Since the announcement of the Battlefield 4 Beta access last year, it is no secret that EA and developers DICE are bringing a new Battlefield to our screens. This has now been recently cemented with the launch of the official website for the game along with a bunch of teaser trailers for the upcoming first-person shooter, all before a grand reveal at GDC today.
With the help from these teasers, and various images on the official site, we know that we maybe fighting in China, in tanks, boats and helicopters. So a pretty standard Battlefield affair, which being a fan of the game, it makes me a little worried for the franchise. BF4 is strongly looking like an evolution of the franchise rather than a revolutionary release (no Battlefield 2142 for you sonny jim). So I am expecting much more of the same here, with plenty of destruction, an equal number of maps, classes, rankings and weapon unlocks. Also, as it is EA, there will no doubt be plenty of DLC and no doubt the Premium access model will also return asking us for the price of the game again in order to receive more maps and modes. It all sounds a little CoD-like doesn’t it? Are you worried? Well I am…
BF4 is rumoured to be releasing this Winter, and in the same year as the final DLC pack for Battlefield 3 – End Game. It seems to me that this approach is more aimed towards the release of the two new consoles than for the PC markets. PC gamers have basked in 64 player maps and have already experienced gorgeous high-quality graphics during its multiplayer mode – both areas where the consoles have suffered in the past. BF4 will no doubt bring a PC level of quality and gameplay to the next-generation of consoles, which in turn I hope, as a PC BF3 player, will also boost the already stellar quality level of the PC release. But will it bring much more to the table to tear BF3 players way on look onto BF4? Unless they bring such landmark improvements to all platforms, to most people, BF4 will just look like much the same but with a little more, especially if we’re playing in the same modern era with the same classes, weapons and vehicles etc.
Let’s hope the Battlefield franchise does not duplicate how the CoD franchise has been treated recently, and we all know how that turned out for the fans of the game. So what could be done to give me, and hopefully you dear reader, hope for this pending release. Well, lets me bring out my hot list:
64 vs 64 Players
So in total 128 Player matches. With the console versions being rumoured to supporting 64 player rounds, it would be interesting to see if the PC version also upped its game too by increasing the total players in a server to 128 – with 64 vs 64 teams. Thanks to the steady release of DLC, BF3 servers are always full to the brim, so packing in another 64 players could bring some epic virtual battles to our screens.
More Diverse and Dense Maps
We’ve seen this already in certain BF3 maps, but if player numbers were to scale up, it would be nice to see a more diverse set of maps that will see the player tackle extremely different terrains in such modes like Rush or Conquest.
Return of the Commander
It would be nice if the Commander mode, last seen in Battlefield 2, made a return. If you never played this mode, being Commander allowed players to jump into a satellite overhead view of the battleground, where they could launch airstrikes onto specific areas of the maps and command their team by giving orders and attack waypoints.
More Drones or Base Camp Artillery
We have already got Anti-Air weapons in some base camps, but it is a lonely place to be in a game, and you don’t really feel part of the overall action. Having the ability to command artillery and shell into the level could make the player, who would be in control of it, feel more connected to the battle. Think of it like a base camp version of the motor weapon, yet less mobile, with timed reloads so you can’t spam strikes and the whole map could be accessible.
Some Old Some New
It is always good to see some old maps make a return and it would be nice to see some current and past maps make a return with a new lick of paint, such as Arica Harbor and Laguna Alta.
More Support Vehicles
Other than the AC130, that loops around the map, and the new drop-ship craft in the End Game DLC, it would be nice to see more air vehicles that could be controlled by the player, rather than circling the air on rails. Some support based aircraft like the Chinook helicopter. Imagine if you could actually control that AC130 and fly over a base, or even short-land nearby with many of your team waiting to extract out the back.
I asked BF3 players what they’d like to see and surprisingly one said that vegetation feels a little flat in BF3. They are certainly a step forward in games. They can be felled, but they could be better. I am looking at something a bit more Crysis or FarCry-like. This could help build on cover within the game, which will add to gameplay. How well this can be carried over into multiplayer servers though, it may be a problem.
Bottom Line – Don’t make it like CoD
We have already seen the inclusion of Close Quarter maps and now Capture the Flag in the End Game DLC. To me this is tipping the hat to any CoD players that want to feel ‘at home’ in another game. Battlefield is all about large scale open maps, vehicles and such and I really hope BF4 doesn’t dwell on bringing in more tighter, more frantic gameplay, because if I wanted that I’d play CoD. It is good to be different, you know.
So that is just a few things that I’d like to see in a future Battlefield. Do you agree, or do you have your own wants and wishes? Let us know in the comments below.