Battlefield 4 is something special

Despite garnering the attention of gaming sites everywhere for being plagued with various glitches and bugs, I’m having a hell of a time with Battlefield 4.

"Shit, I totally forgot to put deodorant on today."
“Shit, I totally forgot to put deodorant on today.”

Bad Company 2 was the game that really made me fall in love with the series. It was intense, chaotic, and loud, with soldiers screaming and cursing loudly set to a backdrop of never-ending explosions and gunfire – good times. Love or hate the series, you can’t deny just how much love the fine people at Dice put into their games to make sure they really feel and sound right.

And of course with this fourth instalment, it’s clear that they’ve got the formula down-pat, even with all the apparent launch troubles, none of which have really effected my ability to pop heads online (PC version here).

Battlefield 3 was sort of an entry I skipped. I mean, I bought it and played for about ten hours total. But all in all, it was kind of a disappointment. Gone was the vulgar, crass personality of BC2. Gone were the fully destructible environments. Angry Russians versus equally angry Americans – haven’t we seen this before? As I came to realize, the sad truth was that Battlefield 3 had taken a turn down Generic Avenue. I mean, it wasn’t bad. But it was missing something…

…The maps! Yes, the maps. As my friend often says about mutliplayer shooters, “it’s all about the maps.”

And so with Battlefield 4, Dice went all-out. “Levolution,” they call it. It’s rather exciting.

b4_levolution

 

I’m going to be honest here. Battlefield 4 is unmistakably similar to Battlefield 3 in almost every single way. But where it differs – and why you should give a shit – is where these maps come in.

The maps are the heart of this game’s vision, and oh man do they deliver. They’re all largely-scaled, riddled with hiding spots and vehicles sporting all kinds of murderous arsenals. But possibly the best part of all of this is that, even on foot, Battlefield 4 is a good time. Tanks shooting up your birthday party and ruining all the fun? No problem. Take an elevator up to a rooftop and reign unsuspecting hell down upon them with a barrage of rockets. Enemy army dudes taking your capture point from down below? Jump off the goddamn building, and float down majestically like Batman while unloading grenade rounds at ’em!

My point here, the saving grace of this game, is that Dice really balanced out the combat interaction between foot soldiers and the guys in armoured death machines, whether land, sea, or air. The city maps especially demonstrate this, because there’s such a wealth of cover and perfect balance between outdoor and indoor environments. It no longer feels like a battlefield reigned by vehicles, because now the experience is a perfect blend of close-quarters, vehicular, and rooftop combat – and it is glorious.

Take the Dam map for example (I can’t remember the name). You’ve got a steadily-rising water level below, with boats duking it out and taking potshots at those going for a quick swimming lesson. Then there’s the rooftop scene, with soldiers battling back and forth for control of points spread across several buildings. All the while, soldiers from below are working their way up staircases and parking garages to flank the rooftops, in a “king-of-the-hill” type scenario. It’s awesome – and you can engage in all of this and more in as little as ten minutes of playtime. It’s exactly what I’ve wanted from a Battlefield, and it feels like the rightful path of progression for the series.

I’ve had crashes and graphical oddities here and there, but I really can’t do anything besides recommend this one. Maybe it’s because I’ve been away from the series for so long, and maybe it’s because I just really love FPS games – but Battlefield 4 really is something special. And with new content updates and constant tweaking and bug fixes, it’s only going to get better.

You’ve won my heart, Dice. I totally wuv you.

-s

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