Hands on: Battlefield 4 Multiplayer on PS4

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Hands on: Battlefield 4 Multiplayer on PS4

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DICE’s upcoming Battlefield 4 has captured the attention of military shooter enthusiasts for a host of reasons, not the least of which is the game’s promise of 64-player multiplayer warfare running at a smooth 60 frames per second on PS4. At Gamescom, I got some hands-on time with the first PS4 build of the game — we were among the first group to play the PS4 build outside of DICE. Here’s a quick after-action report.

For starters, the game runs at fluid 60 fps and its benefits were instantly noticeable on PS4. This translates to a decidedly smoother, much more responsive feel compared to Battlefield 3 on PS3. The speedy framerate means that the game simply controls better, whether you’re quickly sweeping your aiming reticule to ward off a surprise close-range attack or making smaller aiming adjustments to nail a precise headshot. Sprinting and vaulting over low cover also feels much more responsive and gives you an edge in the game’s sprawling battle zones, where death lurks around every corner and peers out of every window.

BF4 also benefits hugely from the many refinements of DualShock 4. The overhauled L2 and R2 triggers wrap snugly around your index fingers and respond crisply to every input, giving a satisfyingly precise and tactile feel as you fire your weapons. In the build I played, L1 and R1 handled grenades and a radial command menu, respectively. Tapping down on the PS4’s refined directional pad cycled through weapon firing modes (semi-auto, burst fire, and fully automatic fire), while tapping left deployed class-specific equipment such as the Engineer’s RPG.

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Though the PS4 build was in a pre-release state, it provided a window into the game’s visual strengths. The environments shimmer with eye-catching details, from billowing flames and smoke to grit blowing in the wind. Palm trees swayed dramatically, casting intricate shadows while rocket strikes lit up the surroundings. The audio was also noteworthy, surrounding the player in a symphony of shrieking mortars, whizzing bullets, and the eerie ping of nearby ricochets.

Developer DICE has confirmed that the PS4 version will support a full 64 players per match via PSN, plus an additional two slots reserved for Commander players. But more on that in a minute. BF4’s 64 player count means that the PS4 version is in full parity with the game’s PC counterpart, and the game’s large-scale matches will span the land, sea and air as battles rage between infantry, aircraft, tanks and APCs and amphibious vehicles. DICE promises that amphibious combat will be a major highlight in BF4, after having been largely minimized in the past few Battlefield titles, and that players will have to negotiate heaving waves while attempting to outmaneuver enemy ships.

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On the Domination level I played, a tropical battleground dubbed Paracel Storm, I clashed with enemy forces while locking down strategic points. The environments feel more interactive: you can open and close doors in order to avoid detection or trap enemies. And the new “Levelution” environment destruction feature figured prominently into the battle, as C4 charges and grenades gradually whittled down hardened checkpoints and exposed flag defenders to enemy fire. BF4 also marks the return of the Commander class, which is no longer a physical presence in the battle but can support his team by ordering supply drops, issuing squad orders, and foiling his enemy counterpart with EMP blasts and UAV deployments. In the final version of the game, BF4 will enable Commander players to guide their squads via a tablet application.

I was only able to play two matches on PS4, but I’ll definitely be diving back in when Battlefield 4 hits PS4 this holiday. Have any questions? Leave them in the comments below!

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83 Comments

12 Author Replies

  • I’m not into war fps games but I must say this Levolution technology is quite impressive! :)

  • I don’t know how I feel about L2 and R2 being aim and fire. But, since the controller has been significantly upgraded and the controller being bigger, better triggers and overall better than the DS3, I think I could actually get used to the L2 and R2, I have been using L1 and R1 for a long time, this is going to feel really weird.

    Bring on BF4! I can’t wait to play it.

  • What’s the resolution? 720 or 1080?

  • These battlefield games always look great but are boring to play. The single player in BF3 was just flat out awful. Ghosts is going to blow this away in sales. lol

  • The healthy state of PC gaming is to blame for this. A lot of these devs already know how to use the power and BF4 is definitely one of those. You wouldn’t see a game this full-featured and good-looking (relatively speaking) at the PS2 or even PS3 launch. It’s a good thing the architecture of the PS4 is so similar to a PC.

  • + Ryumoau on August 22nd, 2013 at 7:19 am said:

    These battlefield games always look great but are boring to play. The single player in BF3 was just flat out awful. Ghosts is going to blow this away in sales. lol

    –translation–
    I have no patience and have to insult the franchise because of this. I cant superman a mission like in call of duty so the missions suck. I will praise ghosts as it’s the only competition it has.

  • How much will it be to upgrade from the ps3 version?

  • 4
    + Ryumoau

    DId you look at the videos for BF4? It’s vastly different from BF3. And in my opinion it looks a LOT better.

  • ^Also forgot to say looks more fun than BF3

  • 1080p or 720p?

  • What about the touch pad? Any controls with the touch pad for example.

    • They are apparently doing some of the UI for Battlelog with the touchpad, but it wasn’t implemented in this build. Apparently they are also using the DualShock 4’s internal sixaxis sensor to allow easy leaning by tilting the controller — didn’t get a chance to try this though (only found out after!)

  • @Ryumoau I think you don’t have enough experience with Battlefield games to justify your speech to back up your statement. All the people I work with at work have switched from Call of Duty to Battlefield because they found there was more to offer on the Battlefield then there was in run in gun COD. I use to play COD but stopped playing after Modern Warfare 2.

  • I enjoy my immersive experience in Battlefield where I can do just about anything I can think of from Flying a Jet to Driving a Tank to loading a Jeep with C4 and driving it into a objective to kill multiple people at once.

    Battlefield promotes team work and I for one enjoy that. There’s nothing better then becoming great friends with your squad mate’s. In COD I always felt like a lone wolf and had to be the first one to kill at the beginning of the match and was all about who had the highest kills or kill streaks. In Battlefield you can do just that but you don’t have to your help in sticking to the objective pays off more and sticking with your squad and following orders results in you or your squads being up on top of the scoreboard. I’ve come up on top of a scoreboard many time with 0 kills and 0 deaths just by playing the objective because many kids still think there playing COD. So next time you run off from your squad mates think to yourself and do the opposite and stick with them and see how well you will do in the next match.

    Platoon Commander signing off
    Hoorah!

  • Will BF4 be available when PS4 is released on Nov 15?

  • Whats the cost for the upgrade path from PS3 to PS4?

    We already heard that EA/DICE would support user migration from current to next generation consoles but what is the cost for Battlefield 4 as a recent competitor announced a $10 upgrade plan?

    Will the upgrade for BF4 on PS3 to PS4 be free? Or is just stat migration? : / FYI – that would suck.

  • @Skater_Ricky (12) I used to play CoD, MW2 has a place in my heart but BF is in another level… best shooter by far, I know they are different and that’s why I said it’s better “by far”.

  • @Ryumoau

    That’s just, like, your opinion man.

  • Have any questions? Leave them in the comments below!
    -=-=-=-=-

    I do have a question! Any word on any kind of split screen play?

  • Im really looking forward to this on PS4, much larger game lobbies and Levelution, SHUTUPANDTAKEMYMONEY

  • @ Ryumoau You probably sucked at the game or didn’t know how to play, Battlefield is never Boring you Fool!

  • Please reveal the resolution! Is it 60 frames in 1080p or 720p? (I hope the former!)

  • @Ryomoau … “Ghosts is going to blow this away in sales. lol” ..
    http://www.vgchartz.com/preorders/
    CoD Ghost (PS4) 129,048
    Battlefield 4 (PS4) 135,628
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iak_D9Bgt1g

  • between this and killzone shadow fall, yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!! just gimmie a ps4 resistance and i’ll be in tears.

  • My only concern is that Spectator mode won’t be coming to PS4, which I hope get’s added, the only word DICE gave was “We’ll see.”

  • Sheesh so many FPS coming out but they all start mimicking each other. What actually makes them stand out besides the graphics not much that’s for sure. The difference in FPS is one would be a arcade shooter & the other is actual more realistic, but with FPS every year the lines are blurred.

  • I may have to pre-order this as well. I started BF3 on PC but find I have more time (albeit still little) to play on consoles. Any word on if Vita remote-play will be supported for multiplayer?

  • BF4 promise of 64-player multiplayer warfare running at a smooth fluid 60 frames per second on PS4.. Now all I wonder is this still on EA’s Servers.. Or will Sony PSN be Surprising everyone as Well..

  • Will it run at 60fps at 1080p, or 720p? 1080p would be awesome!

  • Sid playing Battlefield is the world ending? ya Battlefield 4 will finally be a Battlefield on PS4…

  • @4
    This game has more PS4 preorders then CoD and the PS3 version is slightly more too I believe. The gameplay in battlefield is amazing, the only people who dislike battlefield are not good at it. Tho I think BF3’s story was decent, how are you using that as a bases point when it’s all about multiplayer in BF?

  • 29
    + Teflon02

    Yup. What’s cool though is Ghosts pre-orders for PS4 are actually ahead of XB1 pre-orders. (when I checked, but i don’t think that will change much)

    And I agree with what you said about BF4.

  • i believe the ps4 version of bf4 will be in full 1080p at 60fps.

  • Looks just like BF3 on PS3…so now Dice is doing 64 players on PS hu…no excuses this time I hope…..by the videos the SP looks good but so did BF3 and it ended up being really crappy and boring…plus the co-op..decent missions but only online…WTH?….those co-op missions are still holding me on the plat but whatever…..BF is a MP based game and it does really good at it….the MP is really fun and addictive.BF4 is a cash-grabber and the BF franchise has turned into this already….so thank you I’m sticking with BF3 and its DLCs.

  • Am getting Killzone SF & BF4 day 1, best shooters on next-gen hands down

  • The PS4 will be running BF4 in 60fps and 1080p

  • how will the significantly reduced price thing work if we already bought it on the PlayStation 3. going to work?

  • Open and close doors?! Shoot out the lights and use thermal/night vision to see the enemies?! Even more massive destruction?! This is becoming a dream come true.

  • does this game support 3D or playing with the Move?

    is there cross-play between the PC and PS4 versions?

    is there local co-op using the Vita as a cross-controller?

    one issue I had with previous Battlefield games was there was no “punishment” for killing civilians or people who were unarmed. does this game provide more of a moral compass?

    will we be getting a PS4 native “Battlefield Trilogy”? would love to play those in 1080p with HD audio.

  • Is any one burned out of “realistic:” FPS games? I know I am. I wish Titanfall was coming to the PS4. I wanna like Battlefield but I’m just not seeing anything relevant or drastically different in the visual department. I’m still going to try this out when I can but I doubt I’ll invest in it.

  • Will Battlefield 4 support PS Vita remote play?

  • I hope you’re still taking questions… There are a couple of things that I was wondering they’ve improved on BF4

    – How can we spot enemies now on BF4? On BF3 for the PS3 we have to use the select button, which is possible but it s#c%s…
    – Any news on counter knifing? And how to use it since R1 is set to a radial menu?

    Thanks in advance, and see you all on the battlefield!

  • What role did the touch pad play?

  • Mr.Shuman

    We need support for the battlelog map on the vita, why has the vita been the only one not mentioned as in terms of the app for BF4 and Watchdogs alike?

    Heck, I pitched the idea of the battlelog app to the devs using the vita as the one running it. Please get support for the vita for the next-gen apps for this game and others.

    (If you haven’t guessed, yes a vita owner waiting for the PS4 :P)

  • oops… was supposed to be battlelog app at the beginning of there. Loving everything else, not the omission of the vita though :(

  • What button is spot assigned to now? It used to be select.

  • I’m still stuck on ye olde faithful Battlefield 2! This looks awesome though, I might have to upgrade.

  • EA/DICE forgot us so easy with Battefield 4… In BF3 in PS3 the other side stay playing CoD while us stay loyal with Playstation and Premium DLC first launchs… And now knife in our back and DLC first in the other side company.

    The world spin… Destiny will have his deserved all support.

  • This is definitely going to be epic!

  • Should be fun!

  • I have a question about Battlefield 4 and generally the other PS4 games.. Like in PS3 where most games were 720p, will ALL PS4 games run at 1080p.. Also it will be nice to have the games specifically made by Sony to run at 4K!

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