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Battlefield 4

is a first-person shooter video game developed by Swedish video game developer EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts. It is a sequel to 2011's... read more

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Status: Released
Release: 29-Oct-2013

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is a first-person shooter video game developed by Swedish video game developer EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts. It is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3 and was released on October 29, 2013 in North America, October 31, 2013 in Australia, November 1, 2013 in Europe and New Zealand and November 7, 2013 in Japan for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Battlefield 4 received a positive critical response from reviewers and was a commercial success, praised for its multiplayer mode, gameplay and graphics. In contrast, the game was criticized for its short and shallow single-player campaign mode, and for its numerous bugs and glitches.

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Gameplay

The game's heads-up display (HUD) is much the same, 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 mini-map, as well as the main game screen, shows symbols marking three kinds of entities: blue for allies, green for squadmates, and red/orange for enemies.

Players can use dual-scoped weapons, including weapons with different firing modes (e.g. single shots, automatic fire). They can "spot" targets—marking their positions to the player's squad—in the single player campaign (a first in the Battlefield franchise) as well as in multiplayer, allowing teammates to either suppress or eliminate them. Bullet-dropping-system has become much more enhanced allowing players to precise their aiming with the environment. In addition, players will 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.

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Campaign

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 visor. The Engage command directs Recker's squadmates, and occasionally other friendly units, to attack any hostiles in Recker's line of sight. The tactical visor is similar to a laser-designator, in the sense that it that 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.

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.

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Multiplayer

Battlefield 4's multiplayer contains 3 playable factions; U.S., China and Russia and up to 64 players on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. A newly reintroduced "Commander Mode", last seen in Battlefield 2142, gives one player on each team an RTS-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 machine going", and order in missile strikes and such on hostile targets (as long as at least one friendly player can see the target). 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. 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.

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". 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.

The four kits from Battlefield 3 and other similar games are present with new enhancements and abilities. The Assault kit now must wait for defibrillator to recharge before reviving another player. 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 far more mobile and is able to equip carbines, designated marksman rifles (DMRs), and C4. Sniping mechanics are also enhanced 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.

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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 has also been heavily improved in Battlefield 4, with all new camos available for every gun. A new "adaptive" camo is also being introduced that can adapt the camo to the map being played without the player having to change camos every game. Camos can now be applied to Jets, Helicopters, and Tanks.

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Synopsis

Setting and characters

Battlefield 4's single-player Campaign takes place in 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.[citation needed] 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, bringing China to the brink of war with the United States.

The player controls Sgt. Daniel "Reck" Recker, second-in-command of a U.S. special operations squad callsigned "Tombstone". His squadmates include squad leader SSgt. William Dunn, Heavy Weapon Specialist SSgt. Kimble "Irish" Graves, and field medic Sgt. Clayton "Pac" Pakowski. Early in the Campaign, Tombstone is joined by CIAoperative Laszlo W. Kovic, originally known as "Agent W." from Battlefield 3's Campaign; and Chinese Secret Service agent Huang "Hannah" Shuyi. 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.

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Plot

Unlike the Campaign of its predecessor, Battlefield 4's Campaign primarily follows chronological order, and permanently casts the player as Recker. In the beginning, set in Baku,Azerbaijan, Tombstone Fire Team—consisting of Recker, Dunn, Irish, and Pac—escapes the city, with vital intelligence in hand and Russian special forces in hot pursuit. The squad winds up trapped in a civilian's car when it plunges into the sea. Dunn, trapped between the seats and critically wounded, gives Recker his revolver and orders him to shoot out the windshield. Reluctantly, Recker shoots the window, and Dunn drowns as the others escape. 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. Tombstone returns to the USS Valkyrie, an amphibious assault carrier en route to China's eastern coast. 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.

Garrison sends Tombstone, with Recker as squad leader, on a covert mission in Shanghai to rescue three VIPs: Kovic, Hannah, and Hannah's husband. With Tombstone's help, Kovic takes his fellow VIPs to the Valkyrie by helicopter. Meanwhile, Tombstone takes a civilian tourist boat from the shore, just as an electromagnetic pulse fries all electric equipment in the area. Realizing that there are other civilian refugees stranded on boats around them, and against Pac's protests, Irish leads them to theValkyrie. Aboard the Valkyrie, they head for the USS Titan, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier that can assist them. Upon sighting the Titan, the Valkyrie finds it critically damaged by Chang's Chinese military. Garrison orders Tombstone, with Kovic as acting squad leader (Recker lost the position because he didn't stop Irish in Shanghai), to scour the wreckage of the Titan for the vital ships voyage data recorder before it sinks. Tombstone recovers a hard drive with data from before the Chinese missile attack and fight their way out against boarding Chinese soldiers. 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. 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. Tombstone then clears the bridge and rescues Hannah's husband and Garrison.

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Garrison debriefs 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. Hannah volunteers to join Tombstone, much to Irish's chagrin, as he wasn't involved in the debrief himself. They 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. 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.

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. Recker is awoken by "Dima", a Russian prisoner suffering from radiation poisoning. 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. 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.

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, under siege by both Chinese and 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. 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. They successfully complete their task, and are sent to the Suez Canal.

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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. 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, and escaped by "crawling through a thousand miles of shit with a hole in [his] stomach"). When Chinese forces finally 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. Recker opens the door and is knocked down, but Jié calms the tension between the three forces showing his face to them. The Chinese soldiers celebrate the news of their leader's return and call off the attack.

However, upon hearing this news, Chang barrages the Valkyrie with his warship, hoping to "bury the truth and everyone 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 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. As soon as the detonator lights green, Recker detonates the charges, destroying Chang's ship but killing whomever had gone down to make it possible. A U.S. rescue helicopter then picks up Recker and his remaining teammate, reporting to Garrison that one member is missing in action. 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".

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Development

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". 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."

Battlefield4 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. 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.

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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.

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

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.

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Reception

Critical reception

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.

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". 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.

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."

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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). 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".

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. Despite this promise, the game's second expansion was released while numerous recurring problems had yet to be resolved.

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Ban in China

In late December 2013, shortly after the release of the "China Rising" DLC pack, the Chinese government banned the sale of the game, with the government wanting stores and online vendors to remove the game and encouraging Chinese gamers who already have the game to uninstall it from consoles and/or PCs. According to the government, the game poses as a national security risk by smearing China's image and army in the form of a cultural invasion as the DLC includes four maps on the Chinese mainland with new vehicles, high-tech equipment and ten new assignments which the government sees as discrediting to the Chinese national image.

An editorial from the China National Defense Newspaper (a subsidiary of the state-owned PLA Daily) published in December 2013 criticised the game for smearing China's image, and accused that whilst in the past Russia would often be used as an "imaginary enemy" in western video games, the shift has recently turned to China.

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Sales

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.

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 generationconsoles.

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. In February 2014, EA announced that the Premium service for the game has sold more than 1.6 million copies.



This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Battlefield 4, which isreleased under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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