It’s been a couple of years since we were thrown into a DICE-driven shooter, with Battlefield 3 making waves on both the single player and multiplayer fronts. This Tuesday, we’ll head back into action with Battlefield 4, the latest entry in the series. It comes with a number of improvements over the previous game, along with more destruction and plenty of features for both modes.
Instead of flashbacks, the single player story is more direct. A central command station gets shut down, leaving an assault team in disarray and reporting to a new captain. She’s a no-nonsense soldier with a mysterious past, which leaves her teammates questioning her loyalty. Together, they’ll brave the odds and face a large group of enemies using everything in their arsenal.
With Battlefield 4, most of the shooting action you’ve come to expect from the series – fast-paced and intense – will stay intact. With this in mind, there are some new wrinkles that will keep things interesting.
The first thing you’ll notice is the dual-scope system first introduced in last year’s Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Using this, you’ll be able to take out enemies using two sets of iron sights, making it easier to shoot adversaries up close and from a distance.
Next up is the introduction of water-based combat. Mainly taking place on the Paracel Storm map, you’ll work your way through naval combat scenarios and occasionally take to the water, where you’ll face another threat that you need to bring down. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of land-based combat that you’ll get involved with, whether you prefer running around on foot or climbing into one of the game’s vehicles.
Battlefield 4 also introduces a whole new level of destructive combat. Not only will you blast apart the sides of buildings and larger vehicles, but you’ll do damage on a massive scale. Those who played the beta are already familiar with the Siege of Shanghai map, where the overall goal for one team is to bring a skyscraper crashing down. It’s not an in-game cinema, either – you get to see it crumble in real time, which is a fantastic sight; just make sure you’re out of the way when it falls.
We previously talked about the changes coming to Battlefield 4’s multiplayer mode, but we’ll cover them here in case you missed out. You’ll team up with fellow gamers in full-on 24-player combat, or 32 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. That’s a whole lot of chaos across the 10 maps, which range from massive to small and intimate, perfect for those quick skirmishes.
Conquest, a popular mode with the series, will make its return, along with Domination, Obliteration, Defuse, Team Deathmatch, Squad Deathmatch and Rush. Each has different rules you can tweak, and other players can vote on your selections and take part in a match. Considering the large user base for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, you should have no trouble finding competition to go up against.
Even if direct multiplayer isn’t your thing, there are a couple of other options available. First up is Commander Mode, a supplementary feature that makes use of a tablet device. After connecting it to the game – which only takes a few seconds – you’ll add another player to the action, having them call out maneuvers for select soldiers on the ground. These include tactical assaults, as well as gunship and missile strikes, depending on supply. Watching these in action as they’re executed is really something else. Players who are used to running and gunning on the ground may be tempted to give it a try, just to see what it’s like.
Then we have Spectator Mode. While watching other players battle may seem boring, it can also be an educational experience. By watching fellow players in action, you can learn tactics, seeing their style and applying it to how you play. Want to know why someone keeps getting the drop on you? Turn this Mode on and you’ll be able to see them in action. Different camera views are available as well, in case you want to get a certain perspective.
Between a robust single player campaign that will take you all over the world, quality multiplayer and other options, Battlefield 4 is easily be one of the best games in the series. We’ll see how it fares when the game arrives on Tuesday, October 29th for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC; November 15th for PlayStation 4; and November 22nd for Xbox One.