Preview: Battlefield 4 PC Version

Gameplay

Well, the Battlefield 4 open beta is upon us. Fire up your Origin clients and get downloading soldier! Let me back up a bit and give a little history. I started playing WAY too much Battlefield 1942 back in 2002 and immediately became obsessed. I remember hauling my PC to anywhere that had a broadband connection since I had a horribly slow connection at home. Hey, give me a break, 2002 was a long time ago in tech years! After attending some huge 30 on 30 LAN parties and many a sleepless night, I followed every entry with fervor and excitement only true PC gamers can relate to. After getting a bit burnt out on Battlefield 3 all too quickly, I was getting a bit wary of the direction the game was heading. Well, with that, I loaded up the BF4 open beta and man was I instantly blown away. First off, you can customize your kit and soldier via your browser while the level is loading! The interface is also very well polished and easy to use. Ok, my excitement started to rise. Then, jumping into the game and new the map screen, I was floored. Click on waypoints and your squad members is back! Not only that, you can see a little mini cam of the situation your squad mate is in. Simple yet brilliant!

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone!

Next up, the kits are much more balanced and C4 is back for recon. Thank you DICE. The Conquest Large and Domination modes were an absolute riot and a great balance. The full version of the game will contain many more modes but the best news is, even the beta offers hours of entertainment. It really is one of the best open betas in recent memory and feels extremely polished. Now, the destruction in the levels is also a new groundbreaking component of gameplay. Despite the fact that not everything is fully destructible, the skyscraper that is, is awesome. Also, blasting through walls, wooden beams and even some asphalt is incredible in the way it dynamically changes up the situation, especially capping flags. This is a revolution in the Battlefield series, not the simple evolution I was expecting.

DO try this at home.

Graphics and Sound

I came in hesitant and I left blown away. Let's face it Battlefield 3 was/is a gorgeous game. I will not deny that. Due to the Frostbite 3 engine, Battlefield 4 absolutely stuns with new effects, a ton of graphical tweaks and settings, including rendering scale, UI scale and a ton of other options. Everything has a new coat of paint on it and oh does it look purty. The water is also a big star of the show, just jump into a pool of it and you'l see what I mean. It looks real, it acts real and it is a blast to jump on a jet ski and test it out. I think that is the best part of the graphical package of the game so far, everything looks stunning but it's not just for show, it all actually affects gameplay. The Shanghai map is HUGE but extremely detailed down to every last bump in the road textures. Be sure to grab the latest drivers from NVIDIA and AMD as the made a huge difference in the FPS of our testing. While AA still kills the system, I found the best settings to be everything set to ULTRA and just set Post Processing AA to Low. It looks gorgeous as you can see from our 1440p screenshots in the gallery below. This is a graphical masterpiece and shouldn't be missed.

The audio portion of course is also a treat. I noticed a lot less annoying shoutouts from soldiers and it's awesome that there are improvements in squad communication, built in VOIP and the round ending beat is exciting and well implementing. Rockets sizzle, buildings crack and crumble and gun fire is more realistic than ever. Every piece of the audio is perfect, reaching another revolution in game sound design. Vehicles also sound weighty and explosion rock the house without being too rumbly as some of the previous BF titles.

How to Beat Your Friends With C4: Lesson 1

Fun

Look, I'll be blunt. I was getting tired of the Battlefield franchise. I thought it had run its course. Then I have been playing nothing but the Open Beta for BF4 since the hour it launched. It's that good. It's got me excited about going to LAN parties with friends, blowing them up with C4, ramming them with tanks and laughing like little girls. I mean, err.. like manly men! With the new Frostbite 3 features (check out the video below!) it really is a whole new world and feels just right. It's also got that Battlefield magic that just seemed to be missing a bit from the previous game in the series. Grab a squad of friends, dim the lights, crank the sound and give this beast a whirl. You will not be disappointed! The game launches October 29 for PC and current gen systems. You can check out more on the game HERE

Final Verdict: 

As hesitant I was jumping into Battlefield 4 thinking it would be just a minor update/upgrade, I came out blown away, addicited and frothing at the mouth for more Battlefield and more of the Frostbite 3 engine. Better soldier kits, better modes, better destruction and incredible level design and that's just scratching the surface. 

Hype Meter: 5/5