Battlefield 4 is one of the top dogs for online multiplayer. Not wanting to change the formula for their successful shooter, DICE have decided to put a major emphasis on altering maps rather than gameplay, keeping the game from becoming repetitive and stale; the most essential thing for a regular releasing title to be weary of.
First and foremost, multiplayer bugs. There have been a lot of reports of random and strange bugs occurring during matches, such as: a certain silencer used will mute the entire battle including the other team! I am yet to encounter anything noteworthy (though being told I have ranked up so many times in a row can be annoying), but they are present and will hopefully be patched out soon.
The core gameplay remains the same, with a few tweaks and changes that make the game slightly more accessible for newer players, allowing those who are late to the game a fair chance to fight back. The starting equipment is much better this time round, but you will still be itching to get your hands on some new equipment, fast, to customise your weapons to better complement your soldiering style. With a greater selection of weapons and equipment, there is bound to be something that suits your needs.
Using cover and going prone is a reliable move in multiplayer, granted it won’t last long if stay still (destructible cover duh!) but ducking and diving actually helps you stay alive, it also helps curb the simple run-and-gun mentality many multiplayer shooters promote. Another high point, for me as a player, is the range at which combat can take place; regularly alternating from short, medium and long distance combat is a pleasant occurrence, leaving assholes with nothing but a knife and a pistol out of luck. An added bonus is that the only reliable way to kill someone with a knife is via back stabbing, if you run head first at an enemy they have a chance to counter.
Taking your time getting familiar with the maps does not mean you are a dead weight to your team, spotting enemies gives your team mates a heads up on location and is more helpful than expected. I took my time getting into Battlefield 4 by playing recon, sitting high on a tower or building, taking pot shots at people and spotting anything that moved; I was only getting a few kills per match but I felt like I was contributing to the team, not holding them back.
The game modes available cover all the important gameplay types (and no doubt more will appear as DLC), ranging from larger scale warfare with tanks, jets and helicopters to the much tighter spaced and fast paced Death Matches. My personal favourite is Squad Death Match, which pits you and your squad against three other squads all battling each other to be the first to reach 50 kills; it is more structured than a free-for-all match, but can be much more hectic. Each game mode has specifically sized map, infantry combat is localised to the inside of a building or on the rooftops of a town, while Conquest opens the maps up to accommodate for vehicles.
Being a multiplayer game, I feel it is necessary to mention the community. During my extensive time with Battlefield 4 I have met with a large number of pleasant and positive players, and only on occasion have I heard someone acting like an 11 year old. It is impossible to escape the jerks and assholes entirely, but I have to say that I have had a very positive time playing online with the Battlefield Community.
FINAL ROUND RATING - 8.5/10
- Will Flynn