Today DICE has released a new Battlefield 4 for the Xbox One, with this update which raises the multiplayer’s maximum rank to 120 and more in the latest update.
Xbox One update – 10th March
Here are the release notes.
Several crash fixes and stability improvements
-Fixed an issue with data re-sending that was causing rubberbanding on some servers
-Increased the maximum rank to 120
-Fixed an issue with the kill camera triggering before game client would display the last portion of damage being dealt, giving players the impression that they died too early
-Fixed issue with blood effects, damage indicators, and health bar updates in the HUD being out of sync. This issue meant that players would sometimes miss information about being shot at, or get the impression of too few hits occurring for the amount of bullets that hit.
-Tweaked the speed, dispersion, and re-arm duration of the IFV and MBT projectiles
-Tweaked timing for how long the killfeed stays on screen
-Fixed an issue where the message “Joining Server” sometimes didn’t appear when the user tried to join the server
-Added default player slots to server browser filters
-Fix for an issue on Silk Road where players could deform the terrain to create a big, water-filled hole
-Fix for a bug that occurred with the end-of-round camera if the player was in the bomber in China Rising
-Fix for an issue on Rogue Transmission where it was impossible to capture a flag while riding the quad bike
-Prevented players from interacting with an M-Com on Siege of Shanghai after it had been destroyed
-Fixed an issue where audio for disarming M-Coms could get stuck in an infinite loop
-Added minimap details for missing carriers in Rush on Paracel Storm and Hainan Resort
-Fix for an exploit that would allow players to shoot two tank shells with not enough delay between shots
-Removed a bug where squads would get split up when transitioning between Conquest and Air Superiority
-Fixed an issue where Defuse could get stuck in an unplayable state between rounds
-Removed a bug that would cause players to sometimes get stuck in the killcam after having been killed
-Fixed an issue with revive icon not being greyed out in-game on map and minimap, when the player died after getting revived in Defuse
-General improvements and bug fixes for the Battledash and Mission create screens
-Fixed a bug where red laser dots would get stuck on textures
-Zoom dispersion fix. When zooming in while firing the dispersion did not lower to the new max value
-Fixed a bug where the enemy health always displayed as full in the kill-cam
-Fixed an issue in Defuse so killed bomb carrier can’t plant a bomb in the next round without picking up a new bomb
-The MAV has been updated to prevent players from exploiting it
-Improved repair rates for vehicles with different base healths
-Tweaked volume balance and other ambience parameters on the majority of base game and China Rising maps
-Improved the track vehicles wheel friction so vehicles don’t get stuck at relatively minor hills
-Fixed an issue with faulty zoom levels that occurred when using click to zoom in. While sprinting and zooming, will mess up the zoom levels, from hip to zoom.
-Improved boat physics and handling, including implementation of a system that lets players push stuck boats back in the water
-Added a chat feature, allowing spectators to take part of the chat of the match they’re spectating
-Fix for the EMP/Proxy Attack effects being visible in Spectator Mode
-Removed the black screen that was visible when switching between cameras and players in Spectator Mode
-Removed squad colors in Spectator Mode, now only the red and blue team colors are visible
-Decreased the user interface clutter in Spectator Mode by removing health pack, ammo pack and revive icons
-Tweaked the 1st person view in Spectator Mode so that spectators now see exactly what players see and nothing else
-Added a functionality in Spectator Mode so that, when going into Freecam from 1st or 3rd person mode, the first static freecam will be moved to behind the previously spectated player
-Added the possibility in Spectator Mode to ‘fire’ at a player from Freecam to go into 1st person view of that player
-Spectators can now see which player on the scoreboard that carries the bomb in the Obliteration and Defuse game modes
NOTE: For in-depth details on all the balancing tweaks below, head to our “Balancing BF4″ articles.
-Increased the number of M84 FLASHBANG and HAND FLARES the player can carry from 2 to 3.
-Increased the effect of M84 FLASHBANG grenades on friendly and enemy players.
-Increased the maximum damage for the RGO from 67 to 80, however reduced the range of explosion.
-Reduced the visual and audio effect for the detonation of the V40 Mini to highlight its smaller blast when compared to other grenades. Decreased the maximum damage from 80 to 60, and decreased the range at which maximum damage is applied.
-Increased the aimed accuracy of the M1911 to make it a viable choice once the COMPACT 45 has been unlocked.
-Increased the close range damage of the M1911, QSZ-92, FN57, CZ-75 and COMPACT 45.
-Reduced the delay between pressing the trigger and the bullet firing for the M412 REX and .44 MAGNUM.
-Increased the magazine capacity of the QSZ-92 to 20 rounds. Additionally reduced the recoil of the QSZ-92 to give it a clear difference from the FN57.
-Corrected a small error with the COMPACT 45 accuracy when crouched or prone.
-Increased the accuracy of pump action shotguns (870 MCS, HAWK 12g, SPAS-12, and UTS 15) while on the move and aiming.
-Reduced the long range damage of the MTAR to bring it in line with the rest of the Carbines.
-Adjusted the way inaccuracy is handled when transitioning from Hip fire to Aimed fire.
-The Heavy Barrel’s Accuracy bonus now also applies on the move, at a reduced bonus. This should give the Heavy Barrel a wider role for players who desire accuracy while aimed in all situations.
-Synchronized the timing of the aim down the sights animation of sniper rifles with their ability to fire with full accuracy. Players no longer need to wait for additional time after the aiming animation plays to get accurate shots. There is still a delay to achieve full accuracy, so Quick Scoping is still not possible.
-The SRS bolt action time has been tweaked and the rate of fire has been lowered
-The GOL bolt action time has been tweaked
-The muzzle velocity for the MP7 has been reduced
-The MTAR21 muzzle velocity has been reduced
-Updated the handling of the 1x scopes for Type95B1, A91, SteyrAug, SAR21, QBZ951, FAMAS, UTAS, MTAR, L85A2, and F2000
-Updated rate of fire for the RGP7 and NLAW
-Reduced the total amount of missiles carried by the Mobile Anti-Aircraft vehicles from 6 to 4.
-Reduced the velocity of the MAA’s default 20MM CANNON from 1200m/s to 800m/s to match the 30MM CANNON.
-Reduced the physical impact of all Anti-Aircraft missiles to prevent helicopters from flipping uncontrollably when hit. The damage values have not been changed.
-Reduced the cone in which ACTIVE RADAR missiles search for targets, making them require a higher level of skill in predicting where a target will be when the missile is fired.
-Increased the direct damage done by the Attack Helicopter’s gunner cannon. The gunner will be better able to assist the pilot in taking down vehicle targets with this change.
-Increased the direct hit damage of the Zuni Rockets for Attack Helicopters. The rate of fire of these rockets combined with their smaller magazine pool made them a poor choice over the other two rocket types.
-Reduced the splash damage and maximum splash damage range of the Scout Helicopter 25MM CANNONS.
-Reduced the “intelligence” of the MBT LAW missiles, requiring the player to aim the missile closer to their target before the smart projectile will activate. Additionally, the MBT LAW now reloads slightly slower. Finally, a bug where the MBT LAW would pass through an ACTIVE PROTECTION shield has been fixed.
-Fixed an issue where ACTIVE PROTECTION and the MP-APS did not properly stop 12G FRAG rounds.
-Reduced the range where the M2 SLAM will do maximum damage to vehicles from 6M to 3M. The range was deemed to be too large, making the M2 SLAM far superior to the M15 AT MINE.
-Reduced the damage the STAFF shell does to all targets by 25%. This should balance the ease of use of the STAFF shell with its damage potential.
EA has detailed the recently confirmed Titanfall season pass. The Season pass for Titanfall will provide access to three planned DLC packs, each of which will contain new maps. The other content from the season pass is still to be determined and will be announced closer to release, according to a season pass FAQ.
Below is the FAQ from the site, with questions and answers for you to look at:
- Where can I buy the Season Pass for Xbox One, PC or Xbox 360? – You can purchase the Titanfall Season Pass at participating retailers beginning on March 11th for Xbox One and March 25th for Xbox 360. You can purchase the Season Pass for PC via Origin starting today! Full details for the PC season Pass can be found here: https://www.origin.com/store/buy/titanfall/pc-download/addon/titanfall-season-pass
- Is the Titanfall Digital Deluxe available on Xbox Games Store? – The Titanfall Digital Deluxe offer is only available for PC and can be purchased on Origin here: https://www.origin.com/store/buy/titanfall/pc-download/base-game/digital-deluxe-edition
- What content is included within the Season Pass. – Each content pack will contain new Maps. All other content is still to be determined and will be announced as we get closer to their release.
- Where can I buy the Titanfall Digital Deluxe? – You can purchase the Digital Deluxe Edition of Titanfall here:https://www.origin.com/store/buy/titanfall/pc-download/base-game/digital-deluxe-edition
- Will the Titanfall content packs be available individually? – Each Titanfall content pack will be available for individual purchase upon their release. You will not be required to purchase the Season Pass.
- Will my Season Pass provide content for both Xbox One and Xbox 360? – The Titanfall Season Pass will only provide you access for content for the platform your purchase it for. If you purchase the Season Pass for Xbox One, it will allow you access to the 3 individual content packs for Xbox One only.
The season pass is priced at $24.99 in North America, offering a $5 saving when compared to buying the three packs individually and £19.99 in the UK. The PC version of the season pass is available to purchase now and costs £19.99 in the UK.
Titanfall users will be able to purchase the Titanfall season pass at participating retailers from 11th March for Xbox One and 25th March for Xbox 360.
For Origin PC gamers, EA has also confirmed a Titanfall Digital Deluxe pack including both Titanfall and the season pass for £59.99/$79.99.
During a interview with Gamespot Respawn Entertainment co-founder Vince Zampella, confirmed the plans to launch a mixture of free and paid DLC with a season pass.
“There will be some paid DLC,” he said. “We’re going to do a season pass just because if you buy it up front, it’s a deal. We’re not going to do microtransactions. You just buy it up front, and you get a better price.
“We’re also going to do free updates. There are things that we want in the game that we didn’t get to ship in the final game. So we’ll add private matches and things like that for free.”
With only a few days before releasing the PC and Xbox One Titanfall release date of 1th March, 2014 in North America and 13th March in Europe and the 14th March for the UK. The Xbox 360 version, which is being handled by Bluepoint Games, was recently delayed until 25th March in the US and 28th March in Europe.
I’m that guy who always knew about the Plants Vs Zombies games and never really bothered to play any of them. Knowing fully well what type of tower defence genre game it was I chose to stay clear of those types that stress me out when under pressure. I guess it’s the feeling of being rushed into making decisions whilst the enemies pile up on top of your defences as I begin to get a sweat on. As I furiously click the mouse, usually missing the target due to my palm now covered in hand sweat making the mouse slippery I make mistakes and let out a over dramatic sigh. So hearing that there was another PvZ game didn’t even trigger off any excitement. I couldn’t have been any more wrong and is perfect example for why we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.
I’ll be honest with you, this game being released just under 2 weeks prior to Microsoft’s other big anticipated game Titanfall sounded like a suicide mission and I didn’t expect it to be anywhere near a fun. After playing for less that 15 minutes across 2 different game modes I ate my words and would happily say Garden Warfare is currently the best game I’ve played on the Xbox One and even pushed me to thinking that it’s a close contender compared to what I’ve played from Titanfall. Yes, it’s still a tower defence game in ways and does feature customisable characters but what exactly makes this Plants Vs Zombies game so enjoyable?
So this spinoff outing isn’t the usual: plant your flowers on the garden to the left and fend off the zombies coming to invade from the right anymore. Garden Warfare is a third person shooter which is a play on the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare title. The game revolves around 3 different game modes which are available to play all online or local co-op. ‘Garden Ops’ mode is the closest mode to the original game where you and you team get dropped off onto a map and you choose 1 of 3 bases to start at. Being Plants Vs Zombies it’s actually named a garden as opposed to base but you get the idea. This Plants-only playable mode then throws waves of Zombies at you whilst you fight them off planting turrets, or green peashooters to keep in with the theme, and healing sunflowers nearby to build up your base. Survive to wave 10 and you’d have fought off various boss zombies that require true team work to take down before being whisked away if you make it back to the pickup zone.
‘Gardens & Graveyards’ mode is similar to anyone that’s played the Rush mode in Battlefield. In this game you can play as the plants who starts with a base they have to defend against the human opponents playing the zombies. The aim is to defend that base but if it’s compromised you have to move to another base to defend as the map opens up. In total the Zombies have to destroy all 7 bases to win this mode which usually is pretty tough if you’re not a team player.
‘Team Vanquish’ is the only game mode that is probably the most relatable to most online players. Vanquish means Team Deathmatch where each side fights to 50 kills. Even though this mode doesn’t feature any bases to attackor defend it still is a fun mode to play with friends and even learn what some of the characters can do without worrying about playing the objective.
Anyone well acquainted with the game franchise will already know the various characters from this game. In the Plants side you have the Peashooter, Chomper, Sunflower and Cactus. The peashooter is your foot solider who’s quick with the ability to throw a bomb and even briefly transform into a stationary ‘Pea Gatling’ gun. The Chomper looks like a Venus fly trap and only deals in melee attacks with the ability to burrow under the surface before dealing a one hit kill attack swallowing the enemy whole. The Sunflower plays like a medic with a heal beam and can even root itself into the ground and fire the Sunbeam toasting zombies in sight. The Cactus has the more strategic role with a longer ranged weapon, deployable mines, portable ‘Tallnut Battlement’ walls for defence and a drone which you must manually fly and shoot with.
The Zombies team consists of it’s own Foot Soldier, Engineer, Scientist and All-Star characters. The Foot Solider is strapped with a rocket launcher on it’s back that allows it to rocket jump as one of the abilities as well as fire at opponents. The Engineer is armed with a disorientating Sonic grenade as well as the zombie version of the remote drone. The Scientist has a triple barrelled gun and has the unique ability to warp at short distances to confuse the enemies. He can lay down a Zombie Heal Station similar to the Sunflower’s Heal Flower drop and looks pretty cool with his customisable options. The All-Star is your heavy class that has a light machine gun-like American football launcher with the ability to charge forward sending opponents flying and can deploy a Dummy Shield to hide behind when things get heated.
Both sides have characters which you can customise the appearance of, from changing the weapon skins to adding face paint to. You can purchase more accessories, hats and other power ups through the in game Sticker Shop which will reward you with random goodies and rarer ones if you save up enough coins. Anyone that collected stickers in real life will see how fun it is filling out your profile’s sticker book. As a gamer I can see this easily becoming the micro-transaction way into this game for players that can’t be bothered to grind for the more expensive packs. Luckily, Garden Warfare allows you to face opponents at a higher skill level and still have a chance in beating them with the great balancing work they’ve put into the classes.
My love for this game comes from not expecting much and then having all my expectations met and bettered. With nods to other shooters on the current market and taking what works from such games a Gears of War’s horde mode and mixing in Battlefield’s fixed classes with slight alterations that doesn’t unbalance your loadout, what’s not to love? I can see the appeal for parents happily buying their kids this game with comic violence and not feeling guilty or worried. I can see myself returning to this game frequently to tackle the Garden Ops mode on harder difficulties for a replayable challenge. And with a Boss Mode where you can take to the skies and support your troops by dropping an airstrike, healing stations and the option even resurrect fallen team mates, a mode that has tried and failed this in other games.
Watch the launch trailer for Titanfall, Stand by for you Titans, Crafted by key developers behind the CALL OF DUTY franchise, Titanfall is the first next-gen shooter that combines fluid wall-running, double-jumping action with powerful, fast-paced titan warfare to set the new bar for online multiplayer gameplay.
Titanfall is winning over fans with its thrilling, dynamic first-person action gameplay featuring elite assault pilots and agile, heavily-armored, 24-foot titans.
To celebrate today’s launch of Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare, the action-packed multiplayer shooter that puts players in the shoes – or roots – of their favourite characters from the popular Plants vs. Zombies franchise, two zombies from the game took a day out of frightening the local flora and hit the streets of London to grapple with the Capital.
From Buckingham Palace to M-aaarrrgh-ble Arch, the zombies brought their very special brand of weirdness to London’s most popular sights. Whether trying to navigate the pitfalls of the tube or taking on some Covent Garden Warfare, the city will never be the same again!
Those Zombies do get about:
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare is available now on Xbox One and Xbox 360.
And don’t forget to check out our Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare interview – or we will send the Zombies round!
Today Dice and EA have released DICE new Battlefield 4 patches for the PC and Xbox One versions of the game. Also DICE plans to roll out the first part of the pre game lobby feature ‘Platoons’ on Tomorrow 27th, February. But unlike many of the modern multiplayer shooters which feature pre game lobby systems, but will Battlefield 4 offers no way for players to group up in-game before joining matches, making it difficult for friends to stick together. Dice and EA hoping the Platoons will fix the problem with group of friends play Battlefield 4 together.
Feb 25 PC game update notes
- Fix for the so called “sound loop crash” issue that caused the game to freeze
- Fix for an issue that sometimes prevented players from shooting while in the gunner position of a vehicle
- Fix for the headshot icon appearing incorrectly at non-headshot deaths, such as suicide or dying of an explosion
- General stability improvements
- General stability and performance improvements
- Fix for an issue that caused the sky/fog to be either too bright or too dark when Mantle was used
- Added on-screen video memory utilization statistics with “Render.DrawScreenInfo”
Feb 25 Xbox One game update notes
- Fix for an issue where spawning into, or switching to, a gunner seat in an IFV/MBT sometimes could cause the game to crash
- Fix for a crash that could occur when signing out as an active user
- Fix for missing sound in Team/Squad Deathmatch
- Fix for an issue in the Defuse game mode, where a bomb carrier would be permanently spotted
- Decreased the rate at which the kill card would incorrectly display 0 health, while the enemy was clearly alive
- Fix for an invisible wall that was incorrectly present in one of the fallen concrete pipes on Zavod 311
- Fix for an issue where bullet impact sounds weren’t properly matching the actual number of impacts, causing the players to feel that they died too quickly.
- Fix for an issue where the “Draw” message would not display on-screen once a Conquest round ended with both teams having the same amount of tickets
- Fix for an issue where long IDs wouldn’t scroll on dog tags
- Fix for missing grass physics in terrain
- Fix for an issue that would appear if a 10 users party would join a game with 8 available slots, leaving 2 of the players stuck on the loading screen
- Fix for an issue where the player camera would be positioned inside of the soldier when parachute spawning
- Fix for a MAV exploit that let players reach various out-of-map locations
Starting this Friday (28th February) Xbox One in the UK , will get a new UK estimated retail price (ERP) of Xbox One will be £399.99/€499.99, and only after 90 plus days from launch. Xbox One including Titanfall will also be available for pre-order from today at the same price of £399.99/€499.99.
Harvey Eagle, Marketing Director, Xbox UK said: “At Xbox, we believe there’s never been a better time to join the new console generation. To help our fans do just that, Xbox One will be available at the new UK estimated retail price (ERP) of £399.99 from this Friday 28th February. And while supplies last, fans will also get Titanfall – the most anticipated game of the year – included in the box.”
The Titanfall offer comes with special edition Titanfall packaging and includes an Xbox One console, Kinect sensor, standard Xbox One wireless controller, standard Xbox One Chat Headset, one month of Xbox Live Gold membership and a digital copy of Titanfall from Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts.
Customers can pre-order the Xbox One Titanfall offer from today via http://www.xbox.com/titanfallbundle
At the moment the price is only for the UK but who knows what may happen in the future from Microsoft.
Deafening crowd roars, rippling shirts and more animations than you can shake a goal post at. Fifa 14 on the PS4 is here; due to the lack of a competitor, can it cement it’s victory by default by showing us what a multiplatform, next generation experience can do?
It’s not long before you’re dumped into a match with names synonymous with football greatness. Instantly, the ‘production values’ are noticeably high, the pre-match intro screams broadcast, stadiums are fully realised with crowds that not only have actual depth but are placed in the correct stands. Fans will roar at each other and fill the stadium with opposing chants, ball boys will occasionally over eagerly help out and throw an extra ball on the field and throw-ins take place in cut-scene free, real time. Ball physics have improved over previous iterations, no longer does a wayward ball guarantee the opposition gains possession. Small, inconsequential animations such as rolling your feet over the ball happen automatically; though they have no real world effect, they all add to the overall impression of detail.
Pace isn’t the most important stat anymore, stronger players have a much higher capacity to fend off others whilst keeping the ball. Passing works well, if not with the immediacy you might expect, occasionally players might take an extra touch before offloading to a teammate which can be frustrating. Players can make ordered runs into space to receive an all to often, defence splitting, through ball. Headers are generally hit and miss, with at times attackers managing dubious feats one minute and the next, not even bothering to jump. Defending, once you’ve sussed it out, is a matter of pressing the attackers whilst keeping your formation intact, it’s just a pity it’s not explained very well.
Whilst the skill games are fairly intuitive and there is a practice mode to hone your set piece plays, the lack of a basic tutorial is rather baffling. Unlike previous iterations in the Fifa universe, you’ll struggle getting past the most basic defender in a one on one scenario. The AI can be infuriatingly adept at closing the distance and putting some serious pressure on the attacker. However, as usual, they’re incredibly susceptible to a not-to-well placed through ball. Fortunately for all the people that are either new, or have taken a break, difficulty can be tailored to your needs, as along with the several standard levels, there are also customisable tweaks to configure should you wish.
Despite the initial settings offer great playability as standard, you can also adjust the player and AI settings to create a tailored playstyle to suit you. The sliders can be adjusted to make differences as subtle or ostentatious as you like. Everything from the likelihood of wayward passes to the width of defenders and their ability to push up the wings can be altered to increase the believability of the game. Simply playing around with the sliders can yield trial and error results, yet there are many tutorials on the internet explaining what each of the somewhat vaguely named bars do; along with setups to create an altogether different feeling game.
In the past, Fifa launch titles have, on occasion, been a little lacklustre. Fifa 14 has made up the difference this time however. Despite lacking a local coop career mode and the bewildering occlusion of a tournament mode on the PS4 and Xbox One, other great things have taken their place. An all new engine bespoke for the next gen has been implemented along with new, more varied animations. Player collisions and rather their abilities to avoid collisions are spruced up and manage to wow in slow motion replays.
Ultimate Team has of course returned with an all new mechanic that rewards synergy with teammates. When considering your starting line-up, it may be best to swap a few players around to get the most potential out of your squad. For example, players who are of the same nationality, or even play for the same league team should be placed adjacent to one another to reap more of a benefit. Balancing this along with giving players their preferred role can become quite tactical, fortunately, there is an indicator bar that will show you how effective you’ve been. Another positive is that Ultimate Team will transfer across the console generation should you decide to upgrade.
The one major criticism I have of Fifa 14, is the complete lack of engagement if you are offline. The career mode, outside of playing matches is devoid of any personality, there are no press interviews or training games, just the arbitrary managerial decisions that dictate whether or not you’ll participate in the next match or not without any explanation regarding the outcome. The cycling news ticker that often highlights interesting posts to read, usually opens a list of unrelated topics, so when you do decide to click on an article you actually want to read, you must manually find it instead of it opening outright.
Presentation across the board is high if not sometimes unnecessary, the graphics and player animations due to the newly developed Ignite engine are fantastic; especially considering it’s release on pretty much every console you can think of. Team rosters and licences are of the usual upmost quality, even if the eyes of some players posses a certain haunt-like quality. The main menu is a little over done however, a slew of content is strewn somewhat haphazardly across a few pages in a Windows 8 style, with many tiles being links to online portions of the game.
Some singleplayer frustrations keep Fifa from becoming all it could be. Matches flow with purpose, beauty and poise yet the immersion values of being offline are too low. Without an online connection, you’ll be missing out on some of the better parts of Fifa 14: Ultimate Team and generally playing against other humans enthrals such a different experience, even if you do get thrashed game after game!
Get your fingers ready you can now sign up for the Titanfall beta for both the PC and Xbox One version of the game.
Completing the registration doesn’t guarantee access into the beta, but the developer says all applicants will be eligible to join, including those who haven’t pre-ordered the title.
Sign ups will close on 17th February, the Beta invites will start to arrive on 14th Feb and will continue to arrive no later than 11:59 PM PST on 17th February, and those who have been selected will be notified by EA via email with instructions on how to access the game.
Good luck to you all.
Last night on twitter the Titanfall’s minimum PC specs was revealed by Respawn co-founder the one and only Vince Zampella.
Via the post on Twitter, Vince Zampella explained that the game would be playable on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, would require either a Radeon HD 4770 or GeForce 8800GT graphics card, and needs at least 4GB of RAM.
Also PC users would need an Origin account to access the game.
Award winning multiplayer, disappointingly mundane singleplayer and a large number of necessary patches. EA and Dice ported Battlefield 4 onto the next generation of consoles with a veritable plethora of bugs, crashes, instabilities and many a vicious forum. Now that the dust of war has settled around everyone’s feet, let’s see how it holds up now that most of the issues have been addressed.
Having not been an enormous fan of Battlefield 4’s singleplayer experience on the last gen, due to it’s largely uneventful and predictable plot it still managed to surprise me how much power they squeezed out of the PS3 and Xbox 360. It looked fantastic, lighting and explosions were almost no match for the infamous Battlefield audio effects; crackling, recoil heavy gunfire only surpassed by the oxymoronic clear thud of a grenades impact. Whilst the overall effect on PS3 felt muted by dull colours, some bland textures, somewhat stiff facial and character animations, the PS4’s brute strength gives it that attention to detail that was sorely missed before. From a distance it’s better, up close it’s a different game.
It’s still a shame to see, for a series so well established in creating huge, open maps, the single player portions being choked down narrow corridors and funnelled through non-interactive areas of the map. The only time you do get to stretch your legs, is ironically, the tank piloting section, of which you can do yourself a favour/disadvantage and hotfoot it across open terrain with a palm full of C4, grimacing and hoping the AI doesn’t decide to insta-kill you. An interesting alternative would be to completely restructure the way missions are done, and set it in an open world environment, letting you drive to missions or request air support for cover or extraction. It may never work, but the way first person shooters are headed now, they’ll be no discernable reason to include single player anymore; despite their shortcomings, would be a very sad day.
For better or worse, Battlefield relies upon it’s multiplayer to captivate and conquer the masses. Whilst there isn’t a world of difference between the singleplayer portions on both current and last gen, the multiplayer is where the shock and awe lies. Gone are the days of scoping in, squinting, deciding ‘it’s just a rock’, only to get sniped in the back by an indistinguishable pebble. Gone are the days of low player counts, awful grass textures and sea that looks like wobbly concrete. Here are the days that bring eye popping hurricanes, 64 player matches, high frame rates and sea so choppy you’ll need a pocket full of Fisherman’s Friends.
The difference in fidelity between PS3 and PS4 is astounding, just loading up the test range gives you an idea in quality difference. No longer do maps feel barren and like a wasteland, scores of vehicles roar towards each other, battles include numbers of tanks that when spotted, feel intimidating for the lowly engineer. Before, seeing a tank slowly meandering it’s way towards you looked like free points, now, with a dominating team, a squadron of armour with accompanying air support looks like hell.
Returning to Battlefield 4 is the often intimidating, always cool, commander mode, downloadable on tablets for both Android and Apple it let’s you take the hotseat and see how much of a pretend commander badass you really are. Organising UAV’s, supply drops and countering enemy intelligence is all par for the fast paced course. Whilst difficult to get into, there are plenty of tutorials out there to help you get organising your platoon in a timely fashion. Just don’t expect people to always listen to you…
The connection, considering the potential 64 player mayhem on maps so large it embarrasses other shooters, is very good. Although, taking into account the mostly aggressive recoil, destructible environments and huge verticality, knowing whether or not you’ve been diddled a few bullets would be difficult at the best of times. I would still like to see a first person killcam for those incredulous moments when you just don’t have a clue what happened however.
Many of the issues that plagued both the last gen release and the pre-patch release of Battlefield 4 on PS4 still fundamentally haunt my experience. Fortunately, the list of improvements is ever expanding, as is the content being offered via DLC. Whilst other multi-platform games offer little other than a graphical overhaul, Battlefield adds more players, larger, more detailed maps and the true Battlefield experience.
Reviewed on PS4, also available on Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
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