Congratulations. You just destroyed a super-weapon and saved not only the United States of America, but quite possibly the world. You’re ready to retire and relax after a strenuous mission around the globe to stop the Russians. Sadly, before you can even celebrate, you’re informed the Russians haven’t given up. Yes, gentlemen, your crew is needed in Alaska.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 ended on a cliffhanger. Years later, I still remember the ending and to this day I want to see what happens next. Battlefield 3 was announced and sure, I was excited, but I wanted more Bad Company. Battlefield 3 didn’t disappoint me with it’s multiplayer, but wow was that campaign terrible.
The single player portion of Battlefield 3 had a few shiny moments of awesome. However, the rest of it left a lot to be desired. The linear approach forced players into dramatic sequences, and often times led to an aggravating quick-time event. Unlike the Bad Company series, Battlefield 3 became just another corridor shooter.
But let’s back up to Bad Company 2 and see what made it such a genuine experience.
1. Less linear, open areas
This is quite easily the biggest part of the equation. If there was one thing Battlefield 4 should take from the Bad Company sub-series it’s the open, epic areas. Bad Company 2 felt more realistic because you could plan your point of attack from various directions. It had more scripted events than Bad Company 1, sure, but it was a beautiful mix of the two that could tell an interesting story with scripting and still give you freedom.
Battlefield 4 needs to ditch the “let’s compete with Call of Duty (note: I’m not saying one is better than the other…)” attitude and go back to its roots, so to speak. The first few Battlefield games didn’t have a story. Bad Company started this trend for consoles, and had great success with it. Battlefield 3 was a big step back, and Bad Company 3 would be their chance to recover.
Bad Company 2 had a memorable story for many reasons. The Russians created a mega-powerful-ultra-super-weapon (MPUSW for short) and was going to use it against the US-of-A. Anytime the USA is under attack, it’s compelling to us America (unless you tell a bland story like Homefront…but that’s neither here nor there). You also can’t deny the chemistry between the four-man squad. The comic banter before the four of them at any given time was always enjoyable.
To be completely honest, I don’t remember a single thing about the campaign in Battlefield 3. I only remember it kept bouncing around between people and places, much like another shooter series. The quick time events broke the pacing of the game to me. I only played as far as I did (which was about 4/5 of the way through) because I was reviewing it. It was not broken like Medal of Honor was, but it certainly didn’t have anything of value to offer players.
Remember all of those times you cleared a window in Bad Company 2 by launching a rocket at it? Watching things crumble in Bad Company 2 was a treat on many levels. Making whole buildings collapse on enemies left me satisfied and smiling. There wasn’t a whole lot of destruction in the campaign of Battlefield 3.
Bad Company 3, assuming it resembled the Bad Company 2 model, would have offered more destruction on a grand scale. I fully believe we haven’t seen the full potential of the Frostbite 2 engine. We certainly haven’t seen how it can properly handle destruction. With wide-open areas and plenty of buildings to destroy, Bad Company 3 would be a mess of fun to run around in with a rocket launcher in tow.
We don’t need another linear shooter trying to compete with the likes of the blockbuster series, Call of Duty. We need more mini-sandbox shooters like Battlefield: Bad Company 2. We also need a conclusion to the cliffhanger DICE left us with a few years ago. Bring back Bad Company: it’s what gamers really want.