How I got into the Battlefield Series

The Battlefield series is the first person shooter series that I have the most history with. Technically. It's not my first shooter, nor was it the first online FPS I played; however, it's the one I stuck with the longest, and have been with more than any other out there. It's also a series I never expected to be able to play, but look at me now! I'm sitting here writing a blog post about how I got into it. It wasn't a simple journey though, and a lot happened to me during those years... So instead of just making a "Ben's Beginnings" over Battlefield, I figured I'd dive on in and cover it all. My complete history with the series.

First time I ever even heard about Battlefield was at school. Battlefield 2 had just came out, and my friend Ian started talking about it. He mentioned how it was a team based game, how you could drive different vehicles and fly planes, and how it was this crazy online simulated "battlefield" experience! He made the game sound cool, and I remember he was passing on the idea of us friends forming a team -- but I knew that would never happen for me. I didn't have a good PC (I couldn't even run Starcraft 1 at the time), and I knew there was no way my parents would be okay with me playing an online game like that. Plus at the time I was happy enough with my GameCube and PS2, so that's pretty much what I stuck to. Battlefield 2 is something I would never really play for myself, except for the single time my friend Keith showed it to me at his house. I did basically nothing in it, and I feel as if we only played for 10 minutes at most -- that's where I assumed my Battlefield experience would end.

Three years later (2008) things would change for me. After getting my first job, I went out and bought an Xbox 360 with my savings. I mainly wanted it for Sonic 2006 (yep), but after getting one I felt as if it would be a waste to not try other games as well. I would constantly walk by a game called "Bad Company" at Walmart, and it would always catch both my dad and I's eyes. It had a picture of a grenade on the cover with a smiley face pin attached to it. We both thought it looked funny, but I didn't think much more of it. That is until one day I did my research.

Apparently this "Bad Company" game was a part of the Battlefield series (I didn't notice Battlefield on the box), and it was a comedy! It was basically about a group of rejects in the army, who are sent to be their own squad, and sent out on missions. The entire game is a parody on war stories, with our group of idiots getting into non stop trouble, who get caught up in something much bigger than they can handle. The descriptions I read online was enough for me to buy it, and I quickly found that everything said was true. It's one of the few games that legit had me laughing from start to finish!

I loved Bad Company. The gameplay was a lot of fun, the characters were great, and it's story really was funny. I feel in love with pretty much every part of the game, and I didn't want it to end! Being a part of the Battlefield series meant it also had it's online mode, but when I tried it out it didn't seem that great to me. (Mainly because I sucked, and it seemed not a lot of people were playing at the time.) So I mainly stuck to this one for it's single player, and put it on the shelf when I was done. But then Bad Company 2 was announced, and that changed everything.

To say I was excited for Bad Company 2 is an understatement. The game was going to get an M rating so they could push things a bit further than the first, and it was shown that the story would be even larger in scale than the previous entry. To top all of that off, the game would also be going back to it's full on Battlefield roots, and put a HUGE focus on the game's multiplayer as well. It would have hundreds of unlocks, ribbons/awards to achieve, the whole dog tag system/collection system, and pretty much every other feature that made games like Battlefield 2 so popular. They were going for the full blown Battlefield experience, and I wanted to be a part of it!

Of course I got the Xbox 360 version (which was more limited compared to the PC release), and I found myself dedicating a LOT of time to the game. Sadly as a poor college kid I couldn't always afford Xbox Live, but to make things even more complicated -- I didn't have a router. To play Xbox 360 games, I had to physically connect my 360 to my computer's modem, and unhook my PC from it. That made it so I couldn't use things like Windows Live to call/talk to friends easily, but I got around that by using the 360's built in Live Messenger (I even bought the text pad attachment to help). But even then it was annoying not having a PC when playing my 360, but it was what it was. Because of these constraints however, I had to play as much as BC2 when I could, and hopefully find a way to resubscribe to Xbox Live later on. Ultimately I had to give up Live for awhile after playing the heck out of BC2, but it was only a matter of time until I came back. I had a lot of good memories playing that game, but it wasn't one I would return to... Mainly because of what came next.

Around 2010 I finally got a new PC that was "okay" enough to play some games. It wasn't perfect, but it could handle less demanding things. I didn't play a whole lot with it, but during the summer of 2011 I came across a discovery -- a little game known as "Battlefield Play4Free." What was this game you might ask? To put it simply, it was a "free" version of Battlefield 2, updated with content from newer games, and "down graded" in a way that made it possible for weaker PCs to play. This was PERFECT for me! I remember I told as many friends as I could about it, and for the first time I jumped into the PC Battlefield experience.

I honestly loved Play4Free. The game did ask you to spend real cash on guns/better upgrades and what not, but you could also unlock the content simply by playing the game. You basically earned credits for how well you did, and could then use said credits to unlock different cosmetics, attachments for your weapons, etc. Most of my friends at the time were used to this sorta thing with the Free to Play MMORPGs out there, so it didn't really deter us. In fact, with how much I ended up playing the game, I actually dropped $10 to unlock some cosmetics, and a weapon I knew I'd enjoy using. I figured it was free and I had already spent countless hours on it, so the $10 was worth it in the end. Of course the game is shut down now, but I still have no regrets spending what I did.I especially loved the maps that the game chose to feature, so of course I kept coming back to it. That is, until Battlefield 3 was announced.

(I wasn't kidding when I said it worked well on low end PCs!)

With Battlefield 3 being announced as I was playing Play4Free, I was extra hyping it up to friends. My hope was that those I was playing Play4Free with would move onto BF3 as well, but sadly that didn't really happen. Of course that was still okay, as it wasn't going to stop me from getting it myself and playing it to death. Heck I still remember the day I downloaded the beta and spent countless hours on it! Had a lot of fun, and it only made me want the final game even more. So I placed a preorder, and the day it released I rushed up to GameStop first thing in the morning. Pretty sure I had to stand outside and wait for it to open because I got there so early, but whatever -- I didn't want to miss out on it! Man, that was a good day. Of course I got the 360 version again, and once again it was held back compared to the PC release. While the PC version could handle the full 64 player matches on larger maps, the console versions were limited to 24 players, and smaller sized maps to make up for it. It didn't make me have less fun with the game, but I'll admit it did kinda suck knowing I wasn't getting the same experience as with Play4Free. Although, the added destruction, more maps, vehicles, guns, unlock systems, etc, was for sure a huge upgrade over the free game... So really couldn't complain there. 

To put it simply... I loved Battlefield 3, and still to this day I'd consider it my favorite release. Overall I'd say Bad Company 2 was the "best" I had played, but for the pure BF experience, 3 became my top choice. Man, I miss those maps... 

Moving forward, Battlefield 4 was a weird one for me. I was trying to find the PlayStation 4 on launch day, but I wasn't having any luck. I grabbed Assassin's Creed 4 just so I had a game to play on my PS4, but I had no idea when that would be. My mom was actually the one who was able to walk into GameStop on the release day of the Xbox One and grab it, which was actually a pretty funny story. She basically walked past the long line of people waiting for the Xbox, walked up to the counter and asked if they had a PS4, and they handed her one -- most likely the long line of Xbox fans deterred people from even checking if they had them in stock. But anyway... When she called me and let me know she was able to find one, she also asked if there was anything game wise I'd like her to pick up as well -- so I said Battlefield 4.  Assassin's Creed was the first game I actually booted up on my PS4, but BF4 would be the one I would spend the most time with yet again.

The thing about BF4 on "next gen" console was the fact that it could finally compete with the PC version of the game. It had the full sized maps, the full game modes, and pretty much everything had been upgraded from BF3. Sadly the game did have some glitches (like the campaign mode not saving), but overall it was a big improvement! While I didn't like it's maps as much as I liked BF3's, future DLC would correct that problem by introducing more older maps to the mix. Even so, there were a handful of BF4 exclusive maps that I did really enjoy as well, so it's not like it didn't have some original maps I enjoyed. The real issue I had with the game was actually it's timing. I remember talking to my uncle Mark about the PS4 and how Battlefield 4 was on Thanksgiving that  year, unaware that he would pass away a month and a day later. He was only 42 at the time, and was someone I had spent a lot of time with talking to, playing games with, etc. At times he acted more like a brother to me, so this really wasn't an easy time in my life. Him passing killed my interest in gaming for quite awhile, and a lot of games that came out around that time only pulled me back into the reality of his death -- and sadly BF4 became one of them.

Eventually I would return to the game off and on (heck I even bought the PC version when I got a gaming PC), but I just didn't play it anywhere near as much as I thought I would. Battlefield Hardline would be the next game I played (as it was the next release), but even that didn't hold my interest quite as much. Again, that PC version of BF4 I just mentioned? I bought that after Hardline's release. It's not like I didn't like Hardline however; it's just it didn't quite click with me as much as the previous entries. The cop and robbers storyline and gameplay modes were cool, and I did enjoy the new maps -- but it just didn't fully hook me as previous entries had done. Maybe it was more burn out than anything else? Not really sure honestly.

When Battlefield 1 came out, again I found myself conflicted. I bought the premium edition of the game (as I usually do), but I quickly realized this was the first Battlefield that wasn't for me. I didn't care for the story missions, I didn't like the World War I setting, and I didn't like the WWI guns or vehicles that had to be used. Sure, it was cool from a historical standpoint (not that it was completely faithful or anything), but it just didn't do it for me. I remember sitting in a hospital room with my grandma's brother (don't worry he was okay) and looking at my BF1 stats/medals and what not I wanted to earn on the phone app, but then when I got home I realized I didn't care enough to actually go forward with it. So BF1 became the one and only BF game that I had just completely dropped. Sure, I never finished the story in Hardline either, but at least I put over 20 hours into it.

After Battlefield 1, I wasn't sure how to feel about Battlefield V's announcement. I liked the idea that 4, Hardline, 1, and V were all different/unique games and would operate side by side, but the backlash of V made me doubt how good the game would be. To my surprise however, I actually loved it. Yep, even before all the added content and updates, I had fun with the game. Of course one of my favorite Call of Duty games was World at War, so the WWII setting clicked with me from the get go. Again, it didn't follow WWII perfectly either (which caused controversy), but I did enjoy seeing what they had used from WWII, and I liked using the guns. Even with BFV being out I did go back and play BF4 still, but BFV became my main "go to" online first person shooter for quite awhile. And then it got canceled, and development shifted towards 2042.

So here we are today. Battlefield 1, V, and 2042 are the three games that are really pushed by EA, with BF4 still having a strong player base after all these years. 2042 launched to a very rocky start (removed most of the features that made Battlefield Battlefield), but today it is in a much better situation. The game has gone on sale multiple times to bring in new players, and it's even up for free on PlayStation Plus. The game features cross play between all consoles and PC, and it includes the "Battlefield Portal" which allows you to play maps and classes from previous entries in the series. It is also receiving the whole "season" treatment for unlocks and new content (as is common now days), with many years of support planned for the game. It's because of this continued support that the game is in a better state now, with new features constantly being added in. I'll admit that I bought the game on launch but didn't have time to play, so I actually missed out on most of the "dark days" of this release. Coming in at the end of season 3 and now playing through season 4 has been a lot of fun, but I'm still longing for the days when more maps from BF2, 3, and 4 get added back into the mix. I love the current Bad Company 2 and BF3 maps we have, but I'm still waiting for my favorites to enter the mix.

Anyway... Even with all it's rocky patches throughout it's history -- I still love this series, and I plan to continue playing these games for the rest of my life (as long as the games are still around that is)! While Battlefield may never reach the popularity of other "main stream" shooters, it'll always hold a special place in my heart, and I'll always see it as the original king of war based first person shooters. Who would've thought that hearing my friends discuss it in 2005, and then buying Bad Company in 2008 would lead me to all of this. A lot has time has passed, but I remember this all like it was just yesterday.

And that's my story of how I got into Battlefield.

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