by Brian Robbins

 Well, well, well, looks like the fall season is finally here. That means we’re reaching the point of the year when the gaming industry releases their biggest games. Of course we have the (now yearly) Call of Duty franchise, along with the new Assassin’s Creed, Pokemon and of course Grand Theft Auto. As excited as I was to play all of these, all of my hype was saved for Battlefield 4. Does EA’s latest installment in this warzone shooter satisfy?

Before I delve into the massive multiplayer feature this game’s known for, I have to bring up its campaign section. It’s no secret that Battlefield 3‘s singleplayer portion was just downright uninspired, and at times not very engaging, let alone fun. With Battlefield 4, sadly, it’s the same broken record.

You’re playing as Recker and his squad throughout the cinematic experience. You’ll have betrayals, conspiracies and enough explosions along the way that Michael Bay might lose his job. DICE really tries to connect you with the characters but most of the cliché war shooter moments pull you right back out. It rarely breaks any new ground and often times I began rolling my eyes at some of the caffeine inspired dialogue.

If you don’t even set foot into the story mode you wouldn’t be missing anything. Unfortunately, the version I played (Xbox 360) the game would constantly corrupt my save file in the campaign. This means I had to restart all of my progress. Granted, the singleplayer portion only clocks in at about four hours but playing through the same messy experience was a very bleak punishment. Eventually, my problems were solved by just saving my progress on Xbox Live’s cloud feature. If I didn’t have a subscription to Xbox Live and access to the internet on my console, I would’ve been out of luck.

 It’s obvious that you aren’t going to be focusing on the story mode with a title like Battlefield 4. The real meat and potatoes you’re looking for is the Multiplayer section. Is it any good? I’m confident that this is one of the best Multiplayer experiences in all of gaming, PC included. I’ve haven’t had this much fun in an online shooter in quite some time and the revisions DICE made from Battlefield 3 makes the experience that much smoother.

Multiplayer is loaded to the brim with unlocks, customization options and even the Commander mode from Battlefield 2 makes its triumphant return. There’s so much to do here just in the menus that you’ll almost feel overwhelmed. That’s actually a positive thing for a game nowadays, and this one is busting with content just waiting for you to unlock. Needless to say, you’ll have plenty of stuff to keep you busy.

In terms of actual gameplay, it plays very similarly to 2011’s Battlefield 3. With various refinements to classes, everything seems to be perfected this time around. Take for instance the Recon class; they can now zero in their sights on their scopes to allow them to more accurately aim their shots. Of course it’s Battlefield so there are plenty of vehicles to play around in. There’s an emphasis on water-based maps in Battlefield 4, so there are plenty of new watercraft machines of destruction to partake of.

Admittedly, the game does suffer sometimes visually. A majority of your playtime you’ll be washed with graphical prowess but every so often there will be a hideous texture as well. Granted, I did play on a current system (Xbox 360) and I have had hands-on time with the next-gen version of the game and the differences are night and day. If you plan on getting either the Playstation 4 or Xbox One, I highly advise you to skip out on this current-gen version of the game. You’ll have 64 player matches, and PC like performance with the Xbox One and Playstation 4 copies.

Even though the campaign was entirely forgettable at best and grueling at its worst, the multiplayer easily made me forget about my terrible campaign experiences. The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions of the game seem to be the ugly ducklings of Battlefield 4, and almost beg you to just wait for the next-generation versions of the game. In my opinion, if you don’t plan on getting either one of those consoles then sure, pick up Battlefield 4. There’s still plenty of fun to be had with this title, at least when it comes to multiplayer.