"Back to the Battlefield"
Big, explosive, epic: some of these words could be used to describe the Battlefield series. The military-themed, macro-FPS is back in the newest installment, Battlefield 4. With its release, DICE launches us right into the fray of big wartime battles, huge multiplayer, and again targets gamers who want to feel more freedom and size than the Call of Duty games have to offer.
Players familiar with the Battlefield series will see right off that Battlefield 4 deviates only slightly from its predecessors gameplay-wise. Whether single-player or multiplayer. Battlefield 4 is pretty much the same fare once again. This doesn’t mean there have been plenty of slight tweaks and improvements all around, however. Probably the biggest change overall, though it doesn’t do much in terms of actual gameplay, is what has been branded "levolution" by DICE. This means each map has some sort of a huge, major event which takes place, whether it be the destruction of a building, or a hurricane which knocks around ships, or something else "big and Hollywood-feeling" to make the battles feel more dynamic. While these events look cool, and they can be sometimes exciting, they really do little as far as changing the core of Battlefield 4. In multiplayer, that means you’re still going to be running from capture point to capture point, finding vehicles along the way to help you get there, and running strategies with your mates to effectively come out the winner.
Battlefield 3 neglected the single-player campaign pretty extensively, and Battlefield 4 continues that trend. The single-player mode, while giving you plenty of explosions and big levolution events, is not only short, but it throws out a completely flat story. Despite some good voice work by some decent talent, playing Battlefield 4 for the single-player mode alone is just not worth it. However, we all know that Battlefield is not so much about the single-player mode as it is about the multiplayer, so let’s get back to that.
Here, the 64-player battles return. Battlefield 4 gives us plenty of sprawling, epic-sized maps to for the battles to play out on. There’s so much freedom, often times it can overwhelm. You might get side-tracked, then spend a lot of time trying to get to where you need to be due to the fact the map is so sprawling, only to die before you get there, or right when you get there. Fortunately, you’ll re-spawn next to your squad, which is quite a nice feature and cuts down on a lot of running around aimlessly. Connectivity in Battlefield 4 is perfectly implemented, and like Battlefield 3, I had no problems getting on and finding a game. Again, the game works best when a full onslaught of 64 players is on the maps. Otherwise, a lot of times the maps feel empty, and battles feel underwhelming if you log onto a map with only 12 players or so. For those who are familiar with Commander Mode from Battlefield 2142, it makes a return here, turning the battle map into an RTS-like mode where you can easily see the whole battle and direct your orders.
Though Battlefield 4 looks good on the previous-gen of consoles, it really shines through on the current-gen (Xbox One and PS4). Suddenly, the single-player campaign, though short, becomes a theatrical treat. From the explosions to the living water dynamics, to the flow and motion of the graphics, it becomes a true next-gen experience. You forget how short it is and really lose yourself in what these consoles have in store for us. Textures are much better, along with shading and particle effects. The XB1 and PS4 graphics are near identical, though the debate about this will rage on in forums till the end of time.
The PS4 version utilizes the DualShock to a minimal effect, and it doesn't really do much with the touchpad (aside from using it to check stats and such). This is to be expected, though. I doubt it'd be worth it to heavily integrate the PS4 controller into a cross-gen game.
Regardless, some people will feel the current-gen versions are "good enough", but this is just a start for these consoles. You can guarantee the next installment of Battlefield (whenever that comes out) will blow us out of the water if BF4 already looks this good.
Battlefield is a great FPS, but it’s only as good as you make it. Different strategies and players make a world of difference as far as the gaming experience. This is what gets the blood pumping in Battlefield 4: the ever-changing environment and people. A thousand different things can happen in a thousand different ways in the heat of battle, and that’s what makes Battlefield fun, and its why Battlefield 4 is still worth picking up.
For Battlefield fans, this will all sound familiar, and it is. There’s nothing new or changing here to scare you away, and enough new stuff and tech updates to warrant a new installment. If you have yet to play a Battlefield game, you still are going to have to take the time to learn, as there are a lot of good players on the BF4 servers. The frustration of getting head-shot and dying over and over again will go away the more you play and the better you get. Just practice patience, because Battlefield 4 is worth it when you find the right set of people to play with and you get into the game.
GameDynamo's Score for Battlefield 4 (PS4)
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