Battlefield this generation has been an ever-morphing franchise, Battlefield 4 is the final title for this generation’s console lineup, the million dollar question is: will Battlefield 4 go out with a bang or a whimper? The answer is simple. Battlefield 4 does not go out on a bang, it goes out with the most gloriously proud explosions one has ever experienced in gaming.
I’ll begrudgingly start with the single player campaign which is the weakest portion of the game. However, unlike Battlefield 3’s painfully linear corridor shooter, 4 at least tries to make the campaign a valid use of time. The campaign is similar to that of Bad Company 2, slightly open maps with room for flanking, vehicles and different weapons. Like BBC2, firearms collected are stockpiled in supply drops scattered around missions and binoculars can be used to mark enemy’s in which you can give the order for your generic squad to open fire, but mostly to no avail as I found myself having to do most of the shooting. While the voice acting is strong, the writing and the U.S VS COMMUNISM plot line leave a lot to be desired.
However, during the 6 hour length of the campaign there is some fun to be had with some massive set-pieces such as jumping from a collapsing building, to a sinking aircraft carrier while dodging gunfire and debris until you make it to a boat in which you sail to the rest of the fleet in the midst of a naval battle. While clichéd, it is spectacular to watch, but only to watch. The ambitious nature of the campaign is unfortunately not enough to pull it through, the campaign is painfully mediocre and gameplay spits in the face of the prestigious multi-player. Dice at least tried to make the campaign more than a visual walkabout, and for this I applaud them, alas in comparison to the rest of the game, it falls short and serves to just about tick the ‘campaign included’ box.
Battlefield 4 includes assets from all previous titles this generation, forming the vultron of Battlefield multi-player. Levolution (not a typo!) is the new innovation, in which battles are fought on multiple levels. A prime example is the map ‘Flood Zone’ is which battles can be fought on the narrow streets and alleys, or jumping from the rooftops of the above tenements, finally if you trigger the map’s unique environmental effect (there’s one in all the maps!) by breaking the flood barriers, the streets becoming flooded in which speed boats can be used. A fantastic moment I had was chasing down a boat through the streets while firing on the enemy team who were firing down from the roof. The boat finally got stuck in an alley, forcing the crew out, they swam under a submerged shutter finding a stairwell to the roof. In a moment the fight went from a boat chase, to a stairwell fire-fight and finally ending in a bloody confrontation on the roof. Moments like this validate the games tagline: “Only In Battlefield”.
The famous class based infantry and vehicular combat of the series returns, and it brings everything with it! Such as the levels of destruction previously seen in BBC2, Battlefield takes pride in absolutely jaw-dropping destruction, small offices to entire skyscrapers can all topple, bringing with them both advantages and disadvantages as routes are blocked, vehicles are cut off and snipers lose their precious nest. Also along for the ride is Battlefield 2’s ‘Commander Mode’ giving players a change to ditch their guns for a top-down tactical map in which they can give orders, drop supplies or launch tomahawk missiles. Commander Mode relies heavily on communication to allow for the full benefits of having a commander, attempting to assault a base? Tell the Commander to airdrop in a tank for save measure.
Battlfield’s multi-player is where it soars among all other multi-player shooters, the learning curve of finding a gun and class that work for you is a memorable experience, but forming a squad with these qualities is something of legend. Even more so when said squad are a group of friends. Battlefield is the Street Fighter of Shooters, accessible to all but mastered by few. Finding your niche in the eco system of Battlefield is an experience that must be had by all! Battlefield 4 also has hundreds of unlockable items from camouflage, to barrels and even dog tags! Every gun has dozens of possibilities, will you find your perfect fit? If not you can always charge in with the might of a tank, chopper or jet!
There is a lot to see and do in Battlefield 4, the perfected multi-player is some of the best I have ever seen! Battlefield 4 is the gift that keeps on giving be prepared to lose countless hours in fire-fights that reward thinking outside the box! It’s a shame that the campaign struggles to become more than just a shooting gallery, albeit a beautiful shooting gallery but a shooting gallery none the less.
[easyreview title=”The Arcade Verdict” cat1title=”Single Player” cat1detail=”Painfully Mediocre ” cat1rating=”5″ cat2title=”multi-player” cat2detail=”The best this generation!” cat2rating=” 10″ cat3title=”Graphical Fidelity” cat3detail=”Beautiful environments and destruction running on aging tech, minor texture issues” cat3rating=”8″ cat4title =”Sound” cat4detail=”Frighteningly realistic! Sound is Battlefield’s unsung hero” cat4rating=”10″ overall=”true”]