With exactly a week to go, the battle for the crown of modern military FPS is about to kick off once again. This year is looking like it could be the most fiercely contested as Call of Duty has been trending down (slightly) in recent iterations, while EA is desperate for Battlefield 4 to take the top spot that Activision has occupied since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Marketing has been kicking into full gear of late, with Battlefield 4 just recently getting an ad campaign focused on fan reaction to the multiplayer experience. The online-focused features have been a massive part of Battlefield‘s surge, focusing on the game’s “Levolution” mechanic that in theory make for cinematic scripted-like moments but all within the randomness of online matchmaking.
This new trailer is much the same but only, ironically, more scripted. Watch as a man makes heavy work of getting around wide open spaces while reciting a monologue about the game’s awesomeness.
The marketing push for the Battlefield 3 followup, especially more recently, has been tailored almost exclusively towards the multiplayer elements. It has been a little while since fans have heard much from the story side of Battlefield 4. When the game was first announced, footage and trailers of the game’s single-player campaign were pushed out but glimpses of the story have been sparse since then. One could almost be forgiven to thinking that DICE were more focused on the multiplayer aspects of the game after mixed reactions to the game’s initial unveiling in the spring which focused squarely on the campaign. The second new Battlefield 4 trailer, giving the broadest look of the story to date, should put those ideas to rest as it features a ton of interesting content.
Also, the trailer features one of the main characters punching a German Shepard – oddly similar to fan-favorite Call of Duty hero dog Riley – in the face. You have to wonder if DICE are making some kind of statement…
Perhaps ironically, in a game that EA are positioning as a ‘CoD killer‘, most of the set pieces featured in the trailer seem to be reminiscent of classic scenes from the Call of Duty series. Sinking boats, city assaults, snowy mountaintop level and underwater sequences have all featured in Call of Duty in iconic fashion. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing if done well and indeed, the trailer has an impressive cinematic heft to it. If the final game ends up looking this good, it will at the very least be explosive eye-candy.
Also interestingly, we get a glimpse of Huang “Hanna” Shuyi, a female American soldier and squadmate who looks to be playing an important part in the story. The role of female characters in games has been a hot topic recently, especially in conjunction with this genre. Previously male dominated military shooters are starting to become more and more inclusive with Call of Duty: Ghosts adding female models into multiplayer as a franchise first. It is encouraging to see DICE trying to tackle a female teammate in the main storyline, even if they have oddly excluded the possibility in multiplayer this year.
Battlefield 4 is looking like it is shaping up to be quite a fine entry into its series. Will it be enough to topple Call of Duty? That remains to be seen, but it won’t be too long until we find out. What are your predictions?
Battlefield 4 arrives on October 29, 2013 for PC, PS3 & Xbox 360 platforms. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions will be available at launch.