Editor’s note: This review is based on the PC version of Battlefield 4. Experiences with the console version may differ.
Battlefield 4 is the 2013 entry of EA’s Battlefield game franchise. By the grace of my apartment complex’s internet and the computer that I left on for about three days, I was finally able to download all 26.6 gigabytes of Battlefield 4 and get my hands on one of the biggest releases of this year. For the purposes of this review, I’ll focus primarily on the multiplayer portion of Battlefield 4.
Platforms: PC, Xbox360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4
Two years ago, Battlefield 3 was released and was considered to be a step in the right direction in terms of the quality of the game, but still left much to be desired in terms of game design, mechanics, user interface, features and maps. Thousands of players demanded that the developers of Battlefield 3 “fix” these issues and, in turn, they only fixed some.
On the other hand, EA’s DICE studio has learned from its lessons and it is apparent that they have taken the community’s feedback to heart with Battlefield 4. At first glance, Battlefield 4 may not seem quite so different than Battlefield 3. But the newer version reveals itself much more elaborately.
A big driving factor in Battlefield 4’s promotion was “leveloution,” or the evolving of levels, instead of destructible environments where you can destroy a wall or a small building. The game allows you to destroy entire skyscrapers, dams, naval warships and more. On one of the maps, there is an island that has U.S. destroyers and aircraft carriers off shore.
As the game goes on and if certain conditions are met, the US destroyer will careen out of control and beach itself on one of the islands while the game is still going. It is nuanced enough so that you’ll be playing and slowly start to realize that a giant naval war ship is about to squish you and your allies on your tiny island.
In another level, you’re fighting in an apartment block near a levee. Eventually, the levee will shatter spectacularly and flood multiple stories of the apartment block, significantly changing how the level unfolds. Air-dropped swimming, jet skis and small boats become the main methods of transport — and it’s quite the adrenaline rush to see a giant wall of water rush towards you, “Lord of the Rings” style. The water rushes between the buildings as you realize that you’re on the first floor and should find high ground fast. These “leveloutions” make each map really come alive, and as the player, you realize that it has its own personality, much more than anything I have ever seen. It adds an extra level of chaos, danger and excitement to each game.
The gunplay in Battlefield 4 has been much more carefully polished than in Battlefield 3. Battlefield 4 makes it more difficult to “run n’ gun,” as the game pace immediately feels a bit slower than its predecessor. This is a welcome change. The guns have more meat on them, which forces you to slow down and evaluate a situation. As the player, you have to rely on planning and positioning rather than high speed and accuracy. There is a huge selection of guns that are available to all classes and all of them have their unique play style. However, the first few guns that you start out with and unlock are lacking in power. This can be quite frustrating for the first few hours of the game as you get systematically destroyed by others who have much better weaponry. Stick with it long enough and you will get your first gun that really clicks with you — and then you will have a blast.
Despite this, I still found myself having some issues with this game. First of all, there are many issues with Battlefield 4’s stability. Sometimes the game will load, but will not actually allow me to deploy or click on anything. At times, the game will randomly crash for no apparent reason. Unfortunately, this didn’t seem to be an issue with my computer given the sheer amount of posts on user forums reporting the same issue and the acknowledgement of this issue by EA’s DICE.
Battlefield 4 offers an amazing experience and “leveloution” really adds a lot to the experience. This holiday season, if you are debating between Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4, the clear winner is Battlefield 4.
Collegian Reporter Diego Carrera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.