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Battlefield 4
Developer(s)EA DICE
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Director(s)Lars Gustavsson
Stefan Strandberg
Producer(s)Aleksander Grøndal
Tobias Dahl
Designer(s)Thomas Andersson
Mikael Kasurinen
Programmer(s)Vidar Nygren
Artist(s)Gustav Tilleby
Writer(s)Jesse Stern
Mikael Säker
Adrian Vershinin
Composer(s)Johan Skugge
Jukka Rintamäki
SeriesBattlefield
EngineFrostbite 3
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Release

October 29, 2013

  • Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360PlayStation 4
    • NA: November 15, 2013
    • EU: November 29, 2013
    Xbox One
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Battlefield 4 is a first-person shootervideo game developed by video game developerEA DICE and published by Electronic Arts. It is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3 and was released in October 2013 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360; then later in November for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Battlefield 4 was met with positive reception. It was praised for its multiplayer mode, gameplay and graphics, but was also criticized for its short and shallow single-player campaign mode, and for its numerous bugs and glitches. It was a commercial success, selling over 7 million copies.[4]

Gameplay[edit]

The game's heads-up display (HUD) is 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 top right displays kill notifications of all players in-game. On the Windows version of the game, the top left features a chat window when in multiplayer. The mini-map, as well as the main game screen, shows symbols denoting three kinds of entities: blue for allies, green for squadmates, and orange for enemies, this applies to all interactivity on the battlefield. Battlefield 4 options also allow colour-blind players to change the on-screen colour indicators to: tritanomaly, deuteranomaly and protanomaly.

Weapon customisation is expansive and encouraged. Primary, secondary and melee weapons can all be customised with weapon attachments and camouflage 'skins'. Most weapons also have a default setting for different firing modes (e.g. semi-automatic, automatic fire), allowing the player to adapt to the environment they find themselves in. They can "spot" targets (marking their positions to the player's team) in the single-player campaign (a first in the Battlefield franchise) as well as in multiplayer. The game's bullet-dropping-system has been significantly enhanced, forcing the player to change the way they play medium to long distance combat. In addition, players have more combat 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. Standard combat abilities are still current including, reloading whilst sprinting, unlimited sprint, prone and vaulting.

Campaign[edit]

The single-player campaign has several differences from the main multiplayer component. For the most part, the player must traverse mini-sandbox-style levels, in some cases using vehicles, like tanks and boats, to traverse the environment. As the player character, Recker, the player can use two campaign-only functions: the Engage command and the tactical binocular. The Engage command directs Recker's squadmates, and occasionally other friendly units, to attack any hostiles in Recker's line of sight. The tactical binocular is similar to a laser-designator, in the sense that it allows the player to identify friendly and enemy units, weapon stashes, explosives, and objectives in the field. By identifying enemies, the player can make them visible without using the visor, making them easier to mark for their teammates. At one point, Recker will briefly lose the tactical visor, forcing them to only use the Engage command to direct his squadmates on a limited number of enemies.[5][6]

The campaign features assignments that require specific actions and unlock weapons for use in multiplayer upon completion. Collectible weapons return along with the introduction of collectible dog tags which can be used in multiplayer. Weapon crates are found throughout all levels, allowing players to obtain ammo and switch weapons. While crates hold default weapons, collectible weapons may be used whenever they are acquired and level-specific weapons may be used once a specific mission assignment has been completed by obtaining enough points in a level.[5][6]

Multiplayer[edit]

Battlefield 4's multiplayer contains three playable factions—the United States, China, and Russia—fighting against each other, in up to 64-player matches on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One (24-Player on Xbox 360 and PS3). A newly reintroduced "Commander Mode", last seen in Battlefield 2142, gives one player on each team a real-time strategy-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 order in missile strikes on hostile targets.[7][8] A spectator mode is included, enabling players to spectate others in first or third person, as well as use a free camera to pan around the map from any angle.

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.[9][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.[9][11]

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] 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]

The four kits from Battlefield 3 are present in Battlefield 4 with minor tweaks. The Assault kit must now wait for the defibrillator to recharge after reviving teammates in quick succession. The Engineer kit uses PDWs, and carbines are 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 more mobile and is able to equip carbines, designated marksman rifles (DMRs), and C4. Sniping mechanics also give 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 stealth jets focus mainly on air-to-air combat. Another vehicle added in Battlefield 4 is the addition of the RCB and DV-15 Interceptor attack boats, which function as heavily armed aquatic assault craft.

Customization options have also been increased in Battlefield 4, with all new camos available for every gun. A new "adaptive" camo has been introduced that can adapt the camo to the map being played without the player having to change camos every map. Camos can now be applied to jets, helicopters, tanks, transport vehicles and guns. Previously this option was introduced to parachutes but has been removed, emblems are now printed onto parachutes.

Synopsis[edit]

Setting and characters[edit]

Battlefield 4's single-player Campaign takes place during the fictional "War of 2020", six years after the events of its predecessor. Tensions between Russia and the United States have been running at a record high, due to a conflict between the two countries that has been running for the last six years.[19] On top of this, China is also on the brink of war, as Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, plans to overthrow China's current government. If he succeeds, Chang will have full support from the Russians, helping spark war between China and the United States.[20][21]

The player controls Sgt. Daniel "Reck" Recker, second-in-command of a U.S. Marine Corps squad callsigned "Tombstone".[22] His squadmates include squad leader SSgt. William Dunn, Heavy Weapon Specialist SSgt. Kimble "Irish" Graves, and field medic Sgt. Clayton "Pac" Pakowski.[5][23][24][25] Early in the Campaign, Tombstone is joined by CIA operative Laszlo W. Kovic, originally known as "Agent W." from Battlefield 3's Campaign; and Chinese Secret Service agent Huang "Hannah" Shuyi.[23][24][26][27][28][29] The Campaign also sees the return of Dimitri "Dima" Mayakovsky from Battlefield 3's Campaign—still alive after the nuclear detonation in Paris six years ago, and under the Chinese military's custody for unknown reasons.[30]

Plot[edit]

Set in 2020, six years after the events in New York, Battlefield 4's Campaign primarily follows chronological order, and permanently casts the player as Recker. In the beginning, set in Baku, Azerbaijan, Tombstone Squad—consisting of Recker, Dunn, Irish, and Pac—escapes the city, with vital intelligence in hand and Russian special forces in hot pursuit.[20][31] The ensuing chase sees the squad trapped in a car plunging into the sea. Dunn, trapped between the seats and already critically wounded,[32] gives Recker his revolver and orders him to shoot out the windshield.[33] Reluctantly, Recker shoots the window, and Dunn drowns as the others escape.[33] As Tombstone swims 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, confirming an earlier report from an asset in China.[5][6][21] Tombstone returns to the USS Valkyrie, an amphibious assault carrier en route to China's eastern coast.[21] On board, Garrison informs them of the assassination of Chinese presidential candidate Jin Jié, and that Chang convinced the Chinese that the United States was responsible.[34]

Garrison sends Tombstone, with Recker as squad leader, on a covert mission in Shanghai to rescue three VIPs: Kovic, Hannah, and Hannah's husband.[34][35][36] With Tombstone's help, Kovic takes his fellow VIPs to the Valkyrie by helicopter.[36][37] Meanwhile, Tombstone takes a civilian tourist boat from the shore, just as an electromagnetic pulse fries all electric equipment in the area.[38][39] Realizing that there are other civilian refugees stranded on boats around them, and against Pac's protests, Irish leads them to the Valkyrie.[6][23][39][40] Aboard the Valkyrie, they head for the USS Titan, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier that can assist them.[41] Upon sighting the Titan, the Valkyrie finds it critically damaged by Chang's forces.[42][43] Garrison orders Tombstone, with Kovic as acting squad leader to scour the wreckage of the Titan for the vital ships voyage data recorder before it sinks.[44][45][46][47] Tombstone recovers a hard drive with data from before the Chinese missile attack and fight their way out against boarding Chinese soldiers.[48] 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.[49] They board it to repel the Chinese assault. Kovic is critically injured during the engagement, and puts Recker back in charge of Tombstone before he dies.[50] Tombstone then clears the bridge and rescues Hannah's husband and Garrison.[51]

Garrison briefs Recker and Pac on the upcoming assault on the Chinese-controlled Singapore airfield to destroy Chinese air superiority while their air forces are grounded by a storm.[52] Hannah volunteers to join Tombstone, much to Irish's chagrin, as he wasn't involved in the briefing himself.[52][53] The Marines successfully assault the beach and lead an advance towards the airfield, losing most of their forces in the process. While crossing a bridge to the airfield, Recker is pinned behind 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.[54] 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 they are knocked out of their vehicle when the missiles hit, apparently killing Pac. Hannah seemingly betrays the squad, bringing the Chinese soldiers to capture Tombstone; this infuriates Irish, but neither he nor Recker can stop the soldiers from incapacitating them.[55]

Recker and Irish are then taken to a prison in the Kunlun Mountains by the Chinese military. There, the two Marines are interrogated about their mission in Shanghai, with Chang personally watching, before being thrown into cells.[56] Recker is awoken by "Dima", a Russian prisoner suffering from radiation poisoning.[30] 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.[57][58] The group fight their way through the Kunlun Mountains to a cable car, which goes down the mountain. The tram is then shot down by an enemy helicopter, and the impact kills Dima.[59]

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, a city in Western China with a US military presence, under siege by Russian forces. While driving, Hannah explains that she'd brought Jin Jié to meet her family to give them hope, but that the next day, Chang's army came and killed them all; this mortifies Irish, and he apologizes to Hannah.[60] 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.[61] They successfully complete their task, and are sent to the Suez Canal.[62]

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, which is sailing blindly into Admiral Chang's forces.[62] Tombstone clears the deck of boarding Chinese forces and find Garrison, who is holed up in a medical bay with Jin Jié, other survivors, and Pac (who had survived Singapore.)[63] When Chinese forces reach the door to the medical bay, Jin Jié convinces Recker to let him show his face to the soldiers, as they had been fighting under the illusion that Jin Jié had been killed.[64] Recker opens the door and is knocked down, but Jié calms the tension between the three forces showing his face to the Chinese soldiers, who stand down and celebrate the news of their leader's return and rush to spread the news to other Chinese forces on the ship.[65]

However, upon hearing this news, Chang barrages the Valkyrie with his warship, hoping to "bury the truth and everyone with it".[66] With no ordnance to strike back, Recker, Irish and Hannah 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 under the Suez Canal Bridge 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 because China will need Hannah. Recker—and the player—is forced to take two options: either do nothing as Chang's warship obliterates the Valkyrie, thus killing Pac, Garrison and Jin Jié; or send either Hannah or Irish back down to set the explosives.[67] 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.[65] A U.S. rescue helicopter then picks up Recker and his remaining teammate, reporting to Garrison that one member is missing in action.[68] During the credits, the player hears a new dialogue between Irish and Hannah, discussing their pasts, and how they have to keep moving forward with "no fucking regrets".[69][70]

Development[edit]

Electronic Arts president Frank Gibeau confirmed the company's intention to release a sequel to Battlefield 3 during a keynote at the University of Southern California where he said "There is going to be a Battlefield 4".[71] 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."[72]

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.[73] 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.[73][74]

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.[6][75][76]

AMD and DICE have partnered for AMD's Mantle API to be used on Battlefield 4. The goal was to boost performance on AMD GCNRadeon graphic cards providing a higher level of hardware-optimized performance than was previously possible with OpenGL or DirectX.[77] Initial tests of AMD's Mantle showed it was an effective enhancement for slower processors.[78]

DICE released an Open Beta for the game that was available on Windows (64 bit only), Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It featured the game-modes Domination, Conquest and Obliteration which were playable on the map Siege of Shanghai. The Open Beta started on October 4, 2013 and ended on October 15, 2013.[79]

Technical issues and legal troubles[edit]

Upon release, Battlefield 4 was riddled with major technical bugs, glitches and crashes across all platforms. EA and DICE soon began releasing several patches for the game on all systems and DICE later revealed that work on all of its future games (including Mirror's Edge, Star Wars: Battlefront and Battlefield 4 DLC) would be halted until Battlefield 4 was working properly.[80][81][82][83][84][85] In December 2013, more than a month after the game's initial release, an EA representative said, "We know we still have a ways to go with fixing the game – it is absolutely our #1 priority. The team at DICE is working non-stop to update the game."[86]

EA President Peter Moore announced in January 2014 that the company did not see any negative impact to sales as a result of the myriad of technical issues. He said any negative impacts to sales were actually due to the transition from current-generation (PS3, Xbox 360) to next-generation consoles (PS4, Xbox One), and that other video game franchises like FIFA and Need for Speed were experiencing similar effects.[87] As a reward for players who bought the game early and continued to play it despite all of the bugs and glitches, DICE rewarded players in February 2014 with all-month-long, free multi-player content such as: bronze and silver Battlepacks, XP boosts and events, camouflage skins, shortcut bundles for weapons and additional content for Premium members.[88]

Because of the widespread bugs and glitches that were present, EA became the target of multiple law firms. The firm Holzer Holzer & Fistel, LLC launched an investigation into EA's public statements made between July 24 and December 4, 2013 to determine if the company intentionally misled its investors with information pertaining to, "the development and sales of the Company's Battlefield 4 video game and the game's impact on EA's revenue and projects moving forward."[89] Shortly thereafter, the law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP similarly filed a class action lawsuit against EA for releasing false or misleading statements about the quality of Battlefield 4.[90] A second class action lawsuit was announced only days later from the firm Bower Piven, which alleged that EA violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by not properly informing its investors about the major bugs and glitches during development that may have prevented the investors from making an informed decision about Battlefield 4. Bower Piven sought out investors who lost more than US$200,000 to become the lead plaintiff.[91] In October 2014, Judge Susan Illston dismissed one of the class action suits' original case on the grounds that EA did not intentionally mislead investors, instead its pre-release claims about Battlefield 4 were a "vague statement of corporate optimism," "an inactionable opinion" and "puffery."[92]

Six months after the initial release of the game, in April 2014, DICE released a program called Community Test Environment (CTE), which let a limited number of PC gamers play a different version of Battlefield 4 that was designed to test new patches and updates before giving them a wide-release.[93] One of the major patches tested was an update to the game's netcode, specifically the "tickrate,"[93] which is how frequently the game and server would update, measured in cycles per second. Because of the size of Battlefield 4 in terms of information, DICE initially chose to have a low tickrate. However, the low tickrate resulted in a number of issues including damage registration and "trade kills." The CTE program tested the game at a higher tickrate, among other common problems,[93][94] and began rolling out patches in mid-2014.[citation needed]

In October 2014, nearly a full year after the official release with major updates still being put out, DICE LA producer David Sirland said the company acknowledged that the release of Battlefield 4 "absolutely" damaged the trust of the franchise's fanbase.[95] Sirland said that the shaky release of Battlefield 4 caused the company to reevaluate their release model, and plan on being more transparent and offer earlier beta tests with future installments, namely (at the time) with Battlefield Hardline (2015). Sirland also said: "We still probably have a lot of players who won't trust us to deliver a stable launch or a stable game. I don't want to say anything because I want to do. I want them to look at what we're doing and what we are going to do and that would be my answer. I think we have to do things to get them to trust us, not say things to get them to trust us. Show by doing."[95]

Marketing[edit]

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.[96] EA then continued to release teaser trailers leading up to the unveiling of Battlefield 4 at the Game Developers Conference on March 26, 2013.[97] 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.[98][99] 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 October 4. The beta will be on three platforms, PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 and features the Siege of Shanghai map on the Conquest game mode.[100]

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.[101] 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.

An important strategy of DICE'smarket strategy to promote Battlefield 4 was the series of TV and web advertisements entitled Only in Battlefield 4.[102][103] Each one of these TV spots was narrated by a player of Battlefield 4 describing one of the unique experiences they encountered, along with a re-creation of the event using gameplay footage. These advertisements highlighted the free-form nature of the upcoming game, such as the destructibility of the environment and the dynamic nature of the game's combat engine. These events included things such as demonstrating the new Levolution feature, upgrades to gameplay, and unscripted moments that cannot occur in other games' multiplayer mode.

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.[104]

A companion application was also released for iOS and Android.[105][106]

Downloadable content[edit]

Battlefield 4 featured a total of five downloadable content (DLC) packs that included new maps and additions to gameplay.[107][108] All five DLC packs were available two weeks prior to their scheduled release by players who had purchased Premium. Once support for Battlefield 4 Premium ended, DICE announced all future DLC would be free.

China Rising[edit]

On May 21, 2013, DICE unveiled Battlefield 4: China Rising on a Battlelog post and stated that it would include four new maps (Silk road, Altai Range, Dragon Pass and Guilin peaks) on the Chinese mainland, ten new assignments, new vehicles, as well as the Air Superiority gametype.[109] It is available to those who pre-ordered the game at no extra cost. It was released to premium players on December 3, 2013 followed by a general release on December 17, 2013.[110]

Second Assault[edit]

On June 10, 2013, DICE unveiled Battlefield 4: Second Assault during the Microsoft Press Conference at E3 2013. It was announced that it would be the first expansion pack to be released for Battlefield 4 and would first debut on the Xbox One. It was released on November 22, 2013, the same day the Xbox One was launched. The expansion features the return of four fan-favorite maps from Battlefield 3 and introduces Capture the Flag as a new gametype. On February 18, 2014, Second Assault became available as Premium exclusive for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. It became available for non-Premium users on March 4, 2014.[111]

During January 29 – February 28, 2015, the expansion was free of charge to all EA Access subscribers.[112]

Naval Strike[edit]

On August 20, 2013, DICE unveiled Battlefield 4: Naval Strike at Gamescom 2013. It involves dynamic combat on four new maps taking place in the South China Sea and features a new mode called "Carrier Assault" inspired by Battlefield 2142.[113][114] The original release date was planned for March 25, 2014 for premium members and April 8, 2014 for non-premium members but was delayed several hours before release for Xbox One and PC without a new release date being set. On March 26, 2014, Naval Strike was released for premium members on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Xbox 360. The Xbox One version was released for premium members on March 27, 2014, and the PC version was released on March 31, 2014.

Dragon's Teeth[edit]

At Gamescom 2013 DICE unveiled Battlefield 4: Dragon's Teeth. Its maps take place in war-torn cities locked down by the People's Liberation Army. Dragon's Teeth was released on July 15, 2014 for Battlefield 4 Premium Members. For Non-Premium members it was released 2 weeks later on July 29, 2014. A new game mode included in this Dragon's Teeth DLC is called "Chain Link". There are four new maps included in Dragon's Teeth called "Lumphini Garden, Pearl Market, Propaganda and Sunken Dragon". There are 11 new Assignments and a new assault drone called the "R.A.W.R" that can be found on those four maps.

Final Stand[edit]

On August 20, 2013, DICE unveiled Battlefield 4: Final Stand at Gamescom 2013. Final Stand focuses on the conclusion of the in-game war of 2020. It includes four new maps and "secret prototype weapons and vehicles". The four maps that are included are "Operation Whiteout", "Giants of Karelia", "Hammerhead" and "Hangar 21". New weapons include the Rorsch X1 and some gadgets including the DS-3 and XD-1 Accipiter, as well as a hovercraft tank based on the Levkov 1937 Hovercraft MBT. It was released for Battlefield 4 Premium members on November 18, 2014, 00:01 and for non-Premium Battlefield 4 players on December 2, 2014, 00:01.[115][116]

Weapons Crate[edit]

The Weapons Crate DLC was announced by DICE on March 30, 2015 as a free DLC. The DLC added five weapons into the game: the Mare's Leg, AN-94, Groza-1, Groza-4 and the L86A2 along with the gamemode from Battlefield 3 'Gun Master' and many other stat changes. It was released in an alpha form in the Community Test Environment. It was released along with the Spring 2015 Patch on May 26, 2015.[117]

Night Operations[edit]

In August 2015, DICE announced the expansion pack Night Operations, a free DLC pack. The first map to be released was Zavod: Graveyard shift, a night time version of the Battlefield 4 map Zavod 311, it was released with the Summer 2015 Patch. Two other night maps were also in development, a night time version of the map Siege of Shanghai and Golmud Railway, these maps were playable in the Battlefield 4 Community Test Environment but would remain unreleased as further development on Battlefield 4 ended. All three maps were developed by DICE LA and tested in the Community Test Environment with player feedback taken on board.[118]

[edit]

Community Operations was released on October 27, 2015, a free DLC pack. The map, Outbreak, is a medium-sized with lots of vegetation such as trees, shrubs, and grass for ambushing the enemies within. There are limited amounts of heavy vehicles such as tanks, LAVs and no anti-air vehicles. The map does not include air dominance such as stealth jets, scout helicopters and attack aircraft. This map was created by DICE Los Angeles and the Battlefield 4 gaming community. The update contains major changes to weapons and vehicles.[119]

Legacy Operations[edit]

Legacy Operations was released on December 15, 2015, a free DLC pack. The map is an updated version of the Battlefield 2 map, Dragon Valley. It was released alongside the Winter Patch content update.[120]

Premium[edit]

Premium is a downloadable pass that offers all of the downloadable content for a discounted price. Premium offers a range of personalization options and items, such as exclusive dog tags or camos. Premium contributes to the game by offering select days in which special events take place only for premium members.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Battlefield 4 received positive reviews from critics. GameSpot's Chris Watters gave praise to Obliteration Mode and the multiplayer elements but was otherwise unimpressed with the campaign. IGN's Mitch Dyer stated that "Battlefield 4 is a greatest hits album of DICE's multiplayer legacy" for same versions.[133][134]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".[136] 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.[135]GameZone's Lance Liebl stated "Your success in Battlefield is up to you and how well you work as a team. And it's one of the most rewarding games I've played. Battlelog needs some refinement, and there's still way too many crashes, but the multiplayer more than makes up for all of it."[139]Machinima's Lawrence Sonntag praised the Levolution feature and the multiplayer mode.

However several reviewers noted that the multiplayer part of the game had been released with a lot of game breaking bugs on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (client or server crashes, lag).[140][141][142]Polygon reviewed the game the day of its release, and gave it 7.5, then later downgraded their score to 4 after acknowledging that the game "was still barely playable for many players".[143]

DICE later acknowledged the issues with the multiplayer part of the game and said they were working to fix them, and that they would not work on expansions or future projects until the game problems were resolved.[144][145] Despite this promise, the game's second expansion was released while numerous recurring problems had yet to be resolved.[146]

Ban in China[edit]

In late December 2013, shortly after the release of the "China Rising" DLC pack, China banned the sale of Battlefield 4, requesting stores and online vendors to remove the game and encouraging those who have already purchased the game to remove it from their consoles and/or PCs. The game was viewed as a national security risk in the form of a cultural invasion as the DLC includes four maps on the Chinese mainland.[147]

An editorial from the China National Defense Newspaper (a subsidiary of the PLA Daily) published in December 2013 criticized the game for discrediting China's national sovereignty, and stated that while in the past the Soviet Union would often be used as an imaginary enemy in video games, the shift has recently turned to China.[148]

Sales[edit]

During the first week of sales in the United Kingdom, Battlefield 4 became the second best-selling game on all available formats, only behind Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.[149] The game's sales were down 69% compared to 2011's Battlefield 3. EA blamed the fall in demand on uncertainty caused by the upcoming transition to eighth generation consoles.[150]

According to NPD Group figures, Battlefield 4 was the second best-selling game of November in the United States, only behind Call of Duty: Ghosts.[151] In February 2014, EA announced that the Premium service for the game had sold more than 1.6 million copies.[152] In May 2014, the game had sold more than 7 million copies.[153]

Awards[edit]

According to EA, Battlefield 4 received awards from over 30 gaming publications Prior to its release.[154]Battlefield 4 appeared on several year-end lists of the best First-person shooter games of 2013, receiving wins from 18th Satellite Awards,[155] and GamesRadar.[156]

References[edit]

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

Battlefield 4

Release date

PS3/X360/PC:
NA October 29, 2013
EU/AU October 31, 2013
PlayStation 4:
NA November 12, 2013
EU/AU November 29, 2013
Xbox One:
NA November 19, 2013
EU/AU November 22, 2013

Genre

First-person shooter

Ratings

ESRB: M
PEGI: 16
ACB: MA15+

Music

"Rule the land, air and sea."

— Rear cover of Battlefield 4 box art

Battlefield 4 (also known as BF4) is the thirteenth installment in the Battlefield Series developed by DICE and published by EA. It is the sequel to Battlefield 3 and was released on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC on October 29, 2013. It is the first game in the franchise also released on eighth generation consoles, being released for the Playstation 4 on November 12, 2013 and the Xbox One on November 19 of the same year. Battlefield 4 is also available for unlimited play for EA Access members on the Xbox One as one of the service's launch titles.

Achievements and Trophies

Main article: Battlefield 4 Achievements and Trophies

Overview

Many elements from Battlefield 3 as well as other past installments return, such as the same four class system, a similar heads-up display, kill cams, as well as increased destruction. Players can now use dual-scoped weapons, including weapons with different firing modes (e.g. single shots, automatic fire). Players now 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.

Singleplayer

Overview

The singleplayer campaign features many elements from past installments, taking place in numerous locations across the world. Levels are now built in sandbox-style environments, allowing players more freedom to complete objectives. Players can now spot enemy targets to notify the AI of Tombstone squad. The singleplayer also features three separate endings based on the player’s choice in the final mission.

The singleplayer features assignments that require specific actions and unlock weapons for use in multiplayer upon completion. Collectible Weapons return along with the introduction of Collectible Dog Tags which can be used in multiplayer. Weapon crates are found throughout all levels, allowing players to obtain ammo and switch weapons. While crates hold default weapons, collectible weapons may be used whenever they are acquired and level specific weapons may be used once a specific mission assignment has been completed by obtaining enough points in a level.

Setting

The singleplayer campaign is set in the year 2020, six years after the events of the previous game. While the War of 2014 has ended, tensions between the United States and Russia are at an all-time high. Meanwhile, Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, looks to overthrow the Chinese government by blaming the United States for the assassination of Jin Jié, the country's future leader and voice of peace. If successful, China would gain Russia's full support, resulting in all-out war with the United States.

The player controls Sgt. Daniel Recker, a member of a United States special operations squad call-signed Tombstone. His squadmates include: squad leader SSgt. William Dunn, second-in-command SSgt. Kimble 'Irish' Graves, and field medic Sgt. Clayton 'Pac' Pakowski. Tombstone is joined by CIA operative Laszlo Kovic, and Chinese Secret Service agent Huang 'Hannah' Shuyi. They are tasked with stopping Chang and preventing another great war.

Plot

See Battlefield 4: Countdown to War for plot information prior to the events of Battlefield 4


Tombstone was tasked with retrieving vital information in Baku, Azerbaijan. Pursued by Russian Special Forces, the squad engaged in numerous firefights as they proceeded toward the extraction point at the top skyscraper under construction. The building, after sustaining massive amounts of damage from Russian forces, collapsed as Tombstone reached the extraction point. The event resulted in the helicopter's destruction as well as the amputation of Dunn's leg due to it being trapped under rubble.

Stranded, Tombstone commandeered a civilian vehicle and attempted to escape with an enemy helicopter in pursuit. Recker was then tasked with destroying the chopper with a grenade launcher. While successful, the squad's vehicle went off road and plunged into the sea. With the vehicle sinking, Dunn, who was not only trapped between seats but also critically wounded, handed Recker his revolver and ordered he shoot out the windshield so the rest of the squad could make their escape. Much to the dismay of Pac and Irish, Recker reluctantly shoots the window, allowing them to escape but resulting in Dunn's death by drowning.

The Intel recovered tells that Admiral Chang is planning a military coup d'état in China which would allow him to gain full Russian support if successful. Unfortunately, Captain Garrison's superior, Oracle, reveals that the United States had already known this information and that the purpose of Tombstones mission was to reassure them of it, meaning that Dunn had died for information that they already knew.

Tombstone returns to the USS Valkyrie 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. He then sends Tombstone on a covert mission to Shanghai to rescue three VIPs: CIA Agent Kovic, Hannah, and Hannah's husband. Full filling Dunn's last wish, Recker is made squad leader of Tombstone.

Tombstone manages to extract the three via helicopter and then proceeds to take a tourist boat back to the Valkyrie. Much to their surprise, however, an electromagnetic pulse goes off, frying all electronic equipment in the area, including the boat. Realizing that other refugees are stranded on boats around them, Irish helps to lead them to the Valkyrie.

Once aboard, Captain Garrison sets a course for the USS Titan which will be able to house the refugees. Upon locating the Titan, it is found to be heavily damaged by Chang's Chinese military. Garrison thereby orders Tombstone, along with Kovic as acting squad leader, to scour the wreckage of the Titan for survivors and Intel before it sinks.

The squad recovers a hard drive with data telling of what happened before the Titan was attacked only to be forced to engage with Chinese soldiers that had boarded the ship. Having sustained too much damage, the Titan finally buckles under its own weight and splits in two forcing Tombstone to abandon ship. Having hijacked an assault boat, the squad makes its way back to the Valkyrie only to find it under siege by Chinese forces.

Kovic is critically injured as the squad attempts to repel Chinese forces, resulting in Recker being put back in charge of Tombstone before he dies. 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 US Marine 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 Chinese soldiers to capture Tombstone. Recker and Irish are interrogated in a prison by Admiral Chang and Bohai over the purpose of their mission in Shanghai. They are then thrown into prison cells soon after.

Recker is later awoken by Dimitri Mayakovsky, a Russian prisoner suffering from radiation poisoning as a result of the nuclear explosion in Paris six years prior. The two break out of their cell and release the other prisoners, including Irish, starting a mass riot. With the prison guard overrun, the 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. The group fights their way through the Kunlun Mountains to a cable car, which goes down the mountain. The tram is shot down by an enemy helicopter, resulting in Dima's death.

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, finding it under siege by both Chinese and Russian forces. They eventually find Major Greenland, who commands the remainder of US ground forces in Tashgar. She states that the mobile anti-air control by the Russians is putting them at a disadvantage.

Tombstone volunteers to demolish the Tashgar Dam to flood the area and destroy the Chinese-Russian forces in exchange for a ride back to the Valkyrie. They are successful in their task and are sent to Suez Canal to await extraction back to the Valkyrie.

They are picked up by a C-130 using the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system, and are then paradropped onto the Valkyrie, which 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 survived Singapore by "crawling through a thousand yards of shit with a hole in his stomach").

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.

However, upon hearing this news, Chang barrages the Valkyrie with his warship, hoping to "bury the truth" with it. 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 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. As soon as the detonator lights green, Recker detonates the charges, destroying Chang's ship but killing whoever planted the explosive.

A Marine 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, discussing their pasts, and how they have to keep moving forward with "no fucking regrets", implying that the teammate that went down may have survived.

Multiplayer

Ranks and Awards

Battlefield 4's multiplayer has one hundred and forty ranks, with each rank holding five sub ranks with roman numerals. There are forty-five ribbons which are unlocked by completing specific actions. Earning one ribbon fifty times awards a medal with forty-five Medals in total in the base game. Service Stars are awarded after earning enough experience progression for that object. There are one hundred and thirty available service stars, each capable of being earned one hundred times.

Classes

All classes featured in the previous installment return in Battlefield 4, although with a few changes. Carbines have become all-kit weapons along with Designated Marksman Rifles (DMRs) and can now be utilized by all classes, as with pistols and shotguns.

  • Support - Retains C4 and claymores with its weapons now having an increased suppression effect compared to other classes. It will also be issued an XM25 and a remote controlled mortar for indirect suppressive fire.
  • Engineer - PDWs replace Carbines as the kits primary weapons, so as to emphasize it's close quarters role.

Maps and Gamemodes

Battlefield 4 features a total of ten maps in the base game, all of which are available on all seven gamemodes in the base game. Two of them, Obliteration and Defuse, are new additions to the series, putting further emphasis on team-based play. Additional maps and gamemodes were added through expansions.

"You'll back me up, right?"
This section contains spoilers for Battlefield 4.

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