BATTLEFIELD 4 is the year’s most anticipated multiplayer FPS game on PC and it’s easy to see why.
Like previous titles, it’s initial release build needs patching to remove technical glitches and bugs, but the core gameplay remains solid and a promising sign of the expansive enjoyment to come.
I want to make it clear: the PC version is the one to own. Until the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are both released and have established a solid player-base, there’s no other platform that can host up to 64-players with such stunning visuals and strong local community support.
Additionally, current generation consoles can not be considered the same game, despite the name and presence of maps, because they only cater for a maximum of 24-players at one time.
There is an overwhelming sense that DICE has spent a lot of time refining things, as Battlefield 4 feels punchier than Battlefield 3.
The controls feel tighter, the visuals have more polish, the guns feel well balanced, and the way that levels change during combat thanks to a feature called Levelution adds a fascinating dynamic to a genre that has long endured static maps.
The campaign has been improved in Battlefield 4 and serves as the perfect, if lengthy, tutorial for newcomers.
The features you learn by playing the campaign will help make you a better team player in Battlefield 4′s multiplayer.
There’s a real emphasis on spotting enemies in the single player campaign. Pleasantly, I was then surprised to see nearly everybody using it in multiplayer matches.
I was disappointed to find that the points I earned during the campaign didn’t count towards my multiplayer level. I feel it should, perhaps as an incentive to both play and finish the campaign.
I’ve noticed that some critics feel that DICE shouldn’t bother with the campaign. However, I’d like to say that I feel it’s a great showcase of the game’s new features, and it also serves as a practice arena that allows players to sharpen their skills before heading online.
Furthermore, the visual might of the Frostbite 3 engine deserves the campaign treatment. I’d much rather Battlefield 4 than Bad Company 3 – that’s for sure.
On the matter of visuals, this is simply the most gorgeous game available right now, providing your PC can run the game at High or Ultra.
The water rolls and produces waves as you’d expect in real-life, with light bouncing-off it as you’d expect to see at the beach or out on the ocean. It’s no longer just a flat texture sugarcoated with a few tricks. Rather, it looks like an organic and dynamic object in the game.
Lighting is emphasised and sometimes overdone, but I feel that it’s Battlefield’s style to throw in a few massive light flares here and there. It did so in Battlefield 3 to great effect, and I can appreciate the look and feel that developer DICE is going for.
The numerous Frostbite engines have always been about destruction, but that aspect has often been limited to cover and the odd building so that players don’t entirely destroy whole maps.
As I mentioned previously, to balance expectations with reality, DICE has introduced Levelution, a term to describe game – and map – changing events triggered by player combat.
Want to take out the supporting pillars of a skyscraper? Sure, but watch out because it’ll collapse killing everyone in it or immediately near it. And it’ll also coat the map in a fine layer of white dust.
Or how about a beautiful island setting? Surely nothing can go wrong there with so few buildings, right? Wrong. How about a hurricane mid-game that sends a ship crashing into shore, taking out anyone who gets in its way. And day essentially becomes night, changing the dynamics for players who have to rethink how they play the game with lesser visibility.
I do love Levelution, especially when it alters the gameplay and challenges you to respond with a different play style.
But I still think it’s a stepping stone towards the goal of ultimate destruction. Perhaps we’ll have to wait until both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have become embedded in households before all versions receive the ultimate Frostbite experience that I know the engine is capable of.
Multiplayer is back with a vengeance and in the fittest form I’ve witnessed since Battlefield 2.
Squads with up to five men (or women) and on teams on up to 32 players must work together to achieve objectives – whilst dealing with both the enemy and any Levelution changes.
This time around, DICE has once more acknowledged vehicles as one of the series’ strengths.
As a result, players now have more toys than ever before to drive, fly and ride.
Overall, the game felt well-balanced, and I had greater issues avoiding snipers than I did any particular vehicle. And thanks to the large maps, tanks were especially easy for infantry to avoid.
In terms of presentation, not much has changed between Battlefield 3 and 4.
I still can’t enjoy the browser-based Battlelog despite its glut of information.
Call me old-fashioned, but I like my game to load and feel complete. Using a browser cheapens the experience and makes the game feel more casual than it should.
Fortunately, you only have to use it to launch multiplayer. Once in a match you’ll remain in an in-game lobby if you continue playing that server.
In summary, Battlefield 4 is an FPS gamer’s icing on the moist cake of gaming that has been 2013: make sure you feast on it.
Yes, there are bugs, but none are particularly gamebreaking. Rather, they’re an annoyance that I know will soon disappear thanks to DICE’s determination to deliver an awesome experience to Battlefield fans.
So, if Battlefield 3 was an excellent return to form, then Battlefield 4 is the consolidation of that work plus additional refinement to core gameplay to create what is, without doubt, PC gaming’s best multiplayer FPS right now.
I Give this Game 10/10