Two years ago Battlefield 3’s launch campaign was gathering speed, with EA gradually building the hype among keen Battlefield players across all platforms. What we saw was state-of-the-art graphics, sound, physics and destruction; it seemed this game would set the benchmark for video games in the future. But were we, as Battlefield fans, satisfied with the game? It seems safe to say that many of us weren’t. Why was that, and what needs to be improved in the next instalment?
There were a couple of key flaws with BF3 as far as I could see. The first was the timing of its release. BF3 is a highly technical game that required years of development, so surely enough time would have been given to test and evaluate the product before its release? But a year and many gigabytes of patches later, it appears that wasn’t the case. It seems to be a culture of the modern gaming industry that developers are given strict deadlines to work to, regardless of the size of the project or developers’ pleas for months or years more time to complete games to the type of quality that they are built up to be. It seems this disease also struck BF3 harshly, with many day-one players that I know referring to it as ‘bug galore’. It seemed a world apart from the amazing prospect that got fans excited eight months before. And although DICE deserve some credit for persisting and bringing it up to the standard that it is now, it isn’t good enough that highly expectant fans are being sold short on day one. The game didn’t particularly well on console either, with slow frame rates, good graphics but many jaggered edges, highlighting the need to wait until new hardware is released.
The second problem was that many fans felt that DICE had tried to turn the franchise into a console game. Features such as Commander and Comma Rose were avoided by the studio, whilst consoles were treated to things such as Server
Browser. Despite the market being currently well and truly with the home consoles, you won’t find anyone as passionate about Battlefield as the PC gamer. As a console player myself, it’s fair to say that we don’t mind playing with PC features, it doesn’t really matter to us. DICE and EA need to realise that PC gamers are the heartbeat of Battlefield and they need to be given all of the classic features of their favourite game, whilst experiencing the full breast of the beautiful gameplay.
I fully believe that, if EA avoid these mistakes, we will see a stunning and enjoyable game that everyone is happy with. DICE can also seize the opportunity to bring the best gameplay to everyone with the upcoming release of the next-generation consoles. But many fans think that the swift announcement of BF4 so soon after the release of BF3 will bring about the same problem of a game with plenty of potential ruined by a buggy release. Let’s hope we see a proper multiplayer beta this time as well, instead of one that might as well have been an MP demo that did nothing to help the quality of release of BF3.
But out with the negatives, and in with the positives of the reveal on 26th March. I, as I’m sure you are, am very excited about the prospect of BF4. Being a new writer for the website, I am keen to express more of my views in the coming weeks, and I look forward to discussing all things Battlefield with you in the build-up to the release!