Battlefield 4 – Xbox One
Platform: Xbox One
Developer: EA Digital Illusions CE
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: November 22, 2013
Genre: First Person Shooter
Nerd Rating: 9 out of 10
Reviewed by Dovahkyle
Having never played any of the Battlefield games, I entered this world with naive eyes and an open mind; expectations were at an all time low as I had no idea what this title was all about. Forget everything you thought you knew about first person shooters, minus the worldwide adapted Call of Duty multiplayer template that everyone uses nowadays. With stunningly lifelike graphics and sound, an endless array of weapons and vehicles, and an astonishing 64 players on one map at one time, this is literally all out war.
Running the brand new Frostbite 3 engine (Need for Speed Rivals), an upgrade from the already successful Frostbite 2 (Battlefield 3), the worlds are immense and astonishing. Ocean water moves violently as it tends to do in the real world when a large ship is sailing by, and the soldier is driving a small dingy (RHIB) outfitted with a light machine gun turret. The map’s weather can evolve whilst in the middle of a multiplayer match. A sandstorm could blow in, ruining all long range visibility for everyone, which can completely turn the tables on a Team Deathmatch.
[riding the elevator] “What? I love this song…it’s a good friggin’ song”
Let’s talk about the campaign first. If you find my profile on Xbox Live (at the bottom in the author box), you will notice that I haven’t completed the campaign yet, though this isn’t for a lack of trying. It is an intense, theatrical experience, filled with lots of action and death. It’s also very glitchy. I have made it to the same part of the same level multiple times, where the dude is trying to break into a secure door and the player must fight off helicopters and enemy soldiers. Every time it glitches out and sends me into the server select screen for multiplayer Conquest mode. So I usually just go along with it and play multiplayer from then on.
I will say the campaign is exciting up until that point. Driving vehicles, parachuting, and commanding allied helicopters to mow down enemy soldiers for you is all very realistic. At least it seems realistic; this is the closest I’ve ever been to real warfare. My huge disappointment apart from the glitching is the amount of cursing, which seems to be a problem with most modern games. I have 5 small children, 3 of which love watching me play and one of them likes to play with me. I have to turn the language to French (or Spanish to change things up) so my children don’t have to hear the F-bomb every five seconds. I understand this is a game about war, and they are trying to make it as realistic as possible, but IT’S JUST A GAME!
Okay, so the multiplayer is where I have spent the majority of my time with this title. And after paying $60 for the game, I had to spend another $50 to become a premium member to have access to the 5 DLCs that are going to be released this year, plus a few extras like weapons, attachments, dog tags, etc. Two of the DLCs are already out and multiple game modes are only accessible to gamers with the DLCs; I hate this. Your telling me the developers couldn’t figure out how to make the Capture the Flag game mode on the original maps? Yea, I didn’t think so, they just want you to walk into your nearest bank with a gas powered carbine and take them for everything they got, then turn around and buy unnecessary extras.
All in all the multiplayer experience is riddled with frustration, hatred, joy, and just a pinch of throw your controller across the room. Playing against people that literally live in the game gets annoying real quick. It does make it that much more satisfying when you finish a match as one of the top three players though. As I mentioned before, this game uses what seems to be a template from Call of Duty’s Modern Warfare for the loadouts. Each of the loadouts can be customized to the soldier’s liking, and as experience is earned, either with vehicles, weapons, or gadgets, more kinds of each item become available and attachments for said weapons will be unlocked. There is way too much detail involved with loadouts and vehicle customization for me to really get into it, but let me just say, it seems endless.
Tanks, ATVs, jets, helicopters, motorcycles, and dune buggies are just some of the vehicles available to the player. By far, the coolest thing about multiplayer in Battlefield 4 is the ability to not only pick what area to respawn in, but what vehicle to respawn in. That’s right, if one of your teammates is flying a helicopter, you can respawn in the helicopter with them, or if there is a vehicle not being used, you can respawn right inside of it. This makes for games modes like Capture the Flag and Conquest move a lot faster, as the player doesn’t have to run for 5 minutes looking for a freakin’ vehicle.
“Ah yep..wait..uh..yea, I’d like to confirm that there is..uh..an enemy sniper in our AO. Keep your heads down.”
Battlefield 4 takes place in the year 2020, 6 years after Battlefield 3. The player takes on the roll of Sgt. Daniel “Reck” Recker, part of the spec-ops squad “Tombstone“. I am not going to lie, I find it very hard to keep track of what’s going on in such deep military story lines. This one follows Tombstone as they try to stop an Admiral Chang from successfully implementing a military coup d’état, which will in turn give the Chinese full Russian support. I love the cut scenes as they are pretty much just like watching a movie: amazing graphics, good voice acting, and never short on the action. Overall, from the short amount of the storyline I was able to see, it’s confusing to us civilian types and overall unnecessary to understand if you want to fully enjoy the game. It’s an FPS with cool movies in between. Just play the game, and if you understand what’s going on behind the scenes, that’s just a bonus. We’re here to kill people, not get fully schooled in the art of warfare and the Geneva convention.
Unlike Sony, Microsoft actually improves their controllers. Not trying to dis on those of you who prefer the small, unchanging Dual-Shock controllers, but the Xbox controllers, although starting out a little big, have improved consistently since their initial release. I don’t have small girlish hands, so the larger controllers just feel more natural to me anyways, plus the long draw triggers are just phenomenal. Once Microsoft woke up and replaced the stupid white and black buttons with the left/right bumpers it was on like Donkey Kong.
Battlefield 4‘s main menus are a bit confusing right off the bat, but once you realize what buttons to push you’ll be on track. One thing I’ve noticed that is a bit strange is that the player has no ability to mess with his/her loadouts until the match actually starts. The only way I have discovered to change my loadouts before this screen is to log onto Battlelog’s website and sign in on my computer. I have a link at the bottom for Battlelog.
“Yeah boys, keep it up and we’ll be home in no time.”
The soundtrack for Battlefield 4 is composed by Jukka Rintamaki and Johan Skugge who also compose music for their own band, No Science. Great music for the background noise, definitely not as epic as Halo, for instance, but it fits the tone of the game. The graphics are unbelievable, probably because we’ve just come out of Retroary where we dedicated a month to older games. I also haven’t had a working 7th gen console in over a year, so I’ve been playing low graphic games on my laptop and PS2. Nevertheless, the environments, guns, and vehicles are extraordinarily real looking. Sweat and water on the character’s faces, blood, sand, and explosions all leave nothing to the imagination.
“We’re not gonna leave you behind! NO ONE GETS LEFT BEHIND!”
MULTIPLAYER. That is all. I really could care less about the campaign on games like this. I appreciate the fact that there is one, but come on, no one buys this game for the campaign. Every person out there bought this game for the soul purpose of signing into Xbox Live and teaming up with some crazy gamers to destroy some loser gamers (I tend to be on the latter team). Any game with an online multiplayer mode, that is worth a crap, is going to get a good replayability rating from me, and this one is good. If it’s Conquest mode with 63 other dudes and dudettes that floats your boat or a more personal Team Deathmatch that gets you going, Battlefield 4 has it all. If you like FPSs like Call of Duty Ghosts and Halo 2, then you are going to be playing the heck out of this one.
“…you don’t like having women on your squad?””I don’t have a problem with women, I have a problem with liars.”
Although I am unsatisfied with the current performance of the campaign, I am sure future patches will resolve the minor issues I have had. I am extremely happy with the current multiplayer gameplay, although unimpressed with the fact that everyone who wants to play more than 3 game modes must purchase DLCs. Graphics, sound, and control are up to par with the latest and greatest and the replayability factor is high due to the three DLCs still coming out this year and the constantly new weapons and vehicles being introduced. I look forward to playing the heck out this game until ESO and Destiny come out and I will always have a good, down to earth style, military war game at my fingertips. Well done EA, you’ve done it again.
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*FS Rating System*
Gameplay: 8 (due to glitches in campaign -1 and forcing DLCs on the players -1)
Story: 8 (due to confusion -1 and perverse language -1, although I know the latter isn’t a problem for most)
Graphics/Sound: 9.5 (acceptable music, just not as action/intense as it could’ve been -0.5)
Replayability: 9.5 (endless replayability online, but requires DLCs for full experience – 0.5)
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