Battlefield 4 takes place in 2020 and introduces a very cold war-like setting between China and the U.S.A. Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, seeks to overthrow the Chinese Government with the hopes of gaining the support of the Russian army.
You are SGT. Recker, the leader of a squad called Tombstone which is periodically joined by other characters; some minor and some major. This instalment included some simple but exciting new features such as selecting the mode of fire on your weapon. The player can choose between ‘single’, ‘burst’ and ‘automatic’ fire modes depending on the weapon selected. Each mission allows you to change your load-out at several points throughout the mission which is a fantastic feature. It allows the player to give themselves the best advantage in the battlefield or select weapons that will help towards that much wanted achievement or trophy. Another great feature is having command of your squad and occasionally some pretty bad-ass vehicles. This feature allows the player to decide which enemies the squad will attack. This not only helps the player because there are less enemies to worry about but also because they are then highlighted on the map; making them easy targets. However, this feature can become a pain for any player attempting to maximise points as commanding them to kill enemies will half your score but leaving them to do nothing will let them attack whom they please; which can be just as frustrating. One feature I was disappointed not to find in this Battlefield instalment was the lack of vehicles you can use in the single player campaign. 90% of the time you are on foot or on a vehicle during a cutscene; how thrilling…
Despite this, there is a wide selection of vehicles to use in online play but that doesn’t change the fact that the developers didn’t fully cater for those that only enjoy offline play.
For players that play the game in the hope to unlock all of the achievements/trophies, they will be massively disappointed as this game features the most achievement/trophy bugs I have ever encountered. Myself and many players played through the campaign several times in order to meet the requirements for these achievements and trophies but have been unsuccessful. Not because they are too difficult, if anything the game lacks in providing a challenge for the player. The achievements and trophies simply just do not unlock, despite the player meeting all requirements for it. After extensive research I discovered that there is no known way to unlock some of the biggest and most time consuming achievements/trophies. For some they unlocked when they were supposed to, others, completely randomly whilst carrying out unrelated tasks and for some, not at all. This is a big flaw in the game that goes hand-in-hand with the large list of glitches that appear in the single player campaign and online. At one point during the campaign I ran ahead of my squad and noticed a dark void where an elevator door should have been. Out of pure curiosity I walked through it and landed in a world of what looked like black ice. As cool as this sounds, it was just unrendered ‘no mans land’ beneath the map which shortly resulted in me having to restart the checkpoint. Due to the fact I played this on the last generation console I am unable to tell if these are problems on the Xbox One and Playstation 4 but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are.
As mentioned before, the difficulty of this game is definitely questionable. The difficulty doesn’t originate from what you select in the main menu but how many times you have to play through in order to unlock achievements/trophies. Yes the enemies are slightly tougher and inflict more damage but you can pretty much sit back and watch your squad do the work. The hardest difficulty is a breeze compared to most modern shooters.
However, some plus sides, the campaign is fairly gripping and excitable…the first time around at least. As usual the diversity of realistic weapon sounds is almost spot on. The noise of a weapon firing will immediately change as you cross the threshold of a new environment, giving you a slightly more realistic feel. The visuals are impressive considering I played the game on the last generation and the mission assignments created an enjoyable arcade-like gameplay for the player.
A promising game that felt rather rushed and didn’t deliver the experience it could of produced had more time been spent on it.