Battlefield 4, at launch, was a pretty hectic experience on the PC, but the same can't be said about the watered-down 360 and PS3 versions of the game. Simply put, the maps are built around the concept of huge 64 player battles, and with a paltry 24-player limit, it turned them into ghost towns.
The Xbox One and PS4 editions are attempting full feature parity with the PC game, bringing the count back to a rightful 64, with some enhanced visuals in tow. But the "next-gen" consoles also have some nasty stability issues despite the fact that the experience is upgraded in almost every way possible.
When it works, that is.
Battlefield 4 (PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 Xbox 360, Xbox One)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: October 29, 2013 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) / November 12 (PS4) / November 19 (Xbox One)
First things first, Battlefield 4 is gorgeous on both the Xbox One and PS4. Exact technical specifications aside, you can immediately tell the difference between the previous console generations, and nuanced effects like fog and snow are vastly improved. To be clear, the PS4 version has a higher resolution at 900p compared to the Xbox One's 720p, but they both look great. The same limitations of the Frostbite 3 engine from the PC are evident (like the lack of "total" environment destruction), but the fact remains that it's still extremely impressive to look at.
Those visuals aren't just for show either, as the enhanced draw distance and attention to detail will help when you're frolicking around in huge 64-player conflicts. It feels like forever since we've gotten a real "massive" (or at least, semi-massive) FPS game, and if Battlefield 4 is leading the charge, I have high hopes for the Xbox One and PS4 going forward. The sound direction is superior as well, adding a greater sense of peril and desperation to what would otherwise feel like a regular match.
Point blank, the new consoles don't feature visuals that are as jaw-dropping as the PC version on higher-end rigs, but they're still very much impressive in their own right, and will do just fine for the vast majority of FPS gamers out there. In fact, I'd say that the Xbox One and PS4 versions are superior in every way possible to the 360 and PS3 games, which feel severely gimped in comparison after going back and testing them -- it's a world of difference.
But all that glitters isn't gold, as users have been reporting widespread issues with both the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game, including single-player save corruption problems, crashes, audio drops, and latency issues -- a few of which I encountered myself. To be blunt, EA needs to fix these issues sooner than later, as they've inexcusably sold an unfinished product for a full retail price.
My experience with the Xbox One version has been relatively bug free outside of the occasional matchmaking crash, but the PS4 game is really rough at the moment. As of this week a patch has been issued, smoothing over some of the problems outside of matchmaking, but PS4 users are still experiencing rough patches at the time of this writing. On PS4, I encountered more problems than I could count. If you're going to jump into either one of them, note that DICE still has some kinks to work out.
Although it isn't quite up to par with the PC version of the game, the Xbox One and PS4 editions of Battlefield 4 boast complete feature parity at the very least, and 64-player games are a blast on consoles. Unlike some other multi-platform launch releases that are just mere graphical upgrades, the "next-gen" version of Battlefield is most definitely worth an upgrade, and if you can't buy the PC version, either new console is a safe bet. Just wait for an "all clear" on the bugs first, or you'll be walking through a minefield of bugs.
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