Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Game Review (Battlefield 4 - PS4)

-This review will cover only the multiplayer portion of Battlefield 4.-

I've had a strange relationship with the Battlefield series. I played some hours of it here and there on a handful of games (The first Bad Company, a bit of 2142 on PC, and Bad Company 2), but I tended to prefer Call of Duty to those games until I had Battlefield 3 for awhile. While the game never completely blew me away while playing it on 360 (Pretty mediocre graphics even at release, issues with lag, etc.), I logged about five days into that game and had fun nearly the whole time. After the announcement of Battlefield 4 and it being a launch title on next generation consoles, I knew I was going to skip the 360 version and just get Battlefield 4 with my PS4 at launch.

I can say that BF4 is a bit of a frustration. The core multiplayer itself feels better than ever with a silky 60fps and fantastic graphics, but there are countless little things (and bigger things) that irk me to no end. Here's a list.

1.) No more squadding up: The ability to create a squad before joining a match on Battlefield 3 was not only convenient, it was, in my opinion, necessary. Battlefield 4 does without this extremely useful tool (for whatever reason), requiring you and your friend(s) to all join a game together, switch teams if necessary, and then join the same squad. This could have been just a minor annoyance, but in Battlefield 4, it's actually a huge problem. Of the 7 hours or so that I've played Battlefield 4's multiplayer, I've only played maybe an hour with my friends. It's really frustrating to get into a game with your friends, play a couple matches, have a map that comes up that you don't want to play/just played, and feel obligated to play it again if you want to play together. This is something that could be patched in at a later date, but I see no reason at all why DICE had to remove such a helpful feature. It seems minor, but truthfully, this is one of my biggest knocks on the multiplayer as of today.

2.) You can't customize at the menu: What is THIS about? If you want to edit your classes, you need to join a game and do it. This is a nuisance for several reasons. First of all, and most cumbersome, it'd make the whole "no squadding up" thing a bit more easy to deal with, because it'd give players something to do in the mean time. Second, why would you want somebody in your game for 5 minutes or so taking up a spot but not playing because they're busy screwing with their classes? This is another asinine exclusion from DICE. Again, this could be patched in, but why was it ever excluded?

3.) Server crashing: This should have been number one of this was a top ten list, but it's not. The server crashing ruins the entire experience, especially if you want to play Conquest. For whatever reason, if you join a Conquest server, it tends to not work. If it DOES work, you almost instantly get disconnected. There's not much to say about the server issues, other than that DICE is working on fixing them right now. I'll never understand why these sorts of things can't be fixed before they even become a problem, especially given the notoriety of the Battlefield series and knowing how many players would be online at launch, but whatever. I just hope this is fixed as soon as possible. Like, you know... now.

Those are the three major issues I currently have with Battlefield 4 as of now. A more minor thing is that the maps on disc just don't impress me all that much. I feel like DICE wanted to put mediocre maps on disc, and then save the best ones for DLC. It's not to say that the whole list of maps in Battlefield 4 is a trainwreck, but Battlefield 3's were quite a bit better.

Now I'll actually talk about what's GOOD with Battlefield 4... so far I've talked it up to be an absolute bomb. Like I touched on, the game looks and feels great once you're actually in a game. Lag isn't an issue, and there is rarely -- if ever -- a dip in frame rate. Some adjustments have been made to classes (C4 off the bat for Recon gives more people a reason to use it), and Battlepacks keep things interesting. While I can see a lot of people hating the randomness of these packs/unlocks, I like the little twist it actually gives the game.

As much as I should hate this game given its horrendous launch, the game plays as well as (or maybe better than) I imagined. While the problems I explained NEED to be addressed, the core is very good, and I expect the game to play as it was meant to be played within a few weeks. For that reason, I'm rating this game based on what I believe it WILL be soon, rather than what I would rate it now (3.25/5).


No comments: