Battlefield was once considered one of AAA gaming’s best first-person shooter offerings. While it continues to be a popular franchise, the days of its glory in the first-person shooter genre are long gone.
Truth be told, this IP has suffered from terrible games recently, with DICE taking missteps time and again. The last two games released by the developer were some of its worst projects, making me question Battlefield’s future.
While I want to see the series making a comeback, I don’t know if I can trust DICE to deliver another great Battlefield game.
Why it matters: DICE appears to be trapped in an endless cycle of releasing broken games and spending years fixing the games.
The Legacy of Battlefield
Unlike other popular shooters, Battlefield was a large-scale game on huge maps with vehicular warfare and was the best rendition of a real-life battle in a video game. Battlefield 1942 separated itself from any other shooter in the early 2000s, gaining a huge fan following despite being smaller than the biggest IPs of the time.
Battlefield 1942, Battlefield 2, and Bad Company took the series to greater heights, laying the groundwork for modern games. 2011 then marked a new boom for the IP, with the release of Battlefield 3 becoming a huge moment.
This game was arguably the most visually impressive shooter of its time. Immersion was also at an all-time high for the franchise, with a focus on destructible environments and squad-based gameplay.
The fourth mainline entry expanded on this formula, and EA also experimented with a cops/robbers theme with Hardline. In my opinion, the series peaked with Battlefield 1, a game that went through a huge resurgence not too long ago.
A World War 1 setting was not incredibly obvious for Battlefield, but DICE handheld it surprisingly well. The first-person shooter turned seven last year, but its gameplay has aged gracefully, making it one of the most complete releases from the studio to date.
Unlike its successors, Battlefield 1 also launched with minimal hitches on day one.
Battlefield 5 is best described as missed potential. Many expected DICE’s authenticity to carry over to World War 2, but this game struggled to find its footing from the beginning.
This was disappointing to see as a fan. While this franchise has never been a military simulator, Battlefield 1 set an exciting precedent for future games. However, historical accuracy went out of the window in the sequel.
Poor management at DICE, slow content rollout post-launch, and the use of a live-service model eventually led to its failure. The studio practically left the game to die, abandoning it right at the cusp of a comeback toward the end of its lifespan.
Battlefield 2042 was the final nail in the coffin, with DICE blaming the community for failures like the baffling specialist system. This entry promised revamped gameplay, larger-scale battles, and dynamic events that would shift the tide of matches.
However, a bad UI, dated graphics, performance issues, lack of basic features at release, and more handicapped the game from the start. This game had so much wrong that I could keep going on.
It didn’t even launch with a proper scoreboard – a basic feature of this franchise since the beginning. Sure, recent updates have made the game better, and players have returned to it, but I have lost faith in the team as a huge fan.
Truth be told, these games haven’t been good for a while, and future titles are likely to repeat the same mistakes as the previous ones. The last great title, Battlefield 1, was released eight years ago, which makes me question if the franchise can ever be as good as its 2011-2016 run again.
DICE Is No Longer The Same Team
Battlefield 2042 was doomed to fail from the start, which was no surprise, at least to the original developers of the game. The DICE today isn’t remotely close to what it used to be in the early days of Battlefield’s popularity.
Recent games have suffered due to clashes between EA and DICE. Additionally, most of the developers who made the Frostbite engine are no longer at the studio. The publisher also prioritizes monetization and desperately tries to recreate Call of Duty’s success today.
New staff that doesn’t know how to work on Frostbite nearly as efficiently, combined with a pandemic that led to tighter deadlines and other issues, led to Battlefield 2042 launching in an incomplete state.
Many original DICE members have formed a new studio and recently launched The Finals. This game reached over 200K players last year, excelling at mechanics like destruction-once pillars of Battlefield.
Combining destructible environments, power-ups, and class-based gameplay, The Finals shows a glimpse of what this type of gameplay can still achieve. However, EA and DICE seem more interested in chasing trends than pushing boundaries.
I find it hard to put my trust in DICE again. With new developers and a different creative vision, it seems that EA will be taking a different approach to future games, which might not work out too well, considering Battlefield 2042 started with a similarly promising premise.
Recent job listings revealed that the next game will feature bigger destructible environments, leading to some excitement, but this promise is hard to gauge without a preview or gameplay.
An avid gamer is passionate about writing to deliver insightful and engaging content to the audience.