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E3 2013: Battlefield 4

By
Posted on June 12, 2013 AT 02:00pm

Publisher EA
Developer DICE
Platform XB1, PS4, 360, PS3, PC
Release Date 10.29.2013
Not sure what any of this stuff means? Head on over to our E3 hub for all the deets.

The Rundown

Really, even if you don’t play the games, I’m pretty certain that you know what Battlefield is. There are soldiers, they have guns, they shoot at other soldiers with guns, and this happens an especially high amount of times when you send people online to do so against one another. Battlefield 4 continues that tradition, this time with a story taking place in the year 2020 and involving epic gunfights in places such as Azerbaijan and Russia.

The Verdict

Remember when I said that you might be one of those people who knows what Battlefield is but who doesn’t play it? That’s me. So, initially, you might think I was absolutely the wrong person to send to try out Battlefield 4.

Here’s the thing, though: I’m always eager to know why people like games that I’m not especially into. There’s that curiosity you have, wondering if it really isn’t your kind of game, or if you just think it isn’t but it actually might be if you tried.

For the hands-on multiplayer sessions EA is running at this year’s E3 event, one of my points of interest in DICE’s franchise was on display: 64-player team deathmatch. While I mean to take nothing away from all of the great first-person shooters which do fabulous online multiplayer with far fewer players, the idea of epic 32 vs. 32 battles not only taking place, but taking place on consoles—at least, the next-gen ones—is something to excite the imagination.

In my Battlefield 4 gameplay session, it was obvious that I was totally new at all of this crazy-hardcore FPS stuff—yet that didn’t stop me from having fun. In between trying to figure out why my army guy wouldn’t pick up health packs and being confused over knowing who I should be pointing my gun at, I was marveling at the awesomeness—used here in the proper way—of what was unfolding around me.

Everywhere I turned, there was gunfire. A crumbling rock wall might serve as temporary shelter, but suddenly it’d be torn apart by rocket fire. Running through an underground parking garage to try to provide support to my squad, I was pelted by water as the broken sprinkler system went off, the entire building shaking around me from the war outside. At one point, I was taking down enemy soldiers atop a looming Shanghai skyscraper—and then, the next thing I knew, I was watching my brief digital life flash before my eyes as the building started coming down.

One side of me wonders why anybody would ever want to play a game that can invoke so many traumatic representations of being in the middle of a brutal battleground of war. And yet, another side of me came to understand just how exciting and thrilling the adrenaline rush of being put in such a “do or die” situation can be.

Hardcore Battlefield fans might hate that I was the one to go check out the game, and that I’ve only given Battlefield 4 a rating of “Solid” based off of the experience I had at E3. Hopefully, though, you won’t look at it that way–and, instead, will look at it as somebody who isn’t typically into these types of games trying to give it an honest chance, and coming away legitimately curious to play more.

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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