First Impressions: Battlefield 4
It's bugged beyond belief, but when it works it's classic Battlefield and so much more.
I've dabbled with the battlefield franchise and always liked what I'd played but never really gotten into the online side of things having primarily focussed on campaigns and having most friends playing on other consoles. Now we're all joint by the Playstation 4 and finally I can experience the true Battlefield gameplay.
Battlefield 4 on Playstation 4 is epic, the time I've spent with it so far hasn't been that long but it's been great. Having played a few rounds of conquest online alongside a fully functioning team of friends it really does prove it's place in the market and show why it really is different from Call Of Duty and it's run and gun tactic free gameplay. You're part of a much bigger picture, working as a team to take objectives and follow commands from your squad leader and then in turn team commander. Everything about the gameplay feels big the scale is unmatched and you always feel like an important cog in the bigger battle.
On the discussion of scale, Battlefield has always shone on it's depiction of huge arenas of combat accompanied by air, sea and land vehicles to add depth and dimension to it's gameplay. With Dice's newer frostbite engine giving even more impact to the action with enhanced destructible environments, you're always on your toes as your covers little more than a rocket or grenade blast away from vanishing. Battlefield 4 goes another step further with it's inclusion of the amazing 'Levolution' events that cause massive impact to edge map with dynamic environmental changes such as flooding which forces the team to adapt from a ground level battle upwards into buildings and onto their rooftops.
The 'Siege of Shanghai' map contains possibly the most excitingly orchestrated 'levolution' i've yet to see, with a key objective flag to capture in conquest being help atop a large central building. This building of course can be entirely destroyed, creating a massive collapse and bringing the objective to ground level in a massive cloud of debris and destruction that changes the face of the map and indeed the tactics your team must apply to take the objective.
That said amidst all the excitement and action Battlefield 4 online is littered with issues, whilst these aren't exclusive to Playstation 4 they are at times game crippling. Our team has suffered entire crashes mid game forcing us out, as well as menu lock ups and numerous other problems. Whilst it's clear the game may have gone gold a little too early to hit the next generation launch dates EA has promised that all of developer DICE's attentions are currently focussed on fixing these bugs and making this fantastic experience all the more fluid and enjoyable.
The single player thoroughly impresses, I don't often enjoy shooters and find campaigns have gotten really stagnant over the past few years after the heights of COD 4. But, whilst not exceptional, Battlefield 4's campaign mode is solid, looks absolutely stunning and is very enjoyable. It breaks no new ground, but little touches including improvements to the weapons selection system and the ever present scale that Battlefield is so renowned for really do make it a worthwhile part of an excellent package.
I recommend picking a copy up as soon as you can, this is a fantastic game and worth taking some time to get some friends involved and enjoy the full team feel, just be warned those bugs are frustrating.
Ben Corbett-Mills / @benleopards