We have to go back....
The team over at DICE has a lot more to worry about right now then what the next game may be, but if and when all of this sorts itself out I would love to see them take a real shot at World War 2 again. Battlefield 1943 was a fun and well made game but it felt too small and limited. The new generation is here and I don't think EA is just going to leave either console behind in favor of an all-PC focused Battlefield title. I hope this is the moment they had been waiting for to take the next step (rather than the intermediate step/ refinement that is BF4 over BF3).
The reason I would want them to go back to 1944 is because they've gone too deep in some aspects of the game and scaling back might be the best thing for them right now. There's also a sort of...aura....surrounding the entire conflict, almost as if a legend rather than actual events. This feeling you don't get when you're fighting over Zavod 311 (literally translates to Factory 311, how fucking inspired).
- Old weapons may be lame, but new weapons are such a clusterfuck. I don't need 3 different 4x scopes, but of course xxsmokedawg420xx will get pissed off if you don't include the m145 scope, and this leads to the weapon customization screen being impossible to navigate (especially with a controller). A solution? Go back to a time when attaching a pistol or ergo grip wasn't necessary. There are plenty of shooters on the market that don't require unlocks and accessories and are still super popular. Sure you can keep weapon boosts and stat increases through video game magics but there's really no need for much of this esthetic nonsense.
- There was more to World War 2 than France, Stalingrad and the Pacific Islands. There are still so many battlefields that were never explored in these games. The reason so many games during the PS2/Xbox era felt so similar is because they would limit you to playing as either the Americans, Germans or Russians, and often in the same battles over and over. The thing with Battlefield is that there doesn't need to be this limitation. You could play as the Italian Blackshirts as they retake Fort Capuzzo from the British Hussars and you don't need any fancy story around it. Fight for the Polish or the Germans over Hill 262, have a naval battle against the Vichy off the coast of Casablanca, fight it out in Henan as either the Chinese or Japanese. A map that recreates the siege of Malta could have different squadrons represent different countries that took part in the battle (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc.). There's no shortage of battles and operations that can still be recreated. And if you must, do Stalingrad again or the the D-Day landings, only to see how pretty they can look (just imagine the Rush gametype set up as the Utah Beach landings).
- It needs to distance itself and stand out. The future of first person shooters is well...the future. The next Call of Duty, Titanfall, Destiny, Halo 5, all of these games are set in the future with future guns and future tech. I'm sure they will be great games but it would be nice to have one game out there that feels truly different from the others, if only to add some variety to the mix. There are still ww2 shooters like Red Orchestra 2 on the market but they appeal to a very specific segment of the audience. A series like Battlefield has enough clout to go back and not alienate its entire fanbase or the mainstream consumer. You show a cool scene from your WW2 game that looks good at E3 and you're guaranteed to have your average joe talking about it.
- Modern Warfare is almost too simple. I'm not saying it doesn't take skill to pull off a clean victory in Battlefield, but when you can simply lock on to a tank and blow it to bits it cheapens the experience. The other day I got into an artillery truck and simply pointed the virtual in-game screen at an orange dot and got a kill. It would be way more satisfying if I could get into an anti aircraft gun and shoot down a Mustang as it's flying over. It's fun to obliterate ground troops in my Havoc helicopter, but it would be way cooler if I had to line up my run correctly and drop my bombs right on top of a camper inside a building. Then again maybe I'm wrong and the whole reason these games are so popular is their ease of access.
- The campaign can either go or stay. This is the one aspect to these games I can't really comment on properly. DICE are a strange bunch when it comes to campaigns. When they finally took a real shot at it they nailed it. Bad Company had such an awesome story with a fun and unique cast of characters, but that's because they didn't limit themselves to the serious aspects of warfare (see point no.2). It would be a lot harder to take such a lighthearted approach to WW2 and I feel like they would rather just play it straight and drop another snoozefest on us. This is why I'm conflicted. There have been plenty of works that poke fun at the conflict and it would be great to merge the Bad Company essence into a potential Battlefield 1944 but then again who knows if DICE could ever pull off a good campaign again. So they can either spend all their resources on multiplayer and just add a bot mode for singleplayer or they can take yet another shot at making us care about a Battlefield campaign, at this point I don't know what I would prefer.
So there it is, what started off as a simple 2 option poll turned into a big wall of text. What Do you guys want to see from this series from this point on?