My thoughts about Battlefield 4 so far.

For starters, this is all on console. I won't go down on graphics and such since I'll be getting the game for PS4 in the future, so complaining about graphics on 8 year old hardware is pointless.

So far I've gotten mixed feelings about beta, there are a positives and surprisingly many negatives too, some of them are something that DICE can't fix. I'll suggest few adjustments that'd make the game play better, and you're more than welcome to agree. Any sort of discussion is welcome.

I'll start with the negatives.

  • Siege Of Shanghai must be one of the most awful maps I've played. If I'm not wrong, the game has always been about playing the objective and teamwork. Right now you can access rooftop next to every flag on conquest. On Domination, you can access rooftop that has vision to 2 out of 3 flags. You have one access to these rooftops, elevators. Usually people camping on rooftops have a friend or other player next to them with C4 planted or with shotgun. You think it's bad now? Wait till Recons get claymores and supports get remote mortars. This kind of crap is exactly why I didn't want Recons to get claymores in the first place, just encourages camping. Ruins fun for other players, and who it hurts the most is your teammates. For reference, majority of my time in BF2, BC2, BF3 and BF4 is spent as Recon. If they want to keep the elevators, add alternative ways to get on top of rooftops and put a out of bounds zone on top of buildings that don't have an elevator going up to them.
  • Flag capture areas are insanely big. You can capture a flag on conquest from rooftops in C and B flag, with B, you remain hidden to other people on lower floor, and only way to access you is coming up with a elevator, where you can place a C4 or Claymore, or just point your gun at elevator with closed doors. When the skyscraper has been destroyed, you can capture B flag underwater.
  • Faster kill times, longer respawn time. This just makes dying to a guy waiting next to elevator with shotgun or getting killed by some useless sniper on top of rooftop more frustrating. I don't really mind the faster respawn times, but the killtimes were good in BF3 in my opinion, hardcore was viable option for people wanting "more realistic kill times".
  • No suppression. This is the thing making this more enjoyable to play than BF3.

Now that we got those off, I'll post things I've been impressed by so far.

  • Battlepickups aren't that bad. I was very relieved to see this. They work as intended, they give a short time power weapon, but on most you still have to be able to use them to get kills with them. So far none of them have been giving "Wow, that guy is invincible with the gun" feeling. They're very limited on ammo which is good, and respawn time isn't too fast either. They add a nice spice to the game in my opinion, even though at first I was very against them.
  • Squadwork is rewarded. Field Upgrades. I like this very much, playing with friends makes the bar fill very quickly and this gives feeling that sticking with squad is rewarding. They give a small bonus, but nothing that gives you and your squad too much of an edge. Afterall, biggest trait you get is teamwork, which is a lot more powerful than any of the field upgrades.
  • Point system overall. I have a friend who hasn't got insane reflexes or isn't overall that good in FPS games, but he often gets in top 3-5 by handing out ammo, spotting and teamwork. In BF3, the best way to rack up score was just plain killing people. Now you can easily pass those on top of building sitters just by being a good teammate, even if you're not that good at FPS games overall.
  • Class Balance. Class balance seems very good, aside from support's LMGs being absolutely terrible. U-100 even loses to pistols on toe to toe fights. Assault kit still has that beginner friendly point system, but I think it's just a good thing. New players should definitely be encouraged to pick up an assault and work as a medic instead of picking Recon and taking an elevator to sit on top of a building.

Few more complaints but I'm pretty sure all of these are going to get changed.

  • No Recoil. There is almost no recoil, my guess is this is to make the game more newbie appealing to attract...you know, that crowd.
  • LMGs are useless. You have better chance killing people with pistols than using U-100.
  • RPG bullets have more splash damage against infantry. At long range engagements, it's better to shoot RPG than your PDW or Carbine.
  • Your teammates don't always have a name on top of them. At times you shoot a tank and wonder why it didn't take damage. Then suddenly a friendly name pops on top of it.
  • No BF3 controller layout. Man this has gotten people so worked up, and I can understand them. New controllers aren't that bad, but you should be able to use BF3 style controls.
  • Weapon customization screen is a mess. You this stick up to choose this, use that stick left to choose that, click the stick and spin it around to choose another. Ok, not that complicated but it still feels clunky.

Overall, I've both liked and hated the beta. I feel like conquest battles are decided on which team has less people camping on top of rooftops, wins. I fear that this will be even worse on Siege Of Shanghai when people get claymores and their 40x scopes. I have faith in DICE though, BF3 beta did feel very odd and it had faster kill times than BF4 beta has now, this was changed in final version.

27 Comments
27 Comments
Posted by leebmx

@verendus I played some of the Beta this evening on a 360. Now I have never played a Battlefield game, apart from some Bad Company 2 campaign, so I am not really qualified to talk about it any depth as you do. The one thing that really struck me was the way it looked. I thought it was really, really ugly. Terrible graphics, bad textures, pop-in, grainy, dull with no detail anywhere. Coming from GTA5 to this felt like going back a generation.

Now I know lots of PC people will say 'what do you expect,' but I am really not a graphics whore and my disappointment was not in comparison to the PC videos I have seen online, it was just from my knowledge of what the 360 can do. I've seen COD, Halo etc and this seriously looked as if it was PS2 standard compared to them. It really didn't look finished. Is this something to do with it being a Beta, have they tweaked the graphics to a lower setting for some reason? I was honestly shocked at how dull, featureless and lacking in detail the world was.

This really isn't a troll post, and I am not trying to make fans of the series angry, I was just amazed at what I was seeing. Anyone else have the same impression?

Edited by MeatSim

Yea that was pretty much my experience on Siege Of Shanghai too. That skyscraper in the middle usually goes down within the first 5 minutes of the match. Then you get a lot of people camping the rooftops of buildings that can't be destroyed, while they have allies camping the elevators.

It certainly is different then any map in the previous Battlefield games though.

Edited by Verendus

@leebmx: I don't think there is anyone here who disagrees how horrible it looks. But we must remember it's on current gen consoles and my guess is that they had to tone down graphics to increase the destruction. Battlefield 3 looked better on consoles, but it had that blue tint to it and hardly had any destruction.

Edited by AquaGeneral

This is madness. I just was watching my brother playing the beta on PS3 and it looks fine. It has the global illumination, ambient occlusion and such, comparable to how The Last Of Us looks (of course with less detail, being a multiplayer map). I have been playing GTA V on 360 and every time I see it, I think it looks relatively unclear and noticeably compromised to what I am used to (which at the moment is the BF4 beta on PC). The PS3 version of the beta was far from ugly, I don't see how anyone could even say it is close to that.

Siege Of Shanghai may allow players to access rooftops near every flag, but that's generally how the situation would go in real life. It is to me a miracle that something like this is allowed in games now, it's taken a long time. Camping is another non-issue. People are going to camp in any game no matter what, in the end if you are better than the camper, the camper will die.

The capture size does not matter much since any competent team will search thoroughly the area to eliminate all enemies anyway. I can see the issue in being able to capture while underwater, but if your team outnumbers the enemies underwater, the flag will be captured by your team.

I do also hope that respawn delays are lowered.

Suppression is still in the game. Only LMGs and snipers create suppression.

The default engineer weapon, the MX4 has a horrendous amount of recoil (made up for the fact it has such a high rate of fire). The support's default LMG to me is one of the better guns I've used in the beta, it remains powerful, accurate and has a large magazine size.

I don't mean to be overly blunt, but I find this chatter to be dumbfounding.

Posted by MAN_FLANNEL

Yeah, I thought it looked VERY ugly too. Did BF3 look this bad? If it did I can't believe people give COD crap about graphics...even with the scale difference between the two games. After the skyscraper falls it's litteraly sub PS1 textures on the ground. The iron sights on the SCAR were a fucking solid square half of the time for me.

Anyways I had fun with it for a couple hours. I have no idea how people fly those helicopters tho...

Edited by Verendus

Siege Of Shanghai may allow players to access rooftops near every flag, but that's generally how the situation would go in real life. It is to me a miracle that something like this is allowed in games now, it's taken a long time. Camping is another non-issue. People are going to camp in any game no matter what, in the end if you are better than the camper, the camper will die.

This is a game. Far from simulator, most of people prefer balance over realism. Using "In real life" argument doesn't really fit in.

Campers don't hurt opposing players, if enemy team has people sitting on top of rooftops firing potshots, I don't care that much. Who they really hurt is their team. Right now matches are settled by whoever has less teammates sitting on top of buildings jacking off to their k/d ratio, wins.

@aquageneral said:

The capture size does not matter much since any competent team will search thoroughly the area to eliminate all enemies anyway. I can see the issue in being able to capture while underwater, but if your team outnumbers the enemies underwater, the flag will be captured by your team.

Competent team? You don't play this game with randoms do you? If you played BF3 you must've learned that you can't rely your teammates to do anything. If you wanted something done, you had to do it yourself. Same goes in BF4. Capturing underwater isn't biggest issue, being able to capture base from rooftop on B for example, only way your competent team can search enemy players is by elevator, and enemy team will notice you coming there when elevator doors close, giving them huge edge.

@aquageneral said:

Suppression is still in the game. Only LMGs and snipers create suppression.

My bad, I meant random bullet deviation from suppression. Even if it's LMG or Sniper rifle, your gun's barrel no longer turns into boiled spaghetti when you're being shot at. Just increased recoil and sway now, making gun fights much more about having better aim rather than whoever shoots first, has the edge.

@aquageneral said:

The default engineer weapon, the MX4 has a horrendous amount of recoil (made up for the fact it has such a high rate of fire). The support's default LMG to me is one of the better guns I've used in the beta, it remains powerful, accurate and has a large magazine size.

Horrendous amount? No it doesn't, it has highest recoil out of the guns in the beta, but it's far from uncontrollable. AK-12 for example has near 0 recoil. But I'm pretty sure DICE will add recoil to guns once they've lured in "that crowd".

I don't mean to be overly blunt, but I find this chatter to be dumbfounding.

Like I said, you're very welcome to disagree. I don't mean to be blunt either but your "In real life" argument made think the same way about your post.

Posted by leebmx

This is madness. I just was watching my brother playing the beta on PS3 and it looks fine. It has the global illumination, ambient occlusion and such, comparable to how The Last Of Us looks (of course with less detail, being a multiplayer map). I have been playing GTA V on 360 and every time I see it, I think it looks relatively unclear and noticeably compromised to what I am used to (which at the moment is the BF4 beta on PC). The PS3 version of the beta was far from ugly, I don't see how anyone could even say it is close to that.

I am playing it on the 360 so I can't really comment on the PS3, maybe it's better. In GTA they do great things with light and colour to make up for the disadvantages and also it is a huge map with no loading in compared to the much smaller BF4 map.

I guess we will have to agree to disagree but the impression I got was of a game either unfinished, or where all the textures had yet to load in. Looking at my gun for example I kept expecting another layer of detail to appear but instead it was just this murky dull surface.

As another poster mentioned maybe it is because of the destruction that they have to lower the quality but I was honestly shocked. I am no COD fan, I haven't played since BLOPS1, but that looked way better than this.

Posted by Seppli

There's lots of gadgets missing from the overall balance. Like the remote mortar. That thing is a beast, from what I've seen. Also, mounted guns on vehicles have enough elevation to pepper any pesky campers on buildings. Then there are the choppers.

I don't get the complaints about the map. From where I'm sitting it's an amazing map. First ever metropolitan downtown combined warfare gameplay ever on this map. And it's pretty smartly designed too. Holding C gives one easy access to all capture points, and once it's downed, the whole dynamic changes again.

Most rooftops have elevators, and you can easily countersnipe from rooftop to rooftop. I have never played Domination (because I've little interest in infantry-only), though DICE is known to sometimes fuck up map layouts for non-Conquest/Rush modes.

Edited by Verendus

@seppli said:

I don't get the complaints about the map. From where I'm sitting it's an amazing map. First ever metropolitan downtown combined warfare gameplay ever on this map. And it's pretty smartly designed too. Holding C gives one easy access to all capture points, and once it's downed, the whole dynamic changes again.

Well, I'll trust your judgement. Like I said, I've only experienced the game on current gen consoles where there are only 3 flags. Metro tunnel, Skyscraper and Shopping Mall. And like I said, I'm not bothered by enemies sitting on top of buildings, but having them as teammates is absolute cancer to teamwork.

I don't know how much this will differ in final game, considering open beta lures people who haven't played BF to begin with.

Edited by Alexander

To me Siege of Shanghai is not a good map although it does offer up a style of play quite different to 3. I'm currently pitching in with other BF3 admins for a BF4 server and we know for sure this isn't going to be on the rotation as we settle on one map. Overall there are a good few improvements made, the overall feel is decidedly more arcady (good or bad depending on who you are), there are balancing issues that one would hope would be addressed and there have been some technical and networking problems on the PC side that I can't imagine will all be fixed with the release so close. It does look fantastic despite plenty of unfinished textures, shame about the current-gen console versions.

[edit] one welcome change is the cooldown on vehicle ammunition, namely the chopper gunner that can't spend the whole round firing non-stop, taking on targets is now a more considered affair.

Posted by GreggD

Snipers are supposed to camp. It's their job. Active sniping can be fun, but also incredibly difficult to master. But yeah, camping is part of the role. Get used to it.

Posted by Seppli

@verendus said:

@seppli said:

I don't get the complaints about the map. From where I'm sitting it's an amazing map. First ever metropolitan downtown combined warfare gameplay ever on this map. And it's pretty smartly designed too. Holding C gives one easy access to all capture points, and once it's downed, the whole dynamic changes again.

Well, I'll trust your judgement. Like I said, I've only experienced the game on current gen consoles where there are only 3 flags. Metro tunnel, Skyscraper and Shopping Mall. And like I said, I'm not bothered by enemies sitting on top of buildings, but having them as teammates is absolute cancer to teamwork.

I don't know how much this will differ in final game, considering open beta lures people who haven't played BF to begin with.

With 64 players, it's pretty hard for campers to be disruptive.

Posted by Seppli

I forgot to mention that I love the big capture zones. Finally some room for tactics while capping flags. Like a little contained deathmatch, rather than being forcibly exposed.

It's a great incentive to be more pro-active and forthcoming with offensive actions.

Posted by chiablo

I was hoping for some Red Faction Gorilla destruction. I'm really disappointed that only one building is destructible. Usually in battlefield demos and betas, the map they pick is the best they have to offer, this does not bode well for the retail release.

On PC, the battle map on a second display is absolutely brilliant and almost worth the price of admission.

Posted by Verendus

@greggd: Yeah, no. Can you at least give some sort of proper argument for it? And "Because that's how it is in real life" isn't one.

When it comes to objective based gametypes like conquest, using a sniper rifle isn't an excuse to be waste of a teammate slot. Their equipment to support their teammates requires moving with the team. I understand defending from Rush, but aside from that, sitting on top of a rooftop just makes you useless teammate.

Posted by Humanity

I tried out the 360 "beta" this weekend and I don't know if I've felt as indifferent towards a game in a long time. Maybe the FPS genre is just dying for me, or maybe it's Battlefield itself? I loved 1942 on PC but that was ages ago. Then Battlefield 2 was also really great despite the broken AA leading to jet domination for entire matches. Despite everything I really fell in love with Bad Company 2 on console and thought they adapted the classic Battlefield gameplay really well to the console reality of smaller map sizes and fewer player count. So come Battlefield 3 I was ready to dive in again but that game somehow didn't do anything for me and I stopped playing shortly after. Maybe it was the maps, none of which felt really well planned to me, or simply getting burned out on the formula? So when I loaded up BF4 I was greeted with the same feelings I had for BF3 only magnified times ten. Bad maps, boring gameplay.

For people that have never played a Battlefield game before it might be exciting, but for me it's just another FPS at this point.

Posted by Fattony12000

I've been waiting for Backstab to make a reappearance in the Battlefield series.

BETTER THAN WAKE ISLAND.

LOL.

COME AT ME.

Posted by chiablo

Shanghai is such a colorful place:

But in BF4, it's the most grey and brown city in the world:

Posted by GreggD

@verendus said:

@greggd: Yeah, no. Can you at least give some sort of proper argument for it? And "Because that's how it is in real life" isn't one.

When it comes to objective based gametypes like conquest, using a sniper rifle isn't an excuse to be waste of a teammate slot. Their equipment to support their teammates requires moving with the team. I understand defending from Rush, but aside from that, sitting on top of a rooftop just makes you useless teammate.

The class is called Recon for a reason. Find a high place, set up shop, spot and support with sniping. That's how it's always been in Battlefield.

Posted by churrific

@chiablo: Do they ever show Shanghai at night in the beta? Lol I'd imagine that second picture is pretty much how colorless Shanghai would look like in the daytime.

Posted by GaspoweR

@seppli said:

@verendus said:

@seppli said:

I don't get the complaints about the map. From where I'm sitting it's an amazing map. First ever metropolitan downtown combined warfare gameplay ever on this map. And it's pretty smartly designed too. Holding C gives one easy access to all capture points, and once it's downed, the whole dynamic changes again.

Well, I'll trust your judgement. Like I said, I've only experienced the game on current gen consoles where there are only 3 flags. Metro tunnel, Skyscraper and Shopping Mall. And like I said, I'm not bothered by enemies sitting on top of buildings, but having them as teammates is absolute cancer to teamwork.

I don't know how much this will differ in final game, considering open beta lures people who haven't played BF to begin with.

With 64 players, it's pretty hard for campers to be disruptive.

Yep, from my experience on PC with 64 players, I found that people camping on rooftops can still get jumped on by people parachuting on them or get fired upon by a chopper. With lower numbers in a map, I'm sure it's a lot more frustrating.

Posted by Verendus

@greggd: It's called Recon, not Cliffwanker. And that's how bad Recons have always viewed the class as in Battlefield.

Edited by GreggD

@verendus said:

@greggd: It's called Recon, not Cliffwanker. And that's how bad Recons have always viewed the class as in Battlefield.

A RECON unit that's primary weapons are SNIPER RIFLES is doing it right by "camping". Higher ground means better ability to spot and provide overwatch support. I really don't understand what your issue is, here. They're playing the role as it should be played.

Edited by Verendus

@greggd:

SOFLAM was changed to PLD so you could use them easier and more effectively, while on the move.

T-UGS supports team when moving with them, not from rooftops. Same goes for wookie balls.

Spawn Beacon is great asset hidden behind enemy lines or near center of map to get near objective, near useless if it's placed in middle of nowhere.

C4's don't destroy a single tank from on top of a crane or similar..

Get the point? If DICE would've planned the class for being a useless shitbag "long range sniper providing overwatch and cover" on top of a roof why did they add 25m chest shots to the game? Doesn't that kind of imply that even the lesser skilled bolt-action users are encouraged to move with the team and capture objectives, because that is how you win a game.

Yes, bolt-actions have the longest range out of the guns in the game, that doesn't mean they're limited to being used from 2000m away. "Providing overwatch and cover" argument is usually posted by people who are just a waste of teammate slot. Majority of the equipment is great asset to team when you're on the move, not when you're a mile away from the objectives.

For example, I haven't seen a single team win a game and go "Man, we couldn't have pulled that one off with one squad sitting on top of a mountain spotting enemy or two and firing potshots."

Edited by GreggD

@verendus: Too many snipers on a team is bad, I agree. But with the total number of players, a couple recons hanging out on a rooftop covering an objective is not in itself a bad thing. Any good sniper will move to the overwatch of relevant objectives. Not everybody does that, sure, but to argue that it's not a valid way to play the class is flat-out wrong.

(I can't seem to fix the bold, sorry)

Posted by bigsmoke77

@churrific: There is night time Shanghai in the singleplayer and it is amazing!

Edited by earlygrab666

Of all the problems I have for this game, the fact that the mp maps feel empty and create a run to the objective only to be killed just as you get there by the player that just got there before you, aka the every other player stuck in the same run to die cycle as me.

sorry or the run on sentence. I guess the short is that this games mp was made for 64 players and it feels like it. I regret buying it for this current gen which sucks cause I have zero interest in the launch of these "beta" next gen systems.