|Floating Pistol Bug|
Unfortunately, I have not played the beta quite as much as I would have liked, but I have managed to gather a lot of thoughts on what I am seeing. Overall, I feel really good about what BF4 will offer us. I see potential for it to be much more entertaining than BF3. The look and feel of the game, from the HUD to the in-game graphics, all feel more refined to me, although that could just be the "new car smell."
|This umbrella resists more than wind|
What I do like about Siege is the verticality it offers. You are not stuck playing on one or two levels. You can get as low as the water in the bay or Metro (objective B on conquest large). You can get as high as the top of the C tower and other buildings of similar height. You can also reach the roof of smaller buildings, as well as ground level and the levels in between. The map also offers also offers a wide mix of play options: you con focus on driving vehicles, destroying vehicles, getting to a rooftop to snipe, or close quarters combat attacking and defending objectives. If this is the approach DICE is taking to map design, I like the idea. A player can choose a role, such as anti-tank engineer, and have a completely different game than their next round on the same map as an assault or recon. Of course, jury is still out on how the BF4 map design will hold up to the various game modes.
Once they get more of the bugs worked out, Levolution still has good promise. It may require some tweaking though. Take the falling tower for instance, it is possible to take that down very early in the game. It is possibly too easy to initiate that set piece, which may cause it to lose impact on gameplay if it is down early and often. There is a significant different in how the game plays when it is up versus down. When the tower is up, there is a clear battle to dominate the rooftop. When it is down, the game becomes a bit more chaotic. I have seen games where it remained up for some time and was brought down when a team expressed concern they could not take C without dropping the tower. It is reassuring to see a round play out is a more tactical and team-based manner.
|Where's the dust?|
DICE is still working to perform final tweaking and balancing of the weapons and vehicles. For instance, Demize99 has tweeted they they have not yet determined if RPGs will still have locking capabilities in the final build. If they do, damage will be reduced, at the least. To me, the weapons had a good feel, although there were moments when some weapons, like pistols, seemed to do an extra burst of damage. Also, the vapor trails on sniper rounds seemed inconsistent with the actual bullet trajectory.
I love the new deploy screen. Choosing your spawn point is straightforward and intuitive. I also like that the spawn screen is a real-time map, making it easier to see the big picture and think tactically about where you spawn. I found myself making better spawn choices. I also found this was improved by having VOIP, because it enabled me to communicate with team mates on where to spawn and as what class, as well as communicating with them on what I saw on the map while I waited for the countdown timer.
Battlefield 4 will also offer some new weapons and gadgets. One we got to try in the beta is the XM25 airburst grenade launcher carried by the support class. I really love the way this weapon works, even if it is a bit of a niche role. I took out my fair share of rooftop campers thanks to its airburst mechanic.
With less than twenty days until release, I am really looking forward to this game.