Critique of Battlefield 4 playthrough

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Critique of Battlefield 4 playthrough

Right from the start, you are in a bad predicament but how you got there is the meat of the story.

Being sent to some… Slavic country to get intel., you are on the run and you find yourself on the second floor of an abandoned school building (casualty of war) with Russian Special Forces swarm the floor beneath you. You (Recker) soon run into the rest of your (Tombstone) unit, Patrick Soderlund and Staff Sergeant Dunn (I took it to be short for dunny; homie).  Separated from the group, the 4th team member “Irish” still has a bit of heat on his tail and requires your assistance. Michael Kenneth Williams (aka Omar Little in The Wire; Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire) seems to be the inspiration for the character “Irish”.  As if the place wasn’t war torn enough, you blast and bomb any resistance coming Irish’s way and give him a hand up (to the second floor?! Irish has serious ups; leaping abilities) to rejoin the squad and get to the extraction point.

Fast-forwarding through the flashback, you exit the school to the lush jungle like backyard, on through under the elevated train and on through to the factory one kilometer away.  Having started a miniature war on the streets, one would assume that heavier forces would be on their way and as luck would have it, you run into a few on your way to the factory. Lacking the sense to take cover, you dance across a beam of wood like a 4 year old and get noticed by the ruskies pulling up the rear (unlucky but meh… it’s in the script).  Introducing you to the squad tactic gameplay in a trial by fire, the squad lays down the suppressing fire while you create your path to the rear of the opposing force and take the position and the vehicle. You would think that the vehicle would be an advantage but you run into a barrier (made of magic wood that stops the vehicle cold and 5 times as small as the entrance to the road. *facepalm*) and you’re magically vaulted into the gunner position in the truck to quickly engage the next group of combatants. As you exit the vehicle (WHY?!) you engage more combatant and get back into the vehicle after laying waste to them (ignoring the group flanking your three o’clock). Briefly pressing forward you exit the vehicle (again) and engage a group in a building adjacent to you and take them out in squad suppression “rinse, wash and repeat” fashion. You do this an additional two more times but with the added power of the evac helicopter (I love the smell of napalm in the morning! Smells like victory.) .

At this point you realize that the Frostbyte 3 engine is stunning and offers a lot of detail to the environment but is “signature”.  Signature isn’t bad but like Unreal engine, vigilant gamers will see the common tell-tales (destructibility, lighting, lens effects, explosion effects, etc.) of games using the same engine (Army of Two 3). One oddity I noticed that you do see in the play through (11:50 in) is a floating rock at the top of the stairs (which is not exclusive to Frostbyte but is seen time to time).  The factory set piece is excellent and powerful. Losing your means of escape to an enemy helicopter and trapped by the rubble of the factory, you quickly find out that Dunn is in a bad situation.  After Pack (glitchily pantomimes) setting a tourniquet for Dunn, you are forced to aid Dunn his request. As raw as the situation may be, your unit commandeers a vehicle and high tails it out of the area. As a finally you find yourself escaping but at a price.

From what seemed to be a demo of human orchestrated playthrough (over zealous use of grenades in a crowded populous (4:42), friends list challenge requests (5:50), Unstealthy like stealth (6:25), bad driving (7:17), poor decision making by exiting a well armed vehicle (7:29) twice (8:04), oddly ignoring a flanking assault group (7:45)and an excessive  use of ordinances (for a previously ignored opposing force (9:10, 10:00)), Battlefield 4 is proving to be action packed thrill ride vying for the Call of Duty market and EA is pointing its guns squarely at Activision in the war for the male gamer 18 to 36 years of age First Person Shooter gamer (umm.. not really). Exciting times.