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

Published 11 months ago by

Battlefield 4 Group

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

TAGS: Battlefield 4, DICE, Electronic Arts, PC, PS3, Xbox 360

12 Comments

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  1. I wonder why these blurbs seem to focus on the singleplayer so much. Battlefield is very much a multiplayer game and nothing more. If you’re buying Battlefield for the singleplayer, you’re doing it wrong.

    • They talk about the single player because it is part of the game. With creating a single player mode meant that the developers expected gamers to play it. The reviews are critical of that because what the creators expected people to play wasnt that great.

    • The thing is though, they have proven that they can make exceptional campaigns like in Bad Company while still having a pretty good multiplayer. To use other games as reference, the Halo series has usually been deeply rooted in campaign gameplay but that did not prevent them from making great multiplayer. Some may believe it has the best multiplayer, it doesn’t by the way, but they worked on both and it shows. Battlefield should be no exception. I’ll go ahead and say it, inflammatory comments be damned, Call of Duty has done a better job at making campaigns and it is considered to be one of the worst ongoing franchises.

  2. I really don’t know why they would let the single-player take from the score. Seriously, I play the single player just to play it, then it’s nothing but multiplayer after that. This is a multiplayer game, period.

    Also, why the heck are these reviewers bothering with the console versions of the game?? If you’re going to review a game, why not review the top apex version and just play the PC version? All of this talk about player limits, and pop-up are completely irrelevant to me… Anyway, I’m playing it on my PC now, preordered it for $46. The visuals are awesome, but yah, so far the single-player is nothing new… Just want to get through it so I can get to the real meat and potatoes…

    • Because they want to have fun developing? Making a good single player requires more creativity than multiplayer. Maybe they don’t succeed but at least they are trying to get better. Maybe one day they will surprise us.

      • @doc

        I guess, I just find it might be a waste of their time and money. Imagine if they had focused all of the resources spent on the single player on more content in the multiplayer, (LIKE INCLUDING THE FN FAL FOR ONCE!!!) that would be pretty awesome…

  3. Yo dawg. I heard you like reviews, so we put a review of some reviews in the review.

    • We need to go deeper

  4. The game press reviewers better start reading the player reviews on EA’s BATTLELOG for BF4 on the PS3… because it’s getting pretty ugly over there.

    The BF4 multiplayer is horribly broken. Read the player comments: http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf3/forum/view/2955065670116714207/

    Players are going back to BF3 to play a working game. I’m not buying BF4 on the PS3. I’ll wait for the PS4 version of BF4 and hope DICE gets the game right and not rush the PS4 version out for the Holidays in a broken state… looking to fix BF4 over the next few months…. like DICE had to do with BF3 on it’s release. It took DICE 5 months to get BF3 working on the PS3 and it’s BF3 customers were outraged over that issue.

    A List of Current BF4/PS3 Problems… and it’s getting bigger each day! http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf3/forum/threadview/2955065670119699428/

    BF4 on the PS3 is a waste of money as of today. And I don’t see DICE wasting their time, money and effort to fix it on the PS3. DICE should have put all their efforts into the PS4 version… and make it right on 11/17/13. Battlefield players don’t care about the Single Player part of the BF4 game. Battlefield players want a perfect Multiplayer game!!

    It took DICE 5 months with BF3 on it’s release, to make BF3 a Clan Friendly game. We bitched for months to give us PRIVATE SERVERS, a working comm system and Squad/Platoon Fixes, so the Clans had a working home base on BF3… like we had in SOCOM.

    Don’t look to the gaming press to give you accurate Multiplayer review of BF4 on the PS3. Don’t let them blow smoke up your butts. WAIT… Do your Research before you buy games today. The majority of today’s games are broken on their Day 1 release… and their developers hope to patch their game to make it work as advertised over the next few months.

    I’m getting the PS4 console on Day 1. But with the high expense of Multiplayer gaming on the PS4 and now BF4 with all it’s hidden expense to play it… I’ll wait to buy BF4 on the PS4 for several weeks after it’s release to read the Battlelog players reviews and comments… to see if BF4 will even work on the PS4. If not… I’ll let my money stay in my wallet until DICE makes it work.

    Of course… SONY has their own problems with the PS4, with it’s broken USB and Blu-Ray connections. SONY can’t afford to screw up the PS4′s debut. Microsoft has their own problems with the xBox One. The next-gen Consoles and the next-gen games are being rushed to market to meet the Holiday buyers credit cards. January 2014 is a tossup if we will have working hardware and games or not. I see a lot of next-gen gamers frustrations coming!!

  5. I am largely disappointed with this game. This was the biggest letdown and in my opinion the biggest waste of $60. No I am not a COD fan, I haven’t bought another COD game since MW1. The story was stale, the game was SHORT. By short I mean you can beat it in 2 hours on the hardest mode. Just like Assassins Creed 3, Wolfenstein, and RAGE. I feared this gimmick would happen. The Video Game industry better do something about this before they become the next Hollywood.

    • I rate this game a good 2/5.

    • @Wally

      Um, seriously, have you tried the multiplayer? I’m literally playing the single player just to get through with it, then I’m only going to play multiplayer. Remember when Battlefield didn’t even have a single player campaign at all? Why don’t you just pretend this was then, and rate it based on the multiplayer, which is all that really matters in a Battlefield game in the end… I honestly don’t even remember what happened in the BF3 single player, lol, and I don’t care… :-P

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