Monday, March 31, 2014

Game Review (Second Assault expansion for Battlefield 4)

Battlefield 4's second expansion is one that I figure people will take two sides on -- "I love it!" and "I hate it." It seems popular for FPSs to offer at least one map pack a year with maps from a previous game. Second Assault features four maps that were in 2011's Battlefield 3, but they feature DICE's new Frostbite 3 engine as well as a new look and feel. Also in this expansion, Capture the Flag is introduced to Battlefield 4, there are 11 assignments, 5 trophies/achievements, 5 weapons, and 2 vehicles. Since the majority of people will be buying expansions based on the maps included, that'll be what I focus on here.


Caspian Border: One of my personal favorites from Battlefield 3, Caspian Border is back and it's better than ever with some differences that I really like, though I do see why some people have a beef with it. Caspian Border 2014 seems more "border-esque", as there is now a giant concrete wall running through the map. It's awesome and all, but the Russian (I think? Well, one of the sides) faction has three flags on their side of the wall, putting the other team at an instant disadvantage in Conquest. Regardless of this confusing decision, this map is phenomenal. The huge wall in the middle of the map makes moving around the map interesting, there are scout posts on top of the wall, there's a new tunnel/sewer area, and plenty of new little things that likely makes this my favorite map from the pack, and one of my favorites in Battlefield 4. I realize that sounds sad, but come on... Battlefield 4's disc maps were reaaaally weak for the most part. I have to score this map a 4.5 -- I'd go higher, but the instant disadvantage on Conquest is a bummer. 4.5/5

Gulf of Oman: When this map was announced as a part of Second Assault, I remember seeing a lot of people asking "Why?" Personally, I really enjoyed this map in Battlefield 3 and thought it was incredibly underrated. What am I down about with Gulf of Oman 2014 though? The damn sand storm. It's the Levolution for this map, and while it's a fairly neat idea, it just doesn't work, for ME, for the simple fact that the sandstorm goes on, and on, and on. I think it would be better off to either have the sandstorm come once for less time, and come and go in short durations. Besides the sandstorm, Gulf of Oman 2014 looks essentially the same other than a graphical upgrade. This remains a fun map, but I like it a tick less than Battlefield 3's version just because of the length of the sandstorm. 3.75/5

Operation Firestorm: This is another map that I liked in Battlefield 3 that seemed to be disliked by quite a few players. In Operation Firestorm 2014, the map has a darker look to it, and I believe two new capture points on Conquest that are actually well placed and apparently thought out a good bit before just being added to the map. The Levolution for this map is, for all I know, fire. I don't know what has to be done because I haven't done it, but there are oil spills and fire for the map's Levolution, which makes traveling on foot a bit interesting. The thing about Operation Firestorm on Battlefield 3, at least on the 360, was that the map just looked bland. Operation Firestorm 2014 bumps up the graphics, and makes the game more fun (at least on Conquest) with new capture points. Another super fun map. I don't think many at all will agree with my scoring of this, but I couldn't give a shit! 4.5/5

Operation Metro: Ah... Battlefield 3's version of Call of Duty: Black Ops' Nuketown. The very definition of a love it or hate it map. Well, for me, it depends on the game mode. Conquest? This map is one of the worst experiences ever in an FPS. Rush? Intense, fun, and far less linear as Conquest. Not just that, you get to play on the first section of the map in Rush, which is one of my favorite parts about Operation Metro. The Levolution for Metro is that you can shoot supports that cause the ceiling to collapse on enemies. Nothing huge, but a fun little addition that makes the map a bit more interesting. I haven't gotten a chance to play this map much, unfortunately, just because it never seems to come up in Rush. I make it a point to play it if I see a server where Rush is being played on it though. 3.5/5 


And there you have it. Second Assault is worth shelling out the $15 for, if you don't have Premium. Caspian Border and Operation Firestorm are probably both different enough to please players who aren't into playing old maps, but Gulf of Oman and Operation Metro haven't changed all that much outside of a slightly different color palette and an improvement in graphics. Overall, this is a better expansion pack than China Rising, just because these maps felt more inspired in Battlefield 3, and more inspired here in Battlefield 4.


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