Bring the house down.
When you thought the massive instalment of Battlefield 3 is the pinnacle of first-person shooter, DICE returns with an all new bigger addition to the series with Battlefield 4 promising more scale, more destruction and many more weapons to shoot people with. With high hopes for another season of excellent ‘only in Battlefield’ multi-player – DICE has brought along some unwanted company which is the single-player campaign. Will the ghost of the past haunt the hugely anticipated multi-player focused Battlefield 4?
DICE has talked about bringing the campaign forward as something significant and they have done so in the past with the likes of the Bad Company series. However they failed to find any steady footing with this area in Battlefield 4. This time around, players will be following ‘Tombstone’ squad who is thrown into the escalating war between USA and China forces – set six years after the events of Battlefield 3. The Asia setting is a welcome change to the overdone Middle East setting in recent shooters which brings back memories of the second Battlefield.
With more emphasis on character driven emotion with incredible facial detail and voice acting – the campaign seems to be bogged down on shoddy writing and questionable events. Hugely questionable that I began questioning the constant loopholes and weird shifts in narrative and story line. Battlefield 4’s campaign made no sense at all and it was quite disappointing as the drive and setup could have paved way for a great story. In the end, it felt like the campaign again wasn’t DICE biggest forte.
…which now all comes down to their biggest hand, the multi-player.
Multi-player has always been DICE’s biggest focus in the Battlefield series and it strongly shows in Battlefield 4 with the developers again building on top a foundation they’ve set over the last few games. Battlefield 3 provided some of the most unique open map ‘do what you want to achieve’ style gameplay featuring some of the most intensive range of weapons and vehicles. Battlefield 4 just takes this to an all new level.
Not only did DICE implement a more robust list of weapons, upgrades and equipment this time around, they’ve also revisited the gameplay mechanics. Movement in Battlefield 4 online has been tweaked to an extent where it just feels natural to play. The tweaks include faster transitioning across barriers and ladders – mantling at a speed where the momentum of game still remains. Minor things like the auto leaning around corners just makes the online experience a whole lot better.
The usual fan favorites mode such as the massive 64-player Conquest and fast paced Rush make a return alongside the close and intimate bullet spraying Team Deathmatch. Depending on your play style, DICE has something for you in Battlefield 4. Also included are two new modes, Obliteration and Defuse.
Obliteration is bomb mode objective-based game type that sees each team defending/attacking three points around the map with a bomb that randomly spawns. The mode is simple to understand – much like Rush but the struggle for bomb domination creates this massive tug of war between both teams. Defuse is quite similar but teams don’t receive any respawns tickets – meaning the game type plays in short rounds. This mode is primilarly aimed at eSports as the mode reflects the all popular competitive shooter – Counter Strike.
DICE’s hugely marketed word ‘Levolution’ for Battlefield 4 adds a twist to the vanilla maps we’re always accustomed to in the series. Levolution is a spanner thrown in between the sprockets of a bicycle increasing unpredictable outcomes to online matches. Paracel Storm is a map that takes pages out of Wake Island and situates the battlefield in the middle of the South China Sea. A hybrid mix of island hopping and ocean battles, DICE’s Levolution twist changes the face of the map by throwing in a Monsoon storm which affects visibility and rough seas (even slamming a battleship into an island) taking players out of their comfort zone. These significant changes, with one major one being unique to each map from pulling down a dam to exploding pipelines in the city – each Levolution creates a shift to map altering gameplay.
“Levolution is a spanner thrown in between the sprockets of a bicycle increasing unpredictable outcomes to online matches.”
It’s no surprise that DICE’s Battlefield 4 is an evolution of what made the series great. They know what fans want and they seemingly created something similar yet more defined and better. It’s unfortunate to see they’ve missed the point with campaign again but at heart – Battlefield has always been about destroying other players online and that alone in Battlefield 4 out-shadows anything else tacked on to it. With the power of Frostbite 3 and DICE’s understanding of online multiplayer. Battlefield 4 obliterates it’s competition.
Publisher: EA Games
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
Review copy provided by the publisher.