I have now spent several hours with the open beta of Battlefield 4 and after going through some horrible errors to play it thanks to DICE’s choice of ancient anti-cheat technology, I can finally deliver some impressions.
If you want to play Battlefield 4, expect DICE to enforce three things you might not necessarily want on your computer:
Without these three things you can’t play BF4. Whilst I like Origin, I hate the other two. Punkbuster is an ancient anti-cheat software from the 90:s that doesn’t do shit other than make your unable to join servers and give you no indication that it’s the problem. It complicates things and requires you to update it and it’s full of hassle. I thought they would get rid of it after Battlefield 3, but I was wrong. Insanely disappointed. Battlelog also sucks as you can’t change your settings outside the game and you have to do that in-game and the menus are slow, imperfect and the design isn’t as smooth as it should be to navigate. Just like Battlefield 3.
The graphics are gorgeous, they really are. Although I expected a bigger leap from Battlefield 3, but there’s no contest here. Call of Duty: Ghost can go hide itself back in 2007 where it belongs from a visual perspective. DICE are showing that they know graphics and sound effects, but unfortunately, that’s where my praise will end for Battlefield 4.
I understand the heart of Battlefield. It’s meant to be a war. It’s meant to be huge and immerse you. And it does that. It totally feels as if I am in a war and fighting for my life as a soldier. But that’s not necessarily a good thing. It takes a long time to find enemies sometimes. It’s insanely frustrating when two tanks roll up to you and you aren’t the Engineer class because you can’t do shit against that. It’s annoying that the respawn time is between 7-10 seconds after death. It’s annoying that you run for five minutes without action sometimes only to get shot from the other side of the world by a sniper or gunned down by a chopper. I guess Battlefield’s style of gameplay simply isn’t for me, simple as that.
Not everything is bad though. They finally improved the party joining system and squad system. It feels more polished, although it should’ve been like that in BF3 already, so this is more than two years delayed stuff. Nothing impressive, nothing worthy of praise as every other shooter did this years ago. It just seems that DICE are not knowledgeable at several basic core things that I have come to expect from a shooter and that’s sad to see as I want to support the Swedish gaming industry but it’s simply not to my satisfaction.
The thing that impressed me the most with Battlefield 4 was without a doubt the jet-ski and water physics. They were incredible. It feel authentic just as if I was on a jet-ski. But should that really be the most impressive feature in a shooter? I don’t think so.
I am thankful for the open beta because it allowed me to save money and cancel my pre-order. I wouldn’t enjoy this game at all. The hours I played it weren’t that fun. I mean, it had its moments that were exciting with my friends and what not, but not nearly enough. I prefer a faster pace that’s more tight and intesive. and I think that Titanfall will simply crush BF4 and CoD: Ghost. So that’s where I am putting my money and time. Bottom line is that Battlefield 4 is looking to be what Battlefield 3 should have been, but it’s two years late and it’s still sub-par on many things even though it’s the industry leader in many other areas such as the graphics, physics, sound and unlimited sprinting. Such a shame. Maybe Battlefield 5 will be more to my liking. But until then, I am waiting for Titanfall.
Gorgeous graphics and great physics cannot save the game from cancer like Battlelog/Punkbuster.