Battlefield 4 Review

Editor's note: Click here to read the current-generation review of Battlefield 4.

‘Levolution’ may've made it onto the list of history’s most appalling buzzwords, but after sending a skyscraper tumbling, blowing up a nuclear warhead and submerging an entire Chinese village underwater, you’ve got to admit, maybe DICE was onto something after all.

The significance of each scenario doesn’t truly start to sink in until you appreciate that these are dynamic multiplayer moments rather than scripted single-player events, with up to 63 other players also engaged in their own skirmishes, all playing at a rock-solid 60FPS on a £350 console. DICE’s technical achievements here will frankly leave console gamers in awe.

But scale isn’t the only thing that’s been enhanced. While there’s no escaping the sense that it’s little more than Battlefield 3.5, the refined persistence system and excellent variety of maps offer a far better balanced – and more exciting - online experience than before.

Multiplayer unlocks are still tuned for the long game, but early balancing issues are sidestepped by providing newcomers with an appropriately powered armoury. Amateur jet fighters are no longer sitting ducks, now equipped with the necessary means to immediately go on the offensive, while weapon unlocks are drip-fed based on the player’s preferred weaponry type, rather than their favoured class.

The campaign is one of Battlefield’s best, too, and though DICE continues to stray a little too far into ‘loud and dumb’ COD territory rather than make the most of its large-scale, all-out war heritage, the explosive set pieces offer just enough to keep players entertained throughout the 5 hour experience. In many respects, then, Battlefield 4 is the perfect game to usher in the new generation.

It’s eye-gogglingly beautiful, laced with breathtaking lighting and particle effects, and offers a significant visual and mechanical step up over the current-gen version. The campaign isn’t without its faults, but it's a near technically flawless launch title that finally brings Battlefield to consoles the way it should be. If you’re looking to pick up a multiplayer shooter alongside your new console, Battlefield 4 is essential.

This review was written after spending approximately 20 hours with the next-gen console and PC versions of Battlefield 4. In order to play the next-gen versions, VideoGamer.com attended a three-day review event hosted by EA in Stockholm, Sweden. Travel and accommodation was provided by EA.

9 / 10

  • Looks stunning – especially on PS4.
  • Multiplayer the best it’s ever been.
  • Weak narrative leads to an enjoyable yet hollow campaign.
  • Levolution could be put to better use on some maps, Commander Mode a little dull.

8 Comments

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Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ Lalaland

I follow Dice and can't find or haven't seen that tweet can you point me there? :) cheers
Posted 04:24 on 30 October 2013
Lalaland's Avatar

Lalaland@ Karlius

DICE have tweeted that they will be adding Ambient Occlusion into the XB1 build but given the current fps deficit compared to the PS4 I'm wondering how that is going to work w/o making things worse.
Posted 16:42 on 29 October 2013
Lalaland's Avatar

Lalaland

I've always wondered why DICE decided to strap SP onto the BF formula as they lack the all out 'Merica gusto necessary to pull off a CoD style campaign and they gave up on trying to inject comedy with BF3.

For me the big change is 64 player on next-gen/PC, 24 player on current gen only really worked in the Bad Company series. As EverTheOptimist experienced it resulted in largely empty maps and sparse combat in the countryside maps. Only the urban Paris based maps and Bazaar worked with the lower player count. 64 players though will herald the return of tank duels a la BF2 which still remains my favourite after all these years
Posted 16:40 on 29 October 2013
xocnai's Avatar

xocnai

The rest of the review appears to be missing? Guessing you must be experiencing heavy server traffic?
Posted 16:27 on 29 October 2013
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ pblive

All other sites quoting they used nearly final consoles and nearly final code. Can't see much changing from now until launch day though. Possibly upgraded firmware on consoles (A Patch) and same for game code as by now the game should of gone Gold.

What we don't know though is when this event took place and was there an embargo.
Posted 15:44 on 29 October 2013
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Was this on proper launch consoles or the development machines? I'm sure they're pretty close to finished versions, but just interested to know.
Posted 14:05 on 29 October 2013
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

This was a fabulous read Dave. I thoroughly enjoyed it and a testament to the new shortened format!
Posted 14:00 on 29 October 2013
EverTheOptimist's Avatar

EverTheOptimist

I've decided, based on the PS4 lineup, that I'll be getting a shooter when my console arrives, but I'm waiting to see how COD and Killzone stack up first. I'm tempted by Battlefield, but BF3 did little for me. I found the multiplayer really difficult for a couple of reasons. Firstly I had trouble spotting enemy players, something I've never had difficulty with in other FPS's, and, secondly, I seemed to spawn miles away from anything, run for about 7 minutes across the map to the action and then immediately get shot.

Maybe that's just me though. Anyone else?
Posted 13:08 on 29 October 2013

Game Stats

Battlefield 4
9
Out of 10
Battlefield 4
  • Looks stunning – especially on PS4.
  • Multiplayer the best it’s ever been.
  • Weak narrative leads to an enjoyable yet hollow campaign.
  • Levolution could be put to better use on some maps, Commander Mode a little dull.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 01/11/2013
Platforms: PS4 , Xbox One , Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: D.I.C.E
Publisher: EA
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 98 8
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