Everything written in this Eurogamer summary of the Battlefield 4 situation is true. The game still has its share of game crashes, lag spikes and other bugs that are unbecoming of a release of its caliber.
Is the game playable? What’s there to like or not like about it? Is it really just Battlefield 3.5? Here are my answers
Is Battlefield 4 (PS4) playable?
Yes and no.
If you’re asking if the game is playable in every regard without issue, my answer is: no. It’s been over three months and the single player campaign save file bug still exists. My brother was able to complete the campaign and unlock all the campaign specific items before his save file was annhilated. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue for a Battlefield multiplayer fan but when they’ve locked multiplayer items behind the campaign, it is.
The multiplayer mode is playable if you’re tolerant of inexplicable lag spikes on certain maps and/or servers. It’s important to note that I’m speaking from a 64-player Conquest perspective. I’ve witnessed a number of Team Deathmatch sessions and those are noticeably smoother. I don’t know how 32-player Conquest matches perform because that mode isn’t available on the PlayStation 4 at the moment which in itself is ridiculous.
For me, the most problematic maps are Paracel Storm and Lancang Dam. However, I’ve witnessed performance and/or networking issues when the major Levolution events occurs regardless of map. I’ve also encountered certain servers which was plagued with issues. Finding a functioning server isn’t a problem but the fact that I have to abandon a game and find another one is a problem when all dedicated servers should be identical.
Also, the server browser doesn’t work properly with filters and the in-game Battlelog is useless.
This sounds terrible. Why do you keep playing?
The multiplayer — when it works — is a lot of fun. The gunplay feels sharp with the DualShock 4. I have to occasionally fight the aim assist but it’s nowhere as aggressive as Call of Duty: Black Ops or Black Ops II.
I’m addicted to the thrill of rolling up to a captured point with squad mates and clearing out the area for capture. It’s the closest thing to organized breach and clear without it being scripted or a dedicated mode. Like with all Battlefield games, I love the teamwork aspect of the classes. Spotting, detecting, reviving, resupplying and repairing fellow members of the squad or team produces tangible benefits.
I also find a majority of the maps in Battlefield 4 to be enjoyable in 64 player Conquest. I actually like every map except two — that’s 8/10 enjoyable maps in Battlefield 4 compared to the 3/9 that I found enjoyable in Battlefield 3.
I’m not big fans of Flood Zone or Operation Locker. The meat grinder that is Operation Locker has entertainment value and that “Fuck yeah!” moment when your team manages to break through and capture the hotly contested C flag but more often than not, it’s a bore or a total mess.
I personally enjoyed the time I spent with the China Rising map pack as well but with its limited rotation and the fact that there aren’t servers that include that map pack along with the base game, I haven’t played it as much as I would have liked. Hopefully DICE addresses this issue with custom servers or official ones with combined maps.
Is it Battlefield 3.5?
I compared the transition from Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 along the same lines as Unreal Tournament 2K3 and Unreal Tournament 2K4 before and I feel the comparison is accurate (if you ignore all the technical issues). From a gameplay perspective, Battlefield 4, like UT2K4, made its predecessor irrelevant. Aside from stability, there isn’t a single thing about Battlefield 3 that I desperately want in the sequel.
I still consider Battlefield 4 in beta. It needs more patches to be considered a proper release. I also hope they release patches that fix bugs without introducing new ones. The most recent patch introduced a high risk of crashing when spawning in the gunner seat of a vehicle. That’s just disappointing. I hope, for DICE and Electronic Art’s sake, that their next patch hits it out of the park because not many people are as patient as I am.