GR: In the six years between Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 3, Electronic Arts released several expansions and an attitude-infused spinoff of their military shooter franchise, meaning not a single year has gone by without some new BF-branded product. I never felt like DICE ran the risk of oversaturating the market or turning vehicular and infantry combat into a rote practice of menial value. It's not like shooting virtual people has worn on the gaming public, but Battlefield 4's reveal had me worried. Only two years beyond BF3, mere months since the developers had delivered that game's last DLC pack to Premium subscribers, and all too conveniently on the precipice of next-generation consoles, the fourth entry seemed rank with desperation to cash-in.
Thankfully, gameplay advances, graphical upgrades, and tried-and-true online combat prevent BF4 from feeling like franchise abuse. More surprisingly, some of the brand's greatest weaknesses have been addressed, meaning even the most skilled and experienced generals can feel good about moving onto this new theater of war. Battlefield 4 isn't a generational leap, but it proves itself through tangible, iterative growth.