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Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4
The cover photo of Battlefield 4

Developer

EA Digital Illusions CE

Publisher

Electronic Arts

Composer

Johan Skugge
Jukka Rintamäki
David Tallroth

Series

Battlefield

Engine

Frostbite 3

Platforms

Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Xbox 360
Xbox One

Release date

October 29, 2013

Genres

First-person shooter, real-time strategy (Commander Mode)

Modes

Single-player, multiplayer

Distribution

Optical disc, download

Battlefield 4 (also known as BF4) is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts. The game is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3. The game was released on October 29, 2013 in North America, October 31, 2013 in Australia, and November 1, 2013 in Europe and New Zealand and it will be released on November 7, 2013 in Japan for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.[1][2][3][4]

GameplayEdit

Features several changes compared to its predecessor. The game's heads-up display is much the same, composed of two compact rectangles. The lower left-hand corner features a mini-map and compass for navigation, and a simplified objective notice above it; the lower right includes a compact ammo counter and health meter. The mini-map, as well as the main game screen, shows symbols marking three kinds of entities: blue for allies, green for squadmates, and red/orange for enemies.[5][6][7]

Players can use dual-scoped weapons, including weapons with different firing modes (e.g. single shots, automatic fire). They can "spot" targets—marking their positions to the player's squad— in the single player campaign (a first in the Battlefield franchise) as well as in multiplayer, allowing teammates to either suppress or eliminate them. In addition, players will have more survival capabilities, such as countering melee attacks from the front while standing or crouching, shooting with their sidearm while swimming, and diving underwater to avoid enemy detection. The single-player campaign will see the player using vehicles to quickly traverse mini-sandbox-style levels.[5][6]

MultiplayerEdit

Battlefield 4 - MP - Commander Mode

The new Commander Mode interface in Battlefield 4, showing an overhead view of the map "Siege of Shanghai"

Battlefield's multiplayer has been confirmed to contain 3 playable factions; U.S., China and Russia and up to 64 players on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Also confirmed is the return of the "Commander Mode" last seen in Battlefield 2142, which gives select players an RTS-like view of the entire map and the ability to give orders to teammates. Also, the Commander can observe the battle through the eyes of the players on the battlefield, deploying vehicle and weapon drops to "keep the war machinery going", and ordering in missile strikes and such on hostile targets (as long as at least one friendly player can see the target).[8][9] A spectator mode has also been confirmed, enabling players to spectate each other in first or third person, as well as the use of a free camera to pan around the map from any angle.

Battlefield 4 - Levolution - Siege of Shanghai - Skyscraper Collapsing

The skyscraper in "Siege of Shanghai" as it collapses. These Levolution events alter the map in many ways, depending on "how [the players] affect the world, and the world affects [them] back."[10]

On June 10, 2013, at E3, DICE featured the map "Siege of Shanghai", pitting the People's Liberation Army against the U.S. Marine Corps. The gameplay showcased Commander Mode; new weapons and vehicles; and the "Levolution" gameplay mechanic. The video displays the last of these at various points, including: a player destroying a support pillar to trap an enemy tank above it; and a large skyscraper (with an in-game objective on the top floor) collapsing in the center of the map, kicking up a massive dust cloud throughout the map and bringing the objective closer to ground level.[7][10] Levolution also includes effects such as shooting a fire extinguisher to fill the room with obscuring clouds, car alarms going off when stepped on, metal detectors going off once passed through, or cutting the power in a room to reduce others' visibility.[10][11]

A complete list of the multiplayer maps was also revealed on September 27, 2013, on a blog post by EA, where the base game of Battlefield 4 will have ten maps. The maps included in the main game are "Siege of Shanghai, Paracel Storm, Zavod 311, Lancang Dam, Flood Zone, Rogue Transmission, Hainan Resort, Dawnbreaker, Operation Locker and Golmud Railway".[12][13] New and re-appearing game modes were also announced on the same day on a blog post by DICE, that "all modes will be playable on all maps".[14] The game modes on offer include Battlefield's Conquest, Domination and Rush; while adding two new game modes called "Obliteration and Defuse", along with traditional game modes such as Team Deathmatch and Squad Deathmatch.[13][14]

In another blog post by DICE, the four kits from Battlefield 3 will be returning with new enhancements and abilities. The Assault kit now has a limited number of revives and must wait for his defibrillator to recharge before reviving another player. The Engineer kit now uses PDWs, as carbines are now available to all kits. The support kit has access to the new remote mortar and the XM25 allowing for indirect suppressive fire. The Recon kit is now far more mobile and is able to equip carbines and C4. Sniping mechanics are also enhanced with the ability to zero in your sights (set an aiming distance), and equip more optics and accessories than previous Battlefield games. The Recon kit is still able to utilize the MAV, T-UGS, and the Radio Beacon.[15][16][17][18]

New vehicles have also been introduced. With the addition of the Chinese faction, new vehicles include the Type 99 MBT, the ZFB-05 Armored Car, and the Z-10W Attack Helicopter. Jets have also been rebalanced and put into two classes, "Attack" and "Stealth". The Attack jets focus is mainly air to ground capabilities, while the Stealth jets focusing mainly on air to air combat.

Customization has also been heavily improved in Battlefield 4, with all new camos available for every gun. A new "adaptive" camo is also being introduced that can adapt the camo to the map being played without the player having to change camos every game. Camos can now be applied to Jets, Helicopters, and Tanks.

The second expansion pack, "Second Assault", has four maps from "Battlefield 3", re-imagined for Frostbite 3.

StoryEdit

Setting and charactersEdit

Battlefield 4's single-player Campaign takes place in 2020, six years after the events of its predecessor. Tensions between Russia and the United States are running at a record high, due to a conflict that has been running for the past six years. On top of all this, China is also on the brink of war as Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, plans to overthrow China's current government; and, if successful, the Russians will have full support from the Chinese, bringing China into a war with the United States.[19]

The player controls Sgt. Daniel "Reck" Recker, a member of a U.S. special operations squad callsigned "Tombstone".[20] His original teammates include: squad leader SSgt. William Dunn, second-in-command SSgt. Kimble "Irish" Graves, and field medic Sgt. Clayton "Pac" Pakowski.[5][21][22] Early in the Campaign, Tombstone is joined by CIA operative Laszlo W. Kovic, and Chinese Secret Service agent Huang "Hannah" Shuyi.[21][22][23][24][25][26] The Campaign also sees the return of Dimitri "Dima" Mayakovsky from Battlefield 3's Campaign—still alive after the nuclear detonation in Paris 6 years ago, and under the Chinese military's custody for unknown reasons.[27]

PlotEdit

Unlike the Campaign of its predecessor, Battlefield 4's Campaign takes place in a chronological order, and permanently casts the player as Recker. In the prologue, set in Baku, Azerbaijan, Tombstone—consisting of Recker, Dunn, Irish, and Pac—escapes the city, with vital intelligence in hand and Russian special forces in hot pursuit.[19] In a chaotic twist, the squad winds up trapped in a civilian's car when it plunges into the sea. Dunn, trapped between the seats and critically wounded, gives Recker his pistol and orders him to shoot out the windshield. Reluctantly, Recker shoots the window, and Dunn drowns as the others escape. As they swim to the surface, the player hears their commanding officer, Captain Garrison, talking over the phone about the intel: that Admiral Chang is planning a military coup d'état, and if he succeeds, he will gain full Russian support.[5][6][28] Tombstone returns to the U.S.S. Valkyrie, an amphibious assault carrier where Garrison informs them of the assassination of Chinese presidential candidate, Jin Jié; and how Chang convinced the Chinese that the United States was responsible.[29]

Garrison sends Tombstone, with Recker as the squad leader, a covert mission in Shanghai to rescue three VIPs: Kovic, Hannah, and Hannah's husband. Kovic manages to take his fellow VIPs to the Valkyrie by helicopter. Meanwhile, Tombstone takes a civilian tourist boat from the shore, just as an electromagnetic pulse fries all electric equipment in the area. Realizing that there are other civilian refugees standed on boats around them, Irish leads them to the amphibious assault carrier Valkyrie.[6][21][30][31][32] Aboard the Valkyrie, they head for the U.S.S. Titan, a larger aircraft carrier that can house the refugees. Upon sighting the Titan's location, the Valkyrie finds it highly damaged by Chang's Chinese military. Garrison orders Tombstone, with Kovic as acting squad leader (Recker lost the position because he didn't stop Irish), to scour the wreckage of the Titan for survivors and intel before it sinks.[33] Tombstone recovers a hard drive with data on the time before the Chinese missile attack; and fight their way out of the Chinese soldiers that had boarded the boat. The Titan buckles under its own weight while sinking and splits in two, forcing Tombstone to jump ship. Making their way back to the Valkyrie with a hijacked assault boat, they find the carrier under siege by Chinese forces. They board it to repel the Chinese assault. Kovic is critically injured during the engagement, and puts Recker back in charge of Tombstone squad before he dies.[34] Tombstone then clears the bridge and rescues Garrison and Hannah's husband.

Garrison debriefs the squad on the incoming assault on the Chinese-controlled Singapore airfield to destroy Chinese air superiority while their air forces are grounded by a storm. Hannah volunteers to join Tombstone, much to Irish's chagrin. They successfully assault the beach and lead an advance towards the airfield, with the help of U.S. tanks, losing most of their forces in the process. While crossing a bridge to the airfield, Recker becomes pinned down by a car blown by the strong winds and tries to break free with the help of Tombstone, to no avail. A large freighter crashes into the bridge, throwing Tombstone into the sea below. Fortunately, they survive and make their way to the airfield via a sewer. After Pac fires the signal flare, Tombstone attempts to evacuate the area using an enemy vehicle, but is hit by friendly fire, seemingly killing Pac and rendering Recker and Irish unconscious. Hannah betrays the squad, bringing the Chinese soldiers to capture Tombstone. Recker and Irish are interrogated in a prison by the Chinese about their mission in Shanghai. They are then thrown in prison.

Recker is awoken by "Dima", a Russian prisoner suffering from radiation poisoning.[27] Recker helps Dima release the other prisoners, starting a mass riot throughout the prison and reuniting him with Irish. Although the prison guard is overrun, Chinese military arrive and launch an assault. Recker and Irish hold them off long enough for Dima to open the prison gates, only to be caught by Hannah and other soldiers. Hannah shoots the soldiers holding Recker, Irish and Dima at gunpoint; she explains that she had been tasked to protect Jin Jié, who had been posing as her husband.[35][36] The group fight their way through the Kunlun Mountains to a cable car, which goes down the mountain. The tram is shot down by an enemy helicopter, and Dima is killed.

Forced to continue on foot for two days, Tombstone makes their way down the mountain, forced to hunt for food to survive. They find a jeep and drive to Tashgar, under siege by both Chinese and Russian forces. They eventually find Major Greenland, who commands the remainder of U.S. ground forces in Tashgar. She states that the mobile anti-air that the Russians have are causing them to have a disadvantage. Tombstone volunteers to demolish the dam to flood the area, destroying the Chinese-Russian forces in exchange for a ride back to the Valkyrie. They successfully complete their task, and are sent to the Suez Canal.

They are picked up by a U.S. C-130 using the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system, and are then paradropped to the Valkyrie, who is sailing blindly into Admiral Chang's forces. Tombstone assists in clearing the deck of boarding Chinese forces and find Garrison, who is holed up with Jin Jié, other survivors, and Pac (who had surived Shanghai by "crawling through a thousand miles of shit with a hole in his stomach").[37] When Chinese forces finally reach the door to the medical bay, Jin Jié convinces Garrison to let him show his face to the soldiers, as they had been fighting under the illusion that Jin Jié had been killed. Recker opens the door and is knocked down, but Jin Jié calms the tension between the three forces showing his face to them, ultimately signifying an alliance and friendship between the United States, Russia and China. The Chinese soldiers celebrate the news of their leaders return and call off the attack and inform the Russians and convince them to change sides in the war.[38]

However, upon hearing this news, Chang barrages the Valkyrie with his warship, hoping to "bury the truth" with it.[38] With no ordinance to strike back, Recker, Irish and Hannah once again volunteer to manually destroy it with explosives. Driving a boat to the warship's blind spot, the trio set the remote charges and use grappling guns to bring them to safety before detonating the explosives. Unfortunately, the remote detonation fails, requiring manual replacement of the charges. Hannah volunteers to set a new charge; but Irish stops her, volunteering to do it himself, as China would need her. Recker—and the player—is forced to either do nothing as Chang's warship obliterates the Valkyrie, thus killing Pac, Garrison and Jin Jié; or to send either Hannah or Irish back down to set the explosives.[39] As soon as the detonator lights green, Recker detonates the charges, destroying Chang's ship but killing whoever had gone down to make it possible.[38] A U.S. rescue helicopter then picks up Recker and his remaining teammate, reporting to Garrison that one member could not be found. During the credits, the player hears a new dialogue between Irish and Hannah, implying that the teammate that went down somehow survived.[38]

DevelopmentEdit

Electronic Arts president Frank Gibeau confirmed the company's intention to release a sequel during a keynote at the University of Southern California where he said "There is going to be a Battlefield 4".[40] Afterwards, an EA spokesperson told IGN: "Frank was speaking broadly about the Battlefield brand—a brand that EA is deeply passionate about and a fan community that EA is committed to." On the eve of Battlefield 3's launch, EA Digital Illusions CE told Eurogamer it was the Swedish studio's hope that it would one day get the opportunity to make Battlefield 4. "This feels like day one now," executive producer Patrick Bach said. "It's exciting. The whole Frostbite 2 thing has opened up a big landscape ahead of us so we can do whatever we want."[41]

Battlefield 4 is built on the new Frostbite 3 engine. The new Frostbite engine enables more realistic environments with higher resolution textures and particle effects. A new "networked water" system is also being introduced, allowing all players in the game to see the same wave at the same time.[1] Tessellation has also been overhauled. An Alpha Trial commenced on June 17, 2013 with invitations randomly emailed to Battlefield 3 players the day prior. The trial ran for two weeks and featured the Siege of Shanghai map with all of its textures removed, essentially making it a "whitebox" test.[1]

Due to mixed reception of the two-player Co-op Mode in Battlefield 3, DICE decided to omit the mode from Battlefield 4 to focus on improving both the campaign and multiplayer components instead.[2][6][42]

AMD and DICE have partnered for AMD's Mantle API to be used on Battlefield 4. This will allow for a boost in performance on AMD graphic cards allowing a higher level of hardware-optimized performances than is possible with OpenGL or DirectX.[43]

DICE released an Open Beta for the game that was available on Windows (64 Bit Only), Xbox 360 and PS3. It featured the game-modes Domination, Conquest and Obliteration which where playable on the map Siege of Shanghai. The Open Beta started on October 4, 2013 and ended on October 15, 2013.[44]

MarketingEdit

Battlefield 4 gamescom 2013 cologne germany

A Battlefield 4 demo at Gamescom 2013 in Cologne, Germany

In March 2013, Electronic Arts opened the Battlefield 4 website with three official teasers, entitled "Prepare 4 Battle". Each hints at three kinds of battlespace: air, land and sea.[45] EA then continued to release teaser trailers leading up to the unveiling of Battlefield 4 at the Game Developers Conference on March 26, 2013.[46] The following day, Battlefield 4's first gameplay trailer, which doubled as a showcase for the Frostbite 3 engine[5] was released. Shortly thereafter, EA listed the game for pre-order on Origin for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360; however, EA excluded any mention of the next generation consoles.

In July 2012, Battlefield 4 was announced when EA advertised on their Origin client that those who pre-ordered Medal of Honor: Warfighter (either Digital Deluxe or the limited edition) would receive early access to the Battlefield 4 beta, this has since been expanded to include any Battlefield 3 Premium owners, and any Origin users who pre-purchase Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe Edition.[47][48] Although players who qualify for access in more than one way will only be granted one beta pass for their account and is non transferable to other players. The "Exclusive" beta started on October 1, 2013, with the open beta that went live on 4 October. The beta will be on three platforms, PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 and will be featuring the Siege of Shanghai map on the Conquest game mode.[49]

DICE revealed more Battlefield 4 content in the E3 2013 event at June 10, 2013, such as multiplayer modes, and allowed participants to play the game at the same event.[50] More information was released at Gamescom 2013 in Cologne, Germany, such as the "Paracel Storm" multiplayer map and Battlefield 4 Premium. Battlefield 4 Premium includes five digital expansion packs featuring new maps and in-game content. Two-weeks early access to all expansion packs. Personalization options including camos, paints, emblems, dog tags and more. Priority position in server queues. Weekly updates with new content. Double XP events, 12 Battle Packs. Battle Packs are digital packages that contain a combination of new weapon accessories, dog tags, knives, XP boosts, and character customization items, three are included with all pre-orders of the Origin Digital Deluxe edition. The service will also transfer your Premium membership from Xbox 360 to Xbox One or PS3 to PS4. Premium membership pre-orders started the day the service was announced (August 21, 2013). DICE has also announced that if you purchase the game for a current generation system (PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360) you will be able to trade it in for a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version of the game for as little as $10. Additionally all PlayStation 3 and 4 copies will include a code in the box to redeem a digital copy on the PlayStation Store.

Due to poor reception from gamers, on May 30, 2013, EA discontinued the online pass for all existing and future EA games including Battlefield 4.[51]

ReceptionEdit

Critical reception Edit

Battlefield 4 received overall positive reviews. GameSpot's Chris Watters gave praise to Obliteration Mode and the multiplayer elements but was otherwise unimpressed with the campaign.[52]

IGN's Mitch Dyer stated that "Battlefield 4 is a greatest hits album of DICE's multiplayer legacy" for same versions.[53][54]

PC Gamer's Evan Lahti stated that although the game strongly resembles Battlefield 3 it still manages to remain "a visually and sonically satisfying, reliably intense FPS".[55] Commander Mode and the diverse map selection within multiplayer were also praised as being good additions to the game.

Joystiq's David Hinkle said that the game "drops players into a sandbox and unhooks all tethers, loosing scores of soldiers to squad up and take down the opposition however they choose". Hinkle praised the campaign elements, but found the multiplayer to not hold any surprises.[56]

Machinima's Lawrence Sonntag praised the Levolution feature and the multiplayer mode.[57]

ReferencesEdit

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  8. Yin-Poole, Wesley (April 15, 2013). Battlefield 4 promo material reveals return of Commander Mode, three playable factions. Euro Gamer. Retrieved on May 7, 2013.
  9. Battlefield 4: Official Commander Mode Trailer. YouTube. Electronic Arts (2013-06-10). Retrieved on 2013-06-17.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Battlefield 4: Official Levolution Features Video. YouTube. DICE. Retrieved on 2013-08-22. “Aleksander Grøndal: Levolution is the next step in player choice, in how you affect the world, and the world affects you back. It can be anything, [like] creating all new paths to get the upper hand in a fight. Raise [barriers] to stop vehicles, fortify your position by activating the shutter gates. Or how about trapping [an] enemy with one of your hand grenades?”
  11. Ask DICE: Battlefield 4 – Levolution and Commander Mode. “Fird96 asked, "Will other maps have their own "special" Levolution? Will there be the same Levolution (falling building) or different Levolution in other maps?"
    Yes, Levolution occurs on every map. Some things are massive like reducing a skyscraper to rubble or flooding an entire level in real-time. Others are small but hugely impact the game like shooting fire extinguishers to distract enemies or cutting the power of a building to blind opponents.
    If you haven’t seen the Paracel Storm map we unveiled at Gamescom we encourage you to do so. There you can see how players have the option of taking down a turbine weakened by lightning in order to free the damaged destroyer stuck on it. If you manage to set the destroyer adrift, it will crash onto the island, changing the layout of the map and allowing your team to take control of the anti-air weapons on the ship.
    These moments are all triggered by the players – they aren’t just timed moments that will happen no matter what you do in the match. You and your teammates will have to decide if it would be a better tactical decision to radically change the map, or if it would be wiser and better for your play-style if you stopped the other team from triggering these events.”
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  18. The Road to Battlefield 4: Tweaked to the Core.
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  22. 22.0 22.1 Single Player - Boot Camp - Battlefield 4 (BF4). Battlefield.com. Retrieved on 2013-10-28. “Battlefield 4 puts you in the boots of US Marine Sgt. Daniel Recker, member of the Tombstone squad. Against the backdrop of a global conflict between US, Russia and China, you'll engage in combat on foot and by operating land, sea and air units. Thankfully, you're not alone in your struggles on the Battlefield. The bonds with your teammates will grow stronger as you face perils of every kind. Don't let your squad down; they're counting on you as much as you need them to survive.
    Pac - Easy going and very likeable, Clayton "Pac" Pakowski is a key member when it comes to keeping the Tombstone squad together. Although this "little brother" of the squad lacks the experience of his teammates, Pac's got your back and grows through his experiences.
    Irish - Kimble "Irish" Graves isn't too keen on his nickname, since luck has nothing to do with his skills on the Battlefield - according to him. This experienced teammate gets the job done and doesn't concern himself with the politics behind the battles that Tombstone Squad faces.
    Hannah - Huang "Hannah" Shuyi is a Chinese Secret Service agent and one of the VIP's that your squad encounters early in Battlefield 4. Secretive and self dependent, Hannah doesn't let anyone get close but will be crucial for your team's survival.”
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  26. Battlefield 4: Official Single Player Story Trailer. YouTube. Electronic Arts (22 October 2013). Retrieved on 22 October 2013. “Hannah: [arguing with Irish, who doesn't trust her] What is your problem? You don't like having a woman in your squad? / Irish: I don't have a problem with women; I've got a problem with liars!
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