Battlefield 4 (360)

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It’s been near impossible for shooter franchises to compete with Call of Duty over the last six years. Battlefield 3 had the most realistic shot at knocking the perennial king off his throne, but ultimately fell short. While it may not have lived up to its lofty expectations, it did show some major promise for future installments of the franchise. While exceptional destructibility wasn’t introduced in Battlefield 3, it did did add to it and add that extra level of realism. The “levolution” (that being your ability to destroy the environment in the level) that developers DICE added for Battlefield 4 is even more impressive than what they had in 3. Few things during multiplayer or the single player story are more satisfying than shooting off a grenade and just blowing up the jersey barrier that a few bad guys are hiding behind and watch them go flying.

While I believe the multiplayer has gained major ground on Call of Duty (and, for me, passed it), their single player stories still feel stale and disappointing. The campaigns for Bad Company 1 and 2 were a lot of fun and you were able to get to know the characters, their personalities and quarks. The characters in Battlefield 3 and 4 feel so lifeless and forced that it’s hard to feel compassion for them during their trying situations. The end of the game (an abrupt one at that) features a “choice” of what person you’ll sacrifice to reach your end goal. You’ve got three options and none of them really matter. Normally I have some idea of who I like and who I want dead but my choice just came down to annoyed me the least during their portions of the game.

Don’t let my minor gripes deter you from playing the single player. Overall, I *did* enjoy the campaign. It felt slightly longer than most and graphics were decent. One of the best additions to single player was the collectable style of the Bad Company series. Rather than looking for random items in the environment, you’re tasked with finding new guns in the world (whether dropped from enemies you’ve killed or just lying around) and once you’ve picked them up you’re able to choose them as one of your two weapons when you reach ammo crates. I loved this addition but my gripe with it is that you weren’t able to customize the weapons with your own style of attachments. For example, when I found the gun that I felt like using I wasn’t able to change the type of scope on the gun, flashlight versus laser, etc. The level of attention to the guns and making them your own in games like Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and even in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 shouldn’t be overlooked going forward for shooters in the future.

While I buy games for the single player, most people buy them for the multiplayer so I guess it’s about time I touched on that. While Call of Duty multiplayer is fun (and I’m marginally better at it) the challenge of Battlefield multiplayer is what makes it truly compelled for me. I love driving around their large sprawling maps in tanks, jeeps and planes and attempting to kill other players. Sure, when I fail I just kamikaze in a failed attempt to help my team, but it’s still massive amounts of fun.

I had a lot of fun playing a few matches of Conquest, where you’re tasked with holding certain points of interest on the map and wracking up points. Matches can go on for a long time (the average length of these matches was easily between 20-25 minutes), but they don’t feel time consuming because there’s just so much to do. Other Battlefield classics like Rush and Domination return as well as two new modes (Defuse and Obstruction). Shooter staples like Team Deathmatch and Squad Deathmatch also make an appearance. The classic Commander Mode also returns, allowing you to tactically assist players in a match via your controller or smart device.

Battlefield 4 has a real chance to steal a good portion of Call of Duty’s thunder this go around. Behind their stellar multiplayer experience (which is only going to approve on next-gen consoles where 64-player MP will be supported) and decent single player story, DICE’s Battlefield 4 is easily going to be one of the years best shooters and definitely taking a step forward to a possible changing of the guard in the shooter world.

Battlefield 4 is out now for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. Will be coming to Playstation 4 on November 15 and Xbox One on November 22.

The Good

+ Fantastic multiplayer experience.

+ "Levolution" x 10.

+ Fantastic graphics.

+ Commander Mode returns.


The Bad

- Boring single player characters.

- Various sound issues.

- Map/mode mismatching.

Verdict8.5

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