A reader is so impressed by the reveal of game editor Battlefield Portal he predicts it’ll help Battlefield 2042 to outsell Call of Duty.
When Battlefield 1942 was first released in 2002 Call Of Duty didn’t even exist; when the first game did arrive the next year it had almost nothing in common with DICE’s game. The focus was on the single-player campaign, which was a serious recreation of the Second World War. There was multiplayer but that was largely an afterthought, that didn’t become more important until the third game was a launch title for the Xbox 360.
We all know what happened after that, with Call Of Duty becoming a true phenomenon with Modern Warfare in 2007. Before that Battlefield had stuck to what it had always been up to that point: a sandbox shooter. Which is to say that it was a massive scale shooter that had no story mode and instead allowed you to experiment and play the game however you want. That could mean anything from just messing around in vehicles, instead of playing properly, to making complex mods, some of which got turned into full games.
There was no rigid design to Battlefield in the early days, it could be whatever you wanted, within the limits of a first person shooter, and that was the whole point. But then EA began to notice that Call Of Duty was making more money, and starting with Bad Company a year later, Battlefield slowly started to become Call Of Duty, not because the games were a good match and naturally similar but because it was a military shooter and EA wanted their one to make as much money as their rivals.
More and more Battlefield lost its identity, until Battlefield 5 had the bright idea to prioritise a story campaign over more multiplayer modes. We all know how that went but everything I have seen of Battlefield 2042 is exactly the sort of comeback I was hoping for. I was already impressed by the initial unveiling, but Thursday’s reveal of Battlefield Portal is what’s got me really excited.
When the mode initially leaked the talk was all about reusing old maps, but now we see that that’s really only a small part of the story. Battlefield Portal is a game editor that allows you to change almost everything about the game in terms of how modes work and how weapons, vehicles, and classes operate. Not only have DICE gone back to the original idea of a sandbox shooter they’ve created something that goes even further in terms of the control ordinary players have over the game.
I don’t know how hard it’s going to be to create something complicated but as long as I can play whatever other people have made that still achieves the same thing. It’s a fantastic idea and makes me so much more confident about Battlefield 2042 in general.
I still expect there’ll be some things that are trying to copy Call Of Duty. We don’t know what the Hazard Zone mode is yet, but it sounds to me like it’ll be something more close quarters, which probably means more like Call Of Duty. But that’s fine, I realise EA have to make their money and it’s only one part of the game.
With the main multiplayer and Portal modes I’m now looking forward to what I hope will be the best Battlefield ever and probably one that will last many years if it keeps adding games and maps to Portal, so that we can get sci-fi and Vietnam and WWI and everything else.
We don’t know what Call Of Duty is going to be yet but it’s been obvious for a while now that the priority for Activision nowadays is Warzone, which doesn’t encourage the creation of anything like Portal. If it is another boring WWII game then I really think this could be the year that Battlefield beats Call Of Duty, at least in terms of boxed sales. As far as I’m concerned it’ll be completely justified, based solely on Portal.
By reader Dancouga
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