PS4/XBOX ONE COMMENTS:
The next-generation of consoles have allowed DICE to push the console versions of Battlefield 4 to new levels which were unheard of in the last generation. The upgrades which have been made in the jump from PS3/360 to PS4/ONE are substantial, and far more than just graphically. Read on for full details on our opinion of the game’s next gen iterations, and if we feel it is worth paying for the upgrade.

The most impressive upgrade (in my opinion) is the fact the game, like the PC version, now supports 64 players in online multiplayer. This brings the game up to the same standard as the PC version, apart from graphics, which come pretty close. The addition of these extra players makes the game feel more action-packed, fast-paced and more lively overall. It creates an atmosphere akin to what you would expect real warfare to be like; the player limit in the PS3 and Xbox 360 version makes the maps feel a bit too big and the match doesn’t feel quite as deep and immersive.

Graphically, the game is extremely impressive. It comes pretty close to the PC version in terms of particle effects, explosions, ‘levolution’, rendering and textures, although you can see that some minor details have been scaled back, but only if you look very closely. The drop in resolution is only noticeable on inspection, obviously more so with the Xbox One version (720p) than the PS4 version (900p), however, it doesn’t make a considerable difference.

The most apparent graphical difference is in the effects and particles on screen. Explosions look so realistic that I would consider granting them ‘borderline photorealistic’, a very impressive achievement. Other effects – such as gunfire, ‘levolution’ (which allows dynamic alteration of the maps based on gameplay events) and even the subtle things like dust and ground textures – all display a noticeable improvement, bringing the game very close to the quality of Battlefield on an entry-level gaming PC. It is vivid, precise, detailed and extremely realistic.

The game doesn’t really change in content (missions and maps) between generations, however, it plays so much better on the PS4/Xbox One. Many of the bugs which were noticed in the PS3/360 versions (due to lack of resources) have been eliminated, and graphically, as we said, it is outstanding. The increase in the player limit also lends very substantial reason to upgrade, as it makes the game feel far more immersive. As we said in our current-gen review (which you can read below), the sound quality is amazing, and this holds true on the next generation versions.

Overall, the upgrade the game has been given freshens the experience, and brings it to levels previously unheard of on consoles. Playing the game on PS4 or Xbox One is even better than playing it on Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, even if you’ve already completed it on one of the latter platforms. DICE has done an astonishing job with the upgrade, and this really is one of the ‘must-have’ next generation launch titles. Even better, if you purchased the game on PS3, the PS4 version is available for the jaw-dropping price of €10/$10/£10, a phenomenal offer, considering what you get in improvements for that price. Due to these reasons, Battlefield 4 is an essential title to own on your next generation console of choice.

NOTE: This review deals only with the UPGRADES which have been made for the next generation versions of Battlefield 4. For more details on the static elements of the game (story, multiplayer content, sound etc), please see our PS3/Xbox 360 review below this note. Thank you for reading!

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ORIGINAL REVIEW (Originally published: 2nd Nov 2013, 16:32)
Today, we have our Battlefield 4 review for the current generation Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions. For next generation consoles, see the section above this post for our opinions on the upgrade. Battlefield 4 makes ambitious changes to the series and delivers the ever-satisfying Battlefield formula once again.

Battlefield 4 is a game where teamwork is key. It is very difficult to survive, especially in those ‘out-in-the-open’ maps, without the help of a team. You must work as a squad to take on certain packets of enemies or objectives, as alone, you do not stand much of a chance. As you progress, you will unlock more and more cool weapons and equipment to use, eventually finding the loadout that works perfectly for you. One of the nice things about the game is that loadouts can be adjusted on the fly, to make instant use of new unlocks.

Tanks, vehicles and aircraft make a return. The online multiplayer component of the game, which is what most people spend the majority of the their time on, plays better than ever. These vehicles and tanks allow you to take on objectives in a different way to the traditional ‘run ‘n gun’ approach, and allow strategic manoeuvres which may suit other players. The realism, flexibility and just pure downright fun associated with Battlefield is what makes it the franchise it is today.

To make a quick word on the campaign, it lasts 5-7 hours and is far more engaging than that of Battlefield 4. It is quite a challenging adventure and definitely has depth; you do gain a certain attachment to the character by the end of the campaign. It is an exciting and enjoyable experience which definitely should not be overlooked. However, we know most people are here to hear about the multiplayer offerings of the game and that is what we will be focusing on in this review.

Battlefield 4 multiplayer is a phenomenal experience even surpassing that of Battlefield 3. Ten maps are available to you on the disk, with a further 4 maps being made available through the CHINA RISING expansion pack, releasing in December, which is included free in the limited edition of the game. This represents a fantastic offer, as you are essentially getting a full DLC pack free with the base game. Seven multiplayer modes are available, and all ten maps support these modes. They are:

– Conquest
– Team Deathmatch
– Obliteration
– Rush
– Squad Deathmatch
– Domination
– Defuse

Each and every one of the ten maps offer a special, unique experience, with very little being re-used between them. Conquest is the classic Battlefield mode, in which you must hold various flags to decrease the points held by your enemy to zero. This works by neutralising and enemy flag, then capturing it. Each map has various destructible elements available, which DICE call ‘levolution’. This ensures that no two games are the same, as the environment changes between each. Tanks are a very fun way to enjoy the game. They allow a squad of team members to traverse a map, one taking the driving seat, one taking the in-built shooting mechanism and third taking the cannon. It is a joy to be able to traverse maps, blowing up parts of buildings, shooting down enemy copters or running over enemies with your monster machine.

Many of the maps in Battlefield 4 are large, open-space affairs in which buildings can be easily crumbled by destroying their support pillars. In one of the maps, a tower containing communications equipment can be crumbled by destroying its support. After this occurs, the collapse of the structure destroys certain routeways and opens up others. Vehicles may no longer be able to pass, and a valuable area may be shut off. The new levolution system introduces a concept never seen before in shooter games, and really is an impressive evolution from Battlefield 3’s limited destructability.

It is very impressive that current generation consoles are able to handle these types of dynamic environments, so, as we expected, some corners had to be cut. The vividness and texture quality of Battlefield 4 has had to be reduced on current gen to allow the game to function. The game still looks great in contrast with other games of the current generation, but for the true experience, you will want the next generation version. Thankfully, if you purchase Battlefield 4 on PS3, you can upgrade to the PS4 download version for just €10, which is an outstanding offer, and I highly urge you take it as you wait for the next gen version.

The next generation versions of Battlefield 4 look absolutely outstanding, and are in another league when compared to the current gen versions. They also support 64 players, which the current gen consoles are not capable of, so, for the best experience, you will want to play next gen. The current gen versions are generally around €10 cheaper than the next gen versions, so, you will probably end up paying more or less the same if you buy the PS3 version and the PS4 upgrade version, plus you get to keep both. It is a great system, which is well worth investment, to keep you ticking over as you wait for the next gen versions.

Without a doubt, Battlefield 4 is one of the best FPSs created in recent times. It offers a complex, customisable multiplayer experience with is presently unrivaled, and a campaign which is worth playing for the story and action. I have had no problems connecting to the multiplayer, and I have seen no glitches or drop-outs with the servers thus far, which shows that EA and DICE are committed to providing the best Battlefield 4 experience. It is a highly recommended play!

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IMPORTANT NOTE: In the SCORES section below:
– (OG) represents old generation, eg. PS3, Xbox 360
– (NG) represents new generation, eg. PS4, Xbox ONE
*lack of either of these means the score is common to both versions