Being judgmental after playing a pre-release beta might be unnecessary, but I will keep on playing Battlefield 4 — and take a pass on Star Wars Battlefront. Developer DICE CE made both of these games; while one game is all about gunpower and modern combat, the other intends to be faithful to the large-scale blaster combat of a popular film series. To a certain degree, they have similar design philosophies; with Battlefront being the newest game from DICE, it can generally be assumed that players will migrate over from BF4. Many players, myself included, will disagree and keep on playing what DICE is mainly known for.
Battlefield 4 was originally intended to remedy problems in Battlefield 3. Instead of being more of a direct competitor to rival series Call of Duty, BF4 wanted to bring back the more distinctive aspects of past Battlefield games. Unfortunately, the release of BF4 turned out disappointing from both a gameplay and backend perspective. Many players dealt with lag, crashes, and other technical issues. We were also not satisfied with some of the more intricate elements found in the games balance.
In most cases, a broken game would be left to the wayside and the player base dramatically diminished. For Battlefield, most players have had extensive experience in older iterations such as Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield Bad Company. There is a certain “no quit” attitude because of the legacy BF carried. Because of that, players spoke out loud to DICE that BF4 wasn’t the product they deserved. The call out turned successful and BF4 progressively improved every season thanks to in part of the Community Test Environment, or CTE. This public program encouraged players to experiment and examine what can be done to make BF4 better. BF4 players reaped the rewards and became grateful for what the game became. Outside of BF4, the CTE helped impact other games using BF4’s Frostbite 3 engine including Star Wars Battlefront.
While the beta was limited in content and gameplay elements, it’s prominent that DICE aimed to make Battlefront a much more accessible experience. Instead of the relatively grounded feel of the Battlefield experience, the fantasy elements of Star Wars grants Battlefront a much more extravagant and arcade-like performance. This can stretch out to the leveling system where it might be easier to obtain newer weapons and gadgets than in Battlefield 4. It seems that BF4 requires more commitment and time to get the full enjoyment while Battlefront is more of a casual pick-up game. Many players have committed many hours to BF4 to the point that migrating over to Battlefront would be difficult.
That difficulty is due to what happened with Battlefield Hardline. The cops & robbers-themed side game came out earlier this year and had neat ideas to try differentiate itself from BF4. Ultimately, the game felt to similar to its military-themed predecessor and had issues with some of its modes and maps. At least on the PC front, Hardline’s average population is significantly low with many players instead stemming from the console versions. The Battlefield 4 usually has a good size of players on a daily basis. It’s evident that players were not impressed by Hardline and kept playing BF4.
Even with what happened with Battlefield Hardline, can Star Wars Battlefront survive with Battlefield 4 still active? The previous Battlefront games released back in 2004 and 2005 respectively had its own fan base and lasted for many years. DICE didn’t need Battlefield players to sustain. When Electronic Arts announced that DICE would work on a Battlefront game, fans of the series were ecstatic. The Battlefront players are capable of keeping this latest game alive, and they can bring newer players to join in on the galactic battles. They don’t need Battlefield players but they probably want us to join in some action at the least.
Star Wars Battlefront is just not the game for me. Battlefield 4 fills the large-scale battles quota at the moment — probably up until they announce Battlefield: Bad Company or a main numbered game. Even my love for Star Wars isn’t enough to convince me. It doesn’t mean that I, or many other players, will shrug Battlefront off as we did with Battlefield Hardline. The Star Wars name alone can positively influence Battlefront’s lifespan. As long as the game doesn’t suffer from issues of BF4 launch proportions, the game will likely be fine and can coexist with its military counterpart.