Video Game Reviews: Battlefield 4

Anthony Brouard

Chris Geikler, Staff Writer

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Now, you’ve all seen examples of what I consider a good game, but what about the bad games. What is, without a doubt, a truly terrible piece of rubbish that makes me vomit away my faith in humanity?

Well, if you read my Rayman review, you may recall I made a comment about my displeasure over the Call of Duty franchise. That game may be the one point where me and angry mothers come together and agree to hate something. I, however, hate it less for the advocation of violence, but more for the unoriginallity, and the how people are so quick to empty their wallet to purchase the latest installment of THE EXACT SAME GAME! Do you remember when sequel implied that it kept what was good about the original material, but also expanded on it? Well, Call of Duty does this, but trips up around that second part.

You’re probably wondering, “If you hate Call of Duty so much, why does the title say Battlefield 4?”

That’s easy, “Because they may as well be the same bloody game!” Seriously! All day I listen to fanboys bicker and argue about one being better than the other, not realizing that they are both equally the forerunners of the generic, gritty, brown shooters that people have grown so bored with. Same forgettable characters. Same uninteresting plot lines. Same clunky level transitioning. Same stupid formula!

However, a good friend of mine recently got the new Battlefield game, so I actually had a chance to play it. Lord knows I wouldn’t pay out my own pocket just to subject myself to the latest installment of Boring Brown Industrial Environment 4 (This, of course, is not the real name of the game).

I guess I should get this train wreck rolling, so, without any further ado, “Adventure, HO!”

Graphics

I suppose I should get this out of the way first. Battlefield 4  is a very pretty looking game. It was actually the first time I’d seen the graphical capabilities of the “next gen” consoles (in this case the PS4). It had the high resolution textures, and realistic lighting, and all that good stuff. Though, to be honest, when I think of the evolution of graphics in video games as a whole, this one isn’t breaking any new grounds. Just like a high resolution TV, I experienced the first few days of amazement before my eyes adjusted to the optical glory, and I stopped noticing altogether. Besides, a very well-rendered, morose, grey, city environment is still a morose, grey, city environment.

Story

I have to say, I feel fairly unprofessional when I say I honestly don’t know what was going on with the story. Not to say I didn’t try, but come on! Everything that I found myself doing was modern shooter basic. Blow up some big facility in a foreign country, steal some vital military intelligence (conveniently stored in a little black briefcase) from a foreign country, and, finally, beat  up some foreigners in their foreign country. The cut scenes that tried to explain it to me were all so boring that my mind would often wonder to more interesting thoughts like “Can I get a compact disk to fit down an S-bend?” I’ll tell you what though, I will admit defeat on this one if any fan of Battlefield 4 can explain the plot to me in 25 words or less. Sound good? Sounds good.

Gameplay

There’s really no need for me to talk about the single-player gameplay. If you’ve played one generic shooter, you’ve played ’em all! You’re dragged from checkpoint to checkpoint stopping every so often to have an uninteresting firefight, occasionally running away to sit in a corner and suck your thumb until your health regenerates. Standard stuff. As is to be expected with companies that spend all their time and effort into building up the multi-player aspects. What is the deal with multi-player anyway? At what point did we, as a society, say, “I’d prefer to play with some foul-mouthed fifteen-year-old from Norway than my close friends that live on my street”? It doesn’t make any sense, but anyway back to the game. In multi-player, you run around completing objectives, and shoot other players, stopping every so often (five seconds) to have some enemy spawn behind you with unruly intent. At this point you are immediately annihilated by the nameless individual, and taunted by a high-pitched string of curses and rude gestures… (Hop aboard the fun-train! Choo choo!) I just have no patience for this junk. When it’s just a race to see who can get the drop on who first, the experience is kind of lost on me. Compare it to a game like Twisted Metal where you actually have to spend time and effort in order to eliminate a target. When you’re being attacked, you have to make split-second decisions on whether to try fighting it out or if you want to make a tactical retreat and collect resources. It all creates a sense of dire intensity that lasts much longer than that of modern shooters.

I should also mention the destructible environments in Battlefield‘s multi-player maps. It was an interesting addition that switched things up for me, but, like most things in this game, that got screwed up too. Buildings can only be destroyed by higher end explosive devices, meaning regular grenades and launchers may as well be the gentle breeze of a Sunday morning. You can only do significant damage if you are properly equipped going into a game, and even then it’s only in specific areas. That, and it takes forever to take down a foundation on your own. The place could be hanging by a thread and it’ll still be standing by what can only be described as divine intervention. So much for structural integrity.

In the end, its just another dull shooter that fails to peak my interest in any of it’s endeavors. At least Call of Duty had the whole zombie mode going for it. Now that crap was fun. Why can’t they just focus their time and effort into making a whole game like that!?!

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