Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Game Review (Dragon's Teeth expansion for Battlefield 4)

After the previous pretty mediocre map pack, I was looking forward to Dragon's Teeth assuming it couldn't be worse than Naval Strike... as it turns out, I wasn't disappointed. Dragon's Teeth, of course, includes five trophies/achievements and four maps, along with a new game mode, five weapons, and two gadgets. As usual, I'll be sticking to reviewing the maps.

Lumphini Garden: Phenomenal infantry map. There's a bit of water that can be driven through with what I call the Ski-Doos, but there aren't any assault vehicles on Lumphini Garden, and the map doesn't need them. This map has quite a few distinguished places, including the city, construction, station, and pond areas. While I'm not too fond of the (in-conquest named) Facilities area of the map, hardly any map is perfect. That area of the map can see a good amount of gunfights, but it's a predictable "let's-camp-the-building" capture point. The rest of the map has a great aesthetic to it, and it also plays awesomely. A great start to Dragon's Teeth so far, and one of the best maps available in Battlefield 4, period. 4.5/5

Pearl Market: Another phenomenal infantry map. While Lumphini Garden lacks ground assault vehicles (what else am I gonna call them?), Pearl Market offers one per team, but they're super cumbersome and don't impact the way the map plays all that much. Anyway, I could type about Pearl Market for ages... I'm just super impressed with it, in a big way because it's finally a map where a player can use a PDW or shotgun effectively without being frustrated. While there are some large open street areas on Pearl Market, it's very simple to get around the map with a PDW or shotgun by running through buildings or on the roof tops. Yes, roof tops -- while it would sound like this would mean there's a ton of camping/sniping, I haven't had anything but nonstop action in my matches on Pearl Market. Another great example of a map that doesn't need tanks or helicopters to succeed in Battlefield. This is also one of my favorite maps available in Battlefield 4. 4.75/5

Propaganda: The map that I think was shown off the most prior to the pack's release, Propaganda's a rare white (snow) map in Battlefield 4. In a typical Battlefield map pack, this would be a very good map, I think, but when it's in the same pack as Lumphini Garden and Pearl Market, it doesn't quite stack up. Unlike the previous two maps, Propaganda does have tanks... though they don't influence the map in a huge way in most matches, mostly because they're a bit of a chore to maneuver outside of the main street through the middle of the map, though they can stray away. The middle street area of Propaganda feels as if it's there just so DICE had a reason to add tanks to the map, but they could have just done without the street entirely and excluded the tanks and the map may have been a bit more successful. Still, Propaganda is solid overall, despite the oft-dead street area of the map. 4/5

Sunken Dragon: Here's one I'm a bit stuck on because at times it can be a lot of fun, and other times the action just stops and the map feels boring. First of all, if you didn't already know, Sunken Dragon offers a Levolution much like Flood Zone, where water flows through the center of the map when triggered. Alright, been there, done that. That doesn't bother me as much as the fact that Sunken Dragon seems to really drag when you're in the center of the map on Conquest and the only way off is to swim across water. Since it's as isolated as it is, it's a bit difficult to get away without getting sniped by one of five or more enemy snipers. Besides that area of the map, most of Sunken Dragon is a blast. It's not a bad map at all, it's just that the rest of the map pack is better. 3.75/5

In a way, I'm disappointed. Not in Dragon's Teeth, but in pretty much knowing that the final map pack for Battlefield 4 can't be better than this one, as this is easily the best pack so far. Add in the insta-favorite Bulldog assault rifle as well as the already popular Deagle as unlockables, and you've got icing on your proverbial cake.


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