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The Single player review has been conducted by the Editor Frank Rod.
So, another Battlefield has come out and this time, they promised (yet again) that this was the one where they would finally show us a deep and immersive narrative. Did they achieve this?
Well, I will just want to start with this segment to answer to most of the peoples thoughts about a campaign in this game. “What? Who plays battlefield for campaign” “Screw this, i’m not even going to play the single-player” and to these I will just point out my personal opinion. When a game is released, and they announce that this game will have a story, a single player aspect, said company is making us gamers, a promise. This company instead of working on only one aspect of the game, decided to spend their time in the other mode as well, so…(and this works in a reverse situation as well) why would they decide to waste their time in a campaign or in an online aspect, if they are not going to fully try their best to satisfy in both ends?
That being out of the way, the campaign starts out with you and your squad in a covert mission gone bad in China. The player takes on the role of Wrecker, leading the american squad “Tombstone” during their brief adventure. There comes to no surprise to anyone who’s seen the trailers that shortly after, the United States get in a war against China because of a very briefly and rather dull explanation of an attempt of a Cou inside the Chinese government.
Now, i wan’t to start out on what battlefield 4 does right! Trust me, comparing to the previous installments, this was the first time where Dice managed to make some pretty decent dramatic and emotional moments in certain missions, they also tried to introduce a moral message in the game (Sadly not very well executed) against discrimination and humanity. The missions are larger and longer than ever, and as ambitious as you’d expect. Players will find themselves dodging cars in a hurricane and defending aircraft carriers. The immersion Frostbite 3.0 engine provides in a level of sound and graphics only helps as you fight against a pretty challenging and i’d go as far to even call it smart but only in the higher difficulty.
However, regarding immersion, you never get to feel like you are actual in a war, that you are making a difference. The only time, I ever got that close, was on a mission where the player must storm a beach with the help of 3 or 4 other apcs, but as soon as you get there, it’s back to the “3 vs the world” formula that doesn’t really work when you are trying to feel like part of a bigger conflict. Also, the plot is really, really predictable, and fails to explain what is actually going on outside TombStone squad’s. At points, I was sure it was a sort of guerrilla style story, but then it felt like they were going more with an actual war…? It is, indeed, confusing to say the least. But the hugest drop, that I seriously didn’t understand is that, you don’t get to try half of the vehicles you will later use online, failing completely in instructing the player on how to properly handle these in the future and giving me once again (Even more than the amount of missions being only 5 and a really, near offensive open ended final scene with completely 0% closure or sense of accomplishment after beating the game) kept me wondering… “Why…why did you had to rush this game mode…?”
All in all, Battlefield 4′s SP experience had huge potential, but it failed to deliver in its execution. The idea was there, but in order to focus on multiplayer, it ended up as a still worthy of a play trough experience because of the cinematic moments, but that felt as only a showcase for the Frostbite 3.0 engine and that players will have no trouble forgetting about.
The Multiplayer Review was conducted by the Editor Pedro Relvas.
DICE has brought back the Battlefield multiplayer once again with Battlefield 4, but does this multiplayer portion of Battlefield 4 stick true to the franchise roots?
Short answer : Yes.
Battlefield 4 not only keeps the roots of the franchise by bringing back features that have been long forgotten from older games like the Commander Mode, but adds a whole new feature called the Levolution. But how does the gameplay feel in general?
I won’t lie to you, the gameplay feels like playing Battlefield 3, if we don’t take in account the new elements of the Levolution. The game itself does feel like an “expansion” to Battlefield 3 although after some thinking we finally understand why the game itself isn’t an “expansion” but a whole new game, not only due to the Frostbite 3.0 (the new version of the Frostbite Engine) But also to the new amazing physics the game feature. The only major change in gameplay like I’ve stated before is the Levolution itself which adds some more depth in the gameplay, of course there’s new weapons and customization, revamped classes and a new faction : The Chinese.
The Commander Mode, is a feature brought back from Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142, where the player must take the role as the commander of it’s team. The Commander role is simple, to help his team mates by giving them vehicles, supplies, orders and take down High Value Targets, but is new mode fun? Well it is, but you quickly get bored of the mode if you keep playing it over and over.
Levolution, allows the player to trigger dynamic events that can change a map for the rest of the game. Events like flooding an entire map, dynamic weather changes that may cause a destroyer crashing into a shore, or even taking down a skyscrapper.. This are epic moments that you’ll love to watch without a doubt, this events create a need of adapting to the situation towards the players, that causes new challenges. But how big is the levolution and does it really make an impact on gameplay? Yeah it does, you have to adapt your tactics for example once the weather changes start happening , the ocean becomes more aggressive and the naval warfare becomes a dangerous task.
DICE has also improved the classes, this time around Recons can also use C4 (Just like they could in Bad Company 2)alongside the Support class. The developers decided to make the Carbines available to use by all classes, there’s many many changes in terms of classes, but these were the most important ones in my view.
In terms of weapons, there’s now 11 Assault Rifles for the Assault Class (fan favorites like the AEK-971 are back, although M16A3 has been removed), 8 PDW’s for the Engineers (SMGs like the P90 are back), Carbines also make a come back from the previous Battlefield games.(ACW-R Fan favorite is back!)
9 Machine Guns (Support’s main weapons, fan favorites like Type 88 and many others are also back), 11 Bolt Action Sniper Rifles for the Recon class ( M98B fan favorite is back!)
But besides stock weapons, DICE has scattered thorough the map “Power Weapons”. These weapons like special Rocket Launchers (With Target Lock, highly powerful), Sniper Rifles ( That kill with one shot to the chest, that also damages vehicles) and Grenade Launchers. These weapons are found in the map always at their same spots, they can be use to take down either Infantry or Vehicles faster.
Squads, have also got a revamp. We’re now able to fill in a squad with 5 persons, and every time there is squad teamwork a bar is filled and once this bar passes a certain amount it unlocks bonuses, from the squad teamwork bonuses you’ve chosen from.
Now that we have talked about weapons and classes, let’s take a deep look at the maps that Battlefield 4 feature. There’s 10 maps available at launch, and there’s a huge variety of maps with different settings, from forests to snowy mountains and from Close Quarters Combat map to huge battlefields that feature a huge set of vehicles.
Battlefield 4 contains 14 vehicles, and has a new unique vehicle called the Stealth Jet that is used to counter Air Vehicles. The way you handle the vehicles is pretty much the same to the way you did it in Battlefield 3, so no big changes in there.
The upgrade and customization sections have also been updated. DICE has added weapon camos to all the weapons, and these camos once earned can be used in all the weapons in all the classes. DICE has added some new weapon attachments like the Magnifiers, Green Laser sight, Different set of suppressors & silencers, different set of grips and scopes. You can now also put attachments on your secondary weapon, like silencers, ghost sights and more.
Certain upgrades and customization items, can only be unlocked via Battlepacks. This Battlepacks that contain random combinations of new camos, dog tags, knives, and XP boost can be earned via Premium Membership or ranking up.. But I hate this new idea, and you wanna know why? It’s Random, you might have the bad luck of NEVER getting that precious item that you’ve always wanted, it sucks and it smells like a Micro-Transaction opportunity in the near future.
The gameplay balance is something that is not really stable at the moment of this review, the assault rifles can outsnipe any Sniper easily in terms of long range, if the player has a medium range scope. This is somewhat ridiculous, but even more ridiculous is requiring 5 rockets from an Engineer to be able to take down a Tank, I’ve been in many situations where I’m the only engineer, and this is an issue that wasn’t a problem in the previous Battlefield games where one Engineer was enough to take down a Tank.
I could stay here house talking about gameplay balance, like for example the new trail of smoke that has been added to the Sniper Rifles when firing. (Remind you that the sun reflection on the scopes have been nerfed.. a little..)
If DICE wants Battlefield 4 to become a “E-Sports” game, they should try harder in terms of balance to have this happening due to the fact that the game in this current state isn’t viable for competitive gaming in my view.
In the Graphics department, Battlefield 4 is stunning. The visuals are great alongside the ambient and weapon sounds, but it’s in the optimization where Battlefield 4 really shines. In both DX9 and DX11 a mid-End Rig, can run the game perfectly at the suggested settings by the game itself at 60-75 without a sweat.
In terms of the next generation consoles, we can clearly see that the Playstation 4 and Xbox One versions are running at 60 FPS with a resolution above 720p, the 60 FPS is the most important change in which is clearly very important for those who play the multiplayer mode of the game, the gameplay feels smoother like never before in the consoles.
But the game features bugs and glitches, in fact LOTS OF THEM! I tell myself sometimes that the game is called “Crashfield”, due to the reason of being crashing in 85% of my gameplay sessions (PC Version). But sound glitches are very regular, like for example vehicles losing the engine sound, firing sound, damaging sound. But it’s not only the vehicles where there’s sound bugs, the ambient and weapon sounds sometimes are bugged as well.
There’s also then the visual settings, like the ground texture pop in issue which quickly becomes frustrating especially for those who are in a jet or an helicopter which hopefully DICE will fix this soon enough.
With all of that being said, I honestly think that the Battlefield 4 multiplayer brings back the roots of the franchise, although alongside with some problems in terms of weapon balance and glitches..many of them.
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