The Battlefield series has long been not only a PC exclusive, but a PC staple of how to properly make a multiplayer first-person shooter. When that experience finally transcended to the consoles with Battlefield 3, sadly that version was merely a shade of what it was on the PC thanks to the less powerful hardware of the consoles. With the PlayStation 4 of Battlefield 4, Electronic Arts and DICE finally have the power they need to make a game that is on par with what PC players have experienced with the series all along. They have the power, but did they nail every other aspect of the game?
Like Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4 features a single player tale full of gripping military suspense, camaraderie among squad members and a number of action movie quality set pieces set in the modern day. Battlefield 3's single player campaign was best known for how spectacularly awful it was, so naturally hopes weren't high for Battlefield 4. Luckily, when you set a bar so low, it's easy for a follow-up to improve upon its predecessor.
Battlefield 4 contains nothing you haven't seen in any past Call of Duty, Battlefield or any other military-based story, but tells its story in a way that is so over-the-top that it's enjoyable. Frequent explosions and crumbling landscapes are rendered in amazing detail thanks to the Frostbite 3 engine, and you'll push forward just to see the next great locale. The characters themselves and even the story are forgettable, leaving the single player story to be something you play between multiplayer bouts.
The campaign is never original, and you'll likely have deja vu playing it, but it's not a bad way to kill an afternoon with the five or six hours it takes to play through it. Though chances are good you will be spending much more time with it due to the game frequently erasing your progress thanks to a number of nasty bugs and glitches.
Playing Multiplayer... or Attempting To
Battlefield 4 contains many of the same multiplayer features of Battlefield 3, ranging from unlocking weapons and items via leveling up to decimating your enemy with tanks and planes. The familiar Conquest and Rush game modes are now joined by Obliteration mode, where two teams fight over a bomb in an attempt to blow up the opposing team's base. The new mode is an instant classic and one that fans will be clamoring for in every new Battlefield iteration from this point onwards.
The Frostbite 3 engine goes into overdrive in multiplayer as every map has environments that morph and change over the course of the battle, leading to new strategies being developed on the fly. The maps themselves are amazing, and with a 64 player count on the PlayStation 4 the game is finally on par with the PC version.
But there is one problem, and it's a big one.
The game is fundamentally broken due to the mishandling of the game by both Electronic Arts and DICE. Frequent crashes, heavy amounts of lag, game modes that seem impossible to connect to, unlocks becoming relocked and connectivity issues dog the game at every turn.
This review is a few weeks late, if only because we at PS4 Experts were giving the developer and publisher the benefit of the doubt in that they would patch the online multiplayer portion of the game to working order. While the game has been patched, numerous times, each patch breaks the game even more in a frustrating turn of events.
As of this writing, December 31st, 2013, DICE and Electronic Arts are postponing a double experience weekend due to the poor online service, have currently suspended all future DLC and are currently being sued on numerous fronts due to the game's poor performance. It's a widespread problem, even if you're the type of gamer who "never has these problems."
It doesn't matter how good the multiplayer is (and believe us, it's damn good) if it's impossible to connect or play. If you're buying this game for the multiplayer, you've been warned that it's going to be a very hit or miss experience. In this reviewer's experience, the online multiplayer has hardly worked, which is a real shame. I'd love for this review to talk about the much-hyped Commander mode, to focus on particular standout maps and really break down the multiplayer mode, but that can't happen until DICE gets its act together.
The PS4 Difference
We've noted a few of the PlayStation 4 advantages with Battlefield 4 earlier in the article, but we'll outline them one more time in this section.
- The PlayStation 4 version of the game features superior graphics over the last generation consoles, in addition to a superior resolution over the Xbox One. The Xbox One version of Battlefield 4 runs at 720p while the PS4 version runs at 900p.
- Battlefield 4 features the full 64 player count in multiplayer on the PlayStation 4.
Outside of these differences, the game is identical to every other version; it does not take advantage of any other PS4 feature like the DualShock 4's touch pad. However, the DualShock 4 controller handles like a dream with the game, despite the developer not taking advantage of the controller's unique features.
How do you score a game like Battlefield 4? The single player mode is competent, even if it does retread old ground, while the multiplayer mode is fantastic but hardly works. When your game relies heavily on an online service, and that service hardly works, it needs to be reflected in the overall score. This is especially true with Electronic Arts, who blew it earlier with SimCity for the PC and should have made sure that the Battlefield 4 launch was flawless by not making the same mistakes.
Unlike SimCity, at least Battlefield 4 occasionally works. However, the game feels like it was rushed to hit the next generation console launch, and it suffers for it.
If Electronic Arts fixes the issues that plague Battlefield 4, we'll revisit this review and rescore the game accordingly. But as it stands right now, Battlefield 4 is heavily flawed, has a large number of issues and is going to cause just as much frustration as it does fun.
Final Score: 6/10
Game Category: First Person Shooter
September 2014 Update
Battlefield 4 will be releasing its final DLC, and this one looks to change the game in a major way by introducing futuristic technology.
This DLC, titled Final Stand, will introduce two new pieces of equipment alongside the four new maps. This equipment, a railgun and a hovering tank, seem more at home in Battlefield 2142 than Battlefield 4!
No other details have been announced just yet but we'll keep you posted!
June 2014 Update
Since release, Battlefield 4 has had plenty of issues, many of which still persist to this day. While some issues were fixed, many have not, and Electronic Arts has remained silent all this time: until now. EA CEO Andrew Wilson has offered a public apology (of sorts) for the game:
"For me, the situation we had was unacceptable. For the team it was unacceptable. We have worked tirelessly since then to make sure the gameplay experience got to where it absolutely should have been at launch and we're focused on that and we continue to deliver value to that player base."
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 1/3/2014