My love of Battlefield goes way back to 2002 when I was just a teenager and picked up the game at release.
As far as shooters went, I spent most of my time playing Counter-Strike and Day of Defeat — two very respectable mods to the uber popular Half-Life, however, they didn’t quite have that caliber that Battlefield injected into the FPS genre.
I imagine it was the full-scale battles and vehicular combat, but to me Battlefield has this “wow” factor that a lot of other FPS games just fail to induce. Over the course of my life I’ve played almost every iteration of Battlefield that has been released on PC and some of my fondest memories of the series are:
1. Flying around in a Huey blasting Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son”; if that doesn’t pump you up, you’re either too young or about as un-American as they come.
2. Sniping various aerial craft out of the skies with a Tank shell.
3. Seeing a Jeep do a stoppie into an endo because a rocket cratered its front axle. Amazing.
4. Stealing a Jet or Helo in mid-air after killing its pilot. There are countless videos of this on YouTube, if you haven’t personally done it — I suggest putting it on your video game bucket list. It will make you and your friends just go nuts when it happens.
Anyways, those are just some of my favorite things that the Battlefield series has given me the chance to witness and/or even cause to happen. Very few games have had that same lasting effect on me or caused me to jaw-droppingly blurt out “Holy S--t!” in the midst of gameplay.
I did play and for the most part enjoyed my time with BF3. However, I also had the same complaints that a lot of others had. In particular, the constant blinding issues caused by flashlights and lasers ultimately forced me into early retirement. I mean I understand some people could handle it — and props to them, I just personally have a hard time playing games with flashbangs and other migraine inducing visual impairments. Graphically the game was astounding and I found that I didn’t have a huge problem with the netcode either.
Prior to the release of Battlefield 4 I took part in the open beta event DICE put on. To my content the flashlight and laser blinding problems were gone, a few other issues had been tweaked in terms of the movement fluidity in the environment and as a whole I was very optimistic about BF4.
At the time of release I didn’t quite have the hundred bucks to spare to pick up the premium or even regular edition upon release and I’m fairly glad I didn’t. DICE came under fire almost immediately for the overall state of brokenness of BF4. There were numerous game breaking bugs, one in particular which caused the entire server to be muted when you put a silencer on a certain sniper rifle. The connectivity and stability issues in beta were initially chalked up to a “Oh, this is a beta build, surely this won’t be a problem in release”. To our dismay this was far from the truth. Even to this day, almost a week after the release of “China Rising” (the first of many planned DLC packs to be released to Premium Members) there are still numerous connectivity issues and stability problems.
I also have a major issue with the new “netcode” they have. In my previous experiences with shooters it was always: if you had a low ping or a lower latency you always had the advantage in these games (caveat: I’m talking between players of comparable skill). Even when I was on the receiving end of the business of a lower latency player I had no problem with this whatsoever, we referred to it as “getting hosted” and even admired those who lived in populated enough areas to have DSL or cable internet. This was just the way things were. Back in the day you paid more for a better connection and reaped the rewards of it; with broadband being more readily available nationwide I couldn’t possibly fathom a scenario where someone wouldn’t want that competitive “edge” in online gaming. I admire developers trying to even the battlefield (heh) by allowing those with a high latency to feel more competitive, but the one in BF4 just seems completely dumpster to me and countless others.
Granted I don’t claim to be an expert or even well-versed in game design or any of the inner-workings of a netcode. I just see the end result of being killed around corners as being very frustrating when I have ~16 latency to a server. If this somehow makes the game run without collectively shitting the bed on multiple systems and connections; then I am totally fine with it. It provides more people for me to shoot at on a regular basis and isn’t that big of an issue in the grand scheme of things. It just seems to differ slightly with my memories of BF2 and in BF3‘s gameplay and provides inconvenient annoyances on a nightly basis.
My biggest issue is the stability/connectivity problems that are abundant right now. With the release of “China Rising” DICE has somehow managed to break the game even more, and that causes me to be very angry. I understand if a game has numerous bugs or is broken in an alpha or beta state. Hell, even on release a few bugs here and there are fine. (Hey Bethesda, notice that I wrote “few”; if it weren’t for the community that loves your games, they would stay in a state of perpetual, bug-ridden, unplayable shittiness.) But numerous game-breaking bugs? That’s a no-no. A big no-no. Nothing puts a developer or publisher in my doghouse faster than: lying to their consumers, treating them like idiots, or releasing a broken, buggy, overpriced, steaming pile o’ s--t. Oh, and Day 1 DLC – Ay Dios Mio, don’t even get me started on that.
Obviously to save face DICE is working diligently to fix these problems. They don’t seem to be making much headway in the unplayable department for many though and that’s just straight up pathetic. Many of these people shelled out hundreds of dollars for multiple copies of the premium edition and can’t even play from the same internet connection. If they are able to play, they sure as hell won’t stay connected long as there is no rhyme or reason as to why you get randomly disconnected at any given time. Woeful indeed.
- Amazing graphics
- Great use of color
- Fun to play with friends
- Definitely not Call of Duty
- Connectivity/stability issues
- Myriad bugs
- Premium Edition – garbage to nickel and dime consumers.
Overall I think the game looks gorgeous and plays rather smoothly (when it works, mind you). DICE never ceases to amaze me in what they can visually recreate with their Frostbite engine. The “levolution” of destruction has caused me to blurt out many obscenities over how cool they are and I have enjoyed myself immensely for the time that I’ve spent whilst playing Battlefield 4. I really only enjoy playing these games online with friends and hardly ever touch on the single player campaigns — most of them are forgettable and stink too much of a “shooter on rails” to be enjoyable.
There you have it folks. To those of you that are still having connection/stability issues I salute you. If you’d like your opinion of BF4 heard, sound off in the comments below!