‘Battlefield 4’ Review Roundup: Stale Campaign & Magnificent Multiplayer

Firing off the latest salvo in EA’s incessant quest to top Call of Duty, Battlefield 4 arrives this October looking every bit the uncrowned King of the mountain. Bursting with brand-new content, from customizable kit to multiplayer mode sets, and wholesale single-player paradigm shifts (hint — they’re taking it really seriously this time out), can DICE’s cross-generational gamble translate into a top tier current-gen experience?

Thus far, the general consensus on Battlefield 4 appears to be one of a lackluster campaign, buffeted by an unsurprisingly rich and involving multiplayer suite.

For a more in-depth appraisal of the game, check out these choice reviews – and check back soon for Game Rant’s official review:

NOTE: While many reviewers played both the current and next-gen editions of Battlefield 4, the opinions included below largely refer to the former category. Where differences do exist between these iterations, most relate to issues of frame rate, and multiplayer match sizing.

IGN (Mitch Dyer):

“The current-gen version of Battlefield 4 isn’t the ideal way to play, but it isn’t damaged or deficient despite its limitations. [BF4 is] still a great multiplayer shooter that makes the most of its ambitions. […] The campaign, on the other hand is a disappointing, but functioning and familiar game with overwhelming action and remarkable spectacle.”

Score: 8/10

Official Xbox Magazine (Taylor Cocke):

“multiplayer excellence can’t completely compensate for a misguided and rote single-player campaign, which makes BF4 an unsatisfying choice for those looking for the total package. Even so, its online offerings remain impressive”

Score: 8/10

Battlefield 4 Beta Server Crashes

EGM (Josh Harmon):

“EA and DICE clearly want to put multiplayer front and center here–and rightfully so. Without question, that main attraction proves itself a worthwhile endeavor, strong enough to almost completely overshadow the lackluster single-player offering. […] this is Battlefield doing what it does best, better than ever before.”

Score: 8.5/10

Polygon (Arthur Gies):

“DICE has failed once again to make Battlefield 4 a serious single-player contender. But its emphasis on ambitious, team-based multiplayer does wonders to wash the taste of that failure away. Battlefield 4 takes the elements that have made each instalment work and glues them together successfully – even if some rough edges show here or there.”

Score: 7.5/10

Joystiq (David Hinkle):

Battlefield 4 successfully piles more content onto its excellent multiplayer while adding just a hint of innovation through Commander mode and Field Upgrades. The single-player campaign, while suffering from a dearth of checkpoints in some missions, does a good job of entertaining throughout its brief conflict, trading in the abysmal dreck that was Battlefield 3‘s story for high-energy spectacle.”

Score: 4.5/5

Soldiers in 'Battlefield 4'

Gamespot (Chris Watters):

“The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions still deliver solid visuals and exciting online play, but with matches limited to 24 players at the most, current gen already feels like last gen. Texture pop-in delays are much more noticeable in the PS3 version, making it the least appealing of the bunch. Regardless of platform, Battlefield 4 multiplayer is a blast and definitely the best reason to return to this hallowed franchise or dive in for the first time. Though the campaign makes strides in the right direction, it remains a sideshow to the main event.”

Score: 8/10

Eurogamer (Dan Whitehead):

“games like Destiny and Titanfall will be pioneering the future of always-online play, where story, co-op and competitive play all overlap, while a seminal series like Battlefield is stretched thin across generations. Consider this the last gasp of the old multiplayer model then. It’s a fine swansong, especially when played on the most powerful platforms, and in particular if you treat the campaign as a free bonus feature.”

Score: 8/10

Battlefield 4 helicopter

Videogamer (David Scammell):

“visual concessions made during multiplayer and [the] occasional bug smack of an engine cracking under pressure, but the top-drawer gameplay makes Battlefield 4 a deeply enjoyable title regardless of platform. As one of the best multiplayer games available on 360 and PS3, DICE’s shooter offers a delightfully destructive send-off to the current-generation.”

Score: 9/10

GamesRadar (Andy Hartup):

” As a package, this is the best Battlefield ever created. While the single-player is far from perfect, it bottles enough multiplayer lightning to garner my rather faint praise of ‘worth a quick play through’. As ever, though, it’s online where BF4 shines brightest.”

Score: 4.5/5

Battlefield 4 is now available for PC, PS3 & Xbox 360 platforms (and November 1st throughout Europe). PlayStation 4 & Xbox One iterations will launch just prior to their respective consoles, later this year.

You can follow Sam on Twitter @GamingGoo

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