Battlefield 4 Beta Impressions

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#1 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

At first glance, it's merely BF3, but fixed. From the HUD to the UI to the overall mechanics and the art direction. All the little touches that just didn't feel quite right, didn't quite add up in BF3? It seems to jell so much better this time around. It really shows that DICE had more time working on design, rather than just getting the technology behind it working well enough in time.

Looking at it more closely, it's also bigger & better & more badass. Objectively, Shanghai Rising is a first for gaming, and for longtime Battlefield veterans like me - a dream come true. I always wanted to wage war in this kind of metropolitan downtown area. It's full-on combined arms warfare with 4 choppers, 4 MBTS, 2 APC, 2 Attack Boats, and a whole bunch of jeeps and jetskies and whatnot. Parachutes can take you from C (the famous destructible highrise in the center) to anywhere you want quickly. Absolutely amazing design.

Haven't seen a commander yet. Dunno if it's even live yet. That'll add a whole additional layer of craziness onto it, with cruise missile strikes and the likes.

P.S. I refuse to use the other thread with the biased title as the feedback thread. 'Eff that.

P.P.S. You absolutely need to turn off post effect AA, and turn up texture filtering. FXAA makes it look blurry and crap, and texture filtering is cheap, and makes it look oh so much crisper.

#2 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

It is official now. My PC is outdated. I had no trouble playing games like Witcher 2 on max except Ubersampling but I can not even play this game on low settings in 720P^^

But I watched some streams and it looks mad fun. Too bad I can not play anymore....

#3 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@darji said:

It is official now. My PC is outdated. I had no trouble playing games like Witcher 2 on max except Ubersampling but I can not even play this game on low settings in 720P^^

But I watched some streams and it looks mad fun. Too bad I can not play anymore....

Most of it is server related stutters right now, I'd say. It stutters regardless of settings and hardware really.

#4 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@seppli said:

@darji said:

It is official now. My PC is outdated. I had no trouble playing games like Witcher 2 on max except Ubersampling but I can not even play this game on low settings in 720P^^

But I watched some streams and it looks mad fun. Too bad I can not play anymore....

Most of it is server related stutters right now, I'd say. It stutters regardless of settings and hardware really.

I dont think that this is the case for me. May game even lags on the mapscreen. on Auto i get like 10 FPS on medium like 10-20 and on low prob a bit more than 20 but it feels so slow I really doubt it is server related since I tried like 5 or so but I will try it tomorrow again i guess but my prediction is that I need a new PC^^

#5 Edited by Mister_V (1219 posts) -

How are the classes? One of my gripes with 3 was the sniper was just reduced to shooting dudes. I really liked what they did with the sniper class in the bad company games (you could call in artillery/airstrikes etc) is there anything like that in this?

#6 Edited by Ekpyroticuniverse (143 posts) -

@darji: Go get driver updates. I had same thing and I am using a 670. Updated drivers to beta drivers that came out yesterday and it now runs as well as BF3. Game is in Beta so should improve as time goes on.

#7 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@ekpyroticuniverse said:

@darji: Go get driver updates. I had same thing and I am using a 670. Updated drivers to beta drivers that came out yesterday and it now runs as well as BF3. Game is in Beta so should improve as time goes on.

Already did that. I don't have that great of a PC with 4GB ram and a 460GTX anyway but so far it was enough to play games on high or max in at least 720P but this one is just too much^^

BF3 runs great though.

#8 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@mister_v said:

How are the classes? One of my gripes with 3 was the sniper was just reduced to shooting dudes. I really liked what they did with the sniper class in the bad company games (you could call in artillery/airstrikes etc) is there anything like that in this?

Sniper has C4. Sweet.

In general, it seems like classes have one more gadget overall in their loadout than they still had in BF3, which should make them feel more complete and adaptive to the challenges in the field.

#9 Edited by mosdl (3228 posts) -

Its a beta, performance will improve as I bet they have a lot of debug stuff to measure performance/etc for this.

From a few rounds the game does feel better than BF3 (and I loved BF3). The in-game UI seems much improved as well

#10 Posted by jayjonesjunior (1087 posts) -

$60 Map pack, i'm getting it for PS4 because it is going to be a big change on consoles, as for the PC, i'll keep the BF3 until, of course, EA releases a patch with force bugs to kill BF3 and force us into buying the new game as they did with BF2 and BC2.

#11 Edited by Zurv (441 posts) -

god damn it.. my mojo for BF is gone.. in 15min i killed nothing. damn u kids! (first shake to the sky).

As for perf it seemed fine at ultra preset and UltraHD rez. (80-90fps)

I'm looking forward to playing some more after work.

#12 Edited by BaneFireLord (2913 posts) -

The fact that the skyscraper has invariably come down within a minute or two of starting matches has me a bit miffed. Kinda feel like there should be some sort of grace period before that can happen.

#13 Posted by TIEfighter77 (80 posts) -

Jesus I'm ready to get home so I can dive into this!

#14 Posted by Monopolized (454 posts) -

PC - Fun so far.. Looks great

Console - Fun so Far .. very blurry (aliasing)

#15 Posted by Verendus (348 posts) -

Few improvements come to my mind.

1. Bring option to use BF3 controls. Put that Battlelog crap to start menu for that controller scheme.

2. Put 10 second killzone to on top of some of the buildings, mainly the ones that aren't next to objective. So many cliffwankers.

3. Increase the kill times a bit, to BF3 level perhaps.

4. This is something DICE unfortunately can't do.. remove retarded teammates.

Otherwise, the game felt good. Light Machineguns seemed bit underpowered, but overall I felt class balance was pretty spot on.

#16 Posted by Cronus42 (274 posts) -

Yea there's some serious performance issues with this right now. Unplayable FPS low with a 580. Something seems wrong there.

#17 Posted by radoman (23 posts) -

Did y'all get the latest beta drivers?

#18 Posted by Korwin (2831 posts) -

@darji said:

It is official now. My PC is outdated. I had no trouble playing games like Witcher 2 on max except Ubersampling but I can not even play this game on low settings in 720P^^

But I watched some streams and it looks mad fun. Too bad I can not play anymore....

The game is a really good CPU beast, makes proper use of 6 and 8 threads. It pegs my i7 4770K at around 70-80% across all 8 threads pretty much the whole time, and it's over clocked to 4.5ghz.

I really like the refinements they've made to the user input, it feels much more responsive than BF3 does. Also the new damage model and weapon physics are welcome, doesn't take half a clip to take someone down now so I feel like I can actually shoot dudes.

#19 Posted by Funkydupe (3312 posts) -

Does team balancing rip apart squads still?

#20 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@radoman said:

Did y'all get the latest beta drivers?

I think most of the stuttering is a server issue. Most chugging I get when I aim at people. Probably something related to their predicitive algorithm (netcode) and beta servers not being up to the current workload creating some kind of conflict. When I'm alone on a server, it performs quite well using AMD's latest non-Beta drivers.

All it takes is aiming at somebody and shit goes down the drain. Like 5 out of 10 times, if I aim at somebody things go haywire.

#21 Posted by wemibelec90 (1563 posts) -

I played a bit last night (admittedly, only a few games), but my first impression was that it feels much quicker and looser. It's as if they went another step or two on the slider towards CoD instead of Battlefield. I just don't feel like that weight I know from BF3 is there anymore, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

#22 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@seppli said:

@radoman said:

Did y'all get the latest beta drivers?

I think most of the stuttering is a server issue. Most chugging I get when I aim at people. Probably something related to their predicitive algorithm (netcode) and beta servers not being up to the current workload creating some kind of conflict. When I'm alone on a server, it performs quite well using AMD's latest non-Beta drivers.

All it takes is aiming at somebody and shit goes down the drain. Like 5 out of 10 times, if I aim at somebody things go haywire.

Just ran it on low on an empty server, and while it's running at 50ish frames, it sometimes chugs hard. Some of it may be because it's predicting collisions or something, but it seems like BF4 currently is in dire need of optimized drivers and whatnot. Guess I'll have to install those betadrivers afterall.

P.S. As people start unlocking more and more lock-on weaponry, the more I dislike it again. Really can't stand it. There's no fighting a *beep beep* in a dignified face-off manner.

#23 Posted by chiablo (908 posts) -

Just played about an hour of BF4 and it just feels really... meh.

The battle screen on a second monitor is brilliant, the guns feel decent, and performance is good. But after a hundred or so hours of Battlefield 3, I don't want any more of the exact same game. The map changing once the middle building collapses is neat, but I didn't notice a lot of other level destruction outside of that. In Bad Company 2, we had that awesome snow level that started out forested, but by the end of the round, it was a barren wasteland. And big tanks full of fuel that blew up spectacularly. Not seeing this here outside of very specific areas of the map. I guess we won't get true Red Faction Guerrilla levels of destruction until they get completely away from the PS3 and XBox 360.

I liked that it's easier to get onto roofs of buildings via elevator, but I rarely ever play sniper, so this is meaningless unless I'm going up there to gank enemy snipers. The map is so wide open that it is designed with snipers in mind, the assault rifle is too inaccurate at the ranges expected by the map maker because there are 5-lane highways separating each building.

Tanks feel worthless against infantry now. Tank shells don't hit where you're aiming and even if you hit the ground right next to a soldier, he takes barely any damage. Helicopters feel good, but it seems like there are two independent games happening at once: tanks vs. helicopters, and infantry vs. infantry. I never felt any danger from infantry as a tank, and never felt any danger from mech units while an infantry.

I don't think BF4 is going to be bad, per say... just a patched BF3 map pack.

I honestly don't know a single person who's at all interested in the single-player campaign. If they are truly interested taking the multiplayer crown away from CoD, then they should release this as a multiplayer-only game for $40.

#24 Posted by TIEfighter77 (80 posts) -

Ok, I have about 2 hours under the belt and I'm not sure yet. I wasn't killing anything and I consider myself a descent BF3 player with 120 hrs on that game. Couldn't figure it out, my gun was coming up slow and couldn't get on target. Put FRAPs up and I'm getting horrible frame rates like below 30. And that's at lower setting too. I have the new beta drivers, I'm running a GTX 760, 16gb memory (yes I know that's overkill), and an i7 2600K. There is no way this game should be running that slow. I can play BF3 over 60 no matter what. It's frustrating, any ideas? Is it the servers?

#25 Posted by TIEfighter77 (80 posts) -

I am running it on an Apple Cinema Display at 2560 x 1440 so I know it's pushing it but still it should be running fine.

#26 Posted by wemibelec90 (1563 posts) -

@seppli said:

P.P.S. You absolutely need to turn off post effect AA, and turn up texture filtering. FXAA makes it look blurry and crap, and texture filtering is cheap, and makes it look oh so much crisper.

Oh, is that why it looks so damn blurry? I thought I was just crazy or something, because all the videos I saw looked SO much better. Now I know how to fix it. Thanks!

#27 Posted by dlow (1 posts) -

Wasn't impressed until I saw that you can lean. 2:04 mark. Awwwwyeah, sweet leanin.

#28 Posted by Butano (1728 posts) -

Having a lot of lagging issues with the game, though I'm not sure if it has to do with the network, or just that my CPU is too old (Intel Q6600). As much as I loved BF3, I'm not sure I'll be getting 4 immediately on release. Other than the UI changes, it doesn't look much different than 3 to me.

#29 Posted by myketuna (1655 posts) -

@cronus42 said:

Yea there's some serious performance issues with this right now. Unplayable FPS low with a 580. Something seems wrong there.

I'm having a similar problem with my GTX 570. The newest drivers and the recommended drivers (320.49) didn't help anything.. It could just be that our cards are not as good anymore, but even then I feel like I shouldn't be watching a slideshow at 720p, all low settings. I'm going to leave it installed and see if DICE make a patch or nVidia drops some better drivers later on.

#30 Posted by Sjupp (1910 posts) -

The shooting feels way better and more responsive, my computer totally can't handle it though :(

#31 Edited by PandaBear (1310 posts) -

Has anyone in Australia playing on Xbox 360 got this yet? Is it in the XBL store or BF3 one? I couldn't find it this morning. Now I'm at work. I need the infos.

#32 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

@dlow said:

Wasn't impressed until I saw that you can lean. 2:04 mark. Awwwwyeah, sweet leanin.

Lean is contextual, not a key btw.

As for perf issues, turn off occlusion or dial it down, seems to help a lot.

#33 Posted by yoshisaur (2665 posts) -

Haven't played it yet, but I watched Hat Films (a youtube channel) play it, and it looks great. I wish I had a computer to play it on, though. One powerful enough, that is.

#34 Posted by NoelVeiga (1074 posts) -

Liking it a lot so far. It feels snappy, responsive and huge compared to BF3. At least on PC. Technical issues aside (it's a Beta, after all), it seems a lot better designed. I actually used the command wheel to ask for ammo and it worked, generated a response from somebody. Spotting feels better, vehicles feel more varied, spawning is refined, verticality is cool, destruction is clearly amplified...

It's definitely the DNA of BF3, but clearly there was enough there to refine to make this a better experience.

And on the technical issues... well, we'll see what driver magic GPU makers come up with, but if this is running 1080p60 on next-gen consoles, the concept that a middle-of-the-pack PC can outdo them may be well off the mark.

#35 Posted by Blackout62 (1331 posts) -

Maybe it's just this close quarters map but I can snipe without praying to the bullet drop gods so I'm happy.

Concerning the hitchiness, well this why it's being beta'ed.

#36 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@noelveiga said:

Liking it a lot so far. It feels snappy, responsive and huge compared to BF3. At least on PC. Technical issues aside (it's a Beta, after all), it seems a lot better designed. I actually used the command wheel to ask for ammo and it worked, generated a response from somebody. Spotting feels better, vehicles feel more varied, spawning is refined, verticality is cool, destruction is clearly amplified...

It's definitely the DNA of BF3, but clearly there was enough there to refine to make this a better experience.

And on the technical issues... well, we'll see what driver magic GPU makers come up with, but if this is running 1080p60 on next-gen consoles, the concept that a middle-of-the-pack PC can outdo them may be well off the mark.

I can't be bothered to upgrade my PC right now, with the PS4/Xbox One coming and all. I'm sure once the serverside of things is up to snuff and drivers and code are optimized, even my lowly PC (HD 5870 1 GB, AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE, 8 GBs of DDR3) will run it smoothly rendering at 1080p with medium-high settings, that said I'm not going to gamble on that. Won't get it until the PS4 is out.

I really hope it'll run smoothly on my PS4. If it performs to my full satisfaction, that'll set a great precedent for this upcoming generation, and it's inherent potential. If not...

#37 Posted by SunBroZak (1030 posts) -

Does the beta give you any sense as to how you'll unlock attachments and such for the weapons?

#38 Edited by MachoFantastico (4509 posts) -

My PC struggles with Battlefield 3 so doubt this would work, which is a shame because it looks fun. Damn my outdated ATI 5870.

I was considering the PS4 version, but keep hearing some less than spectacular things about that version. So Battlefield 4 will have to wait a long while.

#39 Posted by OldManLight (828 posts) -

currently getting a ton of stuttering and i'm using a quad-core phenom II 965 black, 12 GB RAM, and 2 HD7770's in crossfire mode, i've installed the catalyst 13.10 beta 2 drivers, still get the stutter. Thinking like @korwin said that the game is a real CPU hog as i saw the recommended settings were a intel quad core or AMD 6 core. This sucks because i'm not in a position to upgrade my CPU any time soon.

#40 Posted by Nadafinga (957 posts) -

(Playing on PS3)

Controls are snappy & tight, gunplay is satisfying. Sound design is improved from BF3. Parachuting seems easier to control. Love that auto-deploy is back in when you want to respawn.

Overall, the game isn't a huge overhaul to the formula, its mostly small changes & tweaks, which all seem to be well thought out and fun (weapon pickups on the map, squad bonuses, knife counters, etc). But for the most part, it doesn't really feel all that different from BF3. This isn't necessarily bad in my eyes, since BF3 was great in most ways, and BF4 seems to be an improvement overall...but unless you're a die-hard Battlefield guy, there's not a huge incentive to get this game.

Only thing I'm not so sure about these "battlepacks" though, which are a straight rip of the weapon packs from Mass Effect 3 multiplayer. Its obviously an EA thing to try to microtransaction the shit out of all their games, but I'm dubious that they'll "fit" into the game's persistent progression. It's easy enough to ignore, but its the one thing that really sticks out to me as a publisher forcing something on the developer.

#41 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

My PC struggles with Battlefield 3 so doubt this would work, which is a shame because it looks fun. Damn my outdated ATI 5870.

I was considering the PS4 version, but keep hearing some less than spectacular things about that version. So Battlefield 4 will have to wait a long while.

No the PS4/One versions are really fine and running at 60 FPS question is only if 1080P or not. Otherwise it will be totally fine.

#42 Posted by jgf (383 posts) -

I played it yesterday with ultra settings on pc. It seems like a fine game, but I don't see a huge difference to BF3. Some of the textures were a bit dissappointing. Some posters/pictures had pretty lowres textures even on ultra. Hope thats just the beta version and it will be fixed. So far it felt more like a DLC for BF3, which isn't essentially a bad thing, because BF3 is great. I'm not sure if I'll buy it, think I'm doing just fine with BF3.

#43 Edited by CByrne (188 posts) -

I still don't understand the auto lean mechanic they have going on.

Lot's of bugs that I don't think should be in this, like if someone revives you, the Spawn UI doesn't go away until you spam ESC and Deploy, but by the time you get back to your player you've been murdered. Seeing muzzle flash through walls. these aren't "polish" issues.

And so you can hate me, the spawn on squad is annoying. nothing like siting in a room reloading and some guy run in and 4 people spawn on them. It's dumb.

All in all, I probably won't pick this up in at launch unless they come out with more compelling things. I'm starting to think I've outgrown these types of FPS's and it saddens me. Time to go back to Arma or something that doesn't have people spawning out of nowhere or spamming grenade launchers.

#44 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

The serverside of things seems to go a lot smoother now. The increase in playability really showed me how much fucking fun BF4 can be. Loved tonight's session. Despite it still running badly and looking like dogpoop on my system.

And damn if 64p Conquest on Shanghai Rising isn't the most amazing Battlefield has ever been. For me, a dream come true. This is the metropolitan downtown warfare map I always dreamed of playing on.

P.S. just got my first Battlepack reward. Seems like the attachments in there will just be variants of regular unlocks, like additional Red Dot Sights to the ones we unlock via regular progression. Also got an XP booster. It feels pretty rewarding, since it affects every XP/score gain in-game, with a neat little visual indicator...

...but the XP boost affects score, turning it into Pay 2 Win if you care about the scoreboards. That's really not how these things should be handled. Mighty uncool!

#45 Edited by wemibelec90 (1563 posts) -

It was working fine for me the last couple days, but now I can't seem to get into a game without Punkbuster, DirectX, or Origin crashing and booting me out. No idea why. Kinda frustrating, as I'd like to play a bit more. I was starting to enjoy it.

#46 Posted by Vod_Crack (706 posts) -

Only played two matches. Seems to play really well but it's really similar to BF3, to the point where I think a lot of players aren't going to switch. It also looks like arse on the 360. I assume the retail final release will have the option to install HD textures like with all of the other Frostbite 2 games.

#47 Edited by Amilmitt (237 posts) -

@oldmanlight: dont worry its just really horrible optimization. i'm running an AMD FX8350 on low settings and i'm still getting bad stuttering. its not even using all of my 6870 power, but its maxing out all 8 cores on the cpu.

#48 Posted by SpudBug (633 posts) -

just had a great match where i was 2nd place for points. Spent the first half sniping on top of C and laser designating vehicles, then the rest of the time in a constant struggle to keep E. I love how you can get wrapped up in one control point while completely different battles are going on on the other side of the map.

#49 Edited by Sammo21 (3214 posts) -

@jayjonesjunior: Yeah I normally BF on PC as well but this time around I am going to play on PS4 and then move over a little later.

#50 Posted by Nadafinga (957 posts) -

@seppli said:
P.S. just got my first Battlepack reward. Seems like the attachments in there will just be variants of regular unlocks, like additional Red Dot Sights to the ones we unlock via regular progression. Also got an XP booster. It feels pretty rewarding, since it affects every XP/score gain in-game, with a neat little visual indicator...

...but the XP boost affects score, turning it into Pay 2 Win if you care about the scoreboards. That's really not how these things should be handled. Mighty uncool!

waiwaiwaiwaiwait.....

It boosts your in-game score? All other previous "double xp weekends" in BF3 gave you an XP bonus after the round, but actually boosting your in-game score? That's fucking horseshit.

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