Why the Battlefield Franchise Should Move Back To World War II
World War II is one of those topics that will never go away, as it truly affected everyone around the world in infinitely different ways. In the PC community there is certainly a large fan base for games with The Second Great War as their theme. Games like Red Orchestra 2 and Heroes and Generals are quintessential examples of what great WWII shooters can be.
Back in 2002 EA aligned with Refraction Games, where they created the first of one of the largest games franchises in history, Battlefield. This series was revolutionary for shooters as it created a new mentality about how to play in multiplayer, people must work together to accomplish the common goal, which oddly enough was unique back then. It was until 2009 where Battlefield 1943 was released, a $15 console exclusive and download only game title. It was well designed but it was by no means the full game that other titles like Bad Company 2 or Battlefield 2 and 3, as it had only three maps and two modes. On PC, Red Orchestra 2 is flourishing as its hardcore game-play has attracted many gamers to it’s hardcore realism feel. However, the Battlefield Franchise is by no means a hardcore realism series, EA wants their money and by creating a hardcore game that will only appeal to certain crowds would not fit EA’s ideals.
A year ago I was sure that the next Battlefield would be a futuristic remake of another classic, Battlefield 2142, which frankly I would not be surprised if it was released for Battlefield 5. In the final DLC for Battlefield 4 titled Final Stand, it was hinted at the progressing future, where the player could use hover tanks, rail guns, and controllable drones. At that point it seemed that all fingers were pointed at battlefield 5 being a futuristic remake, sure it could be done but it makes less and less sense the more I think about it.
For starters, EA’s Star Wars Battlefront was just released which is basically a futuristic shooter. Sure it took place in a galaxy a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, but with lasers galore and massive space battles it is much easier to relate it to as a sci-fi in the future, which it is. Besides, new gamers coming into the series see two games with mechs and lasers and they will think that they are too similar to pay for two $60 games. If a World War 2 game is released, then both ends of the spectrum will be met.
Now thanks to Dice’s Frostbite 3 engine the graphics are greatly improved as compared to BF 1942 in 2002. There are no World War games out that have graphics even worth comparing to the Frostbite engine. That is the driving force behind the series at this point, which needs to be addressed. This is one of the topics that isn’t controversial, but since the graphic fidelity is such a large part of the series now, it must be mentioned.
Plus, what must be emphasized in the series, which seems to be lost in Battlefield 4 is the classic gamemodes of Rush and Conquest. Conquest is still one of the most played gamemodes in Battlefield and is the best designed for the current maps. In Battlefield 3, rush, hands down was the best and most competetive mode. However, in Battlefield 4 even though it is in the game, it really has not been emphasized by Dice to actually include it in their map designs. Hopefully Dice will learn to emphasize this mode in their next game.
Aside from what Battlefield has done in the past, the most logical reason for moving back to World War II is the obvious fact that futuristic games have been exhausted. A perfect example of this is the Call of Duty franchise, where four of their most recent games are futuristic, especially with Advanced Warfare and Black Ops 3. They are well designed, but at this point, repetitive, starting from the wall riding and jetpack boosts, to nearly all of the weapons having identical stats. Although, this isn’t just Call of Duty, Battlefield is beginning to wander down the same path, with the transition of Battlefield 3 to Hardline the gameplay is simply not improving, and if anything, seems to be deteriorating. But there is still hope for this franchise if Dice and EA work to make another great game that will be remembered as another classic that emphasizes teamwork and focuses on its classic gamemodes.
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