Battle Field 4 (BF4) was released in North America on October, 29, 2013. However, the hype leading up to it had been building since the first trailer was made public at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June. BF4 is the latest generation of the game and looks to expand upon the success of its predecessors. To evaluate this first-person-shooter game, I will examine its graphics, game play, and – the bread and butter of this franchise – the multiplayer component.
The graphics in BF4 are, by far, some of the best ever produced in this first-person-shooter genre. For one thing, the new Xbox One and Play Station 4 have upgraded the graphics capabilities for all future games. On the new Xbox One, BF4 has stunning graphics that are true to life. The player experience using old and new technology is almost akin to that of watching black and white television versus colour. All games of similar genre have now been put to shame by the ways in which BF4 uses this latest technological advance.
By adding greater dimension and detail to all aspects of BF4, the player is immersed in a realistic combat scenario. Whether it is guns, grass, or gravel, everything is meticulously defined. Guns are texturalized adding to the realism and little details like the hammer on a pistol striking a bullet, makes the game that much more enjoyable.
Once again, BF4 has included their destructible environments in the game, a signature of the series. “Levelution”, a new concept introduced by the developers, refers to these environments and the different ways in which map/setting can change in the blink of an eye. For example, if an enemy team has captured a building and your team was unsuccessful in getting it back, you could use C4 or a tank to level it. Many of the maps in multiplayer also include weather. Weather, in BF4, plays a huge role when it comes to strategy. A flood can block pathways to a capture-point, or force you to swim to your destination. An earthquake can take down the building you are in and leads to your imminent death…the possibilities are endless.
Game-play in BF4 is sophisticated, fluid and easy to learn. The developers have really out done themselves when it comes to the realism. Unlike BF4’s competitor, Call of Duty, which requires little skill, BF4 forces players to use strategy, precision and communication with other teammates. Similarly, snipers in Call of Duty use simple point and shoot technology, as opposed to the complexity of factors that must be taken into consideration by the players of BF4. In the latter, wind, distance of target, the time the bullet takes to find its mark and the bullet’s ultimate target must all be calculated to be assured of success.
It states the obvious to say that individual and team tactics are of paramount importance in BF4. With a constantly changing environment, a team’s strategy must be responsive and flexible. If a team, for instance, sets its sights on establishing a building as its base, it must be prepared for anything, including having the roof collapsed by the enemy. Moreover, if you run out of ammunition, a teammate can share theirs; in fact, even if you die (or are about to die) your teammate has the capacity to revive you. Like most things, teamwork makes this easier.
The multiplayer function in BF4 has been overhauled from top to bottom. It is likely the most exciting change of the new game and it allows for amazing replay value. BF4 can support up to 64 players at a time and, using the incredibly authentic maps, the multiplayer element of the game is as real as it gets. Within multiplayer, there are several game modes that range from Conquest (supports the maximum number of players on a massive map) to Death-match (fought on smaller maps with up to 20 players). This adds interest and variety to the game. There is also a classification system that allows players to choose their role. They can be a scout/sniper, an engineer, an assault gunner, or a support class (light machine gunner). In addition, players can engage in vehicular warfare, either person on person, person against vehicle, or vehicle on vehicle. BF4 includes a wide range of vehicles, from F-22 Raptors, to common jeeps.
BF4 is by far one of the greatest first-person-shooter games of 2013. In fact, it may be the best such game of its time to date. The focus on greatly enhanced multiplayer functions, graphics, and game-play have all contributed to a challenging and authentic player experience. I give this game an enthusiastic 9.5 out of 10.