Battlefield 4 is a prime candidate to get the gaming cynic's full ire, with its boilerplate Modern Military setting, and its supposed linear FPS-rollercoaster/shooting gallery campaign, as well as the fact that it's a predictable biannualized gaming franchise with a huge pre-installed fanbase. It's safe to shit on, even if it weren't warranted.
Assuming DICE speaks true, and will have more levels with multiplayer-like player agency, with a choice of land and sea and air vehicles to commandeer at will, and countless ways of tackling the mission objectives - similar to how some levels in Battlefield : Bad Company 1 were structured, would that be recognized as the achievement it is?
Let me put a player-controlled helicopter into perspective by using the example of Skyrails in Bioshock Infinite. Skyhooks are a tremendous achievement, Irrational Games met the expectations of their target trailer in this regard, and gives the player full control of all that highspeed-on-rails-high-in-the-sky action, and adds a meaningful and interesting new way of interacting with enviroments and enemies, which allows for wholly fresh-feeling and novel combat encounters.
Fully controlling an attack helicopter in the context of a full-blown combined arms warfare level *that's also prone to be blown to smithereens* is the ultimate skyhook. Yes, it's less designed-to-be-awesome-by-design, but given proper piloting skills and enabling circumstances, gameplay might even exceed the magnitude of awesome of Skyhook gameplay.
Good god, I really wish DICE (more likely whoever was/is in charge of the corporate mandates in this regard) would have known Battlefield : Bad Company 1's campaign for the gold standard template it is. If only DICE would have iterated and refined upon what was done with that game in terms of singleplayer campaign, eventually true and irrefutable greatness could have sprung forth.
Will BF4 be it? I doubt it. I'm almost unfairly cynical about it myself, I'd even go as far as saying it's effort best spent elsewhere, but after the disappointing - and hence sobering - opening hours of Bioshock Infinite (don't worry, I ended up loving it by the end), and the contrast to the unanimously glowing reviews out there, I think BF4 deserves so much better than the cynic's worst ire. I should have been blown away by what I've seen, but my cynic heart didn't let me - and I fear the gaming press at large are much worse cynics than I.
It indoubitably will suffer the cynic's ire, regardless of how well-put together the campaign will be. As a Battlefield fan, I hope it's not going to be all too toxic.