While Battlefield as a franchise may not see the same sales figures as Call of Duty, it has become the connoisseur’s choice for military shooters. Only in Battlefield will you experience such scale, destruction and epic multiplayer gameplay.
With its Frostbite 2 engine, Battlefield 3 really set the bar , but with the power of the new consoles, the fourth instalment was all set to rise to the challenge. Bigger maps, “Levolution”, 64 player games, great visuals - Battlefield 4 can still, in my mind, be counted as the best multiplayer experience on the market. But online problems since launch have been so prevalent that you are unlikely to find an article on the Internet that doesn’t refer to Battlefield as a “troubled shooter”, as if it is getting over a bad break up and self-harming.
Connection issues, server problems and other issues, have overshadowed the game and its many achievements. EA have apologised. DICE have apologised. Was it rushed to market for the release of the new consoles? Was it simply too ambitious? Whatever the case, the developers and publishers involved will be looking to make the next game a much smoother transition to the masses.
But they’ve already hit a snag. Battlefield Hardline was announced earlier this year with this gameplay video.
It all looks great and a lot of fun, but it is difficult to pin down the game’s identity. Yes, they’re going for a cops and robbers theme, but is it sufficiently different from the normal Battlefield series? To me, it looks more like a DLC expansion that reskins the game as police against thieves instead of the military and heist game modes instead of Conquest and the like.
The beta for the game which has now ended, appears to have only highlighted the game’s similarities to its military cousins and EA have delayed the game into 2015, presumably to make it different enough to warrant a full price tag.
Battlefield as a franchise is very strong and has many fans, but with Titanfall a new and exciting entity and Call of Duty Advanced Warfare looking to revamp the aging series, the future for Battlefield is uncertain. With DICE also working on a new Star Wars Battlefront, perhaps it is time for Battlefield to take a break and come back stronger in a year or two.