One of the biggest games… no, scratch that – THE game I was looking forward to most at E3 2013 was Battlefield 4. People, you have no idea how big a Battlefield fan I am. I have been a Battlefield fan since Battlefield 1942 back in 2002. There was something about the gameplay and way the multiplayer component came together to make for a very intense and enjoyable gaming experience. I can’t say this about many video game series out there but there is no one series that I can say that I love every entry as I do the Battlefield series. Even minor entrants to the series like Battlefield 2: Modern Combat and Battlefield 1943 I have found engaging and entertaining. To say that I am a Battlefield mark is kind of an understatement.
That being said, the moment I heard that Battlefield 4 was announced, I knew that it would be at E3. And knowing that it would be at E3 I promised myself that some way somehow I would get my hands on the game at the show. I couldn’t get in contact with my EA contacts, but I would get my hands on the game on the show. Luckily, as announced at the EA E3 press conference, The Download, a playable demo allowing for 64-player multiplayer would be made available to the E3 crowd at the EA booth. I knew the lines would be long to play Battlefield 4 this way, but I promised myself I would make the time to play it.
So after some second looks at my E3 schedule, I found a one hour slot that would allow for me to get in line and wait to play the game before I needed to start prepping for my next meeting. So there I was, waiting and waiting in a line that seemed to move ever more slowly as the time passed away. But I would not be deterred; I stood my ground, stood my place in line and waited. I saw several friends of mine pass by and we chatted as I stood in line for a bit as they moved on to other booths until finally it was my turn to get into the booth and take my place at one of the 64 stations available to play. And, as anyone who knows me would tell you, I went right for the Recon class.
Taking up a position overlooking the main street in the “Siege of Shanghai” map, the one that was revealed in the press conference, I quickly made myself known on the map as I switched between my primary sniper rifle and auxiliary secondary shotgun weapon for CQC. Moving with my squad as the road cleared, we made our way to our first target to capture and ran into some fast and furious fighting. Here, graphically, the game showed just how beautiful it is. Even through all the carnage and mayhem the game didn’t slow or crack – the bullets flew by, blood splattered on the walls and everything started crumbling around us as explosives quickly started taking their toll on the building we were in. So as the building started falling around us, a few of us made it out and continued the fight outside.
And if we thought that we were safer outside than in we were dead wrong. We leapt from the fire into a roaring inferno. I had forgotten how much chaos 64 players could cause on a map ever since I started playing Battlefield on the home consoles versus the PC. It has been the convenience of the consoles that has led me to move my Battlefield playing from PCs to consoles. But at E3, there was no escaping playing with 63 other players – and oh have I missed it. With 64 players, there is literally nowhere to hide in a map, even maps as large as those the Battlefield series is known for. Everytime I was separated from my squad and tried to take up a position as a sniper to clear the way for other teammates, I would get ambushed by some enemy or another time and time again. Luckily that shotgun was more helpful than they were capable opponents.
The battled raged on with flags being traded by both sides and kills coming swiftly for everyone. This is the Battlefield that I know and grew to love over the years. Why I went from PC to consoles is beyond me. But playing Battlefield 4 multiplayer at E3 has brought back the love of the series, that original love I first had for the series, thanks to the beautiful chaos that I had just played through. This is Battlefield at its best and I cannot wait to finally get my hands on this game when it is released later this year.
If I wasn’t already convinced I was buying Battlefield 4 when it came out October 29, then playing the game at E3 cemented it. My only remaining question is whether I will continue to play the game on the convenience of a console or go for the grand spectacle on the PC. That question aside, Battlefield 4, rated M for Mature by the ESRB, is unleashing the war October 29 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Which port will be your choice for war?