Battlefield 4 is grand in scale and marvel. It is a graphical masterpiece that quickly becomes a feast for the eyes. Graphics are king in a shooter like this, but no matter how beautiful a game might look, it is how it plays in the hands of the gamer that makes the true difference. BF4 also doesn’t disappoint in gameplay or lasting value, but a few technical issues hold it back from being something spectacular. Battlefield 4 doesn’t take that big risk in terms of gameplay, but it does make a huge leap forward on the new generation of consoles with its 64 player multiplayer and 1080p visuals. The game prides itself on the large multiplayer matches, powerful vehicles and destructible environments. Battlefield 4 is the perfect way to show off your Playstation 4, Xbox One or high-end PC.
The massive warzone gameplay of any Battlefield is still there, and as usual, it is fantastic. Going into combat alone is possible, but it isn’t recommended. In fact, just like previous installments BF4 rewards you for being a team player. You’ll get points for giving out ammo or health, spotting and suppressing enemies, and many other things. Also, it is easier to win matches if squads are working cohesively. The team based gameplay of BF4 sets it apart from other shooters, especially in conquest mode. Sadly, conquest is the only mode that is 64 players. Other modes like Domination and Obliteration, are sized down. The guns and gadgets of Battlefield 4 are impressively varied. The categories of assault rifles, SMGs, shotguns, carbines, snipers and LMGs are all filled out with almost every modern gun you can think of. In addition, you can select gadgets such as claymores, RPGs, grenade launchers and motion sensors to take into the battlefield with you. Your gadgets depend on your class, ranking, and you can only select two, so you’ll never feel like Batman with a limitless utility belt.
At this point, Battlefield’s graphics speaks for itself. It would actually be a disservice to the game if I showed you an image of the game. BF shines when it is in motion. Crumbling buildings, exploding tanks and a gorgeous backdrop of environments. Textures just look perfect on the new consoles, but I can’t say the same about the old ones. Do your eyes a favor and invest in a PS4, X1 or PC and play BF4 on one of those instead of the PS3 or 360 version. The ten maps in multiplayer look varied enough, but some of them just don’t feel right for me. Operation Locker is a map that inspires close quarter combat and extreme firefights, but can get tedious. Maps such as Zavod 311 and Lancang Dam are far too big (Never thought I’d say that for a BF game) and often leave the player walking towards the real action only to get shot down in the process. Besides Siege of Shanghai and Hainan Resort, the maps feel unbalanced and uninspired.
Battlefield games always have a sketchy launch on consoles and BF4 is no exception. I experienced a plethora of big and small issues and bugs in my time with Battlefield 4. It is irritating to realize that you can’t join a pre-game party with friends, so expect to suffer through the chaos of joining an in-progress game in hopes to play with a buddy. I may not sound like a big deal, but when you are trying to coordinate with three or more friends it is hectic and cumbersome. Also, there is no way to customize your loadout from the main menu before you enter a match, which is a glaring omission. In single player, I completed a mission only to receive an error message and I was kicked back to the main menu. This happened three times in one playthrough. The campaign is about six hours long so I shouldn’t be kicked out of the game once every two hours; there is no excuse for a single player to have glitches of this caliber. Similar to the single player bug, I was kicked out of a multiplayer match with no explanation, but this time I was redirected to the home screen of my Playstation 4. Shame on EA for trying to blame Sony for the problems, even though the problems are apparent on both Sony and Microsoft consoles. Don’t even waste your time buying the last generation version (PS3 and Xbox 360) of the game since it is even more buggy and it is not even comparable to the current gen versions (PS4, Xbox One and PC). At the moment, BF4 is an incomplete game.
Multiplayer in games have become extremely important for the video game industry. So important that developers will shovel in a sub-par multiplayer mode to a game that doesn’t need it in the slightest. Games like Tomb Raider and Dead Space 2 are guilty of having tacked on mp, and are heavily criticized for it. A game like Battlefield is centered around multiplayer, so tacked on mp isn’t a problem for BF, but it suffers from the reverse problem: Tacked on single player. The campaign of Battlefield is short and suffers from a casual military plot. It falls under the stereotype of a shooting game with a campaign that has no story to tell, and its only purpose is to blow stuff up. At this point why even have a single player if you’re going to treat it like an afterthought. I wouldn’t have much of a problem with it, but gamers were promised an emotional story back when the game was first shown. Why lie?
Battlefield 4 is marvelous to look at but the apparent glitches hold this game back for now. Once EA and DICE fix the problems with the game, I recommend waiting to get the full experience. Regardless, it is an excellent shooter that deserves to be played by any fan of the genre. BF4’s 64 player conquest mode is the playground for bombastic moments, crisp visuals and an overall fun time. Battlefield is slowly moving in the right direction, but it needs to make a choice. Either nuke the single player completely or take a bold risk like Spec Ops: The Line and tell a brave story.
Overall: 8 out of 10