Bad Company 2 is hands down my favorite PvP shooter. I loved almost everything about that game. I enjoyed the single player, earned the Platinum Trophy, completed all of the multiplayer challenges, and just generally played the hell out of it. Unfortunately, my love for all things BC2 quite possibly ruined BF3 and BF4.
When I tried to play BF3, everything that wasn’t like BC2 annoyed me. I hated the reversal of Assault and Medic. I wasn’t a fan of the complicated unlock paths. The fact that you could go prone bugged me. The fact that there was no tracer dart drove me insane. I hated the jets; god I hated the jets. I didn’t like that tanks healed themselves. I didn’t like that I couldn’t jump out of a second story window and deploy my parachute. Sometimes I want to glide like the Batman damn it. And those were just the little things!
As for the big things…first was the reduced level of destruction. In BC2, most maps would be nothing but a smoldering hole in the ground by the time a match was over. The vast majority of buildings and nearly all vegetation could be brought down. It was immensely satisfying.
Second, and what was really the last straw, was the Rent-a-Server program. More specifically, the fact that I couldn’t select Quickmatch > Conquest and get placed into a DICE server with standard rules and full map rotation. I understand that custom servers and server browsing are standard on the PC platform, but I viewed it as a pollution of the console experience and I was already aggravated.
Obviously my relationship with DICE fell apart. I skipped BF4 and Hardline altogether, such was the bitterness in my heart. Then along comes Battlefield 1. The perfect game at the perfect time. With Call of Duty becoming more futuristic and gimmicky each passing year and the prevalence of games like Destiny, the old-school military shooter seemed like a thing of legend. Whether through luck, vision, or both, DICE took a gamble and didn’t just go old-school shooter, they went antique-shooter and I can’t thank them enough.
For us older gamers, it harkens back to simpler times, simpler gameplay—purer gameplay—in my view. For younger generations, it’s something different. For everyone, it’s a chance to revisit history. But perhaps most importantly for me, it’s not Bad Company 2 and doesn’t remind me of Bad Company 2. Whether it has been a sufficiently long time or the two games are sufficiently different, I don’t know. But for whatever reason, I’m finally able to move past that mental hurdle to appreciate and enjoy Battlefield 1 for what it is without getting hung up on what it isn’t.