Pushing the boat out. Then sinking it
The first thing we do when let loose in Battlefield 4… actually, the first thing we do is get mercilessly shot and killed. But after that, it’s into a boat for some death on the high seas. Or at least that’s the intention.
What actually happens is we sail around unable to find anyone to kill, and then get distracted by the sheer scale of the environment, moseying about like we’re running some sort of ultra-explosive river cruise. And while it’s not exactly lending a helping hand to the ongoing Conquest war effort playing out around us, it’s testament to the freedom on offer, and the sightseeing-worthy prettiness.
Once we actually decide to get involved in combat, it’s as gritty and rewarding as DICE‘s shooter ever is. Not as twitchy as COD, but allowing a greater sense of involvement as your lifespan can actually clock into double figures (that’s minutes, not seconds – we’re not that rubbish). The differentiation from past games to what’s on PS4, in addition to those gorgeous graphics, comes from both the larger maps and the destruction going on around them. The size necessitates breaking off into small, impromptu fireteams – something we do to great effect, capturing two objectives – and the destructibility adds to the atmosphere, spectacle and feel that you’re having a tangible effect on the environment. The next-gen shooter war is on.