The Battlefield franchise has had many ups and downs over the years. It debuted as a PC powerhouse and remains a technically impressive game with each new entry. It became EA’s answer to Call of Duty, even when the franchise couldn’t really slot perfectly into that role. DICE added and removed a single player component, jumped all over the timeline, and established the foundations of EA’s now ubiquitous Frostbite engine. As we prepare for Battlefield to step into the battle royale arena, here’s a look at where it has gone so far.
While the constant fun of Conquest mode is what brings many to the series (that and the ability to crash helicopters), Battlefield is usually at its best when it’s trying something new. Console exclusive Bad Company‘s destruction was a game changer, making for epic encounters that no game today can replicate. Riding horses and rattling sabers in Battlefield 1 brings a new period in time to the forefront kind of like a massively multiplayer war game version Assassin’s Creed. Heck, there’s even some fun in Battlefield Hardline thanks to its goofy devil may care atmosphere.
While EA has struggled in recent years to make Battlefield relevent in the highly competitive shooter category, this isn’t a franchise we want to see perish. Both Bad Company games are a template for how to create creative and engaging works that stand on their own. You need releases that innovate beyond just an updated set of gameplay features. With the upcoming release of Firestorm, perhaps the change will come in a new style of gameplay. It’s possible, but there are much more unique things on the fringes of this eclectic collection of shooters. The Man on Fire isn’t enough of an identity. The sooner EA realizes that, the sooner we may see something truly special out of DICE.