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Battlefield 4 Multiplayer Review (PC)

Battlefield 4 was finally released last week Friday in South Africa, and it was not the most stable of releases. The servers have been struggling with lag issues, especially on the larger servers, and the game has quite a high tendency to crash on you for no apparent reason.

However this is pretty much standard for most game releases nowadays, as increasingly large numbers of people flock to try out the newest and best games on the market. The local servers have been packed to the brim since launch, and hundreds of gamers look past the instability to play what is for me, the FPS of the year so far.

The first thing that has to be talked about in Battlefield 4 is the graphics and the new Frostbite 3 engine because oh damn, it is shiny. The capabilities of the new Frostbite engine is truly amazing, and combined with the “levolution” concept makes for “movie – like” experiences as you charge your way to victory. The graphics itself and attention to detail on the multiplayer maps is supurb, and each map feels completely different from the others.

The modes make for a nice and diverse experience in terms of gameplay, and each of the seven different game modes gives you different goals to accomplish in the game. Only six of the game modes are currently available on the current servers, as DICE’s official competitive mode, Defuse, is only 5v5, so is not really suitable for public games.

In Domination there are points that you have to hold and defend from the enemy team, and are usually on quite a small map, so the action is fast and intense. There are no vehicles of importance in Domination, so it is all about the infantry.

Conquest is probably the oldest Battlefield mode around, and is similar to domination except on a much larger scale, and with all vehicles included. This mode is usually the mode on the largest multiplayer servers, and gives you enough space on land and sea to do what you want.

Obliteration is one of the new modes added in Battlefield 4, and I describe it as “Battlefield touch rugby”. Each team has three objectives that require a bomb to detonate, and the bomb randomly spawns on the map. Everyone can see where the bomb is at all times, so things become hectic extremely quickly. The first team to detonate all three opposing points wins the game.

Team Death match is exactly that – a fight to the death. The first team to reach so many kills wins the round, and is your classic FPS mode.

Squad Deathmatch is similar to Team Deathmatch, except it is all about your squad. Four squads of four to five players battle it out, and the squad with the most kills at the end of the round wins.

Rush was introduced in Battlefield 3, and is a fast ground-based mode where the attacking team has to take down a series of objectives.

The vehicles in Battlefield 4 handle better than ever, and come in a vast array of types to get you around the map, from small two man dune buggies and jet ski’s to large, five man helicopters. The most imbalanced of the bunch at the moment is definitely the LAV (light armoured vehicle), which takes more than it should to bring it down and outputs an incredible amount of destruction.

The experience of actually playing a game in Battlefield 4 is truly an exciting one, and I even went so far as to put on my headset, just so I could get the full experience of the game (my headset usually sits alone and forlorn in a desk drawer). The sound in the game is terrific, and you can hear exactly where footsteps are coming from. On the other hand, with walls exploding all around you, buildings falling and burning helicopters nearly hitting you on the head at almost every stage of the game, the excitement seems to never end when playing multiplayer in Battlefield 4.

To get yourself set up you will have to use the new Battlelog and Loadout menus that have been introduced in Battlefield 4, and although people have griped about it, I must say I am a fan. Although my phone can’t handle the Battlelog app, I have it on good authority that it is a great way to spend your work day while colleagues think you are working, but is still quite buggy and slow.

Changing your loadout in Battlelog is easy and fairly straight forward, and is as easy when you are in game. The guns get steadily better as you progress your way through levels, so don’t despair if you don’t like the starting weapons – the suffering won’t be long.

When you talk about Battlefield 4 multiplayer, everyone will have their own crazy story about what they managed what they thought was impossible in game, and those crazy experiences that you can have in no other game.

This is what makes Battlefield 4 unique and is also why it is the platform to jump competitive FPS into the next generation.

Score: 9.5

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