Battlefield 4 runs well in 7 year old machines and it is still fun to play, but if you want the true "Battlefield experience" get it for either PC, PS4 or Xbox One.
Back in 2012, when I received my special edition copy of Medal of Honor: Warfighter I thought "Wow man, I get to play the Battlefield 4 beta early, f*ck yeah!". I had like 300 or so hours in Battlefield 3 at that time so I was super excited about it. But as time passed and the beta released, all that excitement suffered a "levolution"...
It was bad, like really really bad. The map for Conquest was way too big for 24 players and Domination was just a sh*tfest. It looked total rubbish, the frame rate was f*cked up, tons of glitches/bugs and the whole cool "Levolution" deal only made things worse. So I was not excited about Battlefield 4, hell, I didn't even ask EA for a promo copy. But the amazing EA PR peeps sent me one and in the end I am glad they did.
Battlefield has been and still is all about mutliplayer. With every installation DICE has improved the mutliplayer to a almost perfection making it the best place for gamers to unite and battle. The epic scale, the cinematic look and feel, the epic infantry and vehicular combat, the amazing "Only on Battlefield" moments, all of those throughout the years have made Battlefield games worth everybody's time and money and Battlefield 4 is no exception.
Now before going to the comments below and start bashing what I am about to say know that I haven't tried the game on the PC on Ultra or in the next(current) gen, but only in the old one, PS3 and Xbox 360. The multiplayer of Battlefield 4 on PS3 can be fun, at times, if you choose the correct modes to play. And in this case correct modes are Rush, Obliteration and at times Team Deathmatch. Why? Well, because the main mode, the one that makes a Battlefield game truly a Battlefield game, Conquest, is totally broken and it simply doesn't work. The maps are frickin huge for 24 players. You will be running around for minutes before finding someone to kill and that's not fun. This running around would have been acceptable if you had beautiful things to look at, but that is not the case here but also it isn't DICE's or Battlefield's fault. Being huge, the maps don't load properly. There is a ton of texture pop-in which also takes a lot of time to load making it look worse than Minecraft.
Also the whole Levolution deal, where an event is triggered that supposedly changes the whole battlefield, is not as cool as they marketed it. First because activating, causing or executing the event takes you away from the battlefield since you have to do something "unique" for each one away from the action. Second, it doesn't really change anything in the battlefield apart from the flooding event. A fallen skyscrapper in the middle of the map, only creates nooks and crannies where snipers can hide. Also a fallen satellite dish away from where most of the action happen has no effect whatsoever in the course of the battle. The only exception is the flooding, which is caused when the dam is destroyed and that changes the whole battlefield as it rises the water level making most of the ground vehicles useless. You have to use choppers to get on top of the buildings to get an advantage on the enemy or parachute down or you have to use the boats or jet skiis to move around the map. Last but not least, the Levolution events are not that great to look at, again I am talking after playing only in the old gen, and have a great impact on the frame rate causing it to drop to unbearable levels.
Domination is another mode and it also sucks cause it's a sh*tfest, but for different reasons than Conquest. DICE kinda changed the classes where now every class has an explosive weapon, being it a rocket launcher, grenade launcher, airburst explosive gun, C4, claymores and such. They moved the C4 from the support class to the sniper class and I kinda liked that since it balances the game even more making the snipers now more fearsome. But when all of these classes are combined in Domination, the game or mode becomes unplayable. The maps are trimmed down so they are very small to support a full on 20 or 24 players match. People like to just spawn rape, they camp in a prone position with their 200 bullets bipod LMG and there is nothing you can do to counter or survive that. And if you survive spawning you will get annihilated by all of the grenades, rockets and the other explosive weapons. This is Battlefield trying to offer the Call of Duty experience, but it just doesn't work. It's just not fun and since no one makes an effort to play the objective, which is capture the flags, these matches drag too long.
So an advice, if you are planning on getting Battlefield 4 on the now old gen just skip these two modes, Conquest and Domination. Instead go and play the other two modes, Obliteration and Rush. Obliteration is a new mode and in my opinion it's one of the best additions to Battlefield. It plays like a football match. Two teams, each with 3 objectives to protect and 3 to destroy and only one bomb that spawns randomly in the battlefield. I had a blast playing the mode! Soldiers running to get the bomb, soldiers on tanks, LAVs, Jets, choppers protecting or hunting down the bomb carrier, soldiers on Jeeps and ATV trying to pick up or road kill the bomb carrier... it's just crazy...crazy good! It's a mode full of action where everybody runs towards the objective, get the bomb and destroy the enemy's "MCOMs". Sure it's not good for the bomb carrier as everyone targets him and yes, thing get a little chaotic, but it's fun, a lot of fun. The maps are still big, but they seem to work fine within this mode. Texture pop-in is still annoying here, but not like Conquest levels. Once the textures load, they will be there for the rest of the match.
The other mode you'll want to play it's the classic Rush mode which is better than ever, one team attacks, the other one defends. It's simple and fun, if your team knows to PTFOs, that is... If you also add the incredible map designs the geniuses at DICE have crafted for Rush only makes it better. There was a map, which I don't remember the name, where the attackers spawned in a battleship and have to cross the sea by air, swimming or flying much like in Noshahr Canals in Battlefield 3. But the layout is much different where there is a small island between the land and ship where snipers of the attackers can go camp and cover their teammates who are trying to destroy the MCOMS. The defenders in the other hand have turrets, heavy MGs to counter them, towers and building to hide and shoot from. When everyone plays the proper way, the correct way you should play a Battlefield game, it's a lot of fun and super satisfying.
Team Deathmatch and the other mode Squad Deathmatch return and if you liked them in the previous Battlefield, you will still like them here. If you didn't like them, like me, then you will stay away from them. There is also a new mode named Defuse where each player is given a single life per round, every shot fired having the potential to drastically change the outcome. The match is won by either killing everyone in the other team or arming and destroying a "MCOM" like object. The maps are small and I won't lie, there is fun to be had, but it doesn't really stand to its name, Defuse. In most of the matches I played, no one tried to arm the "MCOM", instead it turned into a old school Counter Strike Team Deathmatch.
The new modes are not the only new things DICE added in Battlefield 4 multiplayer. There are also some cool new additions. Returning from Battlefield 2 is Commander Mode which is the ultimate level of teamplay. It takes you one step above the established squad leader chain of command and gives multiplayer matches something unique that you don’t see in your average shooter. In Commander Mode you can help your team mates by giving boosts to ground soldiers if specific criteria is met, you can drop vehicles or ammo crates, you can also spawn soldiers cutting down the 10 second cooldown. But you can also fire a Cruise Missile, launch the AC-130 Gunship which is a force of nature if used correctly, mark HVTs and reveal the enemies by using UAVs. It's a great addition and if the commander knows what he is doing, you and your team will have a clear advantage on the battlefield. A big plus is that you now you can play Commander Mode from a tablet, meaning that you can command your team even while you are in the bathroom. If you want more information about the Commander Mode, click here.
The unlock system pretty much remained the same and that is a good thing. Meaning that you still unlock new weapons by leveling up the class and you still unlock new attachments for the weapons if you use them enough. I really liked that system in the past Battlefield games and now in Battlefield 4 it's better than ever. What I didn't like were the new Battlefield Battlepacks. The packs can include such items as new gadgets, weapons, and soldier skins/camos. Players will also be able to unlock additional weapon skins, vehicle unlocks, weapon accessories, and more. The packs are categorized as “bronze”, “silver”, and “gold”, depending on player’s rank and the items included in the package. Now I know that you can unlock these pack by just playing the game, but you can also buy them in Battlelog using real money. Level 1 dudes running around using high level ARs and shotguns... Micro-transactions suck in some games and this is one of them.
The overall feel while playing is a bit better than Battlefield 3. The gameplay feels a little faster, the character movement also. The driving, flying physics are still the same and in game can create some funny situations. Piloting a jet feels different, but I cannot say if that is bad or good, it just feels different. The weapons feel, look and sound spectacular and that is to be expected by DICE. The classes have gone through some changes, as I said snipers have C4 now and new recon related gadgets. The other classes also have new gadgets that are new for the Battlefield series. Knifing also received some changes. If you knife someone from behind, then you will kill him and take his dogtags like in Battlefield 3, but now if you knife someone in front, he has the ability to counter-knife and yeah, it's as frickin cool and satisfying as it sounds. Soldier, weapon and vehicle customizations are bigger than ever with offering thousands of different combinations for players.What else, what am I forgetting? Well, whatever just know that if you play either Obliteration, Rush and a little Defuse, you will have a great time. But if you have bought or are planning to buy Battlefield 4 for either PS3 or Xbox 360 to play Conquest, the true Battlefield experience, you are in for an utter disappointment.
That's all for multiplayer, now I wanna talk about the campaign. I am going to say that I really liked it, well, the gameplay part. Gameplay wise the campaign feels like a true Battlefield game, meaning that DICE has finally managed to implement the "multiplayer feel" into singleplayer. Part of the levels are big open areas and the game gives you different possibilities on how to tackle each scenario, nearly sandbox style. For example you can jump on a jeep and ride into combat guns blazing or you can get into high ground with a sniper and start taking shots at the enemy. Or you can order your squad to engage the enemy in a firefight giving you the possibility to flank and kill them all without much hassle. Or you can go all Rambo with a LMG, single and multi grenade launchers as gadgets causing incredible mayhem. You can now choose and change your loadout using the many supply crates laying around the battlefield. As I said you get that sense of freedom you get in a multiplayer match even though everything is scripted. Yes, it is still a cliche fest, but that is to be expected in the overly saturated FPS games market. Another thing or things that DICE has improved in the singleplayer are the set pieces. For years now they have tried their best to have Call of Duty like "WOW moments" in their games, but they haven't quite really had them until now. These sequences are badass and epic, but almost don't make sense when everything is supposed to be realistic. I get it that CoD has some pretty insane moments, but the ones in Battlefield contradict themselves. One moment you will fall down from a 30 feet building with concrete walls following you or survive an impossible dam collapsing, but a character in the story will die cause he fell from a ten steps ladder?! The enemy AI ranges from badass to just plain stupid as sometimes they will pin you down hard and murder you, but sometimes they will run around in the open or take cover where there is no cover at all remaining fully exposed.
Also what didn't make any sense was the story that DICE was trying to deliver. It takes place in 2020, six years after the events of its predecessor. Tensions between Russia and the United States have been running at a record high. On top of this, China is also on the brink of war, as Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, plans to overthrow China's current government. If he succeeds, Chang will have full support from the Russians, bringing China to the brink of war with the United States. What I said, is taken directly from Wikipedia cause I didn't really understood what was happening while I was playing it. You take control as a voiceless soldier named Recker and you are part of the "Tombstone" special operations squad which is tasked with something important, but I still don't know what was it.
Joining you are some recurring characters from Battlefield 3, but the why is nowhere to be found. Also the main antagonist, Admiral Chang, is nowhere to be found. He is supposed to be this scary admiral who will chase and hunt down your team, but that's nowhere t be found. And the end is just stupid, someone removes the bandages and ploop, the war ends and peace follows. It was extremely short, it was extremely unsatisfying and I didn't feel any sense of achievement. Sorry DICE but your storytelling is worlds apart from that of Call of Duty games.
Visually the campaign looks amazing. I was extremely surprise how good the environments looked, the weather effects, the level of destruction, the character models and especially their faces, it all looked next-gen running in an old-gen machine. It also ran surprisingly well in a 7 year old machine like the PS3, the frame-rate was solid it felt faster than 30fps most of the time. Voice acting was really good, something you would expect from a blockbuster franchise. The writing in the other hand meh...
Bottom Line: So to sum up everything, Battlefield 4 is a good FPS, not great, to play on the 7 years old consoles. There is still fun to be had with the 24 max players multiplayer modes like Obliteration and Rush, but if you are looking for the true "Battlefield experience" you will not find it here. Campaign (singleplayer) is really good and fun to play through even though the story is pretty much rubbish. Technically the singleplayer looks great and runs extremely well, the multiplayer is a whole another story. My best advice, get this game for the next-gen, PS4 or Xbox One or if you have a beast gaming rig get it for PC.
Battlefield 4 was reviewed on a PS3 using a promo copy provided by EA. Battlefield 4 is now available for PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4 and Xbox One.