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Customer Review

on 10 November 2013
I can't claim to be a hardened Battlefield fan and I enjoy the COD titles just as much as BF so in that respect I consider myself to be neutral in the whole BF vs COD argument. This latest incarnation of BF has some really impressive maps fit for a decent amount of sprawling action. The ability to destroy buildings is pleasing and the weapons are okay. Most impressive is the sound track which really increases the atmosphere with hard shelled weapon fire noises that echo around you. The graphics are okay but tend to go from very impressive to PS2 level depending on the map you are playing. The fighting is not as frantic as COD in terms of close proximity combat but being staged in a much wider world can be just as tense. I would say that notching up a good score for yourself is much more difficult in BF than it is in any of the COD titles. So in that respect I'm persuaded that BF is the harder challenge.

What really sucks about this title though........is it's maker.....EA. Electronic Arts is either lazy, always doing things on the cheap or is so arrogant that it just doesn't care about its customers. The EA servers are clearly not up to the task and in any 2 hour gaming period, you might find yourself being kicked off the server on 4 or more occasions because, 'the server has lost the connection.' This is simply not good enough and this is one area where COD completely outshines BF. Every time you get kicked off you lose all of the points you have just earned throughout the current game which means you might take 30-40% longer than you really deserve to rank-up and get better weapons and kit. That adds up to a huge amount of wasted time and a whole heap of frustration.

Another issue is the frequency in which the game freezes. I've played 5 different modes of multiplayer so far and ALL of them have frozen at one stage or another - usually when loading up the map at the start. Poor poor poor!

You have a choice (most of the time) about where you re-spawn in BF. A nice touch you might think, but also a very frustrating one. All too often all of the available spawn options are all fated and result in just one thing when you are dropped on the map -INSTANT DEATH - because the game drops you right in the middle of a fire-fight even if you have watched the small display screen to make sure all is clear before you spawn.

The other big issue here is that if you only have a 4GB machine, BF4 will not run on your Xbox360. Check the small print on the back of the game box. Regardless of how much of the 4GB you have free, because none of that 4GB is classed as a hard drive you won't be able to load the game. You need a proper hard-drive to run this game and it needs at least 2GB of free space to download base material.

I actually found the single player pretty enjoyable compared to some reviewers. There are some good tense battles and it's graphically better than multiplayer. It has grit but sadly the foul-mouthed language leaves a lot to be desired. Perhaps if you're an adolescent you might think the swearing is cool, but for anyone with an ounce of maturity you'll realise that whilst swearing is a part of every day life in the forces, it doesn't mean you want all the vulgar profanities invading your living room every time you play. If you're listening EA - it adds absolutely nothing to the game at all.

I'm left so disappointed by this game, it should be brilliant, it wants to be brilliant, but in it's current state it's simply not reliable enough or sufficiently well supported by its own maker EA to be any good at all. Very poor and very frustrating. EA should be ashamed of themselves for the lack of care and respect they show towards the very people who keep them all in gainful employment.

UPDATE 18/12/13: The reliability of this game has not improved since it's launch. Following a short-lived temporary fix, Dice/EA have released further updates which have succeeded in making playability worse than ever. Constant freezing, unreliable servers, deplorable hit detection and utterly stupid spawning make this game an extremely poor relation to COD. I still want to love this game, but I simply can't. It is NOT worth your money or time. The developers really need to take a long hard look at themselves. They should be embarrassed to be associated with BF4 right now. What makes matters worse is the fact that Dice and EA appear to be sticking their head in the sand as on all their social media sites they spend more time patting themselves on the back for launching useless new features and engaging in pointless polls of what characters you like most when the only thing that customers want is a game that actually works. They seem incapable of actually answering concerned customers queries about why the game is so broken. The company must have one of the worst communication strategies and the least awareness of customer perception and satisfaction than any business I've ever come across. Look towards COD Ghosts if you value reliability, gamer enjoyment and your sanity. Dice/EA do not deserve your money or your continued loyalty.

UPDATE 20/01/14: Despite 5 updates from EA/Dice, this game is still utterly broken. For those wishing to play multiplayer, which is what Battlefield should be all about, the servers are completely diabolical. They kick you off every second game, if not every game and any progress or level-ups you've gained are lost. Signing on to Xbox Live still corrupts your Campaign save-game which means you repeatedly have to start all over again. In over 25 years of gaming across various platforms, I have never...ever... experienced such an appalling release. Even where other games might not always float your boat and may be described as poor, at least they still actually work properly. EA and Dice fully deserve to meet their demise over this as there is no excuse for their money grabbing exploits and precious little investment in their own product, not to mention all important customer care. This is a truly disgraceful product.

UPDATE Dec 2015: Following a disgraceful start for Battlefield 4, the servers have been fixed for a while now and almost every game can be enjoyed without server faults. The only negative thing left about Battlefield is the ridiculous way that an opponent who has had 20 rounds of high calibre assault rifle fire can turn around and return fire because you didn't hit them in the head. One or two shots from them in your head equals instant and utterly unfair death. Anyone who knows anything about ballistics knows that 20 rounds pumped into anyone's chest (i.e. the T zone for those who know about combat) will down even the most hardened enemy wearing any kind of armoured vest. But no, Battlefield still allows the player to stand and return fire. It's crap. (And don't send me any silly replies about head shots being better than body shots - we all know that - but 20 rounds in the T-zone = dead, period!)
The other irritation is the regularity in which opponents shoot you through brick walls when they have no line of sight. Interesting indeed. I would accept the fact if the bullets travelled through the walls but they don't. Just s*** programming.
Beyond those issues, Battlefield is a much better experience than it used to be. It's frantic and fun. Certainly a game I love to hate very much.
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