Review by English-Major
Battlefield 4 Lives Up to the Franchise's Name
Battlefield (as a series) has come quite a long way. I still remember storming the beaches of the 1942 version of Wake Island, fighting through the limited vision that Karkand offered in Battlefield 2, and leaping off of a Titan warship just before it exploded in 2142. Id make an argument that memories and experiences like these are what drive the Battlefield series. Sure, battles on a massive scale, vehicles and other things associated with Battlefields name are wonderful, but theres a reason that DICE focused so much on the phrase Only in Battlefield this time around.
Battlefield 4 is similar to Battlefield 3, if you ever got a chance to play it. You could say that it is merely an upgraded version of BF3, and you probably wouldnt be incorrect in your assumption. Luckily, the leap between the two games is large enough to make it stand out as a wonderful game in its own right, boasting incredible amounts of replayability, customization and potential for those heart-stopping Only in Battlefield moments.
Battlefield 4 plays like your typical first person shooter, which is in no way a bad thing. The good folks at DICE have essentially perfected the genre and are regarded by many as the masters, so you are in good hands. As with all Battlefield games, there are three arenas of combat: the ground, the air and the sea. The ground combat is split into infantry and land vehicle warfare, whereas the air and sea (disregarding the fact you can now fire pistols and use knives in the water) are typically reserved for vehicles only.
On the infantry side of things, you are given the choice of four distinct classes, each of which have made their return from Battlefield 3. The Assault class is your standard everyman kit, boasting rifles that are best used at short, medium and somewhat long ranges. The Assault doubles as the team medic, capable of bringing teammates back from the dead and healing their wounds. The Engineer class, while capable of fighting like an Assault, is best used alongside a vehicle. Its ability to repair vehicles is an absolute must for staying alive during vehicular battles. Not feeling content enough with being able to save vehicles, the Engineer is also equipped to take them out with an array of missile launchers (including RPGs, SMAWs, the infamous Javelin, and some ground-to-air missiles such as the IGLA). The Support class is typically given the larger machine guns, sporting massive amounts of ammo meant to be used to provide covering fire. The Support is also capable of giving ammo to his team, and can even be used as an anti-vehicle class with its C4. Finally, there is the Recon class. Its claim to fame is the use of sniper rifles. They typically sit from afar picking off stray soldiers and keeping others suppressed. No one dares to make a move when they know a sniper is zeroed in on them.
Beyond the infantry vs. infantry combat, there are a plethora of vehicles to choose from. Tanks, jets, helicopters, warships, jet skis, dirt bikes and more make up a well-rounded list of machines ready to get you from A to B while steamrolling everyone in your path. The vehicles and the stunning number of unlocks that you can acquire are capable of making every encounter extremely different, requiring different skillsets and maneuvers.
Graphics and Sound
The true power of the Playstation 4 shines and its damn near blinding. The visuals are easily on par with those you would see on a gaming PC. These are some of the best graphics weve ever seen on a console, and DICE has spared no expense. The sound coupled with the graphics is an experience that is next-to-none, as the constant sounds of explosions and bullets whizzing around the gigantic maps put you into the heat of the moment. For those with more expensive headsets (think Turtle Beaches) meant to enhance your gameplay experience, the sound will blow you away.
Playtime and Replayability
Battlefield 4 has an easily-overlooked Campaign which can be completed on Hard difficulty in a matter of a few hours, but thats not to say it isnt an enjoyable experience. However, youre not likely to want to go through it again unless you missed some trophies along the way.
The Multiplayer, on the other hand, is meant to be played for many months to come. Its easy to sink hundreds of hours into this game without running out of items and attachments to unlock. The game sports a high level cap of 110, which should take most players an acceptably long time to reach. In addition, DICE intends to release five map packs for the game, which each add four new maps along with a multitude of new weapons and assignments for players to complete. Those who purchase Battlefield Premium will find themselves coming back very often as numerous events, bonuses and extra items are given away every month. In short, Battlefield 4 knows that it needs an investment of your time for you to enjoy it, and it knows how to make it worth the effort.
Though there are plenty of people who have been disenchanted with crashes, lag and other unfortunate setbacks, DICE is never truly down for the count. You can tell they care about their fanbase and that they are working around the clock to push out patches. Making a game of this caliber isn't easy, and I cant imagine it being an overnight task to perfect it. In short, Battlefield 4 is one of the, albeit many, games for your PS4 you should have already. After all, you aren't about to see sixty-four soldiers colliding inside of a Panopticon in any other game.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Battlefield 4 (US, 11/12/13)
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