S&S Review: Battlefield 4

Title: Battlefield 4
Format: PS4(reviewed), PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: October 29th, 2013, November(PS4,XB1)
Publisher: EA
Developer: DICE
Price: $59.99
ESRB Rating: M

Battlefield 4 has been out for a few months now, and after a number of patches and updates, I've dived into the mayhem and came out pleasantly surprised.

Story and Presentation:
Battlefield 4, just like BF3, features a single-player campaign.  DICE said early in development that they spent a lot more time focusing on creating a great single-player campaign, and I quickly noticed the improvements.  For starters, the narrative is a lot more interesting time around.  I know that's not saying much, but it's always a plus in my book when you tell a better story.  Although brief, the campaign gives you enough excitement to warrant your attention away from the multiplayer.  DICE has always impressed on a visual level, and BF4 has taken it up yet another notch.  Call of Duty: Ghosts looked good on next gen, but it never really wowed me the way BF4 did.  BF3 already looked great, especially on PC, but you can see a ton of improvements with BF4.   With next gen, console players finally get a taste of how spectacular the game can really look.  Not only with the single-player, but when you take the game on online, it still looks gorgeous.  The new Frostbite 3 engine is powering the game, and the destructibility of the environments is noticeable on a much more grander scale.  You can bring down bridges, houses, and of course the infamous skyscraper everyone has seen.  The sound design is just as top notch as before, and if you have a good pair of headphones laying around, I strongly suggest using them.  The overall presentation is top notch in BF4, and it fulfilled my expectations for what to expect from a 1st tier next gen title.
Core Gameplay and Multiplayer:
Battlefield 4 feels great as a shooter, who would've thought the difference doubling the framerate over current gen systems would do.  Online gameplay is a smooth, but there still are a number of issues even with the multiple patches.  The game obviously isn't as bad as when the game was first released, but the game can still crash on certain maps, including Flood Zone.  The excellence of the game still lies in the online multiplayer, the scale and freedom of online matches is a pure thrill ride.  One of the biggest new modes is the Obliteration mode which has two teams fighting over a bomb thats required to blow up enemy positions.  Console players finally get to experience 64 player battles, and it really adds to the intensity of the larger scale battles.  There's a ton of variety in the online as well, you have all your traditional modes like Conquest and Rush.  These modes are for your bigger battles with vehicles and a wide open map.  Team Deathmatch, Squad Team Deathmatch, and Defuse are modes that are more compact in size, and don't feature any vehicles.  The multiplayer offers a ton of variety to how ever you want to experience the online.  There are a few things that still need fixing, one being the squad voice chat.  Luckily the PS4's party feature alleviates the headache of not having in game voice chat readily available.  Other than that, the online is still some of the best in the genre, and can be a blast when everything is working properly.
Final Thoughts:
Battlefield 4 is a great game, but it still doesn't feel like the complete sequel I was expecting.  What you have is a great shooter, that's littered with technical issues and missing features.  It's simple, when it works, it's a blast.
S&S Rating: 8/10


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