‘Battlefield 4’ is a great installment in the series

by Jordan Pollock

It seems as if it were yesterday that we were booting up our consoles and PCs and loading them with “Battlefield 3.” But alas, that was two long years ago. The good news, however, is that we have a brand new “Battlefield” game to sink tens of thousands of hours into.

Normally there was a good stretch of years between “Battlefield” games. But in the case of “Battlefield 4,” it only took developer EA Digital Illusions CE two years to make it. So let’s see how it did.

There are spoilers below.

The story for “Battlefield 4” brings nothing too amazing to the table. It’s a pretty standard first-person shooter story. You play as Sgt. Recker of the U.S. Marine Corps, and as a Marine you and your squad are tasked with increasingly dangerous and nearly suicidal missions. This is, of course, because you are a part of the only squad that can actually get things done in the game. Sure, the emphasis of “Battlefield 4” is that you and your squad should work together to get things done, but when you and only three other people are the only people competent enough to turn the tide of a war, something must be going wrong in the military.

Granted, since you’re stuck with your squad through all seven levels of the campaign, you’d think you would at least grow to like them and care about them, right? Well, unfortunately you’re never really given a chance to get attached to any of them. The levels go by too fast and there aren’t even enough levels to begin with. Full disclosure: At the end of the game, you have to make a decision that changes virtually nothing about the way the game ends. Again, if the story was better, it might elicit some kind of emotional response. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.

The real saving grace of “Battlefield 4” is the online multiplayer. It truly is the greatest part of the game, and really the only reason to play the fourth part of the series. With the advent of the next generation consoles, “Battlefield 4” achieves some semblance of what PC gamers have been experiencing for years. In the “Battlefield” multiplayer staple “Conquest,” players are treated to a 64-man match with tanks, ships, planes, helicopters and other vehicles accessible to anyone willing to pilot them. At some level, as the battle gathers steam and becomes more chaotic, the maps slowly begin to morph from user-generated explosions, gunshots and even natural disasters. Other modes include “Rush,” which tasks one team with destroying two bases that are situated deep within the defensive team’s territory. But when those two points are destroyed, the map is opened up and an additional two points become available to be defended or destroyed. The match continues like this until either the defending team can dwindle the attacking teams respawn counter to zero, or the attacking team destroys all the bases. Of course, there’s always “Team Death Match,” “Obliteration,” “Capture the Flag” and a few others.

A Word from the Writer

I’m going to take a moment and explain a “Battlefield” moment that happened to me. I was playing a “Conquest” match on a map called “Golmud Railway” that has an actively moving train as a capture point. My team had a gunship flying above the map and was laying death from above on the opposing team. I spawned inside of the gunship and helped shoot at opposing ground vehicles.

Unfortunately, the other team had some good fighter jet pilots that were about to bring the gunship down. I decided to bail out at the last second. As I began free falling, I heard the gunship explode above me as a jet streaked by. I fell fast toward the earth, pulled my parachute and landed safely behind capture point B. I noticed a sniper standing on a nearby house, but he hadn’t noticed me yet. I ran inside the building and found his radio beacon that enabled him and his squad to spawn wherever it was placed. Instead of destroying it, I decided to run upstairs and take out the sniper. When I got to the top floor, however, I realized the sniper had a bodyguard.

Luckily for me, he wasn’t paying attention and I was able to run up to him and perform a melee kill. The sniper met the same fate. After that, I ran back downstairs to the radio beacon just in time to perform a melee kill on the sniper and two of his squad mates as they spawned. Then I proceeded to destroy the beacon, and rush back outside to help my team capture point B. While out there, I threw some C-4 onto a tank and destroyed it just as an enemy hit me with an all-terrain vehicle. Things like this only happen in “Battlefield.”

“Battlefield 4” is a fantastic entry into the “Battlefield” series. Though it may be hampered by a forgettable plotline, the multiplayer aspect is second to none. Although it should be noted that “Battlefield 4” doesn’t look great on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, whereas the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC versions deliver amazing experiences. This isn’t to say you can’t have as much fun on last gen consoles, but after playing on the next gen, it’s way too hard to go back.

Also read: PlayStation 4 is fun, but lacks games

Photo courtesy of MCT