Battlefield 4 – Review [Multiplayer]

After many hours and weeks on Battlefield 4, I finally took the time to put a short(ish) review together. While I could spend a good hour or two discussing the Battlefield franchise and pulling many comparisons, I mostly stuck to the essentials of what makes and breaks Battlefield 4.

Plus – The Good

  • Fantastic audio design and visuals. DICE still has one of the best looking and sounding multiplayer game at the moment.
  • The same solid and fun gameplay found in Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3.

Minus – The Bad

  • Poor network coding results in desynchronization and hit detection issues. This is frustrating to most players and absolutely abysmal if you intend to play competitively. While not a new issue to Battlefield games, this is by far the worst yet.
  • The maps have varying degrees of balance or design issues and simply feel uninspired all around. It is extremely rare to find PC servers hosting anything but Conquest or Team Death Match partially due to this issue.
  • Several issues have lingered for months, some where fixed while other new ones where introduced. Coming from back in Battlefield 1942 DICE does not have a good track record in resolving these issues which hurts the games long-term. With words like this coming from EA, this isn’t exactly confidence inspiring either.

Score 6 Large – The Verdict

What we have is a fundamentally good and enjoyable game which could score an 8/10. However the big issue of poor netcode replaces the sensation of skill and experience by a simple game of random luck.  The continuation of issues since launch is also worrying and detrimental to the overall experience, one week everything will run fine and the next the game becomes unplayable due to a new update.

The bottom line is that DICE and EA should consider spending more time polishing and delivering a better experience from launch day. Maybe it is time to follow the original Battlefield titles and skip the singleplayer campaign for a more memorable multiplayer experience.

 

Full disclosure

  • Play time: 65h 35m reported by Origin at time of this recording.

  • Last played:  February 12th

  • Version: Latest patch played was released on 2/11/14. No version numbering used as far as I could see.

  • Platform: PC

  • Acquisition method: Purchased the Digital Deluxe version for 35$ [CAD] via Origin on November 29th.