Battlefield keeps getting better and better technically and visually with every release. I mean I love Battlefield and I honestly think it’s technically best FPS out today by miles… So, why am I playing less and less of them?
I found the series back in the Battlefield 2 days. There was nothing like it out at the moment. Operation Flashpoint was starting to show its age and being able to play BF2 online was huge. I’m don’t really remember why I couldn’t play Flashpoint online… not even sure it had multiplayer, but I remember that being one of the key things to move over. And so, BF2 was my main FPS for a long time during a period that I had a lot of time to play, so I ended up with over 2000h in it. Also, partially because my computer couldn’t handle Battlefield 2142 even at the lowest settings, so I was stuck in BF2.
With the release of Battlefield Bad Company 2 came huge new changes. Obviously, there was a jump in visual quality jumping in to Frostbyte engine and that also allowed more structural destruction, which was awesome. On top of that, the airplane and chopper controls got reworked and were actually flyable without crashing for hours to learn them. There was more and better-looking everything.
BFBC2 was also released on Steam and that made getting a group of friends on the same server and game so much easier. Though, Steam wasn’t the only thing that changed outside the game. The VoIP services were on the rise and suddenly, we were able to talk to each other while playing. And it didn’t hurt my overall experience that I found more FPS minded friends.
Then chaos as EA announced, that Battlefield 3 would be Origin exclusive and that the game’s menus would be replaced by web-interface called Battlelog and you would use it every time you change a server or want to group up. And on top of all of that Battlefield Premium would be a thing.
Now, while writing this, my opinions have changed a lot by experiences after that time. I’m not even sure what I thought back then, other than being worried what would come of these. To this day I would rather have one launcher. However, I do understand EA wanting to circumvent the Steams 30% fee and these days Origin is good enough… Maybe not so back when BF3 released though, so it felt like a huge forced downgrade.
While there were downsides to the business model, BF3 brought the destruction to the next level and in more urban areas which resulted in awesome new gameplay possibilities on top of the visuality.
Battlefield was like nothing else, an all-out war, with the full force of armies fighting against each other including tanks and attack helicopters and I loved it.
In capable hands, these vehicles were very powerful and over time as we played more, more people became good with them, the attack helicopters became overpowered. As a balance fix Dice removed the gunner’s countermeasures (IR flares and ECM jammer). With all the lockin missiles in the game, it made effective flying very hard. Overnight there were very few pilots who could do it. And that to me says it’s balanced. Sure, every now and then you would still run into godlike pilots, but they were far apart. (at least on EU servers)
More and more DLC maps were released for the game and it seemed like less and less maps had attack helicopters in them. It seemed like Dice couldn’t figure out how to balance them and then just decided to not have them at all in the maps. This trend continued into Battlefield 4.
And then with the BF4 Naval Strike DLC came a total slap in the face when they decided that an anti-air mine was a good idea. An auto-locking, auto-firing deploy and forget missile.
After that, flying was never fun again. At best times it was challenging, but mostly it was just frustrating. And since the two following games haven’t been modern, I never got that enjoyment again. However, since Battlefield V uses a “new” way to balance vehicles, I have hopes that we might be able to fly again in the future games. But that remains to be seen.
I think I’ll need to continue this another time. There’s so much more I want to get out…