Will you give a crap about Battlefield 4’s campaign?
I can’t speak for the rest of you but as now seasoned Battlefield aficionado, having logged in well over a thousand hours across the last two iterations, it’s always been about the multiplayer with the single-player a momentary distraction. Well, until Battlefield 4 made my jaw drop last week.
After being absolutely non-plused about Battlefield 3’s single-player and with no sight of Bad Company 3 on the horizon I had certain expectations from the 17 minute demo embedded below. I knew it would be pretty, that’s just how DICE rolls. I knew there would be destructibility, that’s just a given for the franchise. I was focused on if DICE could bring an engaging story to compliment the robust multiplayer and a level of demolition options for gamers to truly play Battlefield their way.
The first step in the right direction came courtesy of the simply gorgeous graphics and realistic character animation. The faces looked alive, not wooden, movement seemed natural and they were emoting for god’s sake. Sure, it was showcased on PC, but it still looked stunning.
The second was the realisation that Michael K. Williams, that handsome devil on the right, was in a lead role. His turns as Omar on The Wire and Chalky White on Boardwalk Empire were highlights of each TV show in my book and I can’t wait to see what bad-arsedness he’ll bring to his support role as wildcard and ironically named “Irish”.
Without spoiling the gameplay, the moments that grabbed me weren’t those explosive Michael Bay styled fapfests. It was the sacrifices made in the face of extreme adversity to complete the mission at all costs which resonated and I hope this continues throughout the single-player campaign. What also grabbed my attention were the myriad of tactical options that DICE and Frostbite 3 seem to give the player, particularly the flanking and destructibility which made me lose my shit.
There were several points in the demo when you could see the character you play make a fist signal causing all enemies to immediately become visibly spotted as the rest of your fire squad began laying down suppressing fire. This opened opportunities to sneak around and unload shotgun bursts to unsuspecting foes or perform a little impromptu heart surgery on the fly.
If that wasn’t enough, it seemed that almost anything could be destroyed allowing ample ‘knock knock’ moments to blow a hole through the side of a building, evaporate cover and drop a suitable 1980s action movie quip. The implications for improvisation on the battlefield are staggering and I’m truly looking forward to taking it for a test drive as soon as I can get my hands on this puppy, not merely for the multiplayer, but for (fingers crossed) a rich, character driven and emotive single-player campaign.
Agree or disagree? Feel free to chime in with your two-cents in the comments below.