Battlefield 4 Review – Late “4” A Reason


 

 

Battlefield 4

Before I start…

We at CCU want to approach our reviews a little differently, by providing you — the reader with our history with said game. You know, hitting the extremes and everything in between ie. whether this is our first time (noob) with the franchise (of course New IP’s everybodies new to it right?) or  if we’ve bought every game in the franchise or have extensive history or knowledge of a particular title.

Basically our personal background so you again — the reader can see not just a review score but exactly the mindset behind the review; is this my first time playing A RPG? A first person shooter?  Do I even like first person shooters? That way you can determine whether the person reviewing the game is coming from a place where you can relate or if it’s something that you need to consider.

Now As far as the Battlefield Franchise… 

I’ve played Battlefield ‘play4free’ first, which is basically a revision of Battlefield 2. I played it about a year after Battlefield 3 was out to see if I would like the franchise. Well to my surprise I ended up loving the game because of the diversity in gameplay.

One thing about Battlefield is that it stays true to its name by making you feel like you are on the Battlefield. Unlike its top competitor Call of Duty, Battlefield incorporated all aspects of the battlefield in real life, from infantry, to land vehicles, to Air vehicles, and Sea. Battlefield play4free had a charm to it that kept me coming back. I spent most of my time in a Apache helicopter just utterly destroying the opposing team using a combination of tactics and skill.

After my great experiences with Battlefield play4free(P4F) I decided to get Battlefield 3 with the intentions of getting a P4F vibe but pushed to the next level. The verdict was exactly what I wanted. There was no other experience like Battlefield 3 at the time with its groundbreaking graphics, intense gameplay, sound design, the list goes on. I’ve never experienced a military shooter that was so immersive where you really felt like you were in a gun battle in a subway, you really felt like you were a pilot taking off in a FA 18, you really felt like you were in a tank bringing devastation. I’ll admit, when I first started playing Battlefield 3 I couldn’t aim for anything, but what kept me playing was the experiences I was having.

With all of that said you can kind of guess where my expectations would be for Battlefield 4. They were through the roof. I remember being in the military when I first heard about Battlefield 4. Fresh trainee’s would come in and talk about it and they added to the the hype. When I finally got out I kept up with all of the latest trailers. Levolution was shown for the first time, and I lost my mind when I saw that you can collapse a skyscraper or Crash a air craft carrier into the beach side. I was convinced that this will be the perfect Military game period.

Was there any truth to my thoughts or would Battlefield 4 lose the battle?

 

When I first heard about Battlefield 4 it was through word of mouth, people were saying they saw a 17 minute gameplay video and it blew them away. Then I eventually read in a Magazine that it was for next gen. At that point in my mind I’m visualizing something that was far beyond what I was used to seeing last generation. But when I finally laid my eyes on the game I was let down. Yes it still looked stunning and full of detail but I couldn’t help but think that  it just looked like an enhanced version of Battlefield 3.

One thing that does stand out in Battlefield 4 is detail in the distance. Take the map with the skyscraper for instance, you could be at the top of the skyscraper and look down at the city and the city looks detailed. Whereas in Battlefield 3 objects look very bad in the distance. Another thing that I liked about Battlefield 4 was the amount of visuals all happening at one time while the game remained stable. For example, there is a map that is composed of a collection of tropical islands that large scale battles take place. Well on that map a storm rolls in and creates huge waves while the wind bully’s the palm trees and vegetation on the islands.

So overall the graphics are a step up from Battlefield 3 but nothing groundbreaking.

The Story in Battlefield 4 is very basic and can sometimes lose you while bouncing around from mission to mission. You play as a silent protagonist soldier that gets thrown into a plot of the Chinese army attacking you and your fellow U.S. military.

One thing that really throws the story off is the pacing. I found myself multiple times getting stuck in sections due to glitches or impossible sections. Like one time I got the famous glitch of you having to kill an enemy but the enemy doesn’t spawn. Another area I had to defeat waves and waves of tanks with limited ammo, which left me wondering was it all really necessary for that many tanks. A lot of sections felt like they either didn’t contribute to the story or were flashy set pieces for the trailers to draw people in.

Another aspect I did not like was ‘Irish’. Irish is a companion in the game that over exaggerates things and agitates you constantly by requesting you to do simple mundane task like grab ammo or open doors. In my opinion he really brings the experience down and the writing mixed with bad AI.

In the end, I was not impressed at all by the story of Battlefield 4 as it seemed really sloppy and did not keep me engaged.

I’m going to cut to the chase and tell it like it is, I am greatly disappointed in Battlefield 4. The funny thing is that it’s not because of the gameplay itself but something that largely affects gameplay in a negative way.

For starters the game was and still is not reliable when it comes to stability. I have encountered a lot of disconnects from the server, it crashes and freezes so much that it affected the timing of this review. It was so bad that I kept putting off the review in hope that a patch would come and fix it all, well I’m here to say that it’s still broken and might always be broken. Also there are a lot of times where I experienced very bad lag, to the point that I can’t be effective at all. These issues greatly hinder the gameplay and make it very hard to get a feel of the game.

All is not lost though because if you can manage to get in a game that is not corrupted you will be in for a treat. While hard to see, Battlefield 4 has some very fun gameplay. The gameplay mechanics have been tweaked from Battlefield 3 but in a good way. The shooting always feels nice and smooth and the ballistics of the weapons seem to be improved as well allowing you to shoot further then 25 yards accurately with an assault rifle, or pick off unsuspecting soldiers from a rooftop with your sniper.

The vehicle combat is great as well, helicopters seem to move with more weight and power, and the jets seem to be much more maneuverable as well. All this coupled with the addition of the new “Levolution” mechanic in which the map is ever changing.

Speaking about maps. I can say that the maps of Battlefield 4 are superior to the ones shipped with Battlefield 3 not only from a visual standpoint but also from a gameplay standpoint.

Overall the game is solid, when it works.

I must say that the sound design in this game is arguably the strongest aspect of the game. It really brings the game to life makes the action much more believable. The weapons and vehicles are very realistic but the thing that amazes me is how the sound changes accordingly depending on your surroundings. Shoot a gun in a really enclosed space you really hear the difference thus further immersing you. When you get a Battlefield game you expect to get a realistic sounding experience, and Battlefield 4 is no different.

As much as I want to like Battlefield 4 given my history with the franchise and great experiences I cannot do the same for this game. I have no idea what was the cause of the shortcomings of this game. Maybe DICE got too cocky and overlooked many bugs, maybe EA pushed DICE to release a premature game. What ever the case may be I truly hope that EA and DICE get their acts together. Battlefield 4 leaves a really bad first impression of the “Next Gen” for gamers and I hope there is a major change to correct these issues before it really get’s out of hand. I will not recommend this game to any first person shooter player or any gamer for that matter. Such a shame.

I give Battlefield 4 a 4.5 ControllUs out of 10 with a “Damage Control” Rating. 

 

4.5

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