Review: Battlefield 4 PC Version
This whole month has been full of feelings of nostalgia for me. Not only have some classic PC games been announced on Kickstarter, but I have looked back on some of my favorite series on PC and reflected back on old times, both good and bad. While some may think sounds stupid for PC games, some of the most fun I've ever had is with Call of Duty and especially Battlefield at large LAN parties over the past 10 years. While there has been some missteps along the way, loading up Battlefield 4 on my PC was like experiencing the series for the first time. The levels are massive, the scale is awe-inspiring and the gameplay just feels right. Not only that but the audiovisual presentation is jaw dropping. More on that later. Back to the gameplay, while I enjoyed Battlefield 3 something just felt off, especially the classes. Well, I am happy to say that the classes feel just right again and Recon has C4 again. W00t! Not only are the classes back in order but Commander Mode is back and all the stats, website integration and server browser are actually wonderful. Single player is groundbreaking by any means but it's still gorgeous, fun and has some amazing setpieces. I really enjoyed the added touch of getting points while going through single player. It is subtle but makes a big difference in wanting to accomplish a goal, even if it is mowing down endless baddies.
Who let dogs out?! Whoop. Whoop. Whoop.
While the single player portion of the game is good, the multiplayer is why you are actually buying the game? Right? Well, regardless, it shines in every way possible. From the awesome browser based (!) launcher, you have a huge array of options not only in checking out stats but also tweaking your loadout while the level loads. Maps still take a long time to load, even on beefy systems with SSD drives but the scale in the MP levels is so huge on PC, one can't complain too much. While not perfect in balance, the online portion feels extremely polished. I got those old nostalgic feelings back while launching from an aircraft carrier, hanging out of aircraft and C4ing everything in sight. This is Battlefield at it's finest and you shouldn't miss it!
Graphics and Sound
Ahhh... the debate of graphics, resolutions and what system looks best is a very hot topic right now. While all these console gamers argue over their systems and defend 720p vs 1080p, we laugh and crank up the settings on our 1440p rig. Not only does Battlefield 4 include every graphics option under the sun, including FOV, sub/super rendering, anti aliasing, HUD scale and much more, it runs like a dream. I am absolutely stunned at how this game looks and runs despite all that is going on at a given time. Whether it's dark, dank corridors or large tropical storms, the Frostbite 3 engine is a tech marvel. It isn't just all eye candy either as the graphics actually add to the experience instead of just looking purty. You can dive under water, get caught up in the storm or get trapped under destructible buildings. Overall, this is an artistic and technical masterpiece.
720p whaaaa? Argue away console monkeys, PC is where its at.
Just when you thought something couldn't be anymore impressive, BF4 ups the ante in the audio arena as well. Props to DICE for cutting a lot of the jarring profanity that was constantly yelled out in the MP portion of the game, even if the SP portion is still loaded with it. Gotta be "realistic" right? Either way, voice acting is solid but the sound effects steal the show. The whole series has been on top when it comes to this but BF4 feels sonically, like it's just right as well. Ambient sounds are subtle but detailed, gunfire cracks and booms when necessary, C4 explosions are deep and powerful; all is beautiful is a world of chaos. Props to DICE for really shining in this arena and doing a stellar job at keeping us on our toes when deep in battle.
Well, it's no mystery by now that I absolutely love Battlefield 4. I have become quite the skeptical gamer and when I saw early videos of the game, I thought, "Ahh well, more of the same." That couldn't be further from the truth. This entry in the series feels better than ever and is a blast to play. Whether playing solo or with a huge group of friends, this game is a riot. Even better, get a five man squad going and really bust out the teamwork. This is a solid value and even though not lightyears beyond Battlefield 4 in terms of revolutionary gameplay, graphics, etc, it just feels right this time. That is a huge compliment for a series that was starting to get a little stale. Well, I am pleased to say that Battlefield is back in full force and if you own a PC, you need to buy it. Stat solider!
While something with Battlefield 3 felt a bit off, Battlefield 4 has shaped up to be something that all fans can enjoy. Combining fantastic graphics and sound with a solid gameplay model in both single player and multiplayer, there is something for everyone in this entry of an already amazing series. Kudos to DICE for bringing back Commander Mode, optimizing the PC version and bringing back class changes that fit the bill. Overall, this is one of the most impressive games available on PC. If you like shooters or want to try something new, BF4 is where it's at.
4.5/5 Stars -- Digital Hippos Highly Recommended