Those of us not trying to get into GTA Online since October 1st were whiling our time away doing a number of things. Myself and quite a few others in the world were taking part in the Battlefield 4 Premium and then Open beta.

For the Battlefield uninitiated Battlefield 4 is the latest incarnation of DICE’s long running multiplayer first person shooter franchise. It does have a little single player tacked on now but Battlefield is synonymous with one things in online gaming. Hectic, explosive and rip roaring warfare. Played either as a soldier on the ground or a driver/pilot in the various vehicles, Battlefield widely regarded as the best in large scale multiplayer in the FPS genre, not that it has a whole lot of competition there.

If you’ve not given it a look yet let me get one thing straight. Read this, load up or download origin and then download it. The beta went open on PC a couple of days before the time of writing and is running until October the 15th with the games release follow a mere fortnight later unless you are buying next gen where it’s a launch title for both consoles.  Be warned on PC if you want to run it at a decent rate you’re going to be wanting a decent set of chips. If you can run recent games at a fair level then you can play Battlefield 4. Don’t go maxing it out unless you know you’ve got a monster of a machine though.

Enough of the boring stuff. What’s it like I hear you mumble under your breath. Good. Not enough? Ok very good. It plays upon the same group of rules as Battlefield 3 before it but has a couple of minor but helpful tweaks and changes. Hit registration is absolutely perfect where in BF3 it could be a little shoddy at times. The game runs smooth as a baby’s rear although they still stick to the battlelog server browser which only ranks behind walking on hot coals in my humble opinion. Add to this the much improved spawning in map where you can actually see where your compatriots are on the map and the levelution mechanic which I’ll add more to below and you’ve got a worthy sequel. Battlefield 4 not only brings what we all love from Battlefield 3 to bear, but comes equipped with a few improved weapons in its arsenal to add even more explosive pant wetting to our clammy hands.

Yeah levelution. Not to be confused with a cream you put in your hair to try and regain that flowing barnet you once had or the theory of how all of life around us came to be, levelution is in essence a game changer. Most of the maps in BF4 will have some element which can be changed during the game either through human interference or natural progression. In the case of the beta this is the skyscraper in Shanghai showcased not only in the video above but in pretty much every BF4 trailer humanity has seen so far. With a little push followed by just shy of 200kg of plastic explosive and tank shells the centrepiece skyscraper falls to the ground changing the map in two ways. First of all it makes a capture point as well as a useful sniper vantage point fall from high above to the ground crushing everyone still riding the mortar train. Then it rubs a little salt in the wound by covering the entire map in a thick dustcloud and floating papers.

With this mechanic BF4 is likely to always be able to change up the game. Every match will be slightly different and a little less formulaic. Don’t believe me? Go download the beta and give it a try!

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Is that trailer unofficial?! I keep rewinding it. Seeing these explosions I’ve got to pick it up

Aaron Richardson

It is unofficial! James Hoare (Author) made it himself using gameplay footage he’d taken from the Battlefield 4 Open Beta!