If you’ve been following the Battlefield franchise through the years, you more or less know what to expect – some of the best multiplayer shooting around, large maps, a ton of guns, vehicles galore and a blood-pumping good time. Fortunately, Battlefield 4 achieves that, and although there are some flaws that can’t be ignored, the overall experience is still pretty solid.
For the first time on console, BF4 features 64-player online multiplayer, which has been of the few reasons that until now, I have continued playing Battlefield titles on PC – well that and the visuals. Luckily, 64-player action is just as glorious on the PS4 and Xbox One as it is on PC, with maps that highlight vehicle warfare, while others provide a good mix of both vehicle and infantry action. One of the cooler aspects is certainly the destructible environments which range from fences and walls, to full on buildings and highways that can alter the landscape of a particular battle. And while the four basic classes are still in play, players have the ability to customize their weapons and gadgets in a way that any number of combinations can be made, which further blurs the line of what each class is capable of.
Jumping into multiplayer, there’s always the fantastic Conquest mode, but one of the coolest ones I came across was Obliteration. In this mode, two teams try to capture a bomb and then use it to blow up three enemy locations, while traversing through each map on the way to one of the enemy positions can be challenging while forcing you to be tactical about how you go from point A to point B. For those who might be a little shy about taking control of a tank, helicopter or even a jet, DICE provides gamers with a practice mode, that lets you take the reigns of any vehicle in order to get the hang of it. If vehicles aren’t your cup of team, you can still play matches that feature infantry combat only, whether they’re matches with a smaller number of players, Team Deathmatch, Domination or Defuse, which is a a mode that features zero respawning in miniature maps.
Of course, where BF4 shines is during those large-scale battles, that get even better when you realize that there is a sense of verticality added to some of these maps as you can get pretty damn high on skyscrapers and such, that can also be brought down by heavy firepower. For fans of Battlefield 2, like me, you’ll be happy to have the ability to take over as commander during a multiplayer match, as long as you’ve become qualified to do so. While commander, you can direct squads, drop ammo, set objectives and even provide vehicles, and is a great way to get in on the action without having to avoid bullets on the battlefield.
Then there’s the game’s single player mode, which is about 5 hours or so and is full of cliche dialogue and repetitive combat, though the one shining light is that the game look gorgeous, even more so than in multiplayer, and there are a few moments when the action gets heavy, such as when you’re on top of a ship that is on its way down, as jets fall in to the ocean and you’er seemingly on the verge of sure death. You will also come across weapon lockers that are full of guns that you pick up along the way. So if you come a cross a weapon and pick it up, it will automatically be added to your locker for use whenever you see fit.
Now for the downers – BF4 unfortunately suffers from some issues such as random crashes, the inability to join servers and a random bug that corrupts save files, which actually happened to me once. I was about 4 hours into the single-player when the game suddenly stopped recognizing that I had the game saved and was forced to start over. One of my other colleagues managed to finish off single-player without a hitch, so it’s either hit or miss, but can’t be overlooked.
After putting in hour after hour into Battlefield 4, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with it, in particular with multiplayer battles. The action is hot and heavy, looks great and provides gamers with the first full BF experience on a console. Despite some buggy areas, which DICE says they are currently working on, BF4 is still a top-tier game, but will also miss the mark slightly on our final score until the issues are resolved.
Final Score: 4 out of 5