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The sad decline of the Battlefield franchise

Gamingtodaynews1f - The sad decline of the Battlefield franchise

I'm going to be honest, I'm writing this up out of frustration, partly because I really wanna discuss it with you guys, and partly because I want to use the meme "look how they massacred my boy".

But seriously, I saw that BFV was on sale on steam, and thought, you know what, it's been years since I've played BF, let's give it a crack.

I have come away with one of the most frustrating experiences of my adult gaming life. To set a baseline, I played 1942, 2 and 2142 to death before leaving the franchise with 3/4. I will make it clear that I played competition clan matches of 2142 so that does bias how I play the game, keep in mind I am comparing public servers general play across all games. I'm not expecting ransoms to play like a clan.

I cannot understand some of the design choices with this game. They seem to have taken out all tactical and strategic play.

  • Anyone can rez their squad, medics just rez faster
  • You can spawn on any member of the squad
  • Every class can regen health with a single use health pack
  • Time to spawn is super quick

I was going to talk about each of these individually but I realised they all culminate on top of each other to make the same issue worse and worse and worse:

You can't clear anyone out, you have to get a clean kill on someone, and then have to squad wipe to be able to claim that territory. You can't pick at an entrenched squad slowly, probing their flanks and sightlines to find an opening, the maps overall seem to even try to limit flanking and funnel people through kill zones, which I believe is just so players have a higher kill count at the end of the game. The emmy just helps and respawns almost instantly, lost members of their defense are replenished almost instantly.

"Back in the day" you could only spawn on your squad leader or beacon, medic could only rez or heal with packs and the respawn timer was far longer which all meant that when you pushed a point with your team you could chip away at them one by one, moving slowly and win the war of attrition. Targeting the squad leaders to ensure they couldn't respawn. Hunting the beacons. Stopping to heal and replenish ammo where needed. If you decided instead to rush, you knew you just had to deny reinforcements from probable paths from the newest spawn, not from a hiding guy shooting regenerating squad mates out of his ass.


Somewhere in the minds of the devs or executives they decided that BF needs to become super fast paced where you sprint all the time and die and respawn over and over super fast like some Call of Duties. Now pushing a point with your squad is a race of rushing in and finishing them all off before they can respawn again.

This is even more apparent on the stupid tunnel/Metro maps that seem to be super popular since 3. I don't get it, to me that's just not fun. Fun Battlefield to me was the huge maps with battleships, aircraft carriers and submarines you could drive, the sheer scale of it, utilising all the tools and vehicles at your disposal to clear an area of an enemy and holding it. Requesting a naval barrage and some real life player clearing the area from ages away for you.

These popular cramped maps seem to only offer one thing, fast experience and rank up. And that concerns me, maybe I'm wrong, but my gut tells me that people are preferring to play to level up and unlock as the core gameplay mechanic, then play the game itself. I wonder, if Metro and Metro-like maps offered no XP or unlock progress would they be as popular? That also refects on me personally though in that it says a lot about how I feel about the gaming industry in general, especially around XP grind and "progression" as a gameplay loop/hook.

I like the smoothness and improvements to infantry combat, don't get me wrong, but it seems to me, and it's just my opinion, that battlefield lost its soul when it tried to be call of duty with tanks, more interested in a gameplay loop of "looks how many kills/XP/unlocks I got" then a fun vehicle based multiplayer sandbox.

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