Monday, 6 July 2015

Battlefield 4 - Expansions and other Shenanigans

I suppose you may all be wondering why I’m doing a post about Battlefield 4 now that Hardline has come out but I have a few things to talk about as it’s been a quite some time since I did my initial review of the game back in April last year. I’m sad to say I haven’t played the game for awhile for a couple of reasons of having too much to play currently (don’t we all) and being a bit over the game though that is only at the time of writing, I’ve played with friends quite a few times over the months and tried out different classes and weapons and whatnot not to mentions the various expansions that have come out. Similar to Battlefield 3 there has been five total DLC expansions for Battlefield 4 and If I’m not mistaken that’s the magic number as not too long after the 5th one Final Stand was released that’s when they started advertising for Battlefield Hardline. 

So I’ll basically go through the expansions as they’ve come out starting with China Rising:

My friends and I probably liked this expansion the best it brought in some remarkable maps from mainland China which are Dragon Pass,  Guilin Peaks, Altai Range  and Silk Road, Guilin Peaks is a beautiful looking infantry orientated-map that is set in a mountainous tropical forest, it was great fun zooming around on ATVs and the new (to BF4) dirtbikes, I also very much enjoyed doing my engineer-repairman-in-chopper thing or piloting the chopper myself on this map. Dragon Pass was stated to be a re-imagined version of Dragon Valley which I sort of recognized but damn that sun glare!. This expansion also introduced the Air Superiority game mode.

Air superiority on Guilin Peaks, this one was a small map so it was with chopper rather then jets. You can see the Zeppelin which acts as a capture point.
Second Assault
This one was the obligatory “bring back old maps” expansion similar to Back to Karkand for BF3 though this time there was only one BF2 map in the list and it had to be freakin Gulf of Oman I’d had enough of that map in BF2 as it was on the demo even, it’s now been in BF2, 3 and 4 and now there’s a goddamn hurricane/sandstorm. Caspian Border was good with its new “Autumn” settings and changed terrain and so was Operation Firestorm with its new browner sandstorm ‘levelution’ event.  But did they really need to bring back Operation Métro I mean REALLY? There’s already an infantry-only map with Operation Locker but they had to bring that goddamn one back, even though they did make some improvements I spose.

This is a short clip but it's a good view of the new operation Firestorm, I also like it cause I happen to have the "Tie Fighter attack" music going in the background.

Firestorm on the ground
Naval Strike
Naval strike was you can probably guess was an expansion based on large-ocean-with-island maps, this expansion introduced 2 person hovercrafts which could go over land and sea and were very useful and a lot of fun and old cannons which were powerful but very hard to aim and had a huge reload time. The maps in this expansion were vehicle heavy with lots of helicopters, jets and boats zooming around which made it pretty hard for infantry to get around, most of the time using the transport chopper was suicide as you were a almost like a giant slow moving target for everyone. I did enjoy this one though as the new Carrier Assault mode was pretty fun, it resembled the Titan gamemode from Battlefield 2142 that I never got to play though it wasn’t quite as epic you just needed to capture several missile launchers to damage the enemy carrier though you then  never shot yourself into a huge flying craft you just got onto a boat or spawned near the carrier but it was good nonetheless.

Naval strike on Wavebreaker with pretty much everyone in boats and Jet Ski's
Dragons Teeth
Dragon’s Teeth was an update that focused on several war-torn cities in Asia that were locked down by the Chinese PLA, none of which I liked too much though I got a bit sick of Pearl Market as it was one of the most played for some reason. This expansion introduced a new Battle Pickup with the RAWR (LoL!) and new Ballistic Shield fir the Support class and some new powerful guns including the DEagle 44 handgun and the Bulldog assault rifle.

Footage of the RAR being used in Pearl Market (I haven't been able to use it yet.

Final stand is apparently the pivotal point between the War of 2020 and the new Cold War that was featured in Battlefield 2142 these maps are all set in Russia with most set in Siberia between Russia and the United States. It tells of how The US have received intel from the Chinese that Russia has been secretly developing new technology and have sent the USMC to put a stop to it (as you do). Most of the maps are snowy and winter landscaped with the occasional blizzard. This expansion brought in lots of crazy gadgets formerly from battlefield 2142 inc the very useful Target Detector and some of which being Battle Pickups which players need to find on the map to use (i.e. they couldn’t be equipped by a particular class) These include a Railgun, a Compound Bow which has quite a complicated unlocking procedure and some kind of remote-controlled flying minigun which totally freaked me out when I first saw it. And speaking of things that freaked me out there was also a Hovertank which was ridiculously fast (for a tank) and made a lot of noise and sprayed snow everywhere and made me almost shit my pants when I first encountered it. There’s also Snowmobiles and Pod launchers which are a lot of fun. I found I liked the Hanger 21 map the most where you could see a prototype Titan being built.

The Hanger 21 splash screen, you can see the prototype Titan
So anyway what about me? Well I’ve played quite in the year that’s passed, mostly with my two friends Lachlan and Matt and also “Hardcore” Alex (as he prefers that game mode). I played pretty much all of the maps on all of the expansions and can still say China Rising was probably my favourite with the game modes I played most of them inc Conquest, Rush, Team Deathmatch, Squad Deathmatch, Obliteration,  Carrier Assault, Chain Link, Gun Master and Air Superiority only once. Obliteration was a type of ‘carry the bomb to the enemy base’ type of thing which was pretty fun, it’s like a game of rugby except with guns. It’s extremely hectic running along when you have the bomb dodging bullets, missiles and everything under the sun though you can still use fast vehicles to transport yourself or your bomb carrier to the target. I never got to play Air Superiority properly as I am rubbish with jets and when I did try a server there was only one person in there. I must remind myself to try it again now that I have a joystick

The tutorial for carrier assault (it was kind of confusing to start off)

I think I’ve tried out every class now relatively, I go Assault still most of the time but really chose what was needed in my squad more, most of the time I was Assault unless I was riding in a chopper or another vehicle then I went Engineer but it was really the only time I went engineer as it was probably the most used class. I’ve found I’ve actually done quite a few repairs as I’m in Division 1 in the World for most repairs I’ve also gotten a few kills with the SRAW (love saying that name). I went Support sparingly, only using it when needed in my squad needed it, I used the PKP Pecheneg quite a bit as it’s my top weapon, other than that I just used C4 or ammo box for points though you get a fair few suppression points using LMGs. I’ve started using the Magnum for most of my classes, I found it pretty funny that you can put things like scopes and a flashlight attachment on as it looks ludicrous, I do want to try out the DEagle 44 if I can unlock it.

My ridiculous scoped Magnum
A bit later into playing I wanted to experiment with the Recon class a bit more, I again tried to be a Sniper the way I did in BF2 but it just doesn’t work, I dunno what it is but maybe it’d be being able to be spotted by anyone and showing up on the radar when you fire your weapon maybe which made it very hard to hide. And also because of the huge amount of detail in the levels (trees etc) you could hardly see very far unless the map was almost bare desert like the Silk Road map. So I gave up on this and started using Designated Marksman Rifle’s (DMR’s), these were like the M1 Carbine and SKS Simonov from Vietcong single-shot semi-long range weapons and I went pretty damn well with these, still running and gunning like the other classes but using the stealth set and basically being more stealthy. One of the best things about the Recon was the cool toys you could use including:

SOFLAM – A laser designator that targets vehicles that you can set up and it functions on its own as well as remotely which is useful but damn that things is a bullet magnet and is fragile as all hell.

T-UGS – A sensor that you can set up on the ground that senses enemies around it and reports them on the map, this was very useful in infantry style maps or when hiding.

Radio Beacon –This acted like a spawn point for your squad members once set up, it worked the best when set up near a flag, you could be killed and lose the flag but keep coming back much to enemies chagrin, this was a lot of fun to use and help my squad.

Target Detector  - I loved this thing, what it did was when you aimed down the sights or through a scope it automatically spotted any enemy soldiers you saw. Since I was already a big spotter (I got lots of spotting points) this was awesome as I didn’t even have to decide whether to spot or shoot. I liked it some much that it got annoying when I changed classes and had to go back to not using it.

Recon Toys!
Now that the four expansions have been released you could probably say that the period for Battlefield 4 is now over but this is technically different, Hardline is focused on cops and robbers not military combat though there will still be people playing BF4 until the next one of course as I’m sure we definitely haven’t seen the end of large-scale military combat in the Battlefield series. So that about sums it up really I played, I experienced and now I’d doing other things to get my FPS fix (mainly Sniper Elite 3) but I’ll be back sometime y’all.


I do some Helicopter repairing and organise my loadout on Wave Breaker

Time for my magic blowtorch!

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