Battlefield 3 was an interesting game. DICE decided to take 3 in a different direction from the series’ previous entries and because of that the game ended up having some issues (but selling extraordinarily well). I stopped playing Battlefield 3 because of my dislike of the heavier controls and much longer time to kill than the previous main series entries and the off-chute Bad Company games. When Battlefield 4 news began to hit I was cautiously optimistic, and after my time with the beta I can say that it seems DICE has finely tuned the game to be very solid overall, fixing most of the issues I had with 3.

A lot of what seems to be fixed is centered around movement and gunplay. You still have a very slight weighted feel, but at a much faster pace. No longer does it seem to take ages to climb over walls or turn 180 degrees. The movement speed has ratcheted up, stopping a few clicks short of Call of Duty. You can sprint, turn, climb, and do everything you need to do with much more fluidity and speed. The shooting mechanics also feel better; no longer does it take nearly a full clip to kill. The kill times are not quite Call of Duty, but are much, much faster than Battlefield 3, and that’s a good thing. The single map in the beta also addresses an issue I had with 3, maps feeling dead with 16 players. This issue is more mute this time around being that I’ll be ponying up for the next gen version of Battlefield 4 with more players on the maps, though.

Graphically the beta looks very, very rough. Bad textures, very low draw distance, it’s just a mess. I have to cut it some slack though because this could easily be an early build and Battlefield 3 ended up having an install texture pack that helped the visual fidelity quite a bit. Again though, the next-gen versions (or the PC version) will help alleviate the aches and pains of 7-8 year old consoles.

Overall the beta is very solid in mechanics, and a lot of fun to play. The dynamic maps with improved destruction make matches feel much more alive and the quicker movement paired with quicker kill times makes the game feel a lot less clunky that 3 did. I would highly suggest getting the next gen or PC version of the game if you do end up buying, but either way Battlefield 4 is shaping up to be a more well-rounded experience than the previous entry.

Battlefield 4 Trailer