Battlefield 4 Review: Electronic Arts’ New Game Finally Beats “Call Of Duty”

Battlefield 4 Review: Electronic Arts’ New Game Finally Beats “Call Of Duty”

Delonte Musgrove, Staff Writer

For the better part of five years, Electronic Arts has been chasing after the shooter crown held by “Call of Duty.” The video game giant challenged Activison’s flagship franchise with “Medal of Honor” and “Battlefield: Bad Company.” Both were good, but not great games.
It wasn’t until DICE introduced the Frostbite 2 engine and “Battlefield 3” that EA gained a foothold. And now with the inevitable sequel, “Battlefield 4” finally surpasses “Call of Duty” — on the multiplayer side anyway. When it comes to the single-player campaign, the team still needs to work on its storytelling and pacing.
“Battlefield 4” begins promisingly as it follows a special Marine unit called the Tombstone squad, which uncovers a plot for a Russian-backed Chinese coup. It’s up to Sgt. Daniel Recker, the newly appointed leader, to stem the power grab. He and his squad are sent to Shanghai to rescue Chinese VIPs. The single player shows off the eye candy it was meant to be but it does expose DICE’s clunky and dull narrative.
In terms of gameplay, the foundation is there. The developer introduces a way to spot enemies and lets the player tell the non-playable characters when and where to mow down foes. The single player mode feels like the multiplayer mode, with wider spaces and the option to get into vehicles and wreak havoc on enemies. It has jaw dropping moments that will leave players on the edge of their seats.
Although the campaign falters, the meat of “Battlefield 4” is in the multiplayer. While “Call of Duty” has stagnated on that end, DICE has steadily improved the military shooter experience by focusing on gameplay tweaks, improved online play and map design. New moves such as counter-knifing give players a chance to fight back during disheartening melee attacks. The ability to fix immobilized vehicles makes them less disposable in combat.
But the biggest improvement is the map design. There are so many variations that accommodate several play styles from the fast-paced “Call of Duty” close-quarters combat to epic 64-player wars that span over enormous areas.
Now, DICE adds levels that change according to what players do. They call it “Levolution,” and it brings a new strategy element to battles. Players can knock down a Shanghai skyscraper to form a new island from the debris that’s a key spot in combat. Another map allows players to flood a city, forcing competitors to swim between buildings and making boats more important.
All of this keeps the game fresh and can create new maps in a matter of seconds. Even though the single player mode doesn’t delivery on a great storyline but the multiplayer mode saves the game and makes it one of the best shooters of the next generation of consoles. This game is getting a review of a 10/10.
 
Battlefield 4
Consoles: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Pc, (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year)
Rated: M for Mature