Customer Review

26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not without release bugs, but this is still one of the best games going., 17 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Battlefield 4 (PS4) (Video Game)
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OK this is going to invite controversy, I know... but hear me out.

I totally understand people's disappointment when a new game is released and it contains lots of bugs and glitches. I've been a fan of the Battlefield franchise since Battlefield 2 and I tell you now - this is nothing we haven't seen before. Battlefield 2 was full of bugs for AGES after it was released. And the first thing the critics say is "This is rubbish, it should never have been released like this, it's Beta" etc etc.

Even though I acknowledge that there are issues, I have to tell you - I DISAGREE.

"Why?" you ask. Because, even with the issues, this is STILL probably the best game that was in the starting lineup for the next-gen consoles. And given that the bugs will be (and are already being) ironed out, I for one am able to accept the issues in the short term, and meanwhile enjoy the rest of what is a brilliant game. As I mentioned, BF2 (and BF3) was much the same, and fixes, patches and improvements were being made all the time. But I would rather have it like this, than not have it for another 6 months. And to be honest, many bugs only become evident once the game environment has gone live anyway, so even if the release got delayed, you'd just be meeting these problems 6 months later...

So what about the game?

The graphics are, as expected on next-gen, amazing. Fire, smoke, and water not only look brilliant but form even more of a tactical part of the game than in the last generation. On one map, Paracel Storm, the weather turns and darkens during the course of your round, and the wave effects (30ft-plus!) are not only phenomenal to look at, but you have to factor them in when you're aiming a shot across the water! Not to mention swimming or boating across it - prepare to get dunked.

Foliage is more dense, and on some maps you can really use it to your advantage as effective cover. Buildings are far more accessible than Battlefield 3, where there were perhaps half a dozen open buildings on a map - now the majority if not all can be entered. Many have multiple floors and all have very diverse layouts, for example a prison in Operation Locker, a dilapidated tank factory in Zavod 311, and a town complete with rooftop terraces in Flood Zone. Every map is completely unique, and no doubt different types of player will have their own favourites.

The destructible environment has evolved too, and a man with a tank can put their own artistic stamp on how they want a building to look - if you catch my drift. Having said this, while there is much more that is "destructible", it is still constrained to certain buildings, pillars, or features. "You can put as much C4 as you want on the building next door, but it seems they clearly made it out of better bricks..."

The destructible piece-de-resistance Dice put into BF4 is their "Levolution" - what this means is one particular part of each map that can be destroyed in such a way that it more significantly affects the environment and your gameplay. Perhaps the most notable is Flood Zone, which starts off being a relatively ordinary but intense firefight in a cramped multi-level residential area. But if you decide to (or inadvertently) blow up the levee that contains the river north of the gameplay area, water gushes out and you render the whole town flooded right up to the first floor of the buildings. You may have also seen on game trailers the part from Siege of Shanghai where the massive skyscraper comes down in a shower of rubble. Yes, this is all in-game, very impressive to watch, and gives an interesting change to the map in each case.

One of the best things about BF4 on next gen? The return of 64 player gaming. Hooray!! Big maps, lots of people running about - it's just bliss and it's one major thing that consoles really suffered for missing out on - until now. There are other game modes to offer some variational objectives for smaller teams; not to mention single player mode, of course... which I can't mention much anyway, because other than the first day when PSN wasn't working, I haven't played it! For me Battlefield is all about the multiplayer anyway...

BF4 sees a return of the Commander Mode which was missed out of the franchise since BF2. Now the commander is better equipped; especially if his/her team currently occupy certain control points on the map (assuming Conquest). Certain control points give mapwide scanning ability, while others may give the commander control of a cruise missile asset, or the ability to spawn a Spectre gunship overpass that can be used by up to 3 of their team to pound the enemy below. The commander no longer occupies the game area though - so there's no sneaking into the enemy base and stabbing the enemy commander while they're busy giving out orders. Shame that. Another plus is that the commander mode can be done from a tablet using a companion app (I've used the iPad version). This is much easier what with the multi-gesture/touch screen than the native PS4 (though the latter is not impossible). The only downside to the commander mode so far is that generally your team tend to ignore your orders - maybe dice/EA need to give more points reward for following orders as an incentive (even if you'd think having the gunship or cruise missile in your hands over the enemy's would be ample!).

Player Progress and persistence has been enhanced, with more weaponry available and specialised add ons. Camouflage and weapon/vehicle colours can also be unlocked as before. Specialisation and squad specialisation have now been replaced by "Field Upgrades", which basically means you can earn bonuses by team-specific actions like following orders, squad resupplies and heals, etc. The more teamwork you put in, the more bonuses you get (up to 4). Furthermore, you can choose your preset Field Upgrade (from what you've unlocked) so you are tailored to your way of playing. I think this is a great new feature.

In game chat is not ideal; hopefully this is something that will get fixed soon. But as long as you're playing with your PSN mates, for now it's actually much more effective to set up a party via the PS4 functionality outside of the game, and chat through that.

I think that's all the detail, so...

BF4 marks a huge improvement to what was already one of the most popular game franchises going. I'm not even getting into the COD vs BF debate - you either like BF or you don't, and whether you like COD or you don't is irrelevant. If you have liked any of the earlier versions of Battlefield, then you should get this, because quite frankly it is brilliant. Sure - there are bugs, and the latency handling (what some are calling "netcode") can be annoying. But even if worst case the game crashes, you can be back in game in like what - 2 minutes? Nobody likes it when it happens, but at least when it's working, it's brilliant. If you really have such anger management issues that you can't cope with it, for the sake of taking part in an otherwise great game, then sure - by all means wait a few months! But by that time, most of us will be Colonels and then your anger will be a result of getting owned so much on the battlefield. Ha! ;)

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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Dec 2013 14:29:16 GMT
PHATB0Y says:
Sorry pal but i have to totally disagree with and its because of people like you that are willing to pay full retail price for a game that isn't ready for retail that developers will continually release games in such condition. Its unfortunate that you just accept such mediocrity when i'd rather wait and receive a retail game at retail price. The game is amazing part time but i didn't pay part price! And as for being owned by colonels thats complete garbage???? Ive never reached top level in any battlefield game yet never been owned as you so put it. FPS games are down to personal skill not level and how many more hours youv'e poured into a game more than another player. Dice themselves didn't want to release the game as they believed it wasn't ready (look it up on internet) but EA only caring about the dollar and nothing else forced their hand. If such mediocrity is worth 5 stars then you leave no room for improvement when patched and finally an acceptable retail version.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Dec 2013 18:21:46 GMT
Jam says:
As it happens, I was joking about the "Colonel" thing, but hey it sounds like you're an angry man. I know how FPS games work, and I know that some lower rank are better than some higher rank, because of natural skill. It's an absolute fact, however, that generally speaking, the more experienced a player is, the better they will become. But you missed the humour, which was the real point of the statement. It was a tongue-in-cheek way of saying that by the time you are willing to buy the game (which may be never), I will have had many hours of entertainment by it.

I know that some feel it was "not ready", as I said so in the review. But there is undoubtedly a broad spectrum of differing opinion over what would be considered good enough for release. And I can tell you now that there are plenty of "people like me" as you say, because the servers are full of us and we're enjoying the game.

Maybe they deserve to be docked a star (or more) as you say - well, fair comment. But I stand by my rating - because I still feel it is a brilliant game despite the issues, and I've played it pretty much every day. Your own review, meanwhile, brings the overall rating right down - and so the democratic rating system works pretty well, right?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2014 00:23:15 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Jan 2014 00:23:43 GMT
A lot of good games have bugs. No modern software is perfect; Windows, Mac OS, FarCry, Fallout, Skyrim, GTA V & so much more :)
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3.9 out of 5 stars (348 customer reviews)
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