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Battlefield 4 Hands-on

So yesterday I had the privilege to attend the Eurogamer Expo in London’s Earl Court and I hadn’t been inside the large exhibition centre five minutes before I was in the queue for Battlefield 4.

The game was one that immediately stood out to me when the games list was announced so I wanted to head in and give it a play before the lines became completely unreasonable.

EA’s stand was showing off online multiplayer and all of the players at the stand were thrown into the same game. There were two different game types that one could queue for, there was ‘Conquest’, which players from previous Battlefield titles will recognise, and ‘Obliteration’, which is one of the new game modes for BF4.

I chose Obliteration, I guess I wanted to see all the shiny newness in all of its glory. The game mode centres around a bomb, which will randomly spawn somewhere on the map throughout the game. Players must then pick up the bomb and destroy three enemy objectives.

There is only one bomb on the map at any one time, meaning that teams can go from the offensive to the defensive in a matter of seconds. This was the main appeal of this game type, as the unstable nature of the game mode meant that gameplay was fast and fluid.

Battlefield 4 map

I noticed that there were no spawn point for this game mode, there was not the conventional ‘deployment’ option from the spawn screen, if you did not spawn on a squad mate you parachuted into the action.

Whilst on the spawn menu I’ll start with the new aspects of the game that I noticed. The spawn screen has been tweaked slightly and loadouts now appearing at the top of the screen and the map overview being larger and centered on the screen, which is a welcome change.

To spawn on a squad mate you now select them from the map itself, moving between choices by moving left or right, rather than selecting them from a menu on the left of the spawn screen. Again this is a nice improvement as it makes the spawning process a more visual process.

In terms of in game gameplay changes there was not a lot to scream and shout about really, as I mentioned the game was played with a high tempo, a style which epitomises online multiplayer within the Battlefield series.

Battlefield 4

Honestly running around the map and engaging in contact with opponents feels very similar to Battlefield 3, which surprised me, I was expecting some tweaks to the actual gameplay mechanics, of which there was not many.

Of course this is not to say that I did not enjoy playing Battlefield 4, it is not like there is anything glaringly wrong with the gameplay mechanics of BF3, it has been one of my favourite titles released in the last couple of years, it’s just that I came to the table expecting something new.

There is however a noticeable change to the screen that shows up after you have been killed. This comes as you can see the enemy that killed you from a more revealing camera angle than BF3, so much so that you may actually discern where you have been killed from, rather than trying to guess the enemies placement from a close up shot.

The map that was playable at Eurogamer was Zavod 311, which is set at a tank manufacturing plant in the forest, a lot of the tanks dotted around the map where not useable but did provide good cover.

It did all feel like a DLC more than a cutting edge new title however. Of course it would be completely unfair to brand the whole game with this term however, as I was able to play one game type for 20 minutes. I am sure once I have time to tweak loadouts and explore the game in some detail new features will become a lot more apparent, this is a “hands-on” review however, the nature of which requires a quick opinion on the product, and this quick opinion is that there was nothing revolutionary that stood out to me.

Despite this my excitement for the game’s release has not quelled and it is a game I am still excited for, there were a lot of new features that I know of that were not accessible at Eurogamer, Commander Mode for example, and I am eager to explore these features in more detail.

Where you at Eurogamer? Did you have a play of BF4? If so let me know what you think in the comments section below, and as usual keep it n3rdabl3 for all the latest developments with Battlefield 4.

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James is a journalism graduate who is a lover of technology and strangely praises Apple Computers, Google laptops and Windows Phones in their own right.

James is also prone to dedicating many hours to games he will never finish, he remains in denial of this fact, as he’s promised himself he’ll polish off Dino Crisis this weekend for the last seven years.

  • Narom

    “The only noticeable addition to gameplay was the ability to ‘scout’ opposition players, you could do this by clicking RB whilst looking at an enemy, thus alerting team mates to the presence of the opposition player.”

    Which was in the last series as 3D spotting…

  • James Read

    Thanks for the comment Narom, cheers for pointing this out to me, I didn’t realise this was a feature in the last game, I’ll update the article accordingly.

    Many thanks!

  • Alexander

    You claim it felt like the last game, but you hadn’t played the last game enough to notice it had the spotting feature?

    • James Read

      Rather embarrassingly I’ve played BF3 extensively, I’ve clocked up days of online game time, however the spotting feature is something I’ve evidently never come across.

      The reason I believed it was a new feature on BF4 was because as I was playing a message flashed up informing players that you can use ‘RB’ to scout opponents. This was the only thing that popped up in regards to controls, leading me to believe it was a new feature for BF4.

      • Louis

        Been playing a fair amount of BF3 (first Battlefirled game I’ve played) on the PC and also haven’t heard or used it before!

        Would been nice to have a tutorial, weapon range to test guns and offline mode to practice.

        • James Read

          To be fair BF3 was my first Battlefield game, maybe that’s why we missed it Louis. It could also be that we’re not team players haha!

  • Josh T

    I was at Eurogamer Friday-Saturday but could not go upstairs (I’m 16) however I did play around an hour and a half of CoD Ghosts split around 45 minutes each between the XBone and PC and I have to say, I was having a lot of fun. I played Domination on Chasm and TDM matches on Strike Zone and I was kicking peoples arses with the XBone (30-17) with the Honey Badger. One thing I noticed was after someone had set off a pointstreak ( A sort of nuke ) is that the map actually changed (Strike Zone). The buildings were destroyed, there were new routes to take and I really did enjoy the games. I do feel like the character customization is just tagged on for fun and I probably won’t be using it too much when the game is released and I didn’t really touch the sliding mechanic but I do think Ghosts is the next great Call of Duty. (About time too!, we’ve been waiting for another good one since 2010 for Christ’s sakes!)

    • James Read

      Hi Josh, thanks for commenting.

      Did you enjoy Eurogamer? I didn’t check out Call of Duty but that does sound pretty awesome. I’ve been a bit disheartened with the COD series in recent years (which is why I changed to Battlefield 3). I would say I might consider going back to COD this year but I’ll probably end up getting Battlefield 4 anyway haha.

  • Chili

    I for one, am going to pass on buying this latest edition of Battlefield. I cannot justify spending 70$ or 60$… whatever it is, on new maps and gameplay that is so similar to the last game that the hacks port straight over into it. I strongly dislike hackers. Letting your computer make shots (aimbot), Illegally Identify enemies (IFF’s), make you bulletproof, and a myriad of other in game “God” abilities during a live match doesn’t make you a good player or a better player. It makes you look weak, both in integrity and actual ability.

    Just an opinion. Its an HONEST opinion and I hope anyone that likes to play a game with its integrity intact, does not purchase it. I certainly hope that anyone who feels as ripped off as I did with BF3 doesn’t buy it. Hard earned money goes into buying these games and EA shows how much they respect us by letting hackers hack it to pieces. Our servers are attacked, it lags out players and EA gets hit by the same people. STILL, they allow them to come back and play. Its finally happened. The draw of money has surpassed the desire to have integrity and pride in ones work.