So earlier today EA released the official trailer for Battlefield 4’s first content pack, China Rising. You don’t need me to tell you that the trailer is a heart-pounding two-minute compilation that rivals the trailers of the most action-packed big budget films seen in recent years. Each trailer since the initial Battlefield 3 multiplayer trailer has been a spectacle, and thanks to the game’s vehicular combat mechanics, trailers for Battlefield are able to surpass the intensity seen in their competitors.
With Battlefield 3, EA and DICE were able to successfully create a game that could compete against the goliath that Call of Duty has become in the last half-decade. While competition is typically a great thing for consumers, it’s not really that great for someone who left the Call of Duty series, due to repetition, to re-join the Battlefield series, looking for less repetition.
Silly, silly me.
I have a strong, nostalgia-infused relationship with the Battlefield franchise. Battlefield 1942 was my first online multiplayer experience, as well as being the first FPS game I ever got into on the PC. When Battlefield 2 came out, I built my own PC (my first hand-built PC, mind you) in order to play the game at high (not maximum, I wasn’t a rich 14-year-old) settings. The Special Forces expansion came out and added so much additional content, I remember thinking “EA/DICE can no longer do any wrong, they know how to take a great game, and make it even better!” And then they broke my heart.
Just one year and four months after Battlefield 2 came out, EA released Battlefield 2142. I was so pissed off I refused to buy it, and to this day, I have never played Battlefield 2142.
Flash forward a few years: the PC I built for BF2 is quickly running on just enough juice to get by raiding in World of Warcraft’s frozen Northrend. My BF2-buster is getting to that age where I’d have to put it down for good. At the time, I used my PC pretty much exclusively for WoW, and was deep into Modern Warfare 2 on the Xbox 360. Then the day came where I learned that [cue angelic choir] the savior of FPS gaming was due to return: Battlefield 3 was announced.
Realizing how tired I was of the same, slightly varied, Call of Duty annual experience, I decided it was time to retire my BF2-buster, and create a worthy successor. By Spring 2011, I had in my possession a rig that I was proud to say could run Battlefield 3 (almost) maxed out. A few of my friends followed suite, and soon we were all ready and anxiously awaiting the arrival of Battlefield 3.
As of today, I have invested four-hundred and thirty-six hours into Battlefield 3. A quick look at my stats page is sufficient evidence to make the claim: I loved Battlefield 3.
So why, after an entire month of Battlefield 4 being out, have I not spent a single second within the game? I simply refuse to support EA’s decision to make Battlefield an every-other-year game. Now, sure, there was Battlefield Vietnam/2142/Bad Company, but those games were sub-series games, they didn’t hold the weight of being the “next” Battlefield game. Even Bad Company 2 didn’t hold the weight that comes with the numerical title.
You could say I’m overly passionate about the difference one number in a title makes. Ok, I am overly passionate about the franchise, I’ll admit that. But I have my reasons for being that way, and what I was afraid would happen, just did.
I was worried that EA would adopt the mentality of “instead of making [current game] better, we’ll just add that into next year’s game” and when I saw the China Rising trailer, my fears were confirmed. I saw that China Rising includes a game mode that should have been in Battlefield 3. There is no reason the helicopter-only mode (seen in the trailer) was not in Battlefield 3. The last batch of Battlefield 3 content even included a jets-only mode. So it wasn’t a matter of not having proper maps, and I believe that EA purposefully held back on including the game mode from BF3 in order to have an extra carrot to hold in front of gamers for Battlefield 4. And that’s a practice I simply cannot support.
Too long; didn’t read: I’m mad that EA withheld content from Battlefield 3, in order to include it in the game’s sequel.