This article may or may not come as a surprise to you. After all, I’ve written a lot in the past few weeks about how much I loathe EA and the issues I’ve had with Battlefield 4. With all that being said, however, I love the game when it works right. When it’s not bugging out, BF4 is the best online shooter I’ve ever played, and for many reasons. It’s a shame that the launch was marred (and is still being marred) with bugs and glitches galore, but I can’t overlook the fact that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Battlefield 4 experience when it’s at its best, and I’ve sunk nearly 60 hours into the multiplayer portion of this game in the past 6 weeks. Here are just a few reasons why I can’t get enough of this game.
First of all, it’s chaotic. There are choppers flying everywhere, tanks are taking potshots at you, ATVs are whizzing past at breakneck speeds, parachuters are raining fire from above, buildings are being turned to rubble by RPG blasts, snipers are methodically placing their shots, and stealhy assassins are constantly sneaking up from behind. There is so much to be paying attention to in this game, especially when a whopping 64 players are all dumped into the same map. The thrill one gets from bobbing and weaving through a hail of gigantic 30mm bullets is like none other. Sending a booby trapped ATV into a crowd of enemies and detonating it is absolutely awesome, and sending a well-placed RPG rocket into a chopper’s cockpit is extremely satisfying. With all the explosions and chaos, however, Battlefield 4 isn’t as unforgiving as it seems.
Amidst the chaos, I love the calmness and control I feel as well. True, I may be getting blasted by missles while I’m in my boat, but I always have an escape strategy; a jet-ski can be delpoyed when I’m in danger. Alternatively, I can exit my craft and repair it before hopping back in and eliminating the threat. When guided missles head for my chopper, I can set off infrared flares to mask my position. Even though I’m constantly in danger, I feel as though I control my fate to an extent. I don’t feel too vulnerable most times, even if I’m simply running on foot. Long story short, everything is well balanced so that there are pros and cons to nearly every vehicle, weapon, and gadget. Tanks aren’t inherently better than a couple of infantrymen with decent aim, and attack boats aren’t immune to missiles from overhead choppers, for example.
I also love the element of teamwork. With so much strategy layered into the multiplayer experience, it’s nearly impossible to succeed without good teamwork. I, for example, mainly play the Obliteration game mode. Both teams have three bomb sites they must defend, and a bomb spawns in the middle of the map. Each team must try to obtain possession of the bomb and plant it at one of the enemy’s sites before their enemy does the same. Because the bomb carrier is always visible on the radar, it’s nearly impossible for him to sneak though defenses or try to plant it on his own (usually). Most times, a bomb carrier is nothing unless he has a vehicle come to pick him up and take him to the site. Better yet, and armored vehicle with a decent driver and multiple gunners is ideal. Luckily, most members of the Battlefield community are smart enough to realize the importance of teamwork over personal glory.
I’ve been on the carrying end and on the chauffeuring end of the deal, and in both positions, I feel as though I’m doing something important to benefit the team. Others know where their place is in the team, and they play accordingly. Some players are exceptionally adept at flying choppers through crowded spaces; I know I can’t do this well, so I leave the choppers for others better than myself to use, lest I wreck them. Instead, I’m a very good attack boat driver; I have no shame in snatching the boat before anyone else because I know I’m likely to go on a decent spree. Others, rather than going solo, will willingly man my turrets and provide extra firepower; they know the importance of teamwork, and even if they aren’t in control of where they’re going, (when I’m driving) they go for the ride because they know they’re helping the team succeed.
In fact, teamwork is so vital to BF4 that I can’t think of a single match where I solely carried my team to victory; I always relied on others for assistance. Likewise, I can’t think of a time that any other player on my team has carried us to victory, and I always see that when my teammates are going for their own glory and forgoing teamwork, we lose the match. I love knowing that my decisions matter and that it isn’t about spawn points or who gets the first shot off.
I also love the way the point system works. Points are awarded in a very smart way, and points are given out for just about anything positive. One of my main gripes about the point system in Call of Duty was that even if I inflicted 99% of the damage to an enemy while a teammate took the killing shot, I only could earn a maximum of 50 assist points (I think); only half what I would have earned if I had gotten the kill with one extra bullet. In BF4, however, your assist score is determined by how much health you knock out of a player; only land a bullet or two and you might get 17 assist points. Maybe you really injured the guy and only needed to get that final bullet in; you might get 91 assist points, plus your assist will count as a kill on your Kill/Death Ratio. Since you did all the work, you get the credit for the kill, but because BF4 encourages good teamwork, whoever actually landed the final shot also gets 100 points and is credited with a kill as well!
Aside from that, good teamwork is promoted through a variety of ways. If you’re driving a vehicle and a buddy spawns on you, you get 25 points. In return, for every kill you get in your vehicle, all the passengers get a point bonus as well, even if they didn’t take a single shot at the enemy; the fact that they’re sticking with you and working as a team is enough to net them points. You can spot enemies by pointing at them and causing a marker to hover above your heads; you get 25 points if a teammate kills the enemy while they’re marked. You get 10 points for a suppression assist if you are shooting at an enemy but don’t land any shots; the fact that you were trying is enough to earn you points. Throwing down ammo or health packs for your friends nets you points, repairing a teammate’s vehicle nets you points, defending the bomb site while a friendly detonates the bomb nets you points, and the list goes on and on. Even better, there’s a communication system that has simple phrases such as “I need a ride!” or “need ammo!” If you help a friend who calls out that they need a ride, for example, you’ll get extra points for following orders. These incentives work remarkably; they truly encourage good teamwork.
The unlock system works well also. In order to unlock new snipers, for example, you must obtain a certain number of points with that sniper class. This goes for every gadget and weapon, since some items are only available to certain classes (which are Engineer, Medic, Recon, and Attack). Rather than unlocking a shotgun for leveling up even though you only use machine guns, you’ll actually unlock what you need. The upgrades are well thought out, and there are a dizzying number of combinations and permutations from pairing together different scopes, under-barrel attachments, suppressors, and grips. Again, this feels balanced and I love it.
Finally, I love how Battlefield 4 lends itself to insane “Only In Battlefield” moments. I’ve parachuted and landed perfectly in the turret of a moving vehicle, which took me directly to the bomb (today, actually). I’ve led RPG bullets that met perfectly with the nose of a chopper and created a blazing inferno. I’ve gone on Roadkill sprees where I ran about a half dozen enemies over with my buggy in about a minute. I’ve blown up tanks by using nothing but my repair tool. I’ve ramped my ATV onto the roof of a building where I ejected at just the right time to slip through a hole in the roof and into the top floor where the bomb planting site was located; I planted the bomb and won it for the team. I’ve parachuted down and assassinated a bomb carrier the moment I hit the ground. I’ve killed a man by running my chopper into his and creating a gigantic explosion. The list goes on and on; I might have to make a video montage in the future. There’s nothing like this thrill Battlefield 4 provides.
With all this being said, I’m sure there’s a lot I didn’t even touch. The multiplayer aspect of Battlefield 4 has serious depth, and now that it’s working with minimal issues, I can say it’s amazing. However, I still will not be buying any more EA games, I refuse to finish the campaign because I was reset by a bug over halfway through, and I cannot review this game with a numerical rating because of the saga of crappiness that I’ve endured over the past 6 weeks to get to this decent point. I have a love/hate relationship with Battlefield 4, but I can’t really recommend it to anyone… sigh… It’s a rough life.
Hopefully this review was helpful or even enjoyable to you. Leave a like or a follow if it was either, then check out my friends’ LP channels in the “Links” tab.
Until Next Time