Taking place six years after the events from Battlefield 3, the fourth installment finds tensions between Russia and the United States reaching a boiling point. With such drastic changes in gameplay and story, could this game potentially be the one to knock Call Of Duty from the top spot?
Players find themselves in the role of Sgt. Daniel Recker, a member of a U.S. special operations squad call signed "Tombstone," having to put an end to the growing conflicts between Russia, China, and America. Along for the exhilarating ride are squad leader Staff Sgt. Dunn, second-in-command Staff Sgt. Kimble "Irish" Graves (voiced by Michael K. Williams), and Marine Combat Lifesaver Clayton "Pac" Pakowski.
DICE fulfilled its promise of creating a larger, well, battlefield for players to engage upon. As you engage in missions with more realistic looking vehicles, tackle foes inside larger (destructible) areas, and rely greatly upon teamwork to get the job done — the developer improves on everything that defined the series over the last few years through four game releases. While many would be eager to jump right into the 64-player multiplayer experience, Battlefield 4's single-player campaign is presented as a rich, visually stunning bout of combat, plot twists, and slow-motion explosions. It is a "thrill-a-moment" ride almost at every turn that strings blockbuster-esque scenarios from one mission to the next.
The scope of Battlefield 4 is immense with maps that span lengthy amount of areas, but things can get a bit repetitive throughout the gameplay. In terms of the single-player, there are times when you'll find yourself in large outdoor spaces filled with numerous assailants, all with varying weaponry. It wreaks of a "rinse-wash-and-repeat" formula, as you can find refillable ammo crates to take out baddies without having to move from a safe location. The fact that players can now utilize dual-scoped weapons, can "spot" targets, and use your comrades to flank, suppress or eliminate enemies helps to alleviate the monotony. Even with these flaws, Battlefield 4's campaign is leagues ahead of Battlefield 3's mooted military affair.
In terms of the much lauded multiplayer, there's excitement around every corner as players are engaged from the time you cross the bridge and onward. Buoyed by ten maps, Battlefield 4's modes offer "Conquest," "Domination," and "Rush," while adding two new ones called "Obliteration and Defuse," along with the traditional "Team Deathmatch" and "Squad Deathmatch". When, for example, you jump into the mixture with 63 other players who are all vying for control of Hainan Resort's five capture points — there's excitement all around. The same can be said for "Obliteration" mode, where you're in the thick of a battle where two teams fight to gain control of a bomb and use it to blow up three enemy positions.
Boasting conflict zones that can change in the blink of an eye, mobility allows to reshape the scope of battle through timely use of land, air, and sea vehicles. If you're able to handle the right vehicle, you can escape the chaos and turn the tide in your team's favor.
Regardless of the platform you chose to play Battlefield 4 on, the game is a thrilling endeavor in this current generation and the next. The single-player campaign makes strides and improvements upon the previous incarnation, but the supporting cast lacks a dynamic personality (think Battlefield: Bad Company 2) and drowns out certain moments with mundane dialogue. DICE made an ambitious step to create a team-based multiplayer, but it only masks the flaws exposed within the single-player. Every map does not work for every sort of player, which means the developer has a lot more work to put into the single-player campaign before it can seriously topple Call Of Duty from the throne.
Don't believe us? Well, take a look at the trailer for yourself:
Battlefield 4 is available today (Oct. 29) for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It will also be available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.