Battlefield 4 (PlayStation 4) Review

By Leo Epema 21.03.2015

Review for Battlefield 4 on PlayStation 4

Battlefield 4 tells the story of a plot by a belligerent Chinese Admiral to start World War III as he allegedly murdered the pacifist leader of the Chinese government. With China in a civil war between supporters of Jin Jié and the admiral, Sergeant Recker and his crew, must somehow find out what happened, and prevent what could be the worst war in history. With Battlefield Hardline just hitting the market, Cubed3 goes back to take a look at Battlefield 4.

Battlefield 4 starts off right in the middle of the action, with a flash-forward to a certain event that shouldn't be spoiled. It does create interest in what happened leading up to it, but the event and what happened aren't important in the grand scheme of things, which is disappointing. The campaign can be finished within about four hours. Unsurprisingly, this means there is very little time to bond with any of the characters, and they don't bond with each other either. When one of them dies, it's very underwhelming since they had only just been introduced, but it's supposed to be dramatic. It's never explained how Admiral Chang convinced the Russians that the USA killed Jin Jié, nor why Russia would want to wage war against the USA for it.

Screenshot for Battlefield 4 on PlayStation 4

More importantly, the campaign is linear and formulaic. There are no sniping stages, none dedicated to anything other than straightforward shooting on a level and fair playing field. The fact that some levels play out as shooting galleries doesn't help either. There are no choices to make, and no branching paths. All of this means the campaign gets monotonous, especially when the characters keep falling from large structures and miraculously survive, and everything explodes or crumbles at the end of each area. The only choice is at the finale of the game, but it's arbitrary. Moreover, the choice seems ridiculous, as it's not logical or dependable enough when the stakes are so high, and it's not realistic either. There are more moments when the writing fails: the character Irish has reason to distrust Hannah, but he keeps whining about it even when it's not relevant to the situation. However, later in the game, when his hatred is at its peak, he suddenly trusts her after she tells a (possibly untrue) sob story about how her family was killed. Literally, one second he doesn't trust her and the next he is friends with her. One of the main characters disappears for half the game, and then gives a stupid one-liner to explain how it was possible for him to return. The game tries hard to be emotional, but it's short and rushed, has uninspired characters and unlikely plot events, and fails because of it.

Screenshot for Battlefield 4 on PlayStation 4

On top of this, the A.I. of both teammates and enemies is poor. Occasionally, teammates won't attack unless they are told to. They will fail to see enemies and move forward, leaving Recker behind when there might be an enemy left. Their accuracy and aggressiveness is also low, and they are too stupid to understand door handles. Enemies also tend to stay in cover even when grenades are thrown near them - maybe they have a grenade fetish.

The multiplayer gameplay is great, though. There are many modes, such as Conquest, Team Deathmatch, and Obliteration. They all play very fluidly, with no frame drops, only some texture pop-in. Lag is nonexistent, unless choosing a server that doesn't suit a particular country. The maps are also very well made, with players not safe anywhere as combatants can appear from all directions. It does not seem possible to exploit maps, and they are not overly cluttered like some of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's were. What is especially great is that each weapon feels different. There are so many stats to keep in mind, such as bullet drop, muzzle velocity, fire-rate, recoil, spread, and so on. It means weapons need to be chosen carefully according to the size and content of the maps. Various attachments can be put on the weapon of choice, depending on preference, which allows for role-playing, same as with the classes. Heal teammates, supply them with ammo, and restore vehicles - even helicopters can be restored when hitching a ride on them. Players have small triangles above their heads to make them easier to spot, but that can be turned off. It is very handy, though: when in the newest Call of Duty games enemies could easily hide behind small objects or things that stick out, it is a bit harder here, which is good because it at least gives the chance to spot the enemy. Should somebody camp, try shooting their cover away. Yes, environments are quite destructible. Small walls and entire buildings can be taken down, although some maps require buildings to remain standing, so they can't be fully destroyed. It makes for some tactical gameplay.

It seems the game could have used more vehicle variety, but it's not a big deal. Overall, the multiplayer is tactical, graphically impressive and epic, and servers accommodate many players at a time for large-scale combat. This is what shooters should be like.

Screenshot for Battlefield 4 on PlayStation 4

Battlefield 4's graphics are very impressive for a PlayStation 4 title. Not only are the particle effects absolutely stellar, the game has a great light/dark contrast, and only looks washed out in some cut-scenes where there's a lot of bright light. What's more, the physics are amazing. For example, trees sway in the wind very fluidly, and appropriately fast. Textures almost always take a few seconds to load, unfortunately, meaning they are blurry, but that's only a slight annoyance. It is realistic and helpful that snipers are visible because of the glare in their scopes, helping to even things out.

The sound effects are good, very clear and exactly loud enough, meaning spatial awareness is quite high. All of the guns sound powerful, and when bullets fly past, it just sounds realistic. When a sniper fires from a distance, it makes sense not to hear the bullet being fired, but it can be heard with a high-pitched and brief sound. Sadly, though, the soundtrack is unmemorable and sometimes barely loud enough to hear, proving to be minimalistic when the game itself is anything but. It is only when playing online that some interesting tracks can be heard before matches, with some ripped straight from the campaign. Finally, the acting is decent, but the wooden writing sometimes causes the actors to sound like they are playing in high school drama plays.

Screenshot for Battlefield 4 on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Battlefield 4 is a very impressive title. It starts out shaky, but the bugs and crashes found when it was first released are now gone. It has tactical and epic gameplay, with much replay value. The campaign and the soundtrack drag it down, but it is definitely worth buying for fans of online shooters, especially if they like spectacular large-scale combat with much freedom in customisation and role-playing.

Developer

Dice

Publisher

EA

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
hinchjoie, Renan

There are 2 members online at the moment.