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Battlefield 4 (Video Game Review)

Battlefield 4 is the newest release from Electronic Arts and DICE which promised big changes for the series. The Battlefield series offers current-gen gamers one last adventure with the newest release, but sadly, it completely fails to deliver the game experience needed for hardcore fans of the series. We reviewed the game primarily on PlayStation 3 and found that the graphics, sound, and gameplay mechanics were all average to say the least. Battlefield 4 doesn't break any molds nor does it do anything extraordinary to stand out above all the others shooters on the market.

Battlefield 4 is the sequel to the 2011 title Battlefield 3 and features much of the same content with the heads-up display being exactly as you remember it. Gamers now have the option to use dual-scope alongside the added benefit of more survival capabilities. Would you like to stop an enemy from knifing you in the back while crouching? Well you can in Battlefield 4. The game takes place six years after the events of the last game in the year 2020. The US and Russia are in conflict while China is one step closer to war which would mean that they would join forces with Russia against the US. Players step into the role of Sergeant Daniel Recker who is a member of Tombstone alongside Dunn, Graves and Pakowski. The main aspect of the campaign centers around the implication of the US in the assassination of the future leader of China, Jin JiƩ, and how these actions can lead to a third world war among the US, China, and Russia. In short, Battlefield 4's single player campaign was extremely short and almost unbearable to endure. While the developers created a slightly longer story than its predecessor, it still manages to fall flat.

Battlefield 4 features a completely linear campaign that has players venturing through claustrophobic environments that offer little flexibility. Players must continue to take the necessary path laid out for them or they enter an almost Twilight Zone experience where they feel like they may never complete the game. Basically, the single player campaign is completely awful and a huge disappointment to newcomers and veterans alike.

The multiplayer portion of Battlefield 4 is a little bit better than the campaign and features three playable factions which are the US, China and Russia. Players will now have plenty of incentives to play with new weapons, return of Commander and spectator mode, over ten maps to explore, and the return of four kits from Battlefield 3. Players will be able to scavenge weapons from around their environment or take them off dead enemies or unlock new ones that appear in their guncrate. Once your weapon is in the guncrate then it will be accessible throughout the game which means you will always have the right weapon at exactly the right time.

The Siege of Shanghai map was our favorite by far and had the People's Liberation Army going up against the US Marine Corps. Siege of Shanghai is an enormous map but the visuals are rather lacking as everything is gray and dull looking. While it was one of the better maps, we still experienced extreme technical glitches during play with constant frame-rate drops which really breaks the immersion. These frame rates become so sporadic that the constant pauses and breaks really destroy the entire gameplay experience to the point it becomes almost too painful to play.

Battlefield 4 introduces several new game modes (around eight) which are playable on all maps which include Conquest, Domination, Rush, Obliteration and Defuse. Players will also be able to experience those traditional game modes that everyone loves which are Team Deathmatch and Squad Deathmatch. The four kits have been completely revamped from Battlefield 3 and now offer new abilities. The Assault Kit has been limited to only a certain amount of revives, the Engineer Kit now utilizes PDWs, the Recon Kit has become more mobile, and the Support Kit now allows for more despotic suppressive fire. Players can also now enjoy a ton of new vehicles alongside improved customization. Gamers will also be able to enjoy the addition of Levolution which is an exciting new mechanic that will continuously keep you on your toes with squads now boosted to five. Battlelogs also return allowing players to keep tabs on their friends who are playing. Battlefield 4 does contain more variety which does help gameplay to keep from dragging the entire time, however, most of Battlefield 4 just seems like one big knock-off. The game continuously takes components from other games and mashes them together making the whole experience feel totally uninspiring. Battlefield 4 primarily suffers from a lack of creativity and somehow struggles to find its own place.

Battlefield 4 features a multiplayer portion, that can be overwhelming to most, but in the end manages to reward its most hardcore and dedicated players through the ability to upgrade just about anything. While next-gen and PC players get a total of 64 players, this number is diminished on PS3 and Xbox 360 with a measly 24. Battlefield 4 does add in more details than the previous game but on the PlayStation 3 it still lacks polish which we assume they will improve on with next-gen consoles. Squad based play suffers from the almost nonexistent suppression mechanic which takes away the engagement of tactical combat in an effort to compete with other shooters on the market.

Battlefield 4 has eliminated great components to compete with other shooters but still lacks the ability to customize your character's gender. Battlefield 4 could have added a lot more immersion and depth to the game by adding the ability to fully customize everything within the game instead of cutting out components that were enjoyable and effective. 

All-in-all, Battlefield 4 shows what it is capable of in the graphics department with a lot of detail awarded to environments and so forth. However, when it comes down to it, that is all that Battlefield 4 has to offer. The single player campaign is terrible with most of the multiplayer maps being a huge disappointment. The added detail to destruction has caused the game to suffer with undefined textures that make gameplay difficult and hard to bear. There are a ton of technical glitches throughout the game with bullets being able to go through substances that they shouldn't penetrate with atrocious texture pop-in issues to boot. Sadly, Battlefield 4 doesn't do anything to stand above the crowd and delivers everything you would expect of the series. While we wouldn’t recommend this game for most, if you are a diehard fan just looking for a couple of new maps, then this might be for you.

Battlefield 4 is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $59.99 and can be purchased for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Battlefield 4 is rated M by the ESRB for Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence & Strong Language. For more information on the game, check out the official Battlefield 4 website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • Online Multiplayer
  • DLC Support
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer: DICE
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PlayStation 3 (reviewed), Xbox 360 & PC
Release Date: October 29, 2013

Score: 5.8 out of 10
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