Last Tuesday night during EA's Game Changers presentation at GDC 2012 three new DLC packs were announced that would extend the life of Battlefield 3. While the news was welcomed by most Battlefield fans who had been waiting for an update since last December's Back to Karkand release, many core Battlefield gamers were not happy at all.
The first pack will be called "Close Quarters" and is expected to be available sometime this June, as the name implies the pack will consist of tight maps. The pack will contain 5 new maps as well as new weapons and new assignments. Though the map pack is sure to be enjoyed by the type who enjoy fast paced action and high intensity rounds, to the core Battlefield fans Close Quarters was nothing short of a betrayal.
Battlefield has changed quite a bit since the origins of the series almost 10 years ago. Just look at the massive size of El Alamein, a multi square kilometer sized map from Battlefield 1942 featuring capture points spread throughout the map. Back in those days having a vehicle was key to your survival, and dominating large swaths of land was a huge accomplishment.
Today we have maps like Grand Bazaar that are very tiny and feature very clustered capture points. Though these new types of design appeal to fans coming over from other games, to the original fans the game that they have now is unrecognizable to them.
The origins of this change of style can be traced back to the release of the original Bad Company in 2008 when maps were made smaller to be comparable with consoles, the style continued over 2 years later with the release of Bad Company 2 in 2010. Though the core community did express their frustrations with the new style it was assumed that these were changes that would only affect console players and that when Battlefield 3 would be released later that it would be a true successor and would return to the original big map style. This optimistic view was proven to be wrong when Battlefield 3 was released last October. Facing abuse after abuse, core fans like myself still held out hope that DICE would realize their mistakes and right their wrongs some day, but with the announcement of Close Quarters it appears that that hope is dead.
It seems as if DICE believes that because fast paced shooters like Call of Duty are so popular that they should replicate the COD style. What DICE fails to realize is that the people who have played Battlefield since the beginning like the style of strategy. Core fans enjoy being able to plan out a mode of attack, it is very exciting to flank around an enemy control point and giving your opponents a nasty surprise when suddenly a squad composed of ground infantry units and with the assistance of an Apache attack chopper come in and take the control point. The thrill of a successful attack and the agony of being bested by a capable squad are fond memories for Battlefield players. Unfortunately as of recently Battlefield players can no longer experience that type of style.
I'll step off my soapbox and leave you with this. Every gamers is different, we all like different types of games, no game is superior to the other, and no game style is better than the other. Each one of us finds something that we like and who are we to say that what they enjoy is wrong. Call of Duty is a great game series, and so is Battlefield not one of them is better than the other, and not one of their fans is smarter or more mature than the other, all we Battlefield fans ask for is to be allowed to continue the game we all enjoy just as all Call of Duty players continue to play the game that they enjoy.