Give me a second, I’m just trying to jimmy open this big ol’ can o’ worms. OK, all done, where were we? Yes, Battlefield. It’s coming up to sixteen years since I wasted countless hours on Battlefield 1942’s Tobruk demo, laying down sniper fire on hordes of AI soldiers. Since then, the Battlefield series has come a long way, and arguably not always for the better.
Over the years there have been plenty of consolations to appease a mainstream audience, resulting in a series that is, for better or worse, almost unrecognisable from its origins. Sure, the basic conceit of capture points and large (ish) maps remains, but the difference in pace from Battlefield 1942 through to the hyper-kinetic Battlefield 1 really is something.
It’s been 16 years then, and about a dozen or so entries in an illustrious series. From the cramped tunnels and lush jungles of BF: Vietnam through to the modern warfare of Battlefield 4, via a showstopping detour to a sci-fi extravaganza with Battlefield 2142.
For me, Battlefield was always a series that wasn’t afraid to try something new. Each game had its faults, but they all managed to stand out from the crowd. We then hit something of a slump after Battlefield 2, where the success of modern warfare gave way to umpteen games that were largely prettier versions of each other before DICE attempted to roll back the clock with BF1.
For me, and I understand there’s a lot of nostalgia at play here, but I think the Battlefield series peaked in the early years. The amount of time I plowed into Battlefield Vietnam was probably off the charts, but there really was nothing like blaring tunes out of a fully loaded chopper and capping village after village. BFV and BF1942 were both pretty special to me, with Battlefield 2 narrowly nipping in behind. There’s a lot to be said about their stripped back nature, reduced focus on unlocks, and heavy emphasis on vehicular warfare which has gradually ebbed away.
Over to you then - out of all the Battlefield games, which one do you think stands head and shoulders over all the rest? Are you a Battlefield 2 fan, or do you prefer the historical outings? Perhaps you’d like to see DICE go back to a sci-fi shooter? Let us know!