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Games : Recommended
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Release Date: November 19th, 2013 Movie Release Year: 2013

Battlefield 4

Overview -

DICE aims to raise the bar with the latest installment of their first-person shooter, vehicular combat, team-based 'Battlefield' series as 'Battlefield 4' is brought to bear on five separate platforms. Without a spinoff or odd expansion in between the new game and 'Battlefield 3,' the pressure is higher than ever to deliver a next-generation playground of wonton destruction. That guy on the cover of the game half alit with orange- well he's ready, but are you?

Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
Release Date:
November 19th, 2013

Video Review


The Xbox One version of 'Battlefield 4' loses the resolution numbers game to both the PC and PS4, (720p Xbox One, 900p PS4) but high resolution isn't the game's main visual draw. Five minutes into the multiplayer with 64-player battles and 60 frames per second, and next-gen console players won't find themselves clamoring for the better version. They have it now.

What you will notice five minutes in, if you're the type to take occasional pause from the action, are the varying and encapsulating environments in each map. Paracel Storm's shifting horizons and visibility-altering weather effects bring home aspects of reality bolstered in every map by a surprising amount of destruction and interactivity. When Siege of Shanghai's skyscraper falls, you'll know not because of the earthquake that follows, but by the way the rest of the environment shifts in response as dust lingering in the air and the center of the map obliterated into rubble.

DICE's unbelievable attention to visual detail, marred only by launch-era bugs and glitches, keeps you sucked into these little worlds.

Audio Review


There are powerful weapons sparsely littered throughout the maps. Mostly these weapons are fun but ineffective to the outcome, but I'm mentioning them now for one reason. The .50 caliber sniper rifle is worth firing, not for the one-hit-kill, but for the thunder that emerges from your hands and warns the entire battlefield of the power wielded. Audio in the 'Battlefield' series can do this like no other, and 'Battlefield 4' is continuing that tradition. Guns roar outdoors and echo inside, these sounds all intelligently rendered with distance, location and surroundings in mind. You'll hear a helicopter's rotors emerge over a building, instilling fear or jubilation at the recognition of your foe or friend. Tanks creak over hills. Boats huff and puff through rough seas. The storm bellows as you fight to survive. This is award-winning stuff.

That said, the musical score comes across as a pair of dying subwoofers attempting to squirt out last year's hottest dubstep track. So there's that. While not totally unpleasant, there's nothing at all emotionally emergent or creative about the tunes, serving merely as a literal "amping up" of the single-player gameplay or a multiplayer match's end. Uninspired is the word.

Voice acting, headlined by Michael K. Williams of 'The Wire,' is surprisingly emotive at times. It's too bad the writing is so wrapped up in its own seriousness to be taken as such, hampered by a needlessly voiceless protagonist, though there are moments now and again along the campaign that make these characters feel like oddly optimistic buddies you might want to know.

The excellent disparity between the multiplayer and single player makes it clear; DICE should not even bother with the forgettable single-player. DICE is a multiplayer studio, and proves it again and again with every new 'Battlefield' release. The fourth core installment of the series is the biggest, most glorious realization of massive, vehicular warfare yet, and DICE has made some admirable strides with balance and destructibility. The maps deserve special praise. I would live in them if they weren't so dangerous and gratifyingly unpredictable. I'd take to the surf if an attack boat wasn't likely to shred me to pieces.

The marketing campaign around this game is about 'Battlefield' moments, and though I'm loathe to step in line with marketing, DICE and EA know exactly what makes this game work, sans the single-player campaign. On one side of the coin is childish, violent wonder. On the other is pure boredom. Happily, no one, not even DICE, really expects you to pay attention to the latter after a day. The former will take you months to explore. And then the DLC comes.

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