Consider this the last gasp of the old multiplayer model then. It's a fine swansong, especially when played on the most powerful platforms, and in particular if you treat the campaign as a free bonus feature. It's hard not to wonder just what DICE will be able to do when it no longer has to hobble its designs to suit ageing hardware, though.
It may not pack the same shock and awe as its next-gen cousin (the visual concessions made during multiplayer and occasional bug smack of an engine cracking under pressure), but the top-drawer gameplay makes Battlefield 4 a deeply enjoyable title regardless of platform. As one of the best multiplayer games available on 360 and PS3, DICE’s shooter offers a delightfully destructive send-off to the current-generation.
The main draw for the Battlefield series has always been the chaotic camaraderie of its multiplayer, and that's no different here. But the sum of Battlefield 4's parts shows that DICE is capable of more. Not only has the developer iterated on and progressed its marquee multiplayer, it's provided a tight and cohesive campaign that is everything a military shooter needs to be.
The current-gen version of Battlefield 4 isn't the ideal way to play, but it isn't damaged or deficient despite its limitations. It accomplishes less than you'll see on other platforms, but it's still a great multiplayer shooter that makes the most of its ambitions. DICE proves once again that destruction is a valuable strategic addition to competitive combat, even when it's a little ugly, and that battle reaches its full potential with two killer Commanders are bringing out the best in their squads. The campaign, on the other hand is a disappointing, but functioning and familiar game with overwhelming action and remarkable spectacle.
DICE has failed once again to make Battlefield 4 a serious singleplayer contender. But its emphasis on ambitious, team-based multiplayer does wonders to wash the taste of that failure away. Battlefield 4 takes the elements that have made each installment work and glues them together successfully — even if some rough edges show here or there.