Battlefield 4 is the latest chapter in the Battlefield series, published by EA and developed by DICE. Known for its grand scale MP game types and more emphasis on a more realistic combat gameplay then the more arcade style of other FPS franchises, Battlefield has always been an impressive FPS title to take online, but how does the Xbox 360 edition fair?
The Single player campaign begins with a prologue mission that sees the player’s character known as Recker, appearing trapped in a vehicle under water with fellow squad members Irish, Pac and Dunn. Handed a pistol by Dunn the squad leader who is trapped, the player must shoot out the window to enable the squad to swim to safety. With Irish protesting you must take aim at the window, and then following an onscreen RT prompt you fire and shatter the glass trigging a flashback to the first mission.
Set in Baku, Azerbaijan, the opening action plays out the events which lead to being in the car underwater. In a nice introduction to the playing style of Battlefield 4, as the player you are introduced to the rest of your squad as you all must escape Russian forces trying to prevent you from escaping with important intel. What strikes you is the size of the world in which the missions take place. Starting off inside an old school with no ammo, you are soon in an open fire fight across open land as you fight your way to the extraction point. The action is fast with up close battles and long range combat will keep the player on their toes. Nice set pieces will see helicopters play a part both in support as the player can spot enemy soldiers and call in the helicopter to take them out but also the enemy will send in their gunships, which dramatically changes the dynamic of the mission in a well choreographed and visually impressive set piece.
Successfully completing the prologue mission will set up the story which is told over the next 6 missions. Following an assassination attempt on Chinese president Jin Jie, Admiral Chang wants to use it to blame the US and trigger a War knowing that Russia will support Chang. As marshall law takes over China, you and fellow squad members Pac and Irish, forming Tombstone, are sent into Shanghai to rescue Chinese VIPs to help prevent the war.
Now 7 missions may not sound like much, but each level can take up to 20 or more minutes to complete and each will feature changing gameplay styles from FPS to vehicle use. The story is very mature with twists and turns, it is one of the best Single Player story campaigns I have played in many years of FPS playing and is good to see that once again a FPS game can have a solid Single Player campaign and a good Multiplayer experience to make it a total package in a title.
Visually it looks quite dull compared with previous Battlefield games but the engine is still impressive with a smooth and fluid transition from game play to a cut-scene which is all in game engine. Having seen how the game looks on Xbox One, it will certainly benefit from the additional power of next generation, but on 360 the game engine is still one of the best FPS visually and with superb audio effects for weapons and set pieces with great voice acting for all the characters made this 360 experience for Battlefield 4 really stand out amongst other game series available.
Of course the strongest aspect to any Battlefield title is the Multiplayer experience and Battlefield 4 is no exception to this. This time the scale of the action is much grander than previous titles. Returning is the now standard Battlefield Soldier class system; Assault, Recon, Engineer and Support.
Playing as each class will earn the player experience points which unlock gadgets, weapons and attachments. Picking the right class for the right game type and map is essential to victory on Battlefield 4 Multiplayer. I found myself using Engineer most of all and there is nothing more satisfying then using my repair tool to fix a squad’s vehicle, take out an enemy solder and then quickly switching to my Stinger rocket launcher to take out an enemy attack chopper.
Battlefield 4 comes with a great selection of game types which will appeal to whichever style of Battlefield you like to play.
- Conquest – Classic Battlefield match type; Large Scale warfare with infantry and vehicle use, aim to capture and hold objectives.
- Team Deathmatch – No Vehicles and close quarters combat.
- Obliteration – Medium Scale warfare; Both teams fight over possession of a bomb which they need to detonate enemy objectives.
- Rush – Medium scale warefare; Attackers Vs Defenders match type, with defending team protecting two objectives.
- Squad Deathmatch – 4 squads do battle in close quarters combat, most kills win.
- Domination – Close quarters combat, no vehicles; aim to capture and hold objectives.
- Defuse – Close Quarters combat; no redeploy option, no vehicles. Multiple quick rounds for Attackers Vs Defenders with one bomb and two objectives
For me, Obliteration stands out as my favourite mode online. It was fast and frantic with both teams of 12 battling to get hold of the bomb and then trying to reach the enemy objective to detonate it. Nothing quite like being in a vehicle with the bomb carrier trying to speed to the nearest enemy zone with enemy gunships and jets bearing down on you or being metres close to deploying the bomb only to be taken out at the last moment by an enemy sniper or infantry.
The modes of course need the right balance in map types and again, Battlefield 4 delivers with 3 types of map for large, medium and close quarter scale maps. Combined with the game types above the multiplayer offers so much choice for players. Battlefield 4 comes with ten maps to begin with, more maps will become available over time via the usual DLC of Map Packs:
- Siege of Shanghai
- Paracel Storm
- Operation Locker
- Flood Zone
- Golmud Railway
- Hainan Resort
- Lancang Dam
- Rogue Transmission
- Zavod 311
I got to play on Hainan Resort most and sadly there is a known issue of freezing issues on this particular map which can be frustrating when it hits if you have been happily playing matches for a while.
Overall for me, Battlefield 4 is a great FPS title which has made a welcome return to offering a solid Multiplayer experience but also giving a memorable Single Player campaign that will have you replaying the mission to get those missing collectibles and is a challenge for experience FPS players. Visually impressive with amazing audio, Battlefield 4 ticks a lot of boxes as an FPS fan and with Xbox One enhancing this experience even more with greater numbers of players online and more refined visuals, Battlefield 4 delivers for both current generation on Xbox 360 and will deliver a great next generation FPS experience on Xbox One.