Sitrep: I Endured Battlefield 4 And All I Got Was This Lousy Andrew Wilson

Battlefield 4

By on June 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Battlefield 4 is not very good. Never in my gaming life have I had to endure a game like this, much less one that’s part of a franchise I’ve more or less loved unconditionally since discovering it. If I didn’t have that history, I would’ve bailed the first time it hung eternally pre-game, or crashed my entire setup mid-game, or after it crashed post-game and forgot that time I nailed a headshot from halfway across Rogue Transmission.

Yes, even with the thick rubber band I was wearing that day, I still managed to do something OK, and some proof I wasn’t wasting my life on an EA afterthought would’ve been cool.

BF4 hit circa October last year, and it is still doing this stuff. I mean, have you been to the Facebook page? The comments are a lunchtime laugh riot. BF4 is a mess. There’s lots of DLC, though.

So newish EA boss (and superbly corporate Australian. I met him once at some FIFA soiree, the guy has an answer ready for anything. Even his teeth had been groomed the perfect shade of appreciable blanche) Andrew Wilson finally had to weigh in (he’s very lean, however. I bet he can do 1,000 crunches in the morning). He was in fine spinning top form with this zinger, in partic:

“It would be disingenuous for me to sit here and say, ‘we will never have an issue again,’ because that would mean we were never going to push the boundaries again. And I don’t want to be that company. I want to be a company that pushes to lead and innovate and be creative.”

I mean that’s a complete farce, but c’mon, that’s A-level CEO foxing. That’s built for both consumers and shareholders, an inescapable rain of artificial confidence. It’s a thing of beauty. If only BF4 could be that polished. They did try, though:

“We have worked tirelessly since then to make sure the gameplay experience got to where it absolutely should have been at launch and we’re focused on that and we continue to deliver value to that player base.”

Of course! How silly of me. They fixed the grass. Gotta have grass.

And now Battlefield Hardline is incoming. The beta’s just opened up, so it’s obvious where the studio’s prime directive has now been primely directed. It’s increasingly obvious where it’s been for sometime, because they had to be making this. Time for fixing the grass, sure. Time for fixing anything more trying than errant 2D chlorophyll, maybe not so much.

What that means for Wilson’s placatory promises is kind of obvious: Battlefield 4 will forever remain an acidic stain on the hull of DICE’s aging cruiser, chewing into the alloy loyalty of BF kids for some time. BF4 is just something that happened. A game came out and it wanted a token investment for its promises of pyramid scheme good times, and it took that money and ran to the next town. Or threw itself through a nearby plate glass window to escape your questions. I like to think of it as this guy:

The fact it is in fast-talking Hispanic jive sort of makes it even better. 

19 comments (Leave your own)

This article is about 3 months too late, BF4 is in a very good state at the moment after the recent netcode fixes.
Also;

Battlefield Hardline is incoming. The beta’s just opened up, so it’s obvious where the studio’s prime directive has now been primely directed.

EA isn’t a studio, and they have a completely separate studio working on hardline (Visceral). This statement really doesn’t make any sense.

I’ll agree that hardline is a themed BF4 reskin, sure, and that it shouldn’t be full price, but that doesn’t actually take anything away from BF4, which at the moment is a pretty damn good game.

 

gogogadget,
That’s pretty much my thinking as well.

My experience with the BF4 launch was fairly crap – crashing, couldn’t join servers, crashing halfway through or at the end of every map. I ended up not playing for a couple of months until it had been patched up a bit. Now when I play, I don’t crash at all (in fact I can’t remember the last crash). The current state is what BF4 should have been at release but I’ve put in enough time and had enough fun that I’ve definitely got my moneys worth.

Re: studio directive. DICE made BF4 and have been busy with the new netcode and other fixes. Visceral is a separate studio making Hardline (granted with some DICE collab).

Anyway, imo, it really boils down to if you enjoy a game and get your moneys worth. I did, therefore I consider BF4 a success.

 

Gotta agree with the above, article is probably a touch too late.

However, it doesn’t broach the real meat and potatoes, that BF4 simply isn’t a fun game. Poorly balanced and odd teamplay mechanics have left BF as a shade of its former self.

 

haha, nice article, topped off by a perfect snippet from the Simpsons.

You summed up exactly why I didn’t buy into BF4 and am generally steering clear of all super-hype releases with mega advertising budgets now… I suspected BF4′d turn out like that, can’t say I’m happy to be right though (aside from having avoided being robbed by a AAA developer/publisher)

 

The game is much better than it was, but the maps (especially in the DLC) are awful.

 

I’ve recently rediscovered BF4 after taking some time away from it simply because I wasn’t in much of a mood for shooters. My opinion of it is that the series as a whole is still a top-notch multiplayer experience with maybe a little too much emphasis on vehicles in this iteration. Having said that, the recent issue they had with Punkbuster was super annoying and I had to mess around with copy-pasting Punkbuster files even after updating Punkbuster.

Hardline doesn’t impress me much though, particularly with how staged the E3 video appeared. I haven’t played the beta yet but I don’t really have any inclination to.

 
James Pinnell

The game being passable (yes, passable) now doesn’t make up for the fact it’s the easily the worst Battlefield launch yet, and that’s after BF3 and even BF2′s buggy-as-shit releases.

 

James Pinnell:
The game being passable (yes, passable) now doesn’t make up for the fact it’s the easily the worst Battlefield launch yet, and that’s after BF3 and even BF2′s buggy-as-shit releases.

Exactly. No matter how much they patch it, people will remember they screwed up the launch. This reflects poorly on them for the next release.. as should be the case. Anyone saying a dev has a good track record for fixing up an epic mess is ignoring that the dev shouldn’t be putting out games like that in the first place, certainly though its better than them doing nothing, but you can’t act like they’re victims of un-necessary criticism nor act like they’ve somehow redeemed themselves.

They’d have to essentially make an entire game again and prove they can’t fuck it up, then sure they’re forgiven. I think too many gamers are too quick to forgive and forget, which is why so many devs think they can get away with it time and time again. They will if given the chance, do much worse the next time, because they are testing to see what the market is prepared to bare. The more you support the practice the worse it gets. I’d say stop supporting a game sight unseen. Look at games that are released and have proven themselves worthy of purchase first. Never ever be an early adopter.

 

Never got into BF4 as much as I got into BF2, BFBC2 or BF3. Despite buying at launch I’ve only clocked 22hours. Just felt like there were other games I was more interested in at the time. Probably didn’t help that the game felt glitchy whenever I played. I am getting back into the game slowly but the absolute shitty server browser is frustrating and moar team rape with no scramble also kills the fun.

 
jerichosainte

I had very little issues with crashing. But the game since launch still has some serious netcode issues. Running a fiber connection on the new high freq setting I still have noticeable game lag because most of the populous I would imagine is running on low or medium, ergo being on the higher freq makes fuck all difference to my experience eg. being killed well after moving into cover.

Unless they can fix it to a common increased frequency across all players and correct the spastic interpolation the game will never be fair to play.

I’m done with the genre now, considering the dip in quality over the last couple of years.

 

I love how he’s getting a massive serve across the internet for saying that he can’t guarantee they won’t have a bad release a gain. Like people would actually prefer he lied straight out. You get someone who tried to be honest (and of course its his job to try and put some sort of positive spin in there – you’d do the same if you were the CEO) and they’re smashed for it. Good grief.

Yes, BF4 was a complete mess. It has, however been fine when I’ve played recently. It’s clear they know at the highest levels that they can’t afford to do that again. Combine it with Sim City and I genuinely hope they have learnt their lesson. We’ll see…

 

It’s not so much that he got smashed for being honest (if you can say spin is truly honest…), but that it’s taken this long for him to acknowledge it.

The game isn’t in a good state. Most people can play “ok” but the minimum of 8 frames of lag between firing and registration is pretty bad (133ms of inbuilt lag before server costs or network lag is added). Turning off the high network settings just added and you can double that to 266ms of inbuilt lag. Considering people get pretty antsy above 50ms of lag (especially if playing competitively) and you can see the issues they face.

The engine is fundamentally flawed, the simulation and core parts of the engine are hardcoded to 30Hz, which matched TV framerates from when the original Frostbite engine was designed, but is a total fail when it comes to PC and current generation TV’s. It just can’t run the information fast enough to keep up with the speed of the game. Same with the network code which ran on the same speed, but they managed to breach that with the recent patch (which seems to have just doubled it to 60Hz). Problems is if you’re running 120Hz you still see things happening ages later than they should occur.

To put this in perspective CoD Black Ops had a built in 50ms delay. Before that there was no delay in CoD WaW or CoD MW (the original). This in turn led to it’s much faster response and feel for the player. Gotta give it to the guys who made IDTech3 as it’s a very fast to respond engine ;)

BF4′s balance is fubar, the game is barely stable, has memory leaks like a sieve and has lost the majority of it’s playerbase due to frustration and annoyance. All at a time when EA/DICE could have snapped the whole lot up with a polished well executed FPS game as Actiblizzard dropped the ball with CoD Ghosts even worse.

He maybe an Aussie, but does he have the balls to actually step up and rework the entirety of EA?

 

I find the game to be fun, not everyone is a competitive gamer, the draw backs are worth it for what else the game offers.

I and my friends who still pay haven’t had crashes or “memory leaks like a sieve” (this doesn’t happen to me at all, can literally play for hours without it happening), also zero issues finding multiple full servers, the question on Skype is often which server we’re queuing for.

Frankly as a regular player of it, this article feels quite of date for the current state of the game. (And inaccurate regarding Hardline development)

They acknowledged the issues back in December (the whole we won’t release dlc till we improve the game), no matter what EA do they get a serve from people, many who have not even played the games in question.

 

Really? Yes it was a terrible release, but to say “Battlefield 4 is not very good” is just wrong (imo). The game as it is now is pretty awesome, yes its a shame it didn’t start out this way. Also I have not had any issues with it in a long time other than the times you get hit .3 of a second after you feel you have taken cover, but thats far from a deal breaker. You simply accept that were hit, as frustrating as that sometimes is. Its not like your trying to shoot at people that are not there, my hits count where i feel i’ve hit.

Hardline plays better than the impression I got from the first videos but it also feels allot different to BF4 to play, it definitely would take some getting used to and it definitely does not feel like a reskin of BF4. I think that the fact it will benefit from all the BF4 engine patches and the early beta testing will make for much better launch. Still, i think you’d be crazy to pre-order..

I play BF4 hardcore mode on PC bi-weekly with a full squad of mates. We are far from pro but perhaps my impressions are biased compared to someone that plays solo or on console.

 
GoldenGreatApe

Have you even played the game at the moment? It’s great. No crashes or anything. This is a terrible article and will give off DICE as being the bad guys. VG wanted to make a MOD and they did it, but EA is making them release it as a standalone and for a arguably high price.

 

Again for those who haven’t got an issue, great, for every ten people having no issues there’s still 1 person having problems roughly. That’s still way higher than most AAA releases.

Also while the average player may not notice the lag or latency issues so much (therefore having fun) those who do notice it get extremely frustrated playing the game. Conquest is a much slower game and therefore feels a lot better than the faster TDM, SqdDM and Domination modes, where a split second can be the difference between kill or dead. This applies doubly so on Hardcore settings vs normal settings.

As for Hardline. It’s a mod. It’s a waste of money and plays like pre-network patch BF4. I’ll get it for $5 on sale at some point….

As a reference to the article, the team behind Hardline is not DICE and therefore is nothing to do with BF4 development. However some of the team from BF4 are working on Mirror’s Edge 2, if you want to get frustrated about something.

 

RSOblivion: As for Hardline. It’s a mod. It’s a waste of money and plays like pre-network patch BF4. I’ll get it for $5 on sale at some point….

That’s because it didn’t have the network patch, which it’ll get incorporated into itself before release (At least that’s the implication, and really, it seems likely as you’d have to imagine that’ll become part of the engine).

As for it being a mod, it has a full single player campaign we have no details for yet, so till we get that I don’t know how much of a claim you can make on it just being a mod. (Not to say it’s worth $80 in AU, but the single player campaign could be 3 hours long, but it also could be a 20 hour awesome campaign, we just don’t know yet)

inb4 someone tells me i must work for EA again

 

makena,

STOP LIKING STUFF THEY DON’T LIKE!

 

While the initial crashes were unacceptable and it’s silly how long it took them to increase the tickrate, I think a lot of the “BF4 is broken” commentary is exaggerated.

I understand why people are pissed considering the cost of the game and also the gall of DICE adding micro-transactions. Although I contend that DLC is developed parallel to bug-fixing/networking efforts, as they involve different skills for the most part.

 
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