I think it goes without saying that DICE have made a fantastic game in Battlefield 4. At least, we thought so in our review. Like every game these days, it has it’s fair share of bugs and issues, but overall, it’s a solid game with great potential, most of which was expertly realized. Unfortunately, the problems in Battlefield 4 are real and do have a negative impact on the multiplayer experience.
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I’ll keep this brief because I doubt you care. It’s astonishingly bad. The only reason to play it is for the multiplayer weapon unlocks, and even then, I want the time I invested in playing follow the leader back. Granted single player content isn’t DICE’s strength, it still begs the question, how is it acceptable to release something this bad that was developed with the resources available to DICE, namely, millions of dollars?
The networking in BF4 is arguably better than BF3’s. Bullets actually hit targets when you expect them to, for the most part at least, in BF4, whereas in BF3, thanks to random bullet spread and sluggish networking, it wasn’t the case nearly as often. That said, it still leaves a lot to be desired. What scares me are a few words DICE executive producer Patrick Bach once said in an interview; “You can never have a game like Battlefield, with the complexity of the amount of players, vehicles, bullet trajectory, destruction, etc., and have a perfect net code that is one hundred percent perfect,” he said. So, does that mean we’ll never have the type of smooth gameplay that we so very much crave?
I can’t even begin to express how frustrating it is to lay out an enemy only to be mutually killed after I get the kill. Yes, there are bullet physics at play, but even so, I call BS on how frequently I get mutual kills. The only time I remember it being this bad was in the Close Quarters DLC for BF3, which I think most people will agree was a great demonstration of why the BF3 engine didn’t work well as a COD clone.
Additionally, many users have reported all kinds of bizarre issues regarding animation/player syncing, broken hit detection/registration, delayed hit notifications, and a myriad of other isolated and widespread issues that need to be fixed ASAP.
The Unlock Progression
I’d be lying if I said not having to play for hours upon hours just to get the unlocks I want for a given gun isn’t a breath of fresh air in BF4. But giving new players an explosive weapon by default for every class was a massive mistake on DICE’s part with BF4. Instead of forcing new players to learn the purpose of each kit through practice, they’ve essentially said, here’s something that explodes, have fun. Players in BF4 are much less likely to drop Med or Ammo kits/packs and those that do are typically getting XM25ed constantly. Granted, I think if someone plays for long enough, they’ll realize that doing 5 damage to a tank with their grenade launcher isn’t very effective. There’s still the obvious individual benefit of having a grenade launcher instead of Defibs; you can kill players without expending the effort of having to maintain proper aim or having to be selective with your targeting But this is why we call them noobtubes DICE. They’re crutches, non-valuable weapons that teach players to imagine themselves as one man armies, not teammates.
In conclusion, there as some issues to be had with Battlepacks and Vehicle balance, but overall I think those are issues that won’t have much of a long-term impact on BF4. The campaign sets a precedent for AAA game design that says it’s okay to produce awful content. The network issues ruin some players’ experience absolutely and frustrate most players in general. The unlock progression encourages noob tactics that discourages teamwork, which is one of the central tenants and features of Battlefield. But overall, BF4 is still a solid multiplayer title and I’m optimistic that the multiplayer issues will at least be addressed if not fixed promptly by DICE. And no, two weeks is not promptly, it’s absurd. There is no way to properly test, patch, retest, and distribute a patch that fixes these issues in 2 weeks. That said, I’m not waiting six months for a proper patch either, DICE.
Without turning things into a Battlefield 4 bash-fest, tell us what are some of the things that irk you about the game that you’d like to see fixed or tweaked!