The early weeks of November have always been the most exciting when it comes to video games. With Christmas right around the corner, this month always features some prime releases that will be featured in some game of the year deliberations at the end of the year, ours included. But this year, the world of video games itself is being turned on its head. And that’s being done with the release of Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts, followed by the release of the next generation of consoles: the Xbox One and the Playstation 4. While the new consoles will have a drastic effect on the state of the video games industry that will be seen over the next year or so, this new console generation is somewhat overshadowing the effects of the latest shooter competition. So while we have some time before the console war kicks off, here are some of my predictions for what the future will entail because of Ghosts and Battlefield 4.
Warning: The following opinions and predictions are those of the author himself, and do not reflect the views of the entire staff at HalfBeard’s HUD. Criticisms, comments and compliments can be directed to the comment section below.
EA Can and Will Be Forgiven
It goes without saying that it would be challenging to get your fanbase to trust you again after back-to-back “Worst Company in America” awards. That is, if you’re anyone else but Electronic Arts. For a company that’s been criticized for how its handled business with smaller developers, its DRM restrictions, its Mass Effect 3 ending, its SimCity release, and plenty of other mistakes along the way, they sure know how to make consumers forget all about that. The revival of their image is mostly to the work of DICE, who’ve made Battlefield for over a decade and are tasked with the next Star Wars: Battlefront, but EA have been getting smarter themselves. Sims 4 is supposedly going to be an offline, single-player experience, and thankfully they’ve gotten rid of online passes. If they keep up this kind of progress, the mistakes of the past will be forgotten. But if anything is done that compromises DICE or Battlefront, the public will turn on their targeting computers once again.
Companions Will Be More Important Than Protagonists
Call of Duty has made it abundantly clear that they don’t give a flying fuck about the main character. The nuking of one of the protagonists in the first Modern Warfare was great because it was something new, and the slow, drawn-out death scene actually gave the player chills. But now they’ve been killing off main characters like they’re red-shirts on the Enterprise, and the reason for that is that players have been caring less and less about the protagonists who only get a name and nothing else most of the time. It’s the companions who are actually interesting, and are the only characters whose well-being is important to us. *Modern Warfare 1 and 2 spoilers ahead*. I didn’t care whether my character would live or die at the end of MW1. All I could focus on was the guy resuscitating Captain Price. And at the end of MW2, I could care less that my character was being burned alive, but I was very concerned about the guy next to me. And after watching the first fifteen or so minutes of Ghosts, it became obvious that Riley is by far the most important character. Prepare for a new generation of games featuring companions that you’ll think about even when you’re not playing. And be ready for your character to be killed off. A lot.
Star Wars: Battlefront is going to be incredible
Back when the news first reached us on the holorecorder that EA had acquired the license to develop Star Wars games, I wrote an article about what EA should do to not completely fuck it up. They got off to a great start, following the number one suggestion: develop shooters through DICE. Hopefully this will mean a new Republic Commando somewhere down the line, but it was obvious that the first game they would bring back would be Battlefront. And rightfully so; a new installment of this series is up there with Half-life 3 in terms of how frequently people were requesting it. And after seeing Battlefield 4, it’s clear that DICE has been really perfecting its craft over the years, and are poised to make the biggest and best Battlefront yet. Expansive and destructible environments? Upgrades to the class-based system that made Battlefront great? Space combat?!? The Force is strong with this one, and as long as they don’t repackage Battlefield 4 with a Star Wars theme, fans of both series will be in for a treat when this game is released.
Battlefield will win the war with CoD, but both will retire by 2020
This is probably the boldest prediction on this article. The next generation of consoles is about two things: who has the better graphics, and which exclusives are better. We can only talk about graphics since both games will be coming out for Xbox One and PS4 in the next few weeks, but there’s a quote from IGN that inadvertently reveals who will do better in the next gen: “DICE’s Frostbite 3 Engine and Battlefield 4 put Call of Duty: Ghosts to shame — you’d never guess they were coming out in the same year.” Now somehow, and by somehow, I mean because they’re IGN, Ghosts got a higher score than Battlefield 4. But if you compare scores of Ghosts compared to earlier Call of Duty scores, there’s a noticeable decline. What I’m trying to say is that I think Call of Duty is running out of ideas. They talked about the dog so much leading up to the release of Ghosts because they realized they really didn’t have anything else going for the game. If graphics really are the biggest difference between the two next-gen consoles, it doesn’t matter which console the consumer will buy, they’re more likely to get Battlefield than Call of Duty, and I think they should. I don’t believe Call of Duty will survive too long in the next generation, compared to Battlefield. That being said, Battlefield might be running on a near empty tank as well, but will survive a tad longer than Call of Duty will. Pour some out on the curb for your homies, and bring in your squad mates for a group hug, because these two don’t have that much time left.
And the most accurate, important prediction of all:
With the console and shooter wars highlighting the end of this year, I can finally start playing Grand Theft Auto V. I hear this Trevor guy is quite the zany individual.