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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully presented and brilliantly thorough guide, though not without its problems., 4 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Battlefield 4 Collector's Edition: Prima's Official Game Guide (Hardcover)
Full disclosure: I've never bought a game guide prior to this one. In many ways I thought that they just sucked the fun out of a new game - who wants their hand held through the entire thing, your eyes flitting between the game onscreen and the guide in your hand? I never really got the appeal. Still, after standing in a long queue at my local GAME store in order to pick up Battlefield 4 on the PS3, this was nearby on a spinner rack. It was an extra £19.99 but I was in the mood for an impulse purchase. And I'm glad I was.

First off, the best things about picking up this Collector's Edition rather than the standard edition: On the surface you get an imposing Hardcover binding which really lends some heft and added durability to the guide's impressive 400+ page count. The cover's embossed and has added flourishes of metallic coloring to really lend the book a premium appearance; it's definitely something you want to show off to your gaming friends and looks great on your shelf, even if it is a little unwieldy for reading in bed/on the couch.

Additionally on the inside you also get an interview with the head honchos of DICE re: the history and future of the Battlefield series, and an in-depth discussion of all the changes made for this new installment, the whys and the wherefores. It's a great addition to the content of the standard edition, even if it does feel a little oddly placed at the front of the book ahead of the Contents List.

Finally you also get a set of A4 cards (that can be marked upon and wiped-clean) which show the layout of each of the game's initial line-up of 10 maps for in-game notes and so on. It's questionable how handy these'll be to you personally (some people will have the benefit of using a Tablet for this purpose) but they're nice to have I guess. You also get a DLC code for a Gold Battlepack for use in-game (much welcomed - you quickly come to love/rely on these bad boys!) and a code to access an online copy of the guide to view on your tablet or smartphone. For the added few quid, I'd say that all of above benefits are well worth the money.

With regards to the guide itself...wow. It is chock-full of information on everything from the game's basics (moving around, shooting, the HUD elements) to incremental pieces of tactical advice for every map available at launch, even down to how to approach each individual game mode on each map. There's a lot to take in but it's all written very clearly and there's some genuinely useful 'Pro Tips' from the book's panel of Pro-Gamer authors littered throughout. Every upgrade tree is present, every weapon and gadget detailed, every map inspected inside and out. It's a wealth of information collected and presented with an almost palpable sense of passion and love of the Battlefield franchise.

Will it up your game? Possibly. There are certain tactical ideas suggested here that I've already put into practice in my game with winning results, and it's great to have a professional's take on the benefits of each individual player class (Assault, Recon etc.). It definitely gave me some much-needed new play ideas.

Is it necessary to get the most out of the game? I can't say that it is, though I should point out that there are certain things detailed in the book which the game itself fails to make clear. Did you know that you can now 'Zero' in sniper rifles in BF4 to elminate the need to factor in bullet-drop when engaging a target at distance? I didn't. Never saw it mentioned in-game or in any of the reviews. Did you know that the Recon mode has been altered to be more successful in close-to-mid-range encounters? It's difficult for DICE to explain that through marketing I guess, but the team writing the Guide do a brilliant job of it. You don't need the information presented here to succeed at the game, but if definitely doesn't hurt your chances and - in some cases - might lead you down the roads to marked improvements in your game.

Does it cover EVERYTHING? I'm sad to say that it doesn't, though the omissions are few and far between. For example, there's about 10 knives that you can unlock for MP one way or another (as confirmed by Battlelog); this book details only 2. The use of XP Boosts (often awarded from Battlepacks) are not discussed in any way, and I had to look up how to utilize these through Google. And finally - and most importantly - this book can't offer any insight into the five confirmed Map Packs that are set to come out through the life of Battlefield 4, and as such this book's content will become redundant to a certain extent in a rather short space of time. Of course, the upgrades, play styles and start-out map info contained herein will always be useful, but once the new DLC starts hitting in a few weeks you won't be as prepared for those maps as you were for those packaged with the game at launch. However, there is always the electronic copy of the guide that you get free with this book, and that's apparently set to be updated to take the new content into account on and as and when basis. Problem solved? We'll see.

In short however, this book is much recommended to Battlefield veterans and newcomers alike; everyone can learn a thing or two from it, and it's presented beautifully. It serves as both a great reference guide to the many features and content elements of BF4, and as a desirable collectible that can enhance your experience of the new game. The book rarely puts a foot wrong in its purpose, and future-proofs itself as much as possible (the content within caters for all current-gen, next-gen and PC builds of the game). It is, in summary, an excellent guide, and has certainly made my launch day experience all the more enjoyable!

It's also got me interested in Gaming Guides in general...come PS4 launch day I may have to pick up a few more ^_^
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Nov 2013 13:06:02 GMT
powderfinger says:
Nice review Mr M S, you've already told me things I didn't know. I think I might buy it. Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2013 15:13:04 GMT
No problem powderfinger, glad it was helpful ^_^ After spending over a week with the guide I still find it really useful; it sits by my side alongside Battlelog on the iPad and a gamer-sized mug of Coffee (ie. mahoosive) every time I play. Well worth the money.
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