Battlefield 4 Aims for the Head

Battlefield-4-Promo

Dice debuted the newest installment of the Battlefield series, Battlefield 4, this week at GDC in San Francisco. As teased on the official Battlefield website, attendees were treated to a 17-minute gameplay video. Battlefield has always been a very visually pleasing game, complete with destructible environments and explosive combat, and they are sticking to the formula. The developer noted that what they are wishing to improve on is capturing that gripping story element that was missing from the earlier games. The designers want to make players think and feel for the characters involved. In my experience, Call of Duty has remained as the more compelling (read: action-packed) single player campaign for most gamers in recent years. According to Dice, they would like to change that.

The footage that was shown today clearly demonstrates that Dice is going bigger with the action, much like it did with Battlefield 3. Unfortunately, the story of Battlefield 3 was just as lacking as the series’ predecessors. Over the course of a quarter of an hour, Battlefield 4’s main character is seen storming enemy camps, sliding down a collapsing building, shooting a helicopter out of the sky while hanging from the side of a car door, and performing battlefield amputations. More games need to feature on-site surgery sequences. I’m looking at you, Cooking Mama. Naturally, Dice features some of the most action-packed sequences that they have in this video, but if the pace holds up, this next game is going to be a real contender for block buster combat. The question still remains, how will they deliver on their promise of a more emotionally involved story line?

 

This'll make 'em think!

Make the stump more lifelike. We really want them to feel the horrors of war.

 

The arms race between EA and Activision to see who can be the king of the military shooter has been going on for years. Since the release of the first Modern Warfare, Activision has taken the lead through truly immersive single player campaigns, mixed with their ever popular multiplayer modes. Battlefield has always seemed to take second position, especially when it comes to story. Call of Duty consistently pushes the envelope, with such memorable sorties as taking back the White House, or the controversial airport massacre. Allowing players to get behind enemy lines and play from the perspective of a soldier inducted into the ranks of a terrorist organization, raised more than a few eyebrows, but created significant memories for fans. Spec Ops: The Line entered into the battle last year, and redefined story in a military shooter. The game took a deep look into the effects of warfare on the soldiers involved, presenting the characters as more than just hardened government-issued killers. While it looks like the focus is on a fast-paced narrative this time around, Battlefield will need to take some risks if it hopes to achieve the perfect balance of action and empathy. Perhaps, it will feature a mission where players, equipped only with flash bangs and a squirt bottle, will need to infiltrate a daycare center full of rogue toddlers. The ring leader is your son! They may want to focus test that one first.

Call of Duty has seen quite a bit of success with alternating annual releases between its various arcs. Between its Modern Warfare and Black Ops franchises, Call of Duty is constantly cranking out titles to keep the frat boys busy with something fresh. The online community that has built up around the series is one of the staunchest groups outside of Civil War reenactors who still believe that the South can win. Battlefield has made strides to bolster its online community, and I am looking forward to seeing how it will improve upon the system of Battlefield 3. Battlefield Bad Company 2 was one of the most enjoyable multiplayer experiences that I can recall in gaming, mainly due to its class-based system and innovative assist features. However, many of these elements have been adopted as standards in most modern shooters. We will find out soon what Dice is doing to differentiate its online offerings from the competition.

With no word yet from Activision or Infinity Ward, we will need to wait and find out what Call of Duty has in store for its fans this year. Judging by the success of their earlier titles, I would assume that the next one will feature guns (probably modern ones).  Will Battlefield be able to pull ahead this year with its impressive visuals and improved story? Will Call of Duty surprise everyone with a game based around previously uncovered battle territory? Call of Duty: French and Indian War, anyone? Check out the video below for a glimpse at EA’s entry into this year’s heavily armed cockfight. I am still doubting their choice of song.

 

Jon Malloy

Jon Malloy

Senior Writer & Editor at What's Jump?
Jon is a writer and co-founder of “What’s Jump?” With a passion for gaming, comedy, and discussion, Jon works to bring his unique views, along with a bit of humor, to his writing. With a background in information technology and development, his interests lean toward the newest trends and technological advancements. Reporting for “What’s Jump?” he is at home both behind the scenes and in front of the camera.
Jon Malloy
Jon Malloy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

HTML tags are not allowed.