Given that the game come out back in 2013, I’ve been meaning to get my hands on EA’s latest and greatest for a while now, but given the amount of negative press the game received upon it’s release I decided to postpone it’s purchase until things quietened down. Given that the game was 35 on disk at Amazon recently, I decided to take the plunge, after my initial impressions of the game when it was free were timid, £5 seemed like the perfect price. I wasn’t too impressed with the original Battlefield 3 many years ago, so how has time aged this product?
Well for starters, graphically, not a whole bunch. The game looks absolutely stunning at times, with the main characters detailed to such a degree that you can see the individual fibres in their hats and clothing. But this is all trickery, because for the vast majority of time you don’t see this at all, and instead see simple geometry for cars, or less detailed actors. Even the lighting is trickery, with most lighting sources on ultra not actually making shadows in the world and instead making cheap lens flare effects like you’d see in a Michael Bay film. Needless to say, I was intrigued by the graphics, but wasn’t stunned, something I was surprised by considering how many outlets use Battlefield 4 as a template for next-gen graphics.
The story was astonishingly terrible, with horrendous characters that made me sick to the bone and annoyed that I couldn’t team kill. I’m pretty sure Irish, the black gentleman of the group, was meant to have the common decency, with more humanity than the others, but I couldn’t stop hating him. He was disrespectful, annoying, and constantly got the group in trouble. In fact, if it wasn’t for Irish, the vast majority of the problems wouldn’t have existed for your trio.
Battlefield 4 could be called Battlefield Bad Company 3 for all the antics the group gets up to, with dam’s being exploded, planes crashing and boats collapsing, the group just seem to always find themselves in unlikely situations that ordinary people would die from. With Bad Company it was funny, with the dynamic of the group being happy go-lucky to the point I liked the company of characters assembled. Battlefield 4 on the other hand grated on me, constantly making me want to skip all cut-scenes which made out everything as the end of the world. The story and characters were seriously that lame that I wanted to shout at the screen: “I JUST WANT TO SHOOT PEOPLE AND BLOW STUFF UP DAMNIT!”
The campaign had it’s ups and downs, and could be considered ok if it was released 10 years ago, but by todays standards it just comes off as terribly short and damn right mediocre. The Russians have devised a plan to kill a Chinese official that is essential in maintaining peace and stability in the region, and in doing so, would cause another world war. The americans, and in turn Recker (the character you play as), have managed to save the gentleman, all without anyone knowing, starting china’s acceleration in bringing down all of the american Navi that happens to be by China. The plot comes to an end with the Chinese boarding your boat, managing to find the missing VIP, and bringing an end to the war between China and America.
This lavish over the top story ensures the crew of tombstone (of which you are a part of), manage to travel through snowy mountains, stormy seas, and normal desert-y locations, all trying to show off the frostbite engine underneath. It all comes off as unfeasible, and melodramatic, with some areas of the game being just impossible to pass due to the team taking on huge tanks and millions of squad members.
It’s in the multiplayer that Battlefield 4 comes into its own, with huge arenas allowing you the freedom to tackle any enemy however you’d like, be it getting into a car with some squadmates, to gunning it alone with some C4 to take down enemy vehicles across the map. What little I played of the multiplayer was enjoyable, but I could help but feel left out due to all of the DLC which has been released since the game is 18 months old now.
So, being as this is just a quick review of the game and not a comprehensive one by any means, is Battlefield 4 a worthy game to be played by anyone with a next gen console or high-end PC? In my opinion, hells no. The story and game as a whole is just one huge convoluted mess, ensuring time and time again I wished I wasn’t playing. It may look pretty at times, with most textures being very detailed, but at other times the game just looks like a mess, with flat geometry across maps and terrible AI all making my experience with the game beyond a joke. Avoid like the plague unless you really REALLY want to show off your new gaming machine to friends and family.