by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
Damn this weather
The rain came down. The wind had begun to blow as well. First gently, but now it was really picking up, causing the rain to come in sideways. The rain lashing at my face was impairing my vision. It certainly wouldn’t help with aiming at targets. This could be both a good thing and a bad thing; it would mean that the damned sniper on the top of the building would have trouble hitting me as well. He’d already picked off two of my squad. Both were in a serious way; we'll need to get them to a medic soon.
I crept up the ledge of the hill for a better view, my camouflaged uniform soaking wet as I snaked my way slowly to the optimal point. A jagged rock jutted out partially covering my position. Hopefully it would be enough to conceal me from the marksman. I brought my sniper rifle up slowly, making sure it was loaded and looked down the scope. This won't do at all; the rain beading then dripping down the length of the sights was making it difficult to get a clear shot. There he was. I saw the flash of the muzzle as he was taking another shot to somewhere well away to my left. Good. He hasn't seen me. I lined him up. The wind blew. I steadied myself. I took the shot.
Geez I'm glad that I can respawn after dying. The guy up on top of the building must have been a Battlefield pro or at least had spent enough time during the pre-release period to gain enough points and upgrades. I guess my lack of skills also showed. It had actually been awhile since I played Battlefield 3, and I was definitely a bit rusty. That, and I was still using the second-class weaponry that I was handed at the beginning of my tour of duty.
As I have done in the past though, I played the singleplayer Campaign prior to getting into the online stuff. I find doing so helps me to myself familiarise with the controls and to a lesser extent, the locations. Unfortunately, the campaign is a little short, probably even more so than that of Battlefield 3. And to be perfectly honest, I didn't find myself being compelled by the storyline at all. Sure, Sgt. 'Irish' shows that even soldiers have a conscience early on, but that's about it. It's largely an on-rails shooter, directing you to the next point in the mission. But it did its job of acting as a pseudo tutorial for the multiplayer combat.
The old and the new
In multiplayer, Battlefield 4 comes complete with some old favourite modes as well as a few new ones to try out. Battlefield fans will be familiar with Conquest, Rush and Deathmatch variants. But the game also comes with some cool new game modes. Obliteration requires teams to retrieve a randomly spawned bomb and deliver it to the enemy bomb sites, of which each team has three. Obliteration games can become frantic, as everyone can be focused on the bomb. The Domination mode (which was available in the Close Quarters BF3 expansion) is a small-scale infantry only Conquest-style match featuring three flags. Each team strives to control the flags as is the case of the Conquest mode, but with no vehicles to speak of, it all comes down to skills with a weapon.
The Defuse mode differs depending on whether you're on the attacking team or the defending team. The attacking team must transport a bomb to one of two targets and blow it up. Defenders on the other hand must, as you'd expect, prevent the targets from being destroyed. Not being able to pick up the bomb as a defender can be quite frustrating, but also adds to the fun. Again, like Domination mode, Defuse is an infantry only game. For extra realism, there are no re-spawns in Defuse, making teamwork more important.
More than just weapon upgrades
Teamwork is always important though, as in Battlefield 4 you gain access to Field Upgrades by working as a team. Healing, reviving or resupplying squad members progresses you through the upgrades. So, the more you help out, the better for both you and the team. Each class can choose from four different Field upgrade paths, which can result in faster running or the ability to carry extra grenades. These Field Upgrades combine well with the weapon upgrades. A tradesman shouldn't blame their tools, but the tools are definitely sub-standard when you begin with. The initial weapons you are supplied with often do little damage to players of higher rank. At first this can be a little annoying. Fortunately, as with previous versions of Battlefield, as you gain experience, you are granted access to better quality weapons. It does take time to gain the better weapons, but you can almost see a noticeable difference almost immediately.
Damage and weather effects add to the Battlefield experience
Single player campaign is rather short