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Battlefield 4 Review

With the big next gen event just a mere few weeks away there is one final versus battle that needs to be settled on this generation first, the long running and much anticipated ruck between EA's Battlefield and Activation’s Call of Duty series. Just like the imminent console release, these games split the community in two, each one being favoured for many different reasons, each one doing roughly the same thing. First out is EA and Dice's behemoth Battlefield 4, promising huge fights over land, sea and air.

For me, the Battlefield games has always been about the multiplayer, teams full of players each battling for a small piece of land, jumping into planes, boats or just slugging it out on foot, so when there was a little more focus on the single player aspect, mainly to keep the console gamers happy, things seemed to be a little diluted. For me, Bad Company should have stayed as the single player, leaving Battlefield for multiplayer duties: but here we are again, with Battlefield 4, offering both a single player and multiplayer experience.

Starting off with the single player then, I am glad to say things are a little better, there has been a much more solid attempt at creating not only a decent storyline but also some characters that you care about, though the whole justifying the violence with pained portrayals of your teammates is wearing a little thin, some of us just want to go and shoot stuff. Set in a hotspot that is China, General Chang has declared war on his own country, effectively turning his troops on his own people and turning China into a war zone. You play as Recker, part of Tombstone Company who are a special unit of Marines sent out to extract a Chinese dignitary as quietly as possible; though the term FUBAR does not even cover it following the unexpected release of an EMP bomb plus a devastating surprise attack on one of the US aircraft carriers, leaving it floating dead in the sea, the US Navy is left defenceless and about to be attacked not only by the Chinese but also the Russians. Tombstone Company are then sent on various missions to try and stop Chang in the process.

Never really letting up on the action front, the main campaign is all about set pieces, showing off just what the Frostbite 3 engine can really do and succeed it does with explosions ripping through walls and bringing down buildings and rubble pelting down like rain whilst taking us through prison breakouts, battling through a stricken warship or taking part in a beach landing during a tropical storm, the pacing is spot on, plus the wider level design allows you to try out numerous ways to complete each level, be it flat out run and gun, locating vehicles to dish out the pain or sit back and snipe from a safe distance.

Aside from the occasional cameo from a vehicle you also have full tactical weapons crates that are scattered around the levels, allowing you to change weapons and gadgets to suit your approach, grabbing sniper rifles, rocket launchers, mines and a whole lot of guns, each one looking great on the screen. What I will add here is the sound of each weapon, it is not often I get told off by the neighbour for being too loud but this was one occasion, having to turn to up just that little bit more as each weapon sound is so satisfying, with the added effects depending on your environment, it is a audiophiles dream.

For the majority of the campaign you are playing with a team of other characters, who for most of the time are able to look after themselves and act as you would expect from a hard arse Marine. To give you a slight element of control you are able to issue basic commands. Via scanning the battlefield with your tactical binoculars that highlights enemies, explosives and your current goal, you can then quick commend your team to take out specific enemies, or, depending on the level, command a helicopter or even a mini gun emplacement to add additional firepower.

Overall the single player was an entertaining few hours, adding a little depth by having the majority of the trophies attached to this mode and a few difficulties to try out, however with every hour played, the lure of multiplayer became too much, as once you are on here, it is hard to get off.

That DICE magic that has been prevalent through not only the Battlefield series but also a few other choice EA titles returns here, they are truly masters of their craft, totally understanding the mentality of the gamer and designing some fantastic maps full of death and destruction on a massive scale over a wide assortment of game modes.

For those that have played a Battlefield game in the past it is basically more of the same, with you starting out as a basic grunt, able to choose from four classes, assault, recon, support and engineer, each with their own specific traits and items like health packs, ammo drops or laser guided sights and whilst massively underpowered, you are still able to take out a few players and turn the tide in a few of the battles. As you rack up kills and assists you slowly rank up, not only in hierarchy but also for each class and even weapons, unlocking a huge variety of weapons, gadgets and even the ability to customise your weapons even further, suiting your gaming needs. Each class also comes with some customisation, with field upgrades able to alter how your player acts in the world, be it able to take on more damage or appear silent on the radar.

With Battlefield 4, the main aim is teamwork, with each game mode created with opposing sides. Though most of the game modes involve the general killing of your opponents, each map and mode dictates just how you go about that and eventually gain total victory with Team Deathmatch being a simple matter of racking up as many kills for your team or the similar Squad Deathmatch, albeit in smaller teams. You then have mission based modes which is where most of the fun lies with Conquest set over huge maps giving you the best chance of getting the most of the Battlefield experience, each team trying to control set areas. Obliteration requires each team to carry a bomb and destroy specific targets; my personal favourite mode Rush, where attackers and defenders fight over a small section of a map that once the bases have been destroyed, the map grows, adding more targets; the defenders losing if all the bases are destroyed, the attackers though only having a limited amount of re-spawns. The final few modes are slight adjustments to the other modes, with Domination removing all vehicles in a capture the hold scenario and Defuse offering quick battles with no re-spawns.

To gain an even deeper online experience you are also able to link your game to the Battlefield Battlelog, an online experience that allows you to view and compare your stats with other player and friends plus organise missions where you can set specific targets for your friends to complete.

As before the multiplayer is where you will be spending most of your time but that said, although a little on the short side, the single player does deserve some attention, just to see what the game is capable of. With Battlefield 3 being a little disappointing, this newest version is a fantastic return to form.

Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version Tested: PS3)


+ Massive multiplayer modes.
+ Intense air land and sea battles.
+ An addictive ranking system.


- Suffered a little slowdown online and occasional texture pop ups.
- A couple of hard resets of the PS3 was required when the game crashed.
- Campaign is very short

Edited On 03 Nov, 2013

( 5 )
Zombieflamingo's avatar
Zombieflamingo 3 years ago
I have seen a lot of people complaining about the servers and not being able to get into games or games with friends and so on.
shiny miller's avatar
shiny miller 3 years ago
This is the first review I've read that hasn't absolutely slated the single-player campaign for being an overbloated nonsense with terrible AI teammates and a forgettable story.
Ash Buchanan's avatar
Ash Buchanan 3 years ago
Other than a little texture pop up and a few hard resets there was no issues with the game at all. Loads of servers and never had to wait for a game and I play at some wierd times. As for the campaign, its short but fun.
Im Going Space's avatar
Im Going Space 3 years ago
i must say, as far as online launches go, that this has been very very good. couple of loading freezes, and driver issues on PC. but generally without a hitch. i remember when battlefield didn't have Single player, and no one moaned. it was short yeah, but was alright i thought. why waste time and devs on offline play when its all gonna be online as soon as those 5 hours are up...
inspector 74's avatar
inspector 74 3 years ago
Im about half way through the second mission and Im just gonna throw it out there the campaign so far is absolutely amazing, this is like being a kid again, being at work and just thinking I cannot wait to get home to play more battlefield 4.I havent had that from a game in ages Im really looking forward to seeing how its gonna look on my Xbox one in a few weeks ha ha!!!

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