Thursday, October 3, 2013

BF4 BETA: First Impressions

I’m sure a lot of you, that either can’t get on the beta, or can’t play it at all, or maybe even those that have and are looking for someone else’s input,  are curious as to what I think of it. I guess I’m telling you. All of this is based solely off of the 360 version; supposedly the PC version is far more superior (it’s a phrase, get over it). I’m not judging unless I can play it, so I’m only doing the 360 version.

I’ll do the negatives first, followed by the positives at the end. This is a positive “review” for the most part. I am EXTREMELY impressed by what Dice and, to a lesser extent, EA, have brought to the table.

Metaphorical table. If it was an actual table, I would've hoped the Colonel made a visit courtesy of EA. 

All great things have downsides (not KFC. KFC has fantastic sides), and the BF4 beta is no exception. First of all, the way Microsoft and EA rolled it out was sloppy and, I’d say, unprofessional. However, as most large releases run into issues, I’ll cut them some slack. It might’ve been the result of a last minute rush job; if they had planned it out and if Microsoft wasn’t so restrictive it would’ve gone smoother, I’m sure of it.

The graphics are also extremely poor. They look worse than CoD4, in my opinion. This is NOT A BAD THING. Firstly, they don’t have the HD texture install that BF3 had, so they are probably on par with BF3 without the HD install. I wouldn’t happen to know firsthand. Also, the game runs smoothly and the gameplay itself is fine. That’s what matters. Let’s also not forget that this is 10 year old hardware without the HD install as opposed to brand-new hardware with it. If you’re getting a PS4/XBone (lol@Xbone) it shouldn’t matter and do not think the graphics are going to be like this.

They also switched the controls around, and they work so much better than BF3. However, they take some time to get used to, and you’ll find yourself pulling up Battlelog instead of spotting, often getting you killed. Trust me, it happens a lot.

The Back button did the rustling. Riiiiiight here.

Speaking of Battlelog, the app/computer version works fine (I’m running the Android version of the app) for most things. Class changing actually works as advertised and is actually really handy to have. I remembered I forgot to put the red dot on the SCAR today; on the bus ride home, I made sure all my classes were good to go, and when I booted up the game, they matched what I put in to the app. The emblem editor doesn’t work, missions don’t either, and the stat tracking is super wonky as of right now, but I’m confident it can be ironed out.

Some animations are glitchy, the servers can be a pain to join, joining a game with friends is harder than ever, and the hit detection can have some issues as well. All of this is to be expected, in my opinion. But let’s not forget that BF3 took several patches to fix, so I think these issues might as well.

Now, on to the good. This is going to take a while; I’ll try to be brief.

The classes were overhauled almost completely and feel much better. The balance is very good, and medic is no longer the god class. Support got hammered fairly well, with lame guns and a very, very bad XM25 semi-auto launcher, but is still a necessity. Defibs got the needed nerf, but I think they went too far on the revive time, cutting it down to around 5 seconds before you die for good. Recon got a buff and engineer stayed the same, and overall, all of the classes seem fair/equal. I applaud Dice for doing a (mostly) good job on this.

The skyscraper falling is epic even after the 50th time, and it actually changes the entire map. In addition to moving the flag, you can’t see past ~100 meters after it falls due to dust. It works really well. People also don’t tend to knock it down as soon as the game starts, and no one person has the ability to knock it down without dying/resupplying.

Seriously. This is awesome. More so than Mountain Dew. More so than even I am.

The map itself is very, very well designed, and is fair to both sides. The chokepoints can lead to some very, very epic showdowns between 6 people on each side. It’s a blast.

Just look at it. UHHHHGGHH

Little birds also got revamped, and they are super fun to fly. The miniguns are hard to use against infantry, but in the hands of a skilled pilot they are godly.

Stingers also were nerfed from ICBM to what they should actually do. What’s not to love?

Customization is very robust and in-depth, and the amount of options makes no two people alike. The guns are balanced enough for you to use what you please without being at a significant disadvantage. I was very impressed with all of the options they laid out, even just for the beta.

Vehicles have a good, solid feel and are just as powerful as they should be. I think tanks could use a slight buff, but other than that, everything is in order.

The swimming/water overhaul also feels fresh and is a good addition. Swimming is no longer a massive hindrance to your game, and I swim across the middle very often to avoid fire/move around the map. It works very well. 

This game also produces so many “Battlefield moments.” For example, there were 2 enemies capturing the B flag after the skyscraper went down. My friend Brian (Big Hermy M (cookie if you know what certain daedra that is a reference to)) and I swam up behind them, underneath the water. They turned away and we surfaced behind them, and, let’s say, got ourselves 2 very nice pairs of dog tags.

When you’re being held down at A, and all of a sudden, you see a tank and 4 guys come up over the bridge, you know it’s about to go down. And it went down. Even when you get smoked 469 to 0 this game is fun. Even when your teammates have no idea what they’re doing it’s fun. Some of the people on my team have been about as useful as rocks, and it is still a blast to play 2 or 3 v 12.

I’m trying to unlock everything, and it takes a while, and can be frustrating, but all of the guns so far have been at least decent.  

Phew….that took a while. Overall, I’m very impressed by what Dice has put out, and with some polishing (and next gen tech) this game is shaping up to be fantastic. I’m going to continue having fun in the beta, and it’s been the only thing I’ve played since Tuesday. It’ll be even more fun once all of the non-Premium CoD players come over and can taste the wrath of all of the stuff I’ve unlocked.

I’m done writing now, I’ll let you go and play it for yourself!


  1. Dude, CoD is the legit gaming franchise. In Ghosts, everything has changed. Battlefield is a washed up game franchise where nothing has been implemented to make the game improve. Good thing that Call of Duty doesn't change its engine every time Dice makes a new game. Get your facts straight "Grant K." Call of Duty is thee, THEE video game to beat and I think that Battlefield, in the end, is going to be as washed up as the leveloution at the end of Paracel Storm.

  2. Hey Brian. I notice you haven't actually followed the blog. Hmmmm?

  3. And I forgot to reply sarcastically to your sarcasm, sorry. My bad.