Battlefield 4 needs no introduction – unless you’re talking to gamers who are more enamored with single-player games than multiplayer ones. In that case, BF4 — if not the entire Battlefield franchise — may very well be foreign ground. Much like the Call of Duty series, the Battlefield games have a massive multiplayer following and attract millions of gamers for that reason alone. But contrary to popular opinion, there is a single-player narrative, and a surprisingly large one in the case of Battlefield 4, which we saw got to see live at E3 2013.
The Battlefield 4 single-player demo took place on a level called “Angry Sea.” The demo showcased some drop-dead gorgeous graphics, with environmental touches and goings-on that look so good it was difficult at times to focus on the actual gameplay and objectives that we should’ve been focusing on. Such graphical excellence is to be expected from a DICE game, and it made BF4 a perfect candidate for demonstrating the power of the PS4 and Xbox One. Do you think it’s a coincidence the Battlefield 4 PS4 launch-day bundles are selling so fast, or that Battlefield 4 for Xbox One is one of that platform’s hottest-selling games?
Aside from graphics, the FPS mechanics look pretty polished as well. As you can see in the BF4 gameplay video below, the intense “Angry Sea” single-player mission from E3 has the gameplay to match its graphics. Some people may say “meh, I’ve played that before,” but that argument could be made for most games available today, let alone those coming to the next-gen consoles and PC. The trick is in making the game feel fresh in spite of those familiar mechanics, which Battlefield 4 seems to be doing just fine.
I’m generally been a bigger fan of single-player mode than multiplayer, so seeing EA draw attention to Battlefield 4’s single-player was both encouraging and promising. Not only is BF4 trying to reach a new type of gamer, one who doesn’t just auto-pilot into the online lobby, but the team at DICE is clearly devoting time so the single-player elements actually have a chance to live up to that marketing pressure.
What we saw at E3 shows that Call of Duty: Ghosts is making a similar single-player commitment, which I find equally encouraging. But COD has tried that for a few outings now, ever since Black Ops. With Battlefield 4, EA and DICE are turning the corner and, frankly, turning over a new leaf. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Battlefield is growing up — the series has sold millions of units — but BF4 represents a new, deeper level for the franchise, one that I’m eager to see pan out.