so urban, jungle, snow, desert the usual really.  Bunch of new weapons and vehicles and probably a little more enviromental destruction, something battlefield 3 failed to deliver on.

I personally think EA should hold off on a sequel so soon, and really allow DICE to make a new game that feels new compared.  The biggest problem I had with battlefield 3 was that it felt too much like bad company 3.  I wanted the battlefield experience and I got a sort of console friendly experience with bigger maps and player counts.

Battlefield 4 will likely sell a truckload of copies each day on release and be given 9/10 across the board by review sites, but I think the fans of the reborn series need to really be impressed by this sequel before they jump in feet first.  Here is a list of what i would expect from battlefield 4
  • More vehicle variety.  More tank types and classes for teams to better strategise with during matches.  Having just a single type of tank for each nation was very limited.  Why can't the US forces have the Abrams and the M113.  Depending on the setting maybe even add the Sheridan light tank.  More jets, helicopters and possibly reintroduce naval combat from 1942.
  • More enviromental destruction.  Battlefield 3 really failed to deliver the kind of building damage seen in bad company 2, and really promised more before launch.  Battlefield 4 could at least deliver on this promise and give players maps that can be changed simply by the level of damage.  Imagine being able to play Metro where the upper floor by B flag could be destroyed allowing players to shoot up into that area or even climb the rubble to move up.
  • More nations to play as.  Did anyone else think it was weird to play as US marines in the french maps?  What the french army couldn't be bothered to combat the invading russians so they just let the US marine corps do all the work?  Battlefield 4 needs to have some variation in the nations you play as.  It was a part of Battlefield from the start, even Battlefield 2 had multiple factions when all of its expansions are added and hell vanilla BF2 had three playable nations.
  • Larger player count.  Nowadays we are seeing games such as planetside 2, Arma 2/3 and even M.A.G. deliver huge player numbers to its multiplayer.  64 is all well and good for the PC, but really this series needs to live upto its name of Battlefield.  32 soldiers fighting another 32 soldiers was epic back in the older days of online gaming, but when you see what can be achieved today with current internet speeds and server hardware, its not hard to imagine a battlefield game seeing something close to 100 on each side instead.
Sadly despite DICE and EA's promise to support BF3, expect to see it be quickly dropped as soon as Battlefield 4 launches.  The most we can hope for is a delay in release or some proof that Battlefield 3 will be supported post BF4 with new content.

So in closing I think it will mean the end of Battlefield 3, but what do you think?  Leave comments below, you can post anonymously or sign in if you have a google account.  Thanks for reading.

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