By Andrew Solomon
Score: 9 out of 10
Battlefield 4 comes to us amidst a deluge of big title launches and whereas some games get lost in the noise, this one really does stand out in the crowd. Battlefield 4 represents the newest release in the series and features the ever-improving Frostbite 3 engine. DICE’s new Frostbite has an impressive bag of tricks including a far superior facial rendering system as well as character animation improvements.
It must be said that this review has been written based on the Xbox 360 version and so not all of the shiny wonders of Frostbite 3 were experienced in my gameplay. PC and next-gen console versions of Battlefield 4 are expected to be far superior to the current gen consoles.
Single-player mode is never the strongest part of any Battlefield experience and with Battlefield 4 (even with levolution) there is not much that changes my mind. What is Levolution you ask? Well, Levolution is the new feature whereby maps (or levels) change while you play. These changes are in fact initiated by the players themselves by collapsing buildings, exploding dams, etc. Weather changes are also a part of the shifting play environment and I must say that wind and rain can really change the game from one moment to the next.
Using an Xbox 360, I am surprised by how improved the graphics and the sounds are in Battlefield 4. I expected most of the awesomeness to really hit me on the PC or a next-gen console. And so now I’m left thinking how much I can’t wait to see Battlefield 4 on the new Xbox One out later this year.
And so we move to the multiplayer zone. This is really the bread and butter of the Battlefield franchise and DICE have made fans happy yet again. The action is non-stop awesomeness with and with the addition of Levolution, it really couldn’t get better. The deploy screen has been refined and allows a much easier (and faster) deployment into vehicles or onto a squad. Squads are now 5-man squads, which may seem like a small change from the previous 4-man squads, but believe me it makes a difference in the heat of battle.
In previous installments, there were various water-based craft, but Battlefield 4 brings more focus to the “navy” aspect of battle and so you can expect a lot more action in the water. Diving under the water to “hide” from gunfire is a bad strategy, but might be your only chance when options are limited. The additional water-based features do add an interesting dynamic and as fans get used to it I guess we’ll see all sorts of new player behavior.
Battlefield 4 is quite simply the best one yet and unless you are waiting for the next generation of consoles, you should go and get this immediately.
Available on: Xbox, PS3, PC