As soon as I turned on the game I was immediately stunned by its beautiful presentation. Every time you think you’re watching some hi def prerecorded cinematic, you then realize that you are experiencing the actual physics and sound of gameplay. The main story’s characters are life-like in their emotions, their expressions and their movements. The campaign and multiplayer maps are vast and defined. The sounds of explosions vibrate through you and if you’re a tad too close to them, they will temporarily dull your (in-game) senses.
You can thank Frostbite for staging all of this on its Frostbite 2.0 engine. I particularly like the game’s improvements on the basic nuances of the physics from previous Battlefield games.
No more hopping down half a flight of steps to your death, a lovely nugget of fun I enjoyed from Bad Company. Movement is realistic and properly paced. You can run and slide across hip-high platforms when you really need to not be wherever you are. You really feel your character’s effort to clear and climb those previously hard to reach places. And they even threw going-prone back into the mix.
As for the gameplay itself, the game does well in keeping actions realistic while keeping it from becoming stop and go. Reloads and weapon-swaps are timed fairly. Knifing was altered to force that sense a commitment. Better said, you have to press and hold the knife button to actually stab and kill an opponent. You and your sad victim are even rewarded with a little animation showing the brutality of the kill. Well, that is of course if your victim considers a slow and deep knife to the neck a reward. Tapping the knife button causes your character to simply slash, which is not necessarily a kill. Stiff slashes to the left pinky toe are not as life threatening as they used to be. Gunplay from all weapons, infantry and vehicular, is well polished and sensible. Health regenerates slowly when avoiding battles from certain periods of time. This of course, can be improved by the traditional medi-pack. They also threw in jets into the already-populated vehicle assortment the series provides.
The game itself is broken out into two discs, one for campaign and the other for mulitplayer. The campaign plays like a movie. The voice actors do a magnificent job meshing up with the ambiance and storyline. The story itself however, is a tad straight-forward. It puts you into interesting scenarios which end up feeling more task-oriented than player-immersing. You should play it if you wish to properly appreciate the quite apparent effort they put into its presentation (yes, again, it’s very pretty.) But don’t expect to get sucked into the plot.
Multiplayer is this game’s knockout punch. Coop mode allows you to play exclusively with a buddy, old or new, through various scenarios. (Hint: this is where you want to practice your helicopter flying before you embarrass yourself in public…) The “Multiplayer” mode splits off into the Rush and Conquest modes that made the series so popular. They also added their own variety of Team Deathmatch modes that focus around squad play. And squad play is the name of the game. The game rewards you for every once of assistance you provide to your team and even more so for your squad. This includes, but is not limited to, spotting enemies, healing, reviving, and ammo replenishing ammo. You can extensively customize your own versions of the selectable kits down to the gadgets you have or the scopes and barrels of your guns. And there are a LOT of guns, bells and whistle combos to choose from. You can even pick your favorite type of camo.
It’s important to mention to you Gamefly enthusiasts that OWNERS of the game are privileged to a code that unlocks the multiplayer disc. This means, if you rent this game, you won’t have this code. And unless you wish to spend 800 Microsoft points, campaign is all that you will be able to play. (I’m not too sure how the cost is allocated on the PlayStation Network) You will definitely miss out on what makes this game the game that it is. (Especially now that the servers are working.) That said, this game is most definitely a buy. The multiplayer, game play, and beauty alone makes this easily the best battlefield yet. You won’t regret committing to the buy.