Playing the Battlefield 4 beta is like real war. Okay, maybe not but throughout my time with it I was exasperated, constantly laughing, screaming and having a great time. Just like real war. The long awaited Beta was released this past week on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 and boy is it something. Despite some typical beta issues such as crashes and beta driver updates it has been running proper smooth. I personally had a few issues but after a little bit of technical trickery I was in the game and having a fantastic time. The framerate was perfect, there was little to no lag and the game is beautiful. Before I knew it I was riding alongside my digital brethren battling Chinese and American soldiers alike in the streets of Shanghai.
The first thing I was expectant to see was the visuals. Technically the PC version of Battlefield is always the prettiest of the sisters and this would be our first taste of what it might look like on PS4 and Xbox Uno. Much to my dismay (not really) the visual changes are barely perceptible compared to Battlefield 3. I understand it is a Beta but it is pretty obvious this is what the final multiplayer will end up looking like. This is not to say that it isn’t one of the most meticulously detailed and downright eye searingly pretty games out there. 64 idiots running around fapping about and shooting each others faces like wild men on an absolutely massive map while every piece of the environs sheds like paper when touched makes for a spectacle.
The map provided is absurd in its scope, containing a whole set of city blocks in a U shape with a massive skyscraper at its center. What is special is that this towering obelisk of a building can be destroyed and will collapse into the port, which in turn changes the dynamic of the map. One moment I was riding the elevators up with some comrades to assault the top floor command point only to get there and have the building collapse with my squad inside. As we screamed like little schoolgirls in a mixture of glee and terror I could only smile. It is emergent moments like this that make the Beta one of the most pulse pounding and invigorating experiences I have had in a multiplayer game in a while. Riding with buddies, raining hell in the form of a mini-gun out the side of a Huey is a thrill only found within Battlefield. Heightened by the destruction and the new introduction of verticality, especially in this Shanghai map makes for some serious madness. Fighting in the buildings only to be assaulted by a chopper through the windows makes you feel like you’re inside a Die Hard film. The command points are varied and each makes for intense engagements, the map is large enough that fights feel open and free form but it still makes for constant action. The arena size makes the conflict feel epic no matter where you are.
New additions and changes to the upgrades feel welcome. Focus has been put into having to play as specific classes to gain their major pieces of equipment. The classic defibrillators are now unlocked after putting time into the assault class, the assault class now has a grenade launcher. Each class has special unlocks and each makes you want to put time into them, it makes for players sticking with classes longer and less people with the ability to revive allies and the like. It makes for more tense fighting and less of the hordes of medics reviving an ally who has died 10 times in a firefight. Little changes, such as decreasing the strength of tank rounds, the tightening of gunplay , the addition of a lean mechanic and momentum gained when sprinting make it feel like a different game. The paint is all the same but little things like this are huge to dedicated players. All of this goes a long way to making Battlefield 4 the best multiplayer shooter this fall. The combined arm’s is what makes Battlefield great but now it feels like the gameplay can stand the test alongside it. Players will be racking up more kills and there will be plenty of holy $%&# moments and insanity to follow suit. The Beta is available now on your system of choice. Go download it just to get a taste of what people are talking about. If you don’t like Call Of Duty or Halo this may just be your cup of tea, if you like both those games then this will still be your cup of tea, if you don’t like video games then go away.