What is Battlefield 4?
Battlefield 4 is a military centric first person shooter that puts you in the role of Recker, part of an elite unit that finds itself thrown into the kind of incredible, over the top situations that would put most Hollywood thrillers to shame. With an incredible sense of scale as buildings collapse, aircraft carriers tear in half, and helicopters come crashing out of the sky, it's an adrenaline rush of a game - and one where vehicles play a key part.
How do you play Battlefield 4?
For the most part, Battlefield 4 plays out like a standard, military themed first person shooter as you crouch behind cover, peer out behind corners to get a good shot at an enemy, and dodge the grenades that come your way. What really makes it stand out, however, is that a several points throughout the single player game, you're able to leap into a tank, car, boat or helicopter to take matters into your own hands. Smashing through rubble, circling enemy tanks, or leaping across waves in your vehicle of choice is easily the highlight of the game - and they're all pretty easy to control, too.
Outside of the single player campaign, Battlefield 4 also comes boasting its famous (and immensely popular) multiplayer mode, where dozens of players can duke it out in online match-ups, with the same mix of on foot and vehicular gameplay. With a variety of modes on offer, and a handy option to spawn next to a friend, so you're never far removed from your team when you're playing together, there's a lot to get stuck into here - even if newcomers may find there's a steep learning curve.
How easy is Battlefield 4 to pick up and play?
As a first person shooter, it perhaps goes without saying that you'll need to be proficient at dual analogue controls to get on with Battlefield 4. Using the left stick to move and right stick to look takes some getting used to if you've never done it before. For the most part though, Battlefield 4 is a high pressure, high intensity game where one mistake is all it takes to get you killed - especially online. Entering a room, you need to scout out the whole area, and you'll need top notch situational awareness to stay alive. Similarly, some single player mission objectives can be a bit vague, so you'll often need to find your own way - which is easier said than done in the middle of a battlefield.
If you're going to stick to single player, there are a variety of difficulty levels on offer here to help you tailor the challenge to suit - but if you go online, there's no such system in place, and you'll be pit against much more experienced players, with better weapons and equipment than you from the off. Needless to say, you'll want to take a few friends along for the ride if you're new to the series, just to give you a helping hand.
As a military themed first person shooter, there's a lot parents may want to know about Battlefield 4. When it comes to violence, there's actually surprisingly little in the way of blood when you shoot enemies (bad guys give off a cloud of blood, but it's not as over the top as it could be), yet Battlefield has plenty of gore in other quarters. One section sees a computer controlled character being dragged away from a wreckage, without the lower half of their leg, leaving a thick trail of blood behind them. Melee attacks are similarly grizzly, as the game gives you a close up of your knife going into their throat as they plead off and scream. Several other sections may be disturbing - one section sees a number of sailors, trapped beneath the floor as a ship floods, screaming for help, while another asks you to press a button to cut your comrade's leg off - a section designed to make you feel particularly uncomfortable. Swearing, too, comes thick and fast, with plenty of f words and motherf***ers.
Format Reviewed: PC