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Battlefield 4 is a fantastic shooter for multiplayer gamers

November 29, 2013 10:42 IST

Battlefield 4 is a fantastic shooter for multiplayer gamers

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Murali Venukumar

And it’s faster, meaner, more intense and far more chaotic than its predecessor

Platforms: Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3 / PC

Price: Rs 3999 / Rs 3499

Developer: DICE

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Distributor: Milestone Interactive Pvt. Ltd.

Genre: FPS

Age Rating: 18+

With over a decade of some of the most celebrated large scale military shooter games under its belt, the Battlefield franchise returns this year with Battlefield 4 – and it’s faster, meaner, more intense and far more chaotic than its predecessor.

And while the single player campaign is still a badly written disappointment with some of the worst characters in gaming this year, the multiplayer more than makes up for the price of entry and is the mode you’ll be playing long after the 5-hour single player campaign is done and dusted.

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Photographs: Electronic Arts/DICE

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Battlefield 4 is a fantastic shooter for multiplayer gamers

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Murali Venukumar

Battlefield is famous for its mix of vehicular and infantry combat on maps that are large enough to host multiple battles simultaneously. The franchise has had some odd as well as charming iterations over the past with battles been waged everywhere from Vietnam to the year 2142. The only thing common across all Battlefield games has been the scale of battle, and a plethora of customisation and unlocks you gain access to, for vehicles as well as your weapons.

You can create squads of up to 5 people that work as a micro-unit inside the structure of a team. Squad members can spawn on each other and help each other out in many ways - give each other ammo, heal / revive the downed, repair each other’s vehicles and gain squad upgrades by working together, towards common goals. Battlefield is all about teamwork, which is not just rewarded, but required in order to win.

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Photographs: Electronic Arts/DICE
Tags: Vietnam

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Battlefield 4 is a fantastic shooter for multiplayer gamers

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Murali Venukumar

The gunplay feels a lot more responsive and tight, which is a big boon to those who love infantry combat. Vehicles have improved tremendously too. They take a lot more beating before turning into metal scraps. In Battlefield 3, the vehicles seemed extremely squishy, making it such that only the best vehicular pilots / drivers would be able to survive the heat of battle. Battlefield 4 on the other hand, feels more newbie friendly in this regard, allowing newcomers to ease into the game at their own pace. That said, a few vehicles feel unnaturally heavy in comparison to previous iterations. The difference between light, medium and heavy vehicles is far more distinct. Light vehicles feel easy to manoeuvre and respond almost instantly, while heavy vehicles feel sluggish and slow around curves.

The game gives you access to many game modes as well. Conquest, Domination, Rush, Squad and Team Deathmatch make a return from Battlefield 3 with the addition of the new kid on the block, Obliteration. Rather than capturing points like in Conquest, Obliteration requires you to blow up the enemy objective, while saving your own. The catch is there will only be one bomb spawned on the map at any given moment in time so you’ll have a good mass of the server’s population converging on the bomb. This makes the mode extremely chaotic and maniacal. 

The downside of this game mode though, is that it doesn't end until one team wipes out all the objectives of the other, so sometimes games running this mode drag along for unnaturally long periods of time. 

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Photographs: Electronic Arts/DICE

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Battlefield 4 is a fantastic shooter for multiplayer gamers

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Murali Venukumar

Each game mode can be played on every map (10 at launch) available. The map design, as always, is beautifully executed. The biggest enhancement made to this game are the Levolution events that take place on these maps, where massive objectives such as skyscrapers, dams etc. are destroyed during the course of a match. It’s tremendously satisfying to look at and changes the dynamics of the match significantly when they take place.

A lot of the old guns make a return in Battlefield 4. The game features a lot more gun customisation options ranging from different scope options to pick what distance you prefer to engage the enemy at, to laser pointers to help with easy aiming. There is a whole new layer of general customisation added to the game too, in the form of different camouflage prints and procedural unlocks for each class, that give you perks when your squad levels up. For instance, the Recon class can now choose between “Spec Ops”, “Shadow” and a few other options. Each of these offer four different upgrades, depending on what level your squad has reached. They’re a great way to change the way you play some of the classes, making it possible to carve your own hybrid play-style.

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Photographs: Electronic Arts/DICE

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Murali Venukumar

Another new addition to the game is the Commander mode. Each team has a provision for a commander who can give orders, support troops, and use special power-ups to tip the tides of battle in the favour of the team. As a commander, you are presented with a strategy game styled top-down view of the battle. You can drop supplies to your soldiers, run infantry or vehicle scans and take down battalions of enemies using cruise missile strikes.

In most cases, having a commander doesn’t make a difference because most people just don’t understand how to play it. If, however, you have enough knowledge of the game and your team doesn’t mind obeying commands, the mode can make a ton of difference to the outcome of matches.

While single player gamers or gamers with shaky broadband should be wary, Battlefield 4 is a fantastic shooter for multiplayer gamers who love vehicular and squad-based combat. If you’re alright with the price premium the game commands and are willing to drop a little extra for the premium pass, you’re setting yourself up for more than a year’s worth of steady drip-fed multiplayer content.

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Photographs: Electronic Arts/DICE

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