Battlefield 4 PS4 Review
- The Verdict on Battlefield 4
- DICE dropped the ball with launch of Battlefield 4 on the PS4. It's a shame because this is a really good looking game on the new hardware. This is one of the most egregious botched launches that I've ever experienced. Perhaps it will work in the future, but I'm tired of waiting.
- About Our Reviews
Launch for Battlefield 4 on the PlayStation 4 has been rocky to say the least. For almost a week and a half, the game has been broken. Recently, a patch remedied most of the issues plaguing the PS4 version of the game, making it arguably the must-have shooter for the new console. Short of a high-end PC, Battlefield 4 on the PS4 is the best Battlefield experience around. Higher resolution than the Xbox One, this is the definitive version for console players to own.
Battlefield 4 on the PlayStation 4 is a better all-around game than its counterparts on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The Frostbite Engine is an absolute beauty on the new console. It makes for a better single player and multiplayer experience. Higher player counts on modes like Conquest and Rush are something that console players have yet to experience, and it’s easy to see why PC players adore Battlefield for its size and scope. There’s no better showcase for a game that relies heavily on vehicles than large, sprawling, dynamic maps — Battlefield 4 has them in spades.
While the single player campaign may still be a throwaway affair, it’s absolutely stunning on the new console. Battlefield 4 is not going to win any awards for its story telling, but the added visual upgrades make it fun to trek through yet again. And with DICE’s flair for the visually dramatic, it’s better the second time through. The Battlefield 4 single player campaign might be the best looking game on the PS4 at launch. Yes, it looks better than both Knack and Killzone: Shadowfall, but it’s not bringing much more than eye candy to the table.
As we said in our Xbox 360 review of Battlefield 4, this game does nothing out of the ordinary to set itself apart from the legions of other Call of Duty wannabees in single player. It takes you down a largely forgettable 6-hour time sink, that never really hits any sort of emotional highpoint or lowpoint. The graphics definitely improve the experience, and there’s a lot to marvel at in Battlefield 4’s campaign. Playing it a second time was more enjoyable on the PlayStation 4, because of the graphics, and nothing more. Many of our comments from the last gen review hold true here.
“It falls into all the traps that bad shooters do. It uses excessive gating, you’re are constantly waiting for your AI squad mates to show up and open a door for you. It introduces broken mechanics that are supposed to be pillars of the gameplay. The single player works around a squad mechanic that allows you tell your AI squad who to attack and when, but it doesn’t work half the time. The AI is bad on both sides. Enemies will just stand there, mindlessly firing round after round at you, and your team will fire back for minutes without hitting anything. The end result of most firefights is that you just end up going in and killing everyone, yourself. Your team just ends up being a group cheerleaders, telling you nice shot after you’ve completely decimated a small army on your own.
That said, the Battlefield 4 campaign has zero replay value. Unless, you are coming from the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 to the PS4 version. There’s plenty of reasons to play through it again, if you want to see the next-gen system in all its glory. But once you’ve gone through it on the new hardware, there’s very little reason to do it all again. The story is lackluster, and never really builds into anything more than series of spectacles showcasing the power of the game’s engine.
Battlefield 4 PS4 Multiplayer
Now that the online issues have been ironed out in Battlefield 4, this is probably the best online experience out of all offerings across the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 launch titles. First of all, it looks better. The Xbox One version of Battlefield 4 can’t hold a candle to 1080p resolution on the PlayStation 4. It’s instantly noticeable how much cleaner the game looks on the PlayStation. Where the Xbox One looks slightly better than it did on the Xbox 360, it’s night and day between the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
Battlefield 4 on the PlayStation 4 is the way the game was meant to be played. It’s as close as you’ll get to a high-end PC experience, without spending high-end PC money. Increased player counts and larger maps are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what console players have been missing over the last few years. But it’s the most noticeable. The popular Conquest Mode is a whole different beast with higher player counts. There are more objectives on the map, more enemies to shoot down, and more chaos. It lets the Frostbite Engine spread it’s wings, without the confining specs of the last-gen hardware. It’s absolutely beautiful. Battlefield 4 multiplayer on the PlayStation 4 puts other shooters to shame in both the visuals and gameplay. So many players, so much destruction, this is a game that really takes advantage of the new hardware, and not just from better resolution. There are just better effects. The destructible elements of Battlefield 4 are a big part of the game, they look far better on the new console.
Since the release of the patch, things have gotten exponentially better for Battlefield 4 on the PS4. Connection issues seem to be a thing of the past. The issues remain seem to be isolated to non-game breaking bugs, like graphical glitches when using certain scopes, and sound cutting out occasionally. While that keeps Battlefield 4 from being perfect, you can almost forgive it for being so good in every other area.
There’s also some exclusive modes to the next-gen version of Battlefield 4.
If they get it fixed, Battlefield 4 is an impressive beast of a shooter and it could easily be regarded as the best launch game for the new console. And that’s the truly disappointing thing about the launch of this game being broken. It looks and plays better than just about every other game available on the PS4, not being able to actually play it with any consistency, is off-putting to say the very, very least. It’s also disheartening as a fan of the franchise, when other games are working just fine online. Call of Duty: Ghosts, Killzone: Shadowfall, and other PlayStation 4 launch games don’t seem to running into the same crippling issues that Battlefield 4 is.
Update 1: DICE has said a patch has been released to remedy some of the issue that people are having. Unfortunately, this is just a patch for the errors that stop you from seeing crashes every time that you try to load the game. Score updated to reflect the change.
Update 2: Battlefield 4 multiplayer on the PlayStation 4 is slowly coming to life. The constant errors that boot you back the PlayStation 4 Home Screen seem to have been remedied with a patch, so there’s no more crashing. But multiplayer isn’t even close to 100% just yet. Small game modes like Team Deathmatch and the like are the best bets to actually be able to play online. Conquest is still inaccessible, and medium-sized modes like Rush, are hit and miss. Score updated to reflect this change.
Update 3 Six days after its release, Battlefield 4 is still very much broken on the PS4. Upon some improvement following a recent patch, the same errors started popping up again.
Update 4: We are now a solid two weeks from launch, and the game is barely playable. While most of the single player issues seem to have been ironed out, multiplayer problems still persist.