Gaming, Technology, Uncategorized, Video Games

Battlefield 4: The Next-Gen Difference (Well, Now Current-Gen)

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.

Thanks for reading; if you’ve enjoyed of you’ve found this helpful, consider leaving a follow or a like. Check out the LP channels in my “Links” tab, and I’ll see you next time.

Later
Matt

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8 thoughts on “Battlefield 4: The Next-Gen Difference (Well, Now Current-Gen)”

  1. In respect to the difference in graphics between the PS3 and PS4, I strongly urge you to consider whether or not DICE simply did a poor job with the PS3 version based on how you describe it. Other games managed to look quite good on PS3, something there is no denying, so here it’s the question of whether or not DICE was able to render photo-realistic graphics on the PS3 that were comparable, if at of course a lower quality, than the PS4. But attached to this is whether or not the other Battlefield games suffered from the same issues on the PS3 and what that may mean for this issue.

    I’m really unsure of your direction at this point and whether or not I want to continue to read your posts. Your writing becomes less careful the more you feel positively or negatively about a given topic and that’s something that you should aim to get away from given your desire to really get into the video game industry in this manner. I greatly respect what you are trying to do and I see that you have real talent, however I find that you are either unable or unwilling to utilise criticism to improve your work. Hopefully this will change with more experience so that you can rightly differentiate yourself from the mass of uncritical video game writers and personalities.

    1. I’m not sure how the graphics in games are designed; I’m clueless when it comes to the technical aspect of games. I’m just thinking out loud here, but I wonder if the size and scale of the maps have anything to do with it. Maybe DICE had a tough time getting the PS3 to load such large maps while keeping them looking pretty. Of course, I don’t have any other benchmark to compare it to, since I never played BF3. Maybe DICE just got lazy. I’m going to do a little digging and see if I can find anything on that.

      As for the quality of my writing, is there anything specific in this article that is conflicting/not careful? Because this time around, I thought I did a pretty decent job at comparing and contrasting the two while keeping my stance that the PS4 version is better than the PS3.

  2. N.B. Careful communication is a big deal and the above should be considered as general mistakes you continue to make. It’s difficult to avoid these mistakes entirely when someone begins writing seriously, so don’t take it to mean that you can’t write at all. You can, you simply need to pay more attention and refine your writing. The quality of your writing will improve with experience provided you pay careful attention to it, something that I have no doubt whatever you can do.

    (1) A solid example is adjective use, given what I’ve already mentioned. It’s become the case that people use adjectives very, very poorly in general conversation and the people involved in this new ‘video game entertainment thing’ use adjectives that will get the biggest reaction (Let’s Play is a video example of this but I’m sure you know where I’m coming from here).

    It’s entirely possibly to be serious-minded without being dry as stale toast and there doesn’t have to be a stylistic shift, there simply has to be strong attention paid to the words you are using to make a point. I’m sure a lot of people will say that is nit-picking, that they don’t care, but those will also be the same that question reviewers’ scores or are too stupid to be playing video games anyway. Strong adjectives are acceptable, however it’s important that they be used where necessary lest they words themselves and not their meaning take over the point you are trying to make.

    (2) Another issue of importance are your writing mechanics, viz. where and how you use punctuation. For the most part you write as if the article is a speech, to be read orally with punctuation indicating pauses of specific lengths, instead of writing an article that is meant to be read visually. This is a very common mistake that people make and one that can go unnoticed because readers are less likely to question punctuation unless it’s really odd. Yet while this is a very common mistake it is not very common for me to see in professional and pseudo-professional writing (e.g. Massively, Kotaku, PCGamer, et al).

    Editors usually catch these things. Part of it is because they’re trained to catch them and another part is because they have very specific writing guidelines that contributors must work within. Now, of course, there is no editor on your personal blog (Christ, ‘personal blog’ sounds redundant!) but that doesn’t mean there should be not standard given what you want to do. Come up with a particular standard and keep that in front of you when you write. If you need help feel free to ask.

    (3) A final point is explaining why you wrote about a particular point that was questioned by someone. The only reason to offer further explanation is if you believe that the reader missed a particular point or if teasing out a particular point would help them to understand your point of view. Anything else really looks like excuse-making and doesn’t further the conversation.

    Using the above as an example, I brought up a counter-point in respect to the graphics. When you responded you told me that you were unfamiliar with the situation as a whole, didn’t think carefully about the issue before writing (“I’m just thinking out loud here[…]”), rephrased part of my counter-point and intermixed with all of that gave DICE a possible out. None of that really added to the conversation about the graphics between BF4 on PS3/4 or DICE’s development of BF titles on the PS3.

    As gamers, not merely video game players, we’ve had to become armchair developers and learn something about the technology we’re using. A weighty part of this is because bugs and glitches have become disturbingly common and the only way to tell if we’re doing something wrong or how to improve are game is to be able to recognise the moment of fuckery and work with it. In the process of doing this we learn something about how the developers made the game in question, eventually building a knowledge base that we take from game to game and conversation to conversation.

    I’m not advocating that we be mini-developers, but I am advocating that we know enough about a given thing to meaningfully comment on it. This doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘under the hood’ stuff but can also be purely conceptual. For example, we need not know how things word in the code to know that a certain idea in a game is poor design and that a better idea can be uses in its place. This bit here is something that a lot of people are able to do and with minimal knowledge about how things word ‘under the hood’. Truth be told it’s the bulk of the commentary that I make and I think that anyone can make without having intimate programming knowledge.

    1. As for 1: Yeah, I know.. I need to work on that a bit.

      As for 2: I’ll be honest, you nailed that one. I do tend to write as if I were speaking, and it may be in part due to the fact that I am a public speaker. I didn’t realize that it was considered unprofessional to write this way. I’ll put some thought into that.

      As for 3: I usually try to contribute something to a conversation, unless I know that I truly have no idea what I’d be talking about (which is why I infrequently comment on your posts. I don’t play on PC, not have I ever played an MMO, but I do read the posts). But then I also feel like I have to at least respond to a comment, lest I make it look like I’m ignoring the commenter.

      Oh, and as a side note. In Outlast… I’ve entered the female ward, and I’ve opened the double doors on the third floor where the twins with big knives come from. Any idea how long is left in the game, roughly? Without spoilers, please 🙂

      1. Depending on your pace, two hours or so. I’m sure you’ve come across some of the issues I mentioned in the past but, much like myself, find the game to be entirely kickass.

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