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Battlefield 4 review

Tom Morgan
15 Nov 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
33
inc VAT

Page 2 of 2Battlefield 4 review

Battlefield gets bigger, louder and a whole lot more intense, but it's more of the same for series veterans

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Specifications

BRINGING DOWN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Tall buildings provide an ideal line of sight for sniping once you compensate for bullet drop at long ranges, but they can be brought down with some well-placed explosives. These kinds of destructible environments were seen in previous games, but developer DICE has taken it a step further with the awkwardly named Levolution. Now each map can be completely changed, by toppling skyscrapers, beaching aircraft carriers and breaking dams to create new challenges for an attacking team or to better defend an objective.

Battlefield 4

If you’re in the vicinity when a Levolution destruction takes place, the dust and debris can completely obscure your vision, or disguise your rapid retreat from advancing forces. The lighting and smoke effects look phenomenal, and with the right hardware Battlefield 4 is easily one of the best-looking PC games available today.

Play Commander mode, however, and you could mistake it for a smartphone strategy game. It’s an oddly detached experience, with only ambient music in the background and a tiny picture-in-picture video feed of the in-game action to distract you from the blueprint-style battle plan. You give squads orders, scan for enemies and call down UAV drones, with reinforcements unlocked as your team captures control points. Some maps let you launch an AC130 gunship to rain down fire on targets, while others give you access to devastating cruise missiles that can take out buildings with one strike.

You have to be level 10 before you can try Commander mode, but that’s just the start. Every weapon, attachment and camouflage pattern must be earned with XP, and to unlock everything could take hundreds of hours. Even so, if you want to get the most from Battlefield 4 you’ll have to invest in a premium subscription. This costs £40 for a years’ worth of content, which is a lot to ask on top of the game itself. However, if you only plan on playing one fps for the foreseeable future the five additional map packs Premium unlocks could be worth the investment.

BF4 battlelog

EA’s web-based Battlelog system makes a return, which still feels odd compared to an in-game server browser, but the wealth of statistics and leaderboards available at a click make the adjustment worth making. It also works incredibly well with the Battlelog iOS app. With an iPad set up next to our screen, we could view the mini-map in real-time, change our weapons loadout on the fly and check our progress towards unlocking new equipment. It only came into its own when we were waiting to respawn, but it’s handy to have at a glance rather than rely on the tiny mini-map on your main screen. Even without a tablet, anyone with multiple monitors can open a second browser tab and use all the same features.

If you aren't interested in multiplayer gaming then it’s safe to say Battlefield 4 isn't for you. The overly short campaign doesn't offer anything new or innovative to justify spending £40. However, anyone looking for a new online challenge should absolutely pick this up. The breakout skirmishes, helicopter dogfights and last chance turnarounds kept us coming back again and again, and no doubt it will do the same for you.

Details

Price£33
Detailswww.ea.com
Rating****

Page 2 of 2Battlefield 4 review