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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Battlefield 3 coming this year but is it too soon?

When DICE began to release information about their latest FPS in early February, many gamers (me included) searched anxiously for the precious details that slowly began to leak forth. Battlefield 3 was on its way, the release date was set for the fall of 2011. Wait what??
            Now to most fans of the series a release date set for 2011 is one for celebration and finger nail biting anticipation, but for me it was a little bitter sweet. Although I was ready and willing to get to work on the new title, I found myself stopping and wondering what would become of the game I love now.
            Battlefield: Bad Company 2 in my opinion is one of the finest titles in the series. Even though they removed some popular features from this game, airplanes anyone, the game by all accounts was a huge success. Many even consider it the best title in the series as the new frostbite engine brought forth a destructible environment and beautiful graphics.
            I mean is it really time to put BFBC2 out to pasture? I still play it all the time and I’m not sure even in the fall if I will be ready to let go. Don’t get me wrong I am just as much enchanted as you are by the siren song of the new Frostbite 2 powered game, but is it too soon? It seems like only yesterday I was downloading Map pack 7 and debating whether or not I would plunk down the money for the Vietnam Expansion. Oh wait! That’s right it wasn’t that long ago, a measly 2 months ago to be precise.
 Is it just me or is DICE rushing the next game in the series? Doesn’t it seem a lot faster than previous release titles from the predecessor? To answer this lets look at the release dates of the previous games in the series with a focus on the major titles and their Xpac releases.                                                                     

Time from previous new title.
Battlefield 1942
     Road to Rome (1942 Xpac)
     Secret Weapons of WWII (1942 Xpac

Battlefield Vietnam
2 years
Battlefield 2
1 year
     Special Forces (BF2 Xpac)
     Euro Force (BF2 Xpac)
     Armored Fury (BF2 Xpac)
Battlefield 2142
1 year 4 months
     Northern Strike (2142 Xpac)
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
3 years 8 months
     Vietnam (BFBC2 Xpac)
Battlefield 3
Fall 2011 (Sept. to Nov.)
1 year 3 months to 1 year 6 months

Now you may be looking at the time line above and wondering what exactly I am talking about. It appears like DICE is following a pretty straight forward time line and at first glance I tend to agree, but lets dissect that timeline a little and look at it another way. If we exclude Battlefield Vietnam (because it wasn’t very good) and 2142 (because it was a completely different genre.) from the list, we get a completely different look at things.
From BF 1942 to BF2 we have a 3 year span and from BF2 and BFBC2 we have a 5 year time span. Now I agree that 3 years and 5 years seem a rather long stretch, but it makes the 15 moths we have had to play bad company seem like nothing. A fan of these two titles, if they didn’t get Vietnam or 2142 had a long time to enjoy them before moving on to the next best thing. Also keep in mind that 1942 and BF2 had multiple expansions that expanded the content of the core game, whereas Bad Company has had 1 expansion that was more of a reskinned new game than a true expansion.
Am I way off base here or are you also feeling the way I am? I understand I may feel different about this in a couple of months from now, but I can honestly say I will be saddened to let go of Bad Company when the day comes and no I probably wont continue playing it if BF3 is good. One last thing to consider on this subject is whether this release window is based on monetary reasons or the huge success of competitors like Call of Duty.
I am eagerly looking forward to the latest release of my favorite FPS series, but I just can’t help myself in feeling a little remorse in saying good bye to what has been to me a very enjoyable and entertaining game. How bout you? Will you easily be able to let go of Bad Company when the time comes or will you feel conflicted? Is it the right time for a new release? Let me know what you think.   


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