Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Battlefield 4 Review

Despite the resounding internet hate of the Call of Duty franchise, it appears Battlefield 3 did little to dent the mammoth pull Activision have on FPS gamers around the world. The franchise is going from strength to strength, bringing in numbers only dwarfed by GTA V. It's not like BF3 was a bad game, in fact it was one of the best looking FPS I have ever played. It was a game of highs that also featured many lows, most notably a short uninspired campaign. 2012 from EA brought a lacklustre Medal of Honor title that didn't help EA's cause one bit. 2013 sees DICE return with the next instalment in the Battlefield franchise. Have they finally hit all the vital selling points to take down Call of Duty: Ghosts?


Battlefield 3 was a game that shone on a high end PC, but it still performed admirably on the Xbox 360 and PS3 respectively. Environments still looks beautiful, character models were amazing and it ran smoothly throughout my entire time playing. Battlefield 4 on current gen consoles doesn't receive this same kind of treatment. Obviously being prepped for optimal performance on the Xbox One and PS4, it appears that current gen owners are going to be receiving an experience that contains many cop outs we expect from lesser quality titles.

On the Xbox 360 I experienced screen tearing, anti-aliasing and low resolution textures as well as the perfectly played fog effect to lessen the graphical load on the system. While it is obvious Frostbite 3 is pushing these machines to the limit, the overly ambitious nature of the games destruction has taken a toll. Collapsing set pieces will look beautiful pre and post explosion, but the collapsing pieces will look terrible. Instead of a smooth motion, a wonderful spectrum of graphical mishaps will occur before it settles down nicely again. It's noticeable enough to be annoying and take away from the true spectacle.

I may be a bit harsh as the majority of Battlefield 4 still looks outstanding. Character models are outstanding as we have come to expect. Overall the environments are diverse and full of life, but this isn't just a game. It's from one of the biggest publishers in the world and we expect that top notch AAA quality from them. If certain things couldn't be achieved on the current gen consoles then toning back may have been a valuable choice. Multiplayer maps that don't have all the huge game defining changes as on next gen consoles wouldn't have been a deal breaker since they are well thought out as it is. This game still looks better than most, and you do have to nitpick to find these negatives, but when you are coming up against Call of Duty these things matter.

The audio in this game is as you would expect, absolutely top notch. Characters sound great and the sound effects are perfect. There is nothing better than playing Battlefield 4 with the surround sound pumped up loud! The unique sound of every different weapon coupled with the crunching sounds of a crumbling battlefield makes this an audio orgasm. You get a real sense of thrill that is accompanied by an up tempo soundtrack to really get the heart racing.


Battlefield 4 is a brilliant game that finally merges nearly everything we’ve loved about the series over the years all into one big, epic package that will satisfy nearly any online FPS fan. It does have it’s share of issues, but they don’t get too much in the way. Especially since the focus is more on multiplayer rather than the campaign. But EA decided that they had to have a campaign anyway; which lasts for under 5 hours and comes with the standards we’ve come to expect with the series – quality voice acting, big buildings being blown up, solid production values and over the top action.The maps are nice and varied, from close quarters to large open spaces, coupled with a decent campaign; it does give Call of Duty: Ghosts a run for it’s money, but falls short with it’s rather uninspired storyline. One is left with a feeling if this should have been an online only game?

Multiplayer is where you’ll find all the action and predominantly gamers’ focus. The online play is pretty breathtaking, with a huge range of features coming together – like Commanders, a Battlelog system that finally works nicely, destruction of whole buildings large and small, great visuals, and a solid unlock and gunplay system that really does feel like a near-perfect “average” of everything that has been good about Battlefield games in the past.

Specific to multiplayer, maps have been carefully designed to give tactically inclined players a better chance. If you’re going to roam around aimlessly in a tank, be prepared to face the consequences; even against an engineer! In multiplayer, Battlefield 4 comes complete with some old favorite modes as well as a few new ones to try out. Battlefield fans will be familiar with Conquest, Rush and Deathmatch variants. But the game also comes with some cool new game modes, which are: Obliteration, Domination, Defuse and Commander mode. Commander is my new favourite, with one player given a entire view of the Battlefield and the ability to deliver instructions to teammates. It takes this harmonious teamwork a new level of trust, and those who can work together will be victorious.

Finally, the real revolution, not to get confused with a game-mode, Levolution as, they’ve termed it – is essentially damage effects. No building is safe, it can be destroyed and everything in it will be destroyed as well. Anyway, The damage effects combined with the weather effect give a more realistic feel to the game. The weather often changes, mostly for the worse as battles progress.The weather effects often alter the way you need to play. The wind during the Paracel Storm map, for instance, requires snipers to aim to the left or right depending on the direction of the wind.


Battlefield 4 is pretty much what you expect from this title. Good visuals that would be enhanced on next gen consoles, a countless number of explosions and fun gameplay. Sure, the single player is a bit mediocre and tedious but, that isn't what counts for Battlefield. The multiplayer in this game is amazing and revolutionary, with a whole new element added. Having to plan ahead knowing that how the map looks at the beginning, won't be the how it is at the end is an awesome concept.

Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 9/10
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Overall - 8.5/10