Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Battlefield 4 Review (Xbox 360)

As me and my squad wait patiently for the capture point to be secured a helicopter flies past and unleashes a hail of missiles at the building. I look nervously out of the windows and see them shake, rubble falling down outside the glass. The floor moves beneath me, I fire a burst at the glass to shatter it and watch my squad mates do the same. We all run forward and parachute out of the top floor of the skyscraper as the entire structure collapses. Three out of the four of us land in the rubble and move to secure the area, one of us didn't make it. A tank converges on our position and the enemy show up as if from nowhere. The skyscraper is in ruins and the full force of Battlefield 4's levelution has been felt. 

Battlefield 4 is all about the multiplayer, and more importantly refining the multiplayer. You can now counter knife attacks from the front and there are new modes like Domination (conquest with small teams) and Obliteration, which sees you fight for control of a bomb to use to blow up enemy positions whilst protecting your own and there are numerous tweaks to the unlocks and load outs but the biggest change, the change that makes this game unique in the series, is levolution. Levolution can be big, such as the skyscraper collapsing on The Siege of Shanghai, or the Storm on Paracel Storm, or it can be small, like raising shutters in a shop. Either way it has a big impact and takes the familiar formula of Battlefield into unfamiliar territory. The already deep gameplay is deepened further and this is only added to by things like increased verticality, improved destruction and even better map design than before. Levolution, if used properly, can really change the tide of an online fight. 

Since Battlefield: Bad Company Dice has demonstrated that all other developers of multiplayer military FPS games simply are not good enough and this game is no different in that and proves that point yet again. The new modes spice up the options a bit but if you just want classic Rush or Conquest then the new maps and their focus on levolution will keep things fresh for you. 

Remember the single player from Battlefield 3? Remember how terrible it was? Yeah? Well this game doesn't fare much better. Don't get me wrong, it isn't terrible like 3's was it's just that it tends to not rise above average. The improved destruction and more open environments help out a bit but the generally nonsensical story and cliche missions hold things back. The campaign is pretty and does perfectly well in terms of basic gameplay and design, it just isn't very exciting. Fortunately the last person I met who said they played Battlefield for the singe player is safely behind bars. Still it would have been nice to have the amazing multiplayer  supported by an equally amazing single player mode, it can't be that hard to do can it? 

As always with Battlefield the sound and graphics are genre leading. The sound of the guns, the vehicles, the destruction and the people is simply superb and makes you feel like you are in the battle. Tank shells shake you, bullets spray you and it all sounds amazing. As for the Frostbite engine, it runs perfectly, and the game looks stunning with detailed environments and amazing destruction that's closer to Bad Company 2 than battlefield 3 (and is therefore much better).  

All things told this is the best Battlefield yet and is the best military FPS to have come out in years. The single player isn't great but the multiplayer may very well never get boring. It's so good that when I get a PS4/Xbox One I'll get this again on that. 

Verdict: The best Battlefield yet, levolution is amazing but the single player is painfully average. 

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