At one of the biggest video games shows on the planet, Gamescom in Germany, I was invited to take part in a behind closed doors showing of EA’s top games. These included Titanfall and FIFA 14. One of the most exciting games that I got to see at the fancy EA section was the next generation version of Battlefield 4.
The group of journalists and I were invited into a small room filled with monitors and PlayStation 4 controllers by an EA representative. There we were asked to sit down and watch as a large screen at the back of the room showed off the new features in a cool trailer. All of it was information previously seen (although I did like hearing that you can shut down the elevators and electricity in the skyscraper level that has been shown so much, that was news to me) but what was most exciting was the promise that this was one of the first showings of the game on the PlayStation 4. After being told what we were playing and a bit about the map, telling us that the new mode, Obliteration, was being shown at the official public EA booth. So what I would be playing was Domination on a small section of the new map, Parcel Storm. Good, I thought, something I will be used to as someone who has spent a considerable amount of time with Battlefield 3. What I didn’t expect was the level of similarity between the two Battlefield games.
Obviously two games in the same series will be similar but the differences were fairly non-existent. Looking at the game, it is obviously a step up from an already brilliant looking Battlefield 3. But it wasn’t such a jump that it reminded me I was playing a next generation game. I could have easily mistaken it for a PlayStation 3 game. Maybe I had just been shown too much top of the range PC gaming trailers and gameplay so the way it looked on PS4 disappointed me. As always though with the Battlefield series, lighting is great and movement around the map is fluid. Other players do not look so good, especially on the close ups after being killed by someone but due to it being a first person game, the third person viewpoint isn’t going to be very polished.
In gameplay, if you have played the previous games, you will be able to pick up and play with ease. Granted, the shoot and throw grenade has now moved to the R2 and L2 buttons, you should be able to feel at home straight away. There is the ability to do 64 player online, which is exciting for console players but in this instance it was normal fare for consoles with a smaller amount of players more akin to the console versions we already have. Yes, only 8 journalists per team. Domination works in the same way as before but, really, what can you do with such an old game mode. What I found especially interesting was the lack of real “Levolution.” In case you don’t know (somehow), “Levolution” is what DICE have added in to allow players to majorly change the way the map will play such as taking down a skyscraper. There was only the ability to open and close container doors which gives you the ability to close people in but nothing more.
I walked into the Battlefield 4 demo hoping for a lot more from the PlayStation 4 version and left feeling a bit less hopeful for the next generation shooter. Should DICE show us more concrete information that will make the console version an interesting prospect against the PC version, this will warrant me another look. For now, at least, the game is looking to be a decidedly average affair.