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Battlefield 4 Xbox One Edition Review!
on 22 November 2013
Having Owned and played the Xbox 360 edition of this game I will be coming at this review from a slightly different direction having experienced the 360 version of the game for the past three weeks. If you were someone that waited for the next gen version of Battlefield 4 then you made the correct choice as the Xbox 360 edition had many problems and bugs. Essentially it was a mediocre game at best and didn't feel right in the way it played (see my xbox 360 version review to find out more).
To set out my standpoint I picked up my copy of BF4 Xbox One edition at the midnight launch last night and it was the first game I've been trying out, I've played through the campaign just like I did on the 360 version (takes 4-5 hours) and have played around 2 hours of online multiplayer.
This Xbox One version is a definite improvement although problems do exist that were in the Xbox 360 version of the game. Before I talk about any problems in this version (mostly linked to the Multiplayer side of the game) I want to talk about the campaign.
I said in my xbox 360 review of this game how the story in the campaign is nothing special and quite boring; in fact many friends have said to me they struggled to understand what it was all about. Well the campaign is identical on the Xbox One edition of the game to that I played on 360, the only real difference between the two is the graphics which I can confirm look dramatically better and sharper. The Xbox One version may only be running at 720p upscaled to 1080p output but I have to say you wouldn't notice the difference even if it was 1080p native.
I'm a computer technician but not a graphics expert but I was speaking with a friend who works for a big graphics card company, and he told me that upscaling software these days can actually do such a good job that it's unnecessary and sometimes too expensive and time consuming to create every game in 1080p native. Based on what I've seed in Battlefield 4 I have to agree because on Xbox One it looks pretty impressive!
Moving to the Multiplayer, everything works in the same way as it did on the Xbox 360 version but with dramatically improved graphics and far smoother gameplay. Maps are now bigger than their 360 counterpart and feature full 64 player matches, one of the biggest problems with the big scale maps and game types on the 360 version was there wasn't enough players and to be honest you sometimes got bored, meaning smaller game modes such as domination on smaller maps were played more. Rush mode is better in this version too, although I would still argue that the maps are far too open for rush mode, but that's a personal opinion and not fact.
The frostbite 3 destruction engine really does shine in this game and when you bring the skyscraper down for instance, everything renders perfectly on screen, one of the problems with the 360 version of the game is it suffered from bad screen tearing and lag every time something "busy" was going on in the map. Well in this those problems have gone and everything renders perfectly with no graphical defects. Now while graphically this game is a huge stride forward despite not being 1080p native it still suffers for many problems which I find unforgivable to be honest.
Hit detection, where by the game detects when you have hit an opponent just doesn't work! It was bad in the 360 version and it seems the same in this. The hit markers half the time don't appear even though you are plastering an enemy soldier at point blank range and it can take a whole magazine to kill someone while an enemy soldier can kill you with 1 bullet from a pistol. Medical packs disappear and half the time don't work. Quick scoping now exists as it did in the 360 version of the game (seriously, the amount of snipers that try and kill you at point blank is bordering on Call of Duty levels). The queue system still doesn't work so it's pot luck whether you get into a game or not. On the plus side I haven't had any server problems as yet (fingers crossed) and certainly on the bigger game types such as Rush and Conquest I am seeing more people play as support and therefore drop ammo (something nobody did on the 360 version, as everyone played assault classes).
Pros: Fantastic graphics and definitely a step up from the 360 version of the game * Proper 64 player maps (these maps were designed for 64 players) * 5 man squads * Rush mode works better on next gen with more players * seems to be stable online * The Campaign looks far better and the improved graphics really help it
Cons: Boring & Short Campaign Storyline * Hit Detection system is appalling just like the 360 version (which they still haven't patched) * Quick Scoping now exists * while you get use to the new controller layout it's not as good as BF3 * Safe spawning is a luxury and not a right in this game *Loadout menu could have been made easier to use * I've lost XP that was suppose to be saved
VERDICT: It's certainly a big visual improvement over the xbox 360 version of the game and some of the problems such as crashing at loading screens seem on the face of it to have been resolved. The game is automatically better with 64 players as opposed to 24 that was the limit on xbox 360, with game modes such as RUSH and CONQUEST being the biggest beneficiary. Sadly despite the improvement in graphics and indeed the smoothness at which the game goes about its business thanks to the extra processing power available, there are still many problems, bugs and glitches online that need patching.
It's been 3 weeks virtually since Battlefield 4 launched and time is running out for EA and DICE to patch current and new generation versions as there is only so long people will wait before they get peeved off and leave!
As for the Xbox One version of the game I'm going to RECOMMENDED it. It seems the next generation was worth the wait after all and as such this is getting an extra star compared to the 360 version but it still needs work!!!
UPDATE 12/12/2013: There has been a large patch designed for correcting stability issues, by and large things seem to be the same in that regards but i can confirm that hit detection has been improved. There still are issues and sometimes it is now too easy to kill someone but it's far better that the situation we had before where a whole magazine didn't count!!
UPDATE 02/01/2014: Hit detection has improve significantly but many issues remain, i can only hope they get resolved quickly before people give up.
UPDATE 06/02/2014: I have now stopped playing this game and it is only fair that you should know this. The reason being as the numbers of players online have reduced and the overall fun factor has gone. In essence, there are still many issues and EA and DICE evidently can't be bothered to deal with them! I stand by what i say regarding the Xbox One version being better than the 360 version but it's only fair for you to know that i think Battlefield has finally had its day and i say that with a sad heart!