Battlefield 4 is a game about stuff. Mainly – as with every Battlefield – multiplayer’s the main event, but you wouldn’t know it based on EA’s marketing efforts. Campaign this, “real human story” that, the profound subtlety of giant explosions blah blah blah. There may not be any dogs (wait for the Canine Kill DLC, releasing exclusively on everything this fall), but it’s hard not to see Battlefield’s single-player as the little tin soldier that marches behind Call of Duty with saucer-eyes of admiration. This time, though? Well, at least some of Battlefield’s setpieces look bigger. But the story? Er, if you put it in a room with synopses of every other military shooter, I probably couldn’t tell the difference.
I can’t help but appreciate how most of the games manage to name you [EXTREMELY COMMON MALE FIRST NAME] [SOMETHING]er. These are men of action, after all. Even their names must poised – muscles coiled like snakes – to skip gleefully through the explosion fields and sustain bullet wounds that’d fell entire armies. So then, this is a story all about how Sergeant Daniel Recker’s
got flip-turned upside-down went pretty much exactly how you expected it to:
“In Battlefield 4, you take on the role of Sergeant Daniel Recker, member of an elite group of soldiers known as Tombstone squad. While on a mission to collect intelligence from a defecting Russian General in Baku, Azerbaijan, your squad is discovered and you must fight your way through waves of Russian troops in order to escape. Upon getting back to the USS Valkyrie, a Wasp class carrier, the intelligence you’ve retrieved confirms previous suspicions. The Chinese Admiral Chang is planning a coup in China, and if this happens, the Russians would back him up.”
“With this intel secure, the USS Valkyrie sets a course for Shanghai. You and Tombstone squad are sent on a covert mission into the city to extract a group of VIP’s. China is in uproar after the U.S. has been implicated in the assassination of Jin Jié, the future leader and voice for peace in China. Admiral Chang has canceled elections and martial law has been declared. As U.S. and Russian naval forces position themselves off the coast of China, and the situation quickly escalates into a stare down akin to a tinderbox waiting for a spark.”
Then things blow up in Shanghai, then things blow up in Singapore, and so on and so forth. At some point, I am guessing you’ll get stabbed in the back by someone you trust. Or maybe not. Maybe you’ll get hugged in the back by someone you thought was an enemy. The possibilities are… well, mainly just those two.
It’s a military shooter campaign. Wheeeeeeeee. Your “elite group of unlikely heroes” (Why is it unlikely if they’re elite? Isn’t this sort of thing basically their purpose? I don’t get ittttttttt) will also include men with glistening forearms and names like Clayton “Pac” Pakowski and Kimble “Irish” Graves. You will fight alongside them and be BF4 BFFs and get sad when global warming makes cars fall on them.
There, I have told you about the story of a game in which story categorically does not matter. Can I have my gamz jearnlism trophy now?