Battlefield 4's disappointing narrative reveal in the context of Spec Ops: The Line [Destructoid] / by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Spec Ops: The Line

Wherein I think way too hard about the single player story for a Battlefield game.

I played Spec Ops: The Line too late to join in the conversation. Everything that had to be said was said, but I needed to say something about it. So I just talked about it... a lot (because I didn't yet have this website to just dump thoughts onto). Everyone around me got pretty sick of hearing about Spec Ops: Line, but I had more to say. Then I played the game again, armed with Brendan Keogh's Killing is Harmless, and it was even better.

And soon after that second play through, something interesting happened: the 17-minute reveal of Battlefield 4's single player campaign. It was billed as emotional and significant and blah blah blah. On a Spec Ops high, I was convinced that meant it would actually be meaningful in the way Spec Ops is meaningful. Battlefield 4 was going to be the first post-Spec Ops military shooter with any clout. It was a moment of truth.

And it was really disappointing. I jumped on this not really as a chance to take down Battlefield 4's not-particularly-compelling single player campaign (which I think everyone knew would be acceptable at best) but as a chance to say some things that I had wanted to say about Spec Ops. I like to believe the argument I laid out was compelling enough and there really were some things about that reveal that bothered me a lot.

But when one of the commenters said, "To be honest this just seemed like an excuse to talk about Spec Ops," I thought, "Guilty as charged." The rest of statement justified it for me, though.

"Which is fine," he said. "I’m glad somebody is."

(On the note of another commenter: there was a discussion that arose about how Spec Ops was a great film and not a great game. That conversation missed the point of the game so incredibly hard that it made me want to throw things. Spec Ops would be a terrible movie, and is an amazing video game. But that's honestly not even a discussion worth having.)