The Battlefield developers DICE have come up with another game in the mighty Battlefield series. Battlefield 4, published by EA, it plays like those that come before it; you shoot, drive and fly your way to multiplayer victory as well as the option of a strikingly similar solo campaign. With battlefield 4 being released on both next-gen and current-gen consoles development costs must have gone through the roof, is it then a shining example of the series? Or have DICE overextended in trying to create their new objective altering destruction.
The campaign mode for Battlefield 4 must have been at the top of the list for DICE in what needed improving. Battlefield 3 had a single player mode that was widely criticised for not being engaging, among its greatest sins were poor storytelling and AI that seemed to behave unrealistically in a realistic setting. So has Battlefield 4 left the single player of 3 behind it? The answer is both yes and no. You again play a soldier in the gritty reality of war, although this time your squad mates Pac and Irish are a lot more affable with a feeling of back-story. The game will even pull away from the action to focus on the soldiers around you, adding to the immersion and the desire not to fail in your mission.
It's still not immersive enough however; though the character interaction is greatly improved, there are still massive problems with linear storytelling. The game will send you off on rail tracks and although this typically isn't a game killer, it is disappointing to see a game like battlefield 4 does it again. The game which is all about sprawling open maps, places you in a series of scripted go here, kill everyone events that really could do more. On top of this the story itself contains glaring plot holes and can be hard to follow. Of course, the single player campaign isn't the true draw of a battle field campaign, in reality it's all about online multiplayer.
Glorious Multiplayer Destruction
The great draw of the battlefield series has to be its chaotic online play. On the Xbox 360 version of the game you can only play along with 24 other players whereas on the next gen it's up to 64. The maps are scaled back to make sure you aren't wondering around on your own though and the set up is essentially the same as with the next gen consoles. Quick play puts you strait into an official server where you can play standard game modes right away; the server browser will allow you to play games with some user generated tweaks here and there, as well as offering a test range for new players to get a feel for the basic points of the game.
The goal itself is simple, driving artillery vehicles and flying aircraft or humping it on foot and shooting your way through the enemy, capture objectives and win through domination of the opposite team. A couple of neat features added to Battlefield 4 are Commander Mode and improved destruction affecting the game objectives.
Commander mode is a new player mode where one person on each team gets a top down view of the battlefield. They direct units and give tactical orders to their team mates from their superior vantage point of the map. If their team is successful they can get bonuses to drop down ammo crates and even give UAV cover over the area, it's a nice addition and serves to add some small amount of order to the chaos of typical battlefield gameplay.
More destruction, too, and there is a more intuitive feel than previous incarnations. More buildings can be destroyed in their entirety and tactically important walls can also be blown away to change the dynamic of a street battle. This is always what has differentiated Battlefield from other first person shooters and with its striking visuals even on the Xbox 360 the game really steps to life in multiplayer.
May Need Patching Up
There has however been some discussion on how when played online, there are a lot of bugs, a few of which are game-breaking. While it is important to keep this in mind, the 360 version is a lot more stable than that of the next gen consoles.
Battlefield 4 is definitely for the FPS fan, offering a chaotic multiplayer experience with updated destructive maps, better graphics and new features like commander mode. If you want a game with a gripping single player mode however it might be best you look elsewhere and while on the 360 the game is more stable, it also offers less in terms of graphics and multiplayer player limits.