— Rear cover of Battlefield 4 box art
Battlefield 4 (also known as BF4) is the thirteenth installment in the Battlefield Series developed by DICE and published by EA. It is the sequel to Battlefield 3 and was released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on October 29, 2013. It is the first game in the franchise also released on eighth generation consoles, being released for the PlayStation 4 on November 12, 2013 and the Xbox One on November 19 of the same year. Battlefield 4 is also available for unlimited play for EA Access members on the Xbox One as one of the service's launch titles.
Many elements from Battlefield 3 as well as other past installments return, such as the same four class system, a similar heads-up display, kill cams, as well as increased destruction. Players can now use dual-scoped weapons, including weapons with different firing modes (e.g. single shots, automatic fire). Players now have more survival capabilities, such as countering melee attacks from the front while standing or crouching, shooting with their sidearm while swimming, and diving underwater to avoid enemy detection.
The singleplayer campaign features many elements from past installments, taking place in numerous locations across the world. Levels are now built in sandbox-style environments, allowing players more freedom to complete objectives. Players can now spot enemy targets to notify the AI of Tombstone squad. The singleplayer also features three separate endings based on the player's choice in the final mission.
The singleplayer features assignments that require specific actions and unlock weapons for use in multiplayer upon completion. Collectible Weapons return along with the introduction of Collectible Dog Tags which can be used in multiplayer. Weapon crates are found throughout all levels, allowing players to obtain ammo and switch weapons. While crates hold default weapons, collectible weapons may be used whenever they are acquired and level specific weapons may be used once a specific mission assignment has been completed by obtaining enough points in a level.
The singleplayer campaign is set in the year 2020, six years after the events of the previous game. While the War of 2014 has ended, tensions between the United States and Russia are at an all-time high. Meanwhile, Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, looks to overthrow the Chinese government by blaming the United States for the assassination of Jin Jié, the country's future leader and voice of peace. If successful, China would gain Russia's full support, resulting in all-out war with the United States.
The player controls Sgt. Daniel Recker, a member of a United States special operations squad call-signed Tombstone. His squadmates include: squad leader SSgt. William Dunn, second-in-command SSgt. Kimble 'Irish' Graves, and field medic Sgt. Clayton 'Pac' Pakowski. Tombstone is joined by CIA operative Laszlo Kovic, and Chinese Secret Service agent Huang 'Hannah' Shuyi. They are tasked with stopping Chang and preventing another great war.
Tombstone was tasked with retrieving vital information in Baku, Azerbaijan. Pursued by Russian Special Forces, the squad engaged in numerous firefights as they proceeded toward the extraction point at the top skyscraper under construction. The building, after sustaining massive amounts of damage from Russian forces, collapsed as Tombstone reached the extraction point. The event resulted in the helicopter's destruction as well as the amputation of Dunn's leg due to it being trapped under rubble.
Stranded, Tombstone commandeered a civilian vehicle and attempted to escape with an enemy helicopter in pursuit. Recker was then tasked with destroying the chopper with a grenade launcher. While successful, the squad's vehicle went off-road and plunged into the sea. With the vehicle sinking, Dunn, who was not only trapped between seats but also critically wounded, handed Recker his revolver and ordered he shoot out the windshield so the rest of the squad could make their escape. Much to the dismay of Pac and Irish, Recker reluctantly shoots the window, allowing them to escape but resulting in Dunn's death by drowning.
The Intel recovered tells that Admiral Chang is planning a military coup d'état in China which would allow him to gain full Russian support if successful. Unfortunately, Captain Garrison's superior, Oracle, reveals that the United States had already known this information and that the purpose of Tombstones mission was to reassure them of it, meaning that Dunn had died for information that they already knew.
Tombstone returns to the USS Valkyrie where Garrison informs them of the assassination of Chinese presidential candidate, Jin Jié; and how Chang convinced the Chinese that the United States was responsible. He then sends Tombstone on a covert mission to Shanghai to rescue three VIPs: CIA Agent Kovic, Hannah, and Hannah's husband. Fulfilling Dunn's last wish, Recker is made squad leader of Tombstone.
Tombstone manages to extract the three via helicopter and then proceeds to take a tourist boat back to the Valkyrie. Much to their surprise, however, an electromagnetic pulse goes off, frying all electronic equipment in the area, including the boat. Realizing that other refugees are stranded on boats around them, Irish helps to lead them to the Valkyrie.
Once aboard, Captain Garrison sets a course for the USS Titan which will be able to house the refugees. Upon locating the Titan, it is found to be heavily damaged by Chang's Chinese military. Garrison thereby orders Tombstone, along with Kovic as acting squad leader, to scour the wreckage of the Titan for survivors and Intel before it sinks.
The squad recovers a hard drive with data telling of what happened before the Titan was attacked only to be forced to engage with Chinese soldiers that had boarded the ship. Having sustained too much damage, the Titan finally buckles under its own weight and splits in two forcing Tombstone to abandon ship. Having hijacked an assault boat, the squad makes its way back to the Valkyrie only to find it under siege by Chinese forces.
Kovic is critically injured as the squad attempts to repel Chinese forces, resulting in Recker being put back in charge of Tombstone before he dies. Tombstone then clears the bridge and rescues Garrison and Hannah's husband.
Garrison debriefs the squad on the incoming assault on the Chinese-controlled Singapore airfield to destroy Chinese air superiority while their air forces are grounded by a storm. Hannah volunteers to join Tombstone, much to Irish's chagrin. They successfully assault the beach and lead an advance towards the airfield, with the help of US Marine tanks, losing most of their forces in the process. While crossing a bridge to the airfield, Recker becomes pinned down by a car blown by the strong winds and tries to break free with the help of Tombstone, to no avail. A large freighter crashes into the bridge, throwing Tombstone into the sea below.
Fortunately, they survive and make their way to the airfield via a sewer. After Pac fires the signal flare, Tombstone attempts to evacuate the area using an enemy vehicle, but is hit by friendly fire, seemingly killing Pac and rendering Recker and Irish unconscious. Hannah betrays the squad, bringing Chinese soldiers to capture Tombstone. Recker and Irish are interrogated in a prison by Admiral Chang and Bohai over the purpose of their mission in Shanghai. They are then thrown into prison cells soon after.
Recker is later awoken by Dimitri Mayakovsky, a Russian prisoner suffering from radiation poisoning as a result of the nuclear explosion in Paris six years prior. The two break out of their cell and release the other prisoners, including Irish, starting a mass riot. With the prison guard overrun, the Chinese military arrive and launch an assault.
Recker and Irish hold them off long enough for Dima to open the prison gates, only to be caught by Hannah and other soldiers. Hannah shoots the soldiers holding Recker, Irish and Dima at gunpoint; she explains that she had been tasked to protect Jin Jié, who had been posing as her husband. The group fights their way through the Kunlun Mountains to a cable car, which goes down the mountain. The tram is shot down by an enemy helicopter, resulting in Dima's death.
Forced to continue on foot for two days, Tombstone makes their way down the mountain, forced to hunt for food to survive. They find a jeep and drive to Tashgar, finding it under siege by both Chinese and Russian forces. They eventually find Major Greenland, who commands the remainder of US ground forces in Tashgar. She states that the mobile anti-air control by the Russians is putting them at a disadvantage.
Tombstone volunteers to demolish the Tashgar Dam to flood the area and destroy the Chinese-Russian forces in exchange for a ride back to the Valkyrie. They are successful in their task and are sent to Suez Canal to await extraction back to the Valkyrie.
They are picked up by a C-130 using the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system, and are then paradropped onto the Valkyrie, which is sailing blindly into Admiral Chang's forces. Tombstone assists in clearing the deck of boarding Chinese forces and find Garrison, who is holed up with Jin Jié, other survivors, and Pac (who had survived Singapore by "crawling through a thousand yards of shit with a hole in his stomach").
When Chinese forces finally reach the door to the medical bay, Jin Jié convinces Garrison to let him show his face to the soldiers, as they had been fighting under the illusion that Jin Jié had been killed. Recker opens the door and is knocked down, but Jin Jié calms the tension between the three forces showing his face to them, ultimately signifying an alliance and friendship between the United States, Russia, and China. The Chinese soldiers celebrate the news of their leaders return and call off the attack and inform the Russians and convince them to change sides in the war.
However, upon hearing this news, Chang barrages the Valkyrie with his warship, hoping to "bury the truth" with it. With no ordinance to strike back, Recker, Irish and Hannah once again volunteer to manually destroy it with explosives. Driving a boat to the warship's blind spot, the trio set the remote charges and use grappling guns to bring them to safety before detonating the explosives.
Unfortunately, the remote detonation fails, requiring manual replacement of the charges. Hannah volunteers to set a new charge; but Irish stops her, volunteering to do it himself, as China would need her. Recker is forced to either do nothing as Chang's warship obliterates the Valkyrie, thus killing Pac, Garrison and Jin Jié; or to send either Hannah or Irish back down to set the explosives. As soon as the detonator lights green, Recker detonates the charges, destroying Chang's ship but killing whoever planted the explosive.
A Marine rescue helicopter then picks up Recker and his remaining teammate, reporting to Garrison that one member could not be found. During the credits, the player hears a new dialogue between Irish and Hannah, discussing their pasts, and how they have to keep moving forward with "no fucking regrets", implying that the teammate that went down may have survived.
Ranks and Awards
Battlefield 4's multiplayer has one hundred and forty ranks, with each rank holding five sub ranks with roman numerals. There are forty-five ribbons which are unlocked by completing specific actions. Earning one ribbon fifty times awards a medal with forty-five Medals in total in the base game. Service Stars are awarded after earning enough experience progression for that object. There are one hundred and thirty available service stars, each capable of being earned one hundred times.
All classes featured in Battlefield 3 return in Battlefield 4, although with a few role changes.
- Assault - Uses assault rifles as their primary weapons, suitable for versatile all-range combat. They are equipped with Defibrillators and First Aid Packs as gadgets and serve as a combat medic role.
- Engineer - Uses PDWs as their primary weapons, suitable for close range combat. They are equipped with anti-vehicle launchers and gadgets, such as the FGM-172 SRAW launcher and the M2 SLAM mine.
- Support - Uses Light Machine Guns as their primary weapons, featuring increased suppression effects, suitable for mid-long range. They are equipped with Ammo Box and Ammo Packs for resupplies, as well as other varied support gadgets.
- Recon - Uses sniper rifles as their primary weapons, suitable for extreme long-range combat. They can also serve a supporting reconnaissance and stealth combat role with gadgets like T-UGS, MAV, SOFLAM, Radio Beacon, Motion Sensor, C4 and claymores.
Maps and Gamemodes
Battlefield 4 features a total of ten maps in the base game, all of which are available on all seven gamemodes in the base game. Two of them, Obliteration and Defuse, are new additions to the series, putting further emphasis on team-based play. Additional maps and gamemodes were added through expansions.
Weapons and Gadgets
The game has over eighty available weapons, each with their own sets of accessories and attachments offering thousands of different combinations for players.
The game features over fifty available vehicles. Many vehicles come with specializations unlocked so as to better balance play between newer and older players. Naval combat has been heavily improved. Waves now play a factor in how boats move, requiring players to compensate when engaging enemies.
Unlike previous games in the series, Battlefield 4 allows the owners of rented servers to choose which factions can fight one another on which map, as well as which deployment they may use on the map. This means that one map can have battles between the US and China, US and Russia, or even Russia and China, all at the server owner's discretion.
- Levolution - Increased destruction that is based on a level radically changing in gameplay through the player's actions.
- Spectator Mode - A feature new to the Frostbite engine that allows users to view all players in first-person, third-person, or roam the map with a free camera. There is also a "Table Top" view mode, which is essentially a map with every unit spotted.
- Commander Mode - Originally a feature from Battlefield 2, it allows the commander on each team from an overhead view to call in flag specific resources that are gained or lost depending on who has control of the flag.
- Assignments - Assignments return, rewarding players upon meeting certain criteria and completing assignments. Each assignment has three tiers: bronze, silver, and gold. Assignments are available for both singleplayer and multiplayer. In multiplayer, they unlock at levels 10, 20, and 100 or by completing other assignments and unlock dog tags upon their completion.
- Field Upgrades - Provide squads with Specializations once squad actions have been carried out. Four Specializations can be chosen in the form of Upgrade Paths. There are a total of eleven paths, with three all-kit paths and each class having two paths unique to them. Battlefield 4 also features over 25 Specializations.
- Renting Servers - Players can purchase multiplayer servers and customize their settings in a manner similar to Battlefield 3.
- Test Range - A tutorial mode that allows players to practice using weapons and vehicles.
- Vehicle Critical Hit - Replaces the vehicle disable system from Battlefield 3. Upon receiving a critical hit, vehicles will temporarily become disabled for a short amount of time. Vehicles will stay disabled after having only 10% health remaining.
- Leaning - Players can peek over cover while still protected from incoming fire.
- Counter Knifing - Players can redirect an enemy frontal melee attack back upon the attacker achieving their tags in the process if timed correctly.
- Battlelog - Allows players to track statistics, join platoons, engage in missions, receive the latest news and more.
- Community Test Environment - Feature that allows players to play a separate version of Battlefield 4 and provide DICE with greater feedback to improve the actual game.
- Refined Movements - Players can now leap over or climb waist-high obstacles by pressing in front of them.
- Phantom Program - An Alternate Reality Game maintained and expanded throughout the support lifetime of Battlefield 4, involving a hidden password screen on Battlelog, clues hidden in Battlefield 4 DLCs, completion of Phantom Assignments, culminating in the unlock of the Phantom weapon on Hangar 21.
On May 21, 2013, DICE unveiled Battlefield 4: China Rising on a Battlelog post and stated that it would include four new maps on the Chinese mainland, ten new assignments, new vehicles, as well as the Air Superiority gamemode. It is available to those who pre-ordered the game at no extra cost. It released on December 3, 2013 to Premium members and was released on December 17, 2013 non-premium members.
On June 10, 2013, DICE unveiled Battlefield 4: Second Assault during the Microsoft Press Conference at E3 2013. The expansion features the return of four fan favorite maps from Battlefield 3 and introduces Capture the Flag as a new gamemode. It released on November 22, 2013 on Xbox One as an timed exclusive to Premium owners on the platform. Premium members for other platforms gained access to the expansion on February 18, 2014 while non-premium members obtained access on March 4, 2014.
On August 20, 2013, DICE unveiled Battlefield 4: Naval Strike at Gamescom 2013. The expansion focuses heavily on naval combat, introducing Carrier Assault, a reimagined version of the Titan gamemode. The expansion features four naval centered maps as well as new weapons and vehicles. It released for Premium members on March 25, 2014 and due to technical difficulties, released for Xbox One Premium members on March 27, 2014 and PC Premium members on March 31, 2014. Non-Premium members obtained access on April 15, 2014.
On August 20, 2013, DICE unveiled Battlefield 4: Dragon's Teeth at Gamescom 2013. Taking place in the urban environments of war-torn cities all across Asia locked down by the People's Liberation Army, it features four new maps as well as new weapons and gadgets. It became available to Premium members on July 15, 2014 and was released for Non-Premium members on July 29, 2014.
On August 20, 2013, DICE unveiled Battlefield 4: Final Stand at Gamescom 2013. The expansion is a throwback to Battlefield 2142, featuring futuristic technologies and references to Battlefield 2142 lore. The expansion includes four maps as well as multiple advanced weapons, gadgets, and vehicles. It was released on November 18, 2014 for Premium members and December 2, 2014 for Non-Premium members.
Battlefield 4: Operations is a series of free content released in 2015 following the release of the Final Stand expansion. This was done following the announced from DICE that they would continue to support the game following the release of Battlefield Hardline. The Weapons Crate Pack was released on May 26, 2015 and included five new weapons and reintroduced the Gun Master gamemode from Battlefield 3. Night Operations was released on September 1, 2015 alongside the Summer 2015 patch to introduce Zavod Graveyard Shift. Community Operations was released on October 27, 2015 alongside the Fall 2015 patch to introduce Operation Outbreak which was developed from heavy collaboration from the Battlefield community. Legacy Operations was released on December 15, 2015 alongside the Winter 2015 patch to introduce a modern version of Dragon Valley. On March 11, 2016 DICE announced that the Community Test Environment would no longer be receiving updates, as DICE was moving forward on the development of the next Battlefield. This effectively put an end to the Operations DLC.
Battlefield Premium returns, functioning similar to its Battlefield 3 counterpart. It grants owners access to all expansions at no extra cost as well as exclusive content and events. It became available at launch, with a Premium edition later released on October 21, 2014.
Battlefield 4: Countdown to War is a novel written by Peter Grimsdale and is set before the event of the game's singleplayer campaign. The novel centers around Agent Kovic, providing a back-story for Tombstone. It was released on October 24, 2013.
- Main article: Battlefield 4: Original Soundtrack
On March 24, 2013, a song in Battlefield 4 titled "Hanna's Theme", composed by Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamaki, was leaked. Both composers had worked on Battlefield 3's soundtrack.
DICE announced at E3 2013 that, as before, current-generation copies of the game have a limit of 24 players due to hardware restrictions while PCs and next-generation consoles support up to 64 players. It was also announced that the game would run at 60 FPS on next-gen consoles and that squads would now have a maximum number of five players per squad. Multiplayer progress is transferable between current-gen and next-gen consoles. A port of the game for iOS is currently in development though it is unknown whether or not it will be released.
Following the release of the game and its first three expansion packs, the Community Test Environment was introduced in May 2014 to allow for better development of new in-game assets and gameplay balances. It was used in conjunction with the development of the Dragon's Teeth and Final Stand expansions and was instrumental in the continued support of the game by DICE LA through the series of Opertions DLC that was released throughout 2015 and 2016. The last Operations DLC to be released was Legacy Operations which released on December 15, 2016. On March 11, 2016 DICE LA announced that Battlefield 4 would not be receiving anymore updates due to the development of Battlefield 1, effectively ending support for Battlefield 4.
Despite this, the game received its last major update with Patch 1.23 on August 25, 2016 which introduced a major overhaul to its main menu interface. This was done to make Battlefield 4 and Battlefield Hardine's main menu the same as Battlefield 1. The resulting interface made it easier to switch between these Battlefield games, create Squads, join matches, and provided gameplay tip videos for newer players.
The Beta became available on October 1, 2013 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC to those who pre-ordered Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Battlefield Digital Deluxe edition, or are Battlefield 3 Premium members. The Beta then became open to everyone on October 4, 2013.
PC Players could pre-download the beta on September 29, 2013, though the platform was required to have 64-bit hardware to run the beta. The beta featured Siege of Shanghai and on Conquest and Domination with the Obliteration later added on October 9, 2013. The Beta ended on October 15, 2013.
A demo of the game was released on May 26, 2014 on PlayStation 3, offering players up to twenty hours of the game's multiplayer.
Upon release, Battlefield 4 was riddled with major technical bugs, glitches and crashes across all platforms. EA and DICE soon began releasing several patches for the game on all systems and DICE later revealed that development on of its all future games (including Mirror's Edge, Star Wars: Battlefront and Battlefield 4 expansions) would be halted until Battlefield 4 was properly fixed. Because of the widespread bugs and glitches that were present, EA became the target of multiple law firms. The firm Holzer Holzer & Fistel, LLC launched an investigation into EA's public statements made between July 24 and December 4, 2013 to determine if the company intentionally misled its investors with information pertaining to, "the development and sales of the Company's Battlefield 4 video game and the game's impact on EA's revenue and projects moving forward."
Shortly thereafter, the law firm Robbins Geller Rudman and Dowd similarly filed a class action lawsuit against EA for releasing false or misleading statements about the quality of Battlefield 4. A second class action lawsuit was announced only days later from the firm Bower Piven, which alleged that EA violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by not properly informing its investors about the major bugs and glitches during development that may have prevented the investors from making an informed decision about Battlefield 4.
Battlefield 4 was announced in July 2012 when EA advertised on their Origin client that those who pre-ordered Medal of Honor: Warfighter (either Digital Deluxe or the limited edition) would receive early access to the Battlefield 4 beta.
In March 2013, Electronic Arts opened the Battlefield 4 website with three official teasers, entitled "Prepare 4 Battle". Each hints at three kinds of battlespace: air, land and sea. EA then continued to release teaser trailers leading up to the unveiling of Battlefield 4 at the Game Developers Conference on March 26, 2013.
The following day, Battlefield 4's first gameplay trailer, which doubled as a showcase for the Frostbite 3 engine was released. Shortly thereafter, EA listed the game for pre-order on Origin for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360; however, EA excluded any mention of the next generation consoles.
DICE revealed more Battlefield 4 content in the E3 2013 event at June 10, 2013, such as multiplayer modes, and allowed participants to play the game at the same event. More information was released at Gamescom 2013 in Cologne, Germany, such as Paracel Storm and Battlefield 4 Premium.
DICE also announced that those who purchase the game for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 will be able to trade it in for a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version of the game for as little as $10 for a limited amount of time. Additionally all PlayStation 3 and 4 copies will include a code in the box to redeem a digital copy on the PlayStation Store.
Deluxe and Digital Deluxe Edition
- Battlefield 4
- China Rising expansion
- A Steel Book Cover (Deluxe edition only)
- Three Gold Battlepacks
- Battlefield 4
- Battlefield Premium
- Battlefield 4
- China Rising expansion
- 2 Gigabyte Dog Tag USB Drive
- A1 Poster
Gamestop Preorder Edition
- Battlefield 4
- China Rising expansion
- Real Dog Tags with unique design
- Steel Book Cover (Included if Premium was also pre-ordered)
- Battlefield 4
- China Rising expansion
Achievements and Trophies
- Main article: Battlefield 4 Achievements and Trophies
Battlefield 4 has received mostly positive reviews.
- GameSpot gave it an 8/10, giving praise to the new Obliteration mode and the multiplayer elements but was otherwise unimpressed with the campaign.
- IGN gave it an 8/10 for current generation consoles, stating that "Battlefield 4 is a greatest hits album of DICE's multiplayer legacy". The PC version scored an 8.5/10 due to the better graphics and performance on the platform.
- Joystiq gave it a 4.5/5, stating the game "drops players into a sandbox and unhooks all tethers, loosing scores of soldiers to squad up and take down the opposition however they choose". The campaign elements were praised but the multiplayer was found to not hold any surprises.
- Machinima gave it a 9.5/10, praising the new Levolution features and the multiplayer mode.
- Metacritic holds an 83/100 for the PC (based on 41 reviews), 80 on the PlayStation 3 (based on 14 reviews), 87 on the PlayStation 4 (based on 10 reviews), and 80 on the Xbox 360 (based on 18 reviews)
- GameRankings holds an 80.94/100 for the PC (based on 24 reviews), 80.50% on the PlayStation 3 (based on 10 reviews), 85.00% on the PlayStation 4 (based on 4 reviews), and 79.36% on the Xbox 360 (based on 11 reviews).
- The image of the front cover-art shows the city of Shanghai and a Chinese J-20 fighter jet.
- On March 18, 2013, a seven-second teaser was posted; depicting Type 98 tank treads beginning to move, as well as a date (March 27, 2013), which was then confirmed on the website to be when another part of Battlefield 4 was revealed. This was only available to logged-in Origin users, however.
- On March 21, 2013, a 15-second teaser was posted, depicting some kind of ship turbine. Additionally, an image featuring a burning aircraft carrier was revealed in the Battlefield 4 official website.
- Battlefield 4 is developed for next-gen consoles (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One), but was scaled down to be compatible for the current generation consoles (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360).
- The key art was leaked in a supposed Battlefield 4 trailer before it was officially released.
- Battlefield 4 is the first game in the series to include gore, as evidenced by the player using his combat knife to cut off an NPC's leg in Baku to save him from an exploding UH-1Y Venom.
- The cover-art of the base game features the character Daniel Recker wielding a M39 EMR equipped with a Rifle Scope, Suppressor, Bipod, Laser-Light Combo and an unidentifiable handgun.
- In late December 2013, shortly after the release of the "China Rising" DLC pack, the Chinese Government has since banned the sale of the game. According to the Chinese Ministry, the game poses as a national security risk by smearing China's image and army in the form of a cultural invasion as the DLC includes four maps on the Chinese mainland with new vehicles, high-tech equipment and ten new assignments which the government sees as discrediting to the Chinese national image.
- Multiple weapons in the game share their models and/or animations with weapons from the video game Medal of Honor: Warfighter, following the developers of Warfighter, Danger Close Games, being reformed into DICE LA.
Logo & Key Art