Games of 2013: Battlefield 4

I’ve spent a lot of time in 2013 playing games, but not a lot of time writing about them. As I have been doing in recent history, I’d like to tell some stories or share some thoughts about the ones that meant the most to me this year. I’ll be posting about one a day until Christmas. See all Games of 2013 posts.

Battlefield 4

This isn’t really a post about Battlefield 4. It is without question a rather nice shoot-shoot-bang-bang game, one that rewards a little more patience and execution than recent Call Of Duty sequels. It looks lovely on the Playstation 4, and it has the sort of grindy level progression that tends to get me to sink lots of time into games.

It’s lovely, really. And even if I’m pretty bad at it (my K/D rating is almost always rock bottom), I like the feeling of sort of contributing by hiding very close to a flag until it flips to my team’s color.

The real reason the post is part of this year’s series – ironically, on the day of Doom’s 20th anniversary, the truest start of the FPS era – is realizing that I am finding it very hard to get excited about shoot-shoot-bang-bang games in 2013.

I’ve lost track of how many bullets I’ve shot (not that I was ever keeping count). I’ve lost track of how many dudes I’ve killed, or how many times I’ve had to respawn. There was a time and place in my life where a frantic FPS game would be my jam, where I would happily throw down against friends.

But starting at some point last year, when I see first person, I’m expecting something a bit more cerebral. I crave exploration, for discovery, for (if there needs to be gunplay) variety. Straight military exercises have been done so much over the last 20 years, and it’s a new generation of first-person titles (many of which will show up later in the series) that are redefining what a game with WASD controls can and should do.

So nothing against you, Battlefield 4. You’re quite good at what you do. It’s just that I don’t need a bunch of games like you any more to be happy.

Battlefield 4 is available on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC. I played the PS4 version.