Battlefield 1 was the shot of adrenaline the Battlefield franchise needed. While Battlefield 4 ended up being an excellent game, Battlefield’s reputation was harmed by 4’s disastrous launch. Battlefield 1 has mended the damage thanks to its solid launch and addictive multiplayer component. While we still have a year’s worth of DLC to consume, it’s fun to think about what comes next. Star Wars: Battlefront II is due next year with the next Battlefield game likely to come in 2018. Considering DICE went all out in its portrayal of World War I, there likely won’t be enough content for a sequel. So, where can the Battlefield franchise go in 2018?
The most obvious potential era is to take Battlefield back to its World War II roots. We haven’t seen a AAA FPS game set in World War II since 2008s Call of Duty: World at War. At the time, everyone was sick of World War II shooters, but have times changed. Today, everyone’s tired of futuristic shooters, and there’s been a loud cry by various communities to take FPS games back in time. The Call of Duty community has been utterly miffed over Infinite Warfare’s futuristic setting, and the Battlefield community has been extremely happy with the World War I setting. EA and DICE may see numerous advantages in giving players some World War II.
Traveling back to World War II would give DICE more tools to work with when designing content. Simply put, there were more guns, vehicles, and gadgets made available during the Second World War. Battlefield 1 had to make use of a weapon variant system to pad out its number of weapons. While ingenious, the system only hides the fact that there are few weapons in the game.
DICE could also use the power of Frostbite 3 to recreate powerful moments from the war. Imagine the landing at Normandy, the siege of Stalingrad, and the final push to Berlin. We’ve seen these moments before, but never with the same detail or destruction that could be done with Frostbite 3. We’d also likely see lots more locations, given that DICE wanted to portray conflicts from all over the world in Battlefield 1. Russia, Germany, France, Italy, North Africa, the Pacific Islands, and Japan would all be possibilities for multiplayer maps and campaign missions.
Given critical and commercial reception to Battlefield 1’s World War I setting, EA and DICE may want to stick to the past. A World War II Battlefield game could be very likely.
World War I could be a pitstop in the past before returning to the present. Despite Battlefield 4’s awful launch, Dice and Dice LA quickly turned things around. Not only is Battlefield 4 extremely popular, but it has also outlived many of EA’s other games. Battlefield Hardline and Star Wars Battlefront may have come after Battlefield 4, but the player bases for both declined rapidly. Even after Battlefield 1’s launch, Battlefield 4 is still garnering quite a few players. Going back to a modern setting, and not botching the launch, could be very lucrative for EA and Dice.
Going back to modern times could fix some of the issues Battlefield 1 currently has. There are a lot more guns, vehicles, and equipment Dice could throw into the game. Seeing as they could create a conflict rather than rely on a historical one, Dice could set the campaign and multiplayer maps anywhere in the world. There’s also a lot more options for customization. More weapon skins and attachments can be implemented, so many that there can be multiple ways for players to unlock them. Currently, the only way to unlock new skins in Battlefield 1 is to randomly get a Battlepack and then pray to RNGesus that you get something good.
Of course, a Battlefield 5 would have its drawbacks. DICE would have to decide whether the campaign would continue the events started in Battlefield 3 and continued in Battlefield 4. Probably the harder task is creating an experience that is distinctly different from Battlefield 4. Over the course of two years, Battlefield 4’s map count stands at (number) with (number) of weapons. Trying to craft a new game that can overcome 4 will be quite the challenge.
Despite the challenges, returning to a modern setting can’t be discounted. It can be quite lucrative, and the opportunity for EA to implement more microtransactions is much higher in a period that offers more customization.
Battlefield’s foray into future warfare is limited to just Battlefield 2142. Coming on the heels of Battlefield 2, there was a lot of anticipation for 2142 and the game mostly delivered. Despite being set in the far future, the game still felt like a Battlefield. Fans have been crying for a sequel for many years now, though it might be risky for EA and DICE to jump on the future warfare bandwagon.
First a few good things. Going to the future would allow Dice to do some creative things with its weapons, gadgets, and maps. Without being restrained by history, Dice can pretty much do whatever they want, as long as it feels appropriate for a Battlefield title. For example, 2142 came up with the excellent Titan mode where players focused on destroying each other’s capital ships. Dice tried to recreate the mode for Battlefield 4’s Naval Strike DLC, but it felt out of place in a modern setting.
This might not, however, be the time for a futuristic shooter. Players have turned against the setting in recent years with many calling for a game set in the past or modern times. There’s also the threat that a futuristic Battlefield game could accidentally begin competing with the Star Wars Battlefront franchise, also published by EA. Now just isn’t the right time for a Battlefield 2143.
Battlefield: Bad Company 3
Another fan-demanded sequel, Bad Company 3 remains as elusive as ever. Bad Company began its life as an offshoot of the main franchise for console players and quickly became popular. The sequel, Bad Company 2, is considered to be one of the best Battlefield games ever thanks to a solid campaign, tight multiplayer, and lots of destruction.
Bad Company 3 would likely be set in modern times and would retain many of the aspects that made it so beloved. The campaign would bring back the quirky squad members, and focus on their relationships. The graphics would look good, but a little cartoony. Multiplayer would bring back the easy menu system that allowed players to pick their gun quickly, choose from a few attachments, select some gadgets, and then naturally spawn in. Oh, and we can’t forget about the impressive amount of destruction. Everyone wants Battlefield: Bad Company 3, and it probably should be the next game. However, it likely won’t be.
DICE doesn’t get Bad Company. In an interview with Eurogamer, studio boss Karl-Magnus Troedsson admitted that the studio hasn’t got a clue why players like the Bad Company games so much. It’s rather curious as to why the developer can’t figure out why people like their game so much. As such, if we were ever to get a Battlefield: Bad Company 3, it likely wouldn’t come from Dice. Maybe Dice LA, who are helming their own game in the near future.
Battlefield Hardline 2
Let’s get this out of the way. No, Battlefield Hardline was not a bad game. It had flaws, but it wasn’t a bad game in any sense. The mechanics were all there for a solid Battlefield game, it’s just that it was hard wrapping one’s head around the cops vs. robbers set-up. It was kooky and downright implausible, but we did get some well-designed maps and a better campaign than DICE can come up with.
The chances of a Hardline 2 happening are rock bottom. DICE likely would not touch it as it isn’t their spin-off franchise. Visceral Games is hard at work developing Amy Hennig’s Star Wars game. EA could give it to DICE LA, but given low player retention for Hardline, EA likely would have put them on something new or a different spin-off like Bad Company 3 or 2143.
Where do you want the Battlefield franchise to go next? Be sure to leave us a comment and let us know.