For some strange reason, Battlefield 4 has a single-player campaign. The game does not need it. Click the jump to hear why.
I am never the confrontational type. I try to mediate things through diplomacy or, at the very least, to avoid some type of conflict. There is always an answer, I believe, to the greatest problems; some common ground to which both sides find beneficial. This point of this blog is commentary–discuss things that have happened in detailed posts, and only opine when it feels right. Dealing with this subject, though, is another thought entirely: I have to manage pure bewilderment at the cost of my sanity, and that affects my ability to put thoughts together. So, to put the point of my frustration plainly: Why does Battlefield 4 have a single-player campaign?
This post comes from the 17 minutes of Battlefield 4 that came out yesterday, in a video called “Fishing in Baku”. Even though the game is likely to be US vs China (as seen in early pictures and concept art), the Americans are obliterating Russian forces. (In the beginning, I love how it says “This game is anticipated to be rated mature.”)
It is needless multiplayer in reverse. Developers put multiplayer modes in their games to keep people playing, and most times it is panned and hardly playable. But DICE never had to consider that because, before Bad Company, no game in the series had a campaign. And it worked divinely there. Adding humour to what was a ridiculous premise anyway, and not overloaded with military jargon, it brought a fresh formula to Battlefield. And as a spinoff, it established two things: the DICE writing team was funny in their own right; and the main series was that much better as a serious title.
Putting a campaign in is Electronic Arts’ way of maximizing its player base to compete with Call of Duty, even if the two franchises are hugely dissimilar. One is in arcade shooter where people shoot each other in a squared map. The other is a full military simulator where individual soldiers and tanks and jets fight on sprawling maps. The disparity is refreshing because the two series are meant for two different audiences. Frankly, DICE is merging Battlefield into the CoD crowd when there is no need.
DICE included co-operative missions in Battlefield 3, and each of those introduced a new mechanic or tactic vital to gameplay. It was great to progressively learn gameplay and to have a friend tag along. Battlefield 4 desperately needs that sort of system, especially because through co-op, one learns how to communicate with teammates. Obviously, playing alone will not teach that.
Having a single-player campaign also wastes resources. The space taken up by a needless mode would be better suited for multiplayer content, and if some maps did not make it into the final release, Electronic Arts has day-one DLC ready at their disposal. Most players discredit campaigns for shooters anyway and head straight into the multiplayer. Unless having single-player lets DICE spread the achievements around so it is not overloaded, or to show off the game’s visuals (the face animations look impressive), its presence goes to hurting the game more so than helping it.
On Xbox 360, DICE flashed the multiplayer on disc one for a reason.
To the readers: Do you agree with this sentiment? Does it hurt the game or somehow add something to the overall package?
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