Battlefield is one of the biggest franchises in EA’s warchest. The dedicated players to the PC platform have turned it into a cult staple with its intense competitive nature and focus on large-scale warfare. With the Battlefield 3 attention to detail, fans wondered how DICE was going to upgrade the game to the point of dropping another $60 for Battlefield 4 (PC/PS4/Xbox One/PS3/Xbox 360).
Normally, with BF titles, you will get some mind-blowing, best in the business graphics, obnoxiously short campaign, and enjoyable multiplayer experience. And speaking of multiplayer, that is where about 80% of the game’s focus is placed. But let’s start with the campaign.
People have complained about Battlefield’s campaign for years because, honestly, BF games are about the multiplayer and the adventures you create with your friends. Ever since 1942, BF‘s best experiences were had online the latter games’ campaigns became afterthoughts once you got a taste of the online play. DICE remembered its roots with Battlefield 4 and, in result, you get an over-produced 10 hour campaign.
Though short, you totally want to play the single-player run through in BF4. It’s truly a decent story and a slight challenge that will at least make you want to finish once you start. You play a US Marine Sergeant followed by a squad of two other marines and a lady Chinese double-agent. It’s six years after BF3, and China is the new enemy. You are behind enemy lines, and you work your way on what seems to be only rescue missions wrapped with set pieces engineered for shock-and-awe.
The characters aren’t memorable, except for the black character, Irish, who is annoyingly insubordinate the whole game. The perks of playing the single player include the ability unlock weapons for online play. DICE intelligently made the weapons worth your while, and you go ahead and play along because, you know, more weapons.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where the strength in Battlefield 4 expands over all competition: the weapons. What you get in BF4, as with it predecessors, is an extensive and detailed arsenal you obtain by playing one of the 4 classes of your choice. Each class gets access to shotgun and PDW weapons, with a new addition of marksman rifles for snipers, and more carbine guns for everyone else. There’s also a fifth tier that unlocks through all class progression primarily offering hand pistols and grenades. You know the system’s deep when you have six offensive grenades at your disposal: compared to two in the previous games. This is a great addition in that it totally expands the possibilities in CQ combat.
DICE spent a lot of time bragging about the return to the commander role on the battlefield; first introduced in Battlefield 2. For those who enjoy EA’s Command and Conquer (God rest its soul), this would be right up your alley. The all new ‘Commander Mode’ allows you to control your faction, with attack order, weapon drops, and even scud missile attacks and UAV deployments. The truly enjoyable mode can be the deciding factor in close knit matches.
Actual infantry controls are greatly upgraded from BF3. Hit detection feels more accurate, knife kills can now be counter-attacked, your scopes can be changed mid-spawn with certain attachments and peeking around corners has been added. BF4‘s weapon recoil and accuracy make players really feel in control with the snappy aim and crisp blur-effect.
Vehicles received an upgrade, as expected. The balance in the infantry classes seemed to spill over into the tanks, planes, choppers, and the new addition of attack boats. Attacking the vessels cause for realistic immobility and reduced effectiveness. With the newer vehicles, BF4 created a more destructive environment in the game. You can penetrate non-armor facilities better, and even completely take down buildings or electricity on levels. You can even anticipate a monsoon during a match.
Lastly, as expected again, the graphics got an upgrade. Not huge, but power necessary to run the game on max via PC or new generation consoles easily shames the visuals seen on PS3 and Xbox 360. There are many reports of crashes on PCs, due to server issues. Having experienced this, the BF4 community is still thriving across all platforms.
The game’s better than its predecessor and it definitely worth a buy. The grinding for new weapons is very rewarding and the shenanigans you get into with friends are endless. With the new DLC on the horizon, you can expect much more in-game features and weapons to keep you busy for hours.