I’ve had Battlefield 4 for my PS4 since launch, and I’ve definitely had my ups and downs with the game. Although I cannot condone the fact that Battlefield 4 was buggy and unfinished at release, it is an amazing FPS at its current state. In fact, I love the action so much that I’ve dedicated 95 hours to the game so far, according to my Battlelog. However, my dad also bought Battlefield 4 for the PS3 since I designated my PS4 as off-limits, (hey, it took months of saving for this; like heck anyone’s touching it) and I’ve been curious to see what the difference is between the last generation edition of BF4 and the current gen version. As it turns out, there is a pretty huge difference between the two versions, and considering they are both the same price, it makes the old version almost not worth buying. After spending a little while (an hour was all it took) with the PS3 version of Battlefield 4, I am convinced that there is a true, almost tangible difference in the quality between the old and new systems, and it really brought to my attention how far we’ve come, and how far we have yet to go.
I booted up the PS3 version of Battlefield 4, and I headed straight to Conquest. On the PS4, Conquest is the most amazing, explosive gamemode; it’s the only one in the game to host 64 player matches, and there are anywhere from 5 to 7 capture points in each level. With dozens of vehicles roaming around at once, I can see why PC players always touted their superiority in the last generation; 64 player matches puts everything else to shame. Imagine my disgust and horror when a mere 24 people filled a Conquest match on the PS3. When you go from teams of 32 down to 12 player teams, the maps feel so incredibly empty. Whereas you might have over a dozen people fighting for a single objective in the PS4 servers, you can only manage to gather a few allies together on the PS3, lest you leave your other capture points open to attack.
It’s really a downer because Battlefield 4 is all about the action packed “Only In Battlefield” moments. It’s hard to have these insane moments when there’s only a single tank, one chopper, and maybe a couple buggies out at once. There’s nobody to kill, and there’s nothing to do because the maps are so huge that everyone is so spread out on the PS3. Move over to the PS4, and there are so many soldiers and vehicles, you couldn’t destroy them all if you tried. It was depressing playing on the PS3; like watching a loved one fade away and become a shell of their former self. You remember them how they used to be; energetic and full of life. Now you have to watch them as a lesser version of themselves.
To make it even worse, there are fewer points to capture on the old systems. For example, on the PS4, there are 5 capture points on Siege of Shanghai. On the PS3, there are only 3, and you can see the proof in the bottom left of the HUD in the pictures in this post. The same goes for Operation Locker, and Golmud Railway only has 5, I believe (trust me, I say only 5 because Golmud is truly a gigantic map, and it needs 7 points; even at that, it’s a long walk or drive from point to point). Of course, this is necessary because there are fewer people in each match, but it takes away the frantic fun of having so many points to worry about at once. A layer of strategy is stripped away, and the gameplay changes drastically because of it.
On top of that, it seems like bullets do more damage on the old version of BF4. Maybe it’s just me; I’m not sure. I didn’t level up enough to unlock any new weapons during my short time on the PS3, but it seemed like I was mowing people down COD style with my MX4. Honestly, whereas it takes a decent half dozen to a dozen PDW rounds to dispatch an enemy on my PS4, it took only 3 or 4 on the PS3. What gives? I have no idea why this is a thing; why would this be changed? Unless there’s a technical (i.e., servers/hardware can’t handle it) reason behind the perceived increased bullet damage, I don’t know why it would even exist at all. More annoying is the fact that my tank shells seemed to have a much smaller damage radius. I’m not joking when I say that there were multiple times when the shell landed literally a few pixels away from my opponent’s foot, and he didn’t explode. On the PS4, and in reality for that matter, anything that close would demolish a player. It just didn’t make sense.
The final (and most obvious) of all the issues was that the graphics were absolutely inferior in every way. I mean, I knew the old graphics obviously wouldn’t stand up to those produced by new systems, but these aren’t even close. Edges on vehicles are jagged and choppy, the ground is hardly textured at times, the level takes quite a while to texture at the beginning of a match, and it does so in chunks. There’s just an unpolished, lazily textured look to the levels, and it’s annoying. I thought the Black Ops II graphics were just alright; the BF4 graphics are worse than that. On top of the inferior graphics, the framerate is a lot choppier on the old systems. This was the first time in memory that I was actually able to detect a drop in frames in a video game aside from Minecraft and the explosive portions of The Library in Halo:CE.
So, with all of this said, it’s quite obvious that the current generation version of Battlefield 4 is highly superior in every way to the last generation version. Considering the immense difference between the two versions, I can’t see how both are sold at the same price, when owners of the PS3/360 version are clearly missing out on most of the Battlefield 4 experience. Essentially, the two versions are completely different games with only identical maps from which one can draw similarities. From playing BF4 on both old and new systems, I truly appreciate the new systems even more, and I see their worth. If you’re on edge about new systems, I can tell you this (from the experience received by this one game, anyhow): the new systems will enhance your gaming experience drastically, and this makes them worth buying.
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