Watch eight hours of Battlefield 4 in five and a half minutes

Maybe it's time military shooters drop single-player campaigns.

In the past, when the community discussed the relevance of single-player in first-person shooter, I firmly stood by campaigns and their tepid politics, muddy story lines and oh my gosh you blow up everything how awesome is that missions.

Things changed over the past couple years. Developers, in hopes of winning over the naysayers, have unlearned what they knew best: levity.

Where old military campaigns undercut the violence with absurdity, the modern shooter campaign is terse and serious. The EA marketing team has pushed Battlefield 4 as a shooter with soul. Here's the rub: if I believe these characters I'm shooting are human, that they have a soul, then I don't want to be shooting them, because that's profoundly unsettling.

I want games to have characters that I care about and stories that explore the repercussions of violence; but for me they can't be the same games in which I murder at least two hundred people for fun. The hypocrisy is too jarring.

Early on in the Battlefield 4 campaign, a civilian begs your troop to help her family, but there's no real way to "help" in this game. You can do one thing: shoot. And that's fine. That's what I want to do when I play a shooter. I just don't want to shoot humans with wives and kids. I want to shoot lines of code floating inside an inflated ghillie suit.

More from Polygon

The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

Latest Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5353_tracker