Battlefield 4 – Review (PS4)

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Battlefield 4 has had a lot of problems since it’s release last year – furious gamers not able to connect to the servers or having the game crash whenever they do. Stuttering, laggy, unplayable. There is even a save bug for the campaign. However since I started playing it online (around Christmas) I have had very little problem with it. The occasional bit of lag here and there, yes, but nothing out of the ordinary. I also have never been disconnected from a game or not been able to connect. I don’t doubt people are having problems, I just wanted to flag this up so anyone reading this can take this into account – I’m reviewing the game as I played it and I haven’t had those issues. I’d recommend checking out some other reviews for a more rounded view.

Ok, with that being said let’s get into it. I’ll start with the campaign. Battlefield 4’s single player content is a lot better than the previous game’s offering. Battlefield 3 was painfully average and Battlefield 4 feels like a step up. It is your usual story of the US army, this time facing off against the Chinese. It’s still not the best campaign I’ve ever played but it has some real showstopping moments that showcase the power of the new systems so it’s definitely worth checking out.

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Moving on to the main focus of the game – multiplayer. The switch to PS4 means that for the first time, at least for many of us former PS3’ers, we can enjoy the full 32v32 (instead of 12v12) Battlefield online experience. And it makes a huge difference. The maps are bigger, obviously, but also the sense of scale is massively increased. And it is easier than ever to jump in and get involved.

This isn’t due to any ‘dumbing down’ of the gameplay or mechanics – in fact I’d say it’s possibly the opposite. Shooting feels a lot more similar to Bad Company 2 rather than Battlefield 3. Shooting while moving is a lot more difficult which is great as it adds an ebb and flow to the gunplay. The reason the game is more accessible is simply that DICE have done a great job of giving out more points for doing teamwork.

Spotting enemies and vehicles, healing teammates, dropping ammo for allies and anything remotely team based nets you a lot more points than previously. I recently had one round where I went 1/20 (don’t ask!) but racked up thousands of points and came third in my team (out of 32 players) by assisting my squad and capturing flags.

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You also have the option of taking on the role of Commander, whereby you’re looking at an overview of the map, distributing aid, advising your team and making high value enemy targets. This can also be played on tablet via the Battlefield app so you can get on the battlefield even if you aren’t at home.

Graphically the game is excellent and the horribly named ‘Leveloution’ is superb, bringing some real drama to rounds. Leveloution is essentially a giant showpiece event that changes the landscape of the game map. We’ve had similar stuff before but never on this level and never with this interactivity. In one map a skyscraper has a capture point on the roof but if the building sustains enough damage the whole thing collapses and the capture point now appears down on ground level in the rubble. The feeling of being on that roof, hearing the warning siren for it’s imminent collapse, jumping off the side of the building and parachuting to safety while it collapses cannot be over stated. DICE are masters of stuff like this (remember the base jump in Damavand Peak on Battlefield 3?!) and it adds something to the experience you simply won’t find elsewhere.

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Battlefield 4 on Playstation 4 is a big step up if you’ve only played console Battlefield before, both graphically and in terms of size. There is a decent campaign in the mix here but the glorious multiplayer is where it’s at. However as I said in the opening of the review, a lot of your enjoyment will depend on whether you can actually play the game online due to the issues it has had. Without issues this is a superb offering.

Rating: 9/10

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