Battlefield 4 is available to buy now on both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Thisisxbox previously reviewed EA’s latest entry in the blockbuster Battlefield franchise for the Xbox 360 which has an identical campaign story – and if you haven’t spotted it previously, we also covered the accompanying hardback titled: The Art of Battlefield 4, which will open your eyes to the artists viewpoint of the game using concepts and visual designs.
As Thisisxbox’s Sean McCarthy covered, 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.
Successfully completing the prologue mission will set up the story which is told over the next six 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.
Set in Baku, Azerbaijan, the opening mission following the prologue plays out the events which lead to being in the car underwater. In a nice introduction to the playing style of Battlefield 4, you are introduced to the rest of your squad as you must all 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 to keep you on your toes. Nice set-pieces will see helicopters play a part both in support as the player can spot enemy soldiers as well as call in the helicopter to take them out, but also the enemy will send in their gunship’s which dramatically changes the dynamic of the mission in a well choreographed and visually impressive set piece.
Now, seven missions all in all 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 and is a solid campaign experience. The campaign itself may be somewhat shorter than previous Battlefield titles, but the level of detail and high intensity fire fights across a varied amount of external and internal environments doesn’t make you feel as though you need more. It’s a great balance to make the story play as though it wasn’t unnecessarily stretched, but you’ve encountered enough action packed scenes through each chapter to get a decent feeling of completion. As the longevity of the most popular first-person-shooters is all about Multiplayer – Battlefield 4 doesn’t disappoint there either offering up a range of new gameplay modes across some truly stunning, next-gen highly detailed maps (ten before extra DLC) to keep you shooting away for many months to come.
Although the campaign was great, albeit a little shorter than what you’re used to from first person shooters it was an enjoyable, memorable experience that does offer re-playability if you’re wanting to hunt out all the collectibles. You do not really buy Battlefield just for the campaign do you?
Moving on to the Multiplayer, Soldier classes – Assault, Recon, Engineer and Support, make their welcomed return where playing as each will once again earn you experience points to further unlock gadgets, weapons and extra weapon attachments. Classes do ensure that team work is supported due to each class having their relevant support in the match to aid other players whether you like it or not, and compared to previous titles, classes in Battlefield 4 now have more variation. Engineer’s for instance offer up more aggressive forms of anti-vehicle usage where as Support class has much more offensive weapons than before. The Recon class has the much needed mobility boost to allow for better movement with better re-balanced sniper rifles to support your team from behind enemy lines – and finally Assault allows you to be the main lead run and gunner whilst doubling up as a Medic to aid downed team mates.
All classes can be applied to all of the game play modes which are listed below:
- 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
Battlelog plays a prominent part in Battlefield 4 with a small menu bar visible in the top right screen at all times. This allows you to view your current Rank, compare with your friends, view your Soldier and check out the Leaderboards. You can also compete with your friends in new Battlelog Missions where you can create a mission by selecting an objective, such as most kills or Dog Tags taken in a round – then invite up to four friends to compete with you. The winner will be the player with the highest score after all attempts have been used or a set time runs out. Creating a mission in Battlelog is very simplistic and if you’re into competing with friends, you can have a lot of fun with this – or waste so much time trying!
If you are familiar with Battlefield’s Multiplayer style, then you will feel comfortable handling the games menus from creating a soldier and styling your weaponry – this hasn’t evolved much from the very first Battlefield: Bad Company style. Everything about Battlefield 4 on Xbox One offers up more polish and finesse even in the Multplayer Maps. There are ten all in all from the onset before any extra DLC is purchased, but each varies for close quarters team deathmatch to the larger scale environments for Conquest. Whilst they aren’t all perfect for each game type as you will find some maps just fit certain game types better, they are all still visually stunning at least giving you something beautiful to look as whilst downed by a Sniper (yet again!)
Where as the Xbox 360 edition of Battlefield 4 was described as “visually dull” compared to previous Battlefield games; on Xbox One, Battlefield 4 without any question of doubt is the best looking first person shooter even over Call of Duty: Ghosts. I found that as I walked through the campaign missions my eyes were wanting to take in all the breathtaking scenery and intricate detail that made some chapters appear photo-realistic. Everything from the graffiti on the walls, to the demolished skyscrapers looked every bit as striking, making this the best Battlefield game visually on a console. I’ll be honest in saying I have never seen Battlefield on a top-spec PC, and it may be obvious that for next-gen it will be the most stunning visually, but it was better than I had anticipated. Massive improvements to the lighting, textures, detail, resolution that hosts a party to your eyes as you wonder down a war torn path that has never, ever looked this good!
Battlefield 4 on Xbox One is a visual leap more than anything else. If you have recently acquired an Xbox One console and previously had the game on Xbox 360 – the upgrade to Xbox One is more than worth it. A highly recommended game for Xbox One first person shooting fans.