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Byte Size: Battlefield 4 (PS4) Review


Even though every forum will tell you there is a console war going on at the moment, the real war has been waging on the consoles themselves for quite some time; a war that is not console specific as no matter what you hardware you opt for you still have a vital choice to make, Call of Duty or Battlefield. In the past I went for a simple approach, get both, but with a steadily increasing release window and the in depth online presence there is just not enough time to master both so a choice had to be made, go for the fast paced “arcade” action of COD or the more open world teamwork feel of Battlefield. In the end the sheer thrill of jumping into attack choppers and planes won over.

Even though Battlefield's recent history has not been exactly great with Battlefield 4, EA and Dice have corrected a lot of wrongs from the past and created an overall better experience. The single player is still a little weak but manages to offer plenty of action filled moments as you play as art of Tombstone company, a small group of soldiers who are caught right in the middle of a huge plot for a Chinese General to not only overrun his own country but to pretty much wipe out a US Navy fleet in the process. Focusing mainly on run and gun scenarios, you will move through a series of thrilling set pieces, battling against an array of enemies, not only looking after yourself and getting those crucial kills but also taking control of your team mates, issuing quick commands with you tagging enemies for them to attack on your behalf. It’s a action packed and fun single player campaign that isn’t overly long and offers a little experience into what you can expect in the multiplayer, which is where the real action resides.



Multiplayer is again a deep and rewarding experience with you joining teams in various modes including Deathmatch and Conquest style rules. As a team you work toward a common goal but as a single player you will slowly earn upgrades in numerous areas, with personal ranking up unlocking booster packs and each weapon unlocking and ranking up with use, opening up even more items to customize with to make you the perfect soldier.

So what is new on the PS4 version? Well you have the visual upgrade just like other PS3 to PS4 games, the graphics look a lot crisper, offering even more attention to detail which is even more apparent on the multiplayer mode, letting you easily spot an enemy from quite a distance. The other main change that has occurred since launch is the update on the amount of players on certain multiplayer modes, with Conquest now offering a staggering 64 combatants on the same map. Though this is something that PC users have had for quite some time, this addition is a revelation in console gaming, with so many players on one map the battle becomes more akin all-out war than a skirmish, especially over some of the more impressive maps like the multileveled city level where you can battle on the ground or across the rooftop of skyscrapers or under and on a giant satellite dish.

Of course with the PS4 version you also have the added option of playing with Remote Play if you also own a Vita and even with slightly scaled back visuals the game plays really well, with what is minimal controller lag and sensible use of the rear touch pad that has been split into four segments, acting as grenades, tagging, running and melee. The control sticks sadly do not lend themselves well to the overall action and precise control offered by the Dualshock 4, however I have already seen a few hacks that allow you to use the controller on the Vita so watch this space.



Though Battlefield 4 has been out on other consoles for a month or so now, it is still a bit infuriating with the pressure to shell out another £39.99 on a season pass as already some of the game is locked out to you. I will not mark the game down for this but it is clearly a worrying trend to ask for such a large monetary commitment mere days after shelling out retail price on a game. Also as of writing this the PS4 version is in desperate need of a patch as the game will crash at random moments (though not always); EA have acknowledged this error and are working hard to fix it, so do not let this put you off what is otherwise a wonderful online first person shooter.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS4)

Pros

+ 64 player online battles
+ Looks even better on the PS4
+ Stats carry across from PS3

Cons

- Widely reported server issues (patch arriving shortly)

Edited On 03 Dec, 2013

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