Battlefield 2042 was revealed last week, and the entire gaming community went nuts. It looks phenomenal, as all Battlefield games do, but it also represents a big shift for the series. There’s no battle royale game mode, and there’s no single-player campaign, just a multiplayer mode. As a result, it’s going to alienate a huge portion of the Battlefield fan base immediately. My big question is why on Earth are the developers and publishers moving away from the single-player elements? This has happened before, and single-player campaigns are back for a reason. In this article, I want to analyse the reasons that this has happened, and where the story could go, if there is one.
Obviously, games have evolved over the last decade or so. Stories can be told through seasons in multiplayer modes now, so there’s no reason to have a single-player campaign if you’re going to push your story in that way. However, Battlefield games haven’t ever really done that. Instead, the campaign has always been a way to master the gameplay mechanics, and the multiplayer is then the real meat for those who want that experience. Here’s the thing though. Shooters make too much of a political statement, and I think a story in this game would be far too damaging to DICE and EA and their investors if it had a campaign.
Battlefield games have strayed close to the line of making a statement before. We’ve had corrupt police, wars being waged for profit, and in this game it looks like climate change could be a subject. The world is at a point when people need to take note of these things now, and any games that push that agenda will be seen as bad by the wrong people. Those are the people who invest in DICE and EA, and sadly this is just the reality of the market today.
While EA and DICE may spout something about campaigns not working for Battlefield anymore, I don’t believe a word of it. The game has been culled because of investor interests, and that’s just the way that Battlefield is now.