Battlefield 4 Beta Initial Thoughts

The Good

Spectator Mode

The Battlefield 3 community has been waiting for spectator mode for a long time now and Dice final delivered with Battlefield 4. However, one negative is that if you’ve got a group of people together in comms (Mumble, TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, etc…) one of them can switch to spectator mode and call out the position of enemy’s around their teammates giving them the upper hand.

Spawn Screen

The new spawn screen is much more functional than the one in BF3.

Reviving

Each player can only be revived once per spawn unless they heal back up to 100% after being revived; if you spawn in, die, and get revived then you can’t be revived after you die the second time unless you healed back up to 100% after the first revive. You can repeat this reviving process an unlimited number of times. It takes a little longer to revive someone since you have to double click in order to first charge the paddles. The amount of health the person getting revived has is dependent upon how long the reviver charges the paddles.

Squad Size

Squads support up to 5 players which is nice since 5v5’s were the most popular competitive game mode in Battlefield 3.

Loadout

You can configure your loadouts outside of the game and set the default kit.

Commander Mode

This feature was brought back from BF2 and is a welcomed addition. There’s also going to be an app for this mode which I think is pretty awesome.

VOIP

In game VOIP is a nice addition.

End of Round Screen

You can now continue to use the global chat at the end of a round whereas you couldn’t in Battlefield 3. You can also share your battle report from the end of round screen.

Sun Glare

The sun glare isn’t nearly as bad as it was in BF3.

The Bad

Can’t change console hotkey? (defaults to B)

I use B for my push to talk button and that just continuously toggles the console open and closed.

Movement Feels Sluggish

The game mechanics kind of remind me of Medal of Honor Warfighter (in a bad way) and the overall movement feels a little slower than BF3.

Gun Control

The AK has almost no recoil and is extremely easy to kill people across the entire map. From what I’ve seen so far these guns are a lot easier to control than the guns from BF3. Several other comp BF3 players have said that it feels as if there’s aim assist.

Weird Hit Boxes(?)

When people at long range are spotted I’ll often kill them by just shooting at the red spotting marker even though I can’t actually see them on my screen.

3D Spotting OP

You can see guys across the entire map clear as day.

Loadout

The loadout that you have at the end of a round doesn’t automatically become the default kit with the previously chosen attachments.

Reviving

After a teammate dies their body disappears a little too fast so you’ll only be able to get the revive if they’re within a few feet of you.

Face on Knife

Out of the ~10 times I tried to knife someone face on I was counter knifed every single time.

Hardware Demanding

Even with my 2 460’s and all of the settings on low I still struggle to maintain a playable frame rate (especially in conquest large servers). Here’s a screenshot of my NVIDIA control panel settings for BF4:

Stability

Since this is a beta stability issues are to be expected. Several other Nexus (the gaming organization that I’m apart of) members attempted to play the beta with me this morning to no avail. One of them kept receiving a DirectX error and wasn’t able to load into the game at all while others received the same error and were able to load in but their FPS was unusually low (I’m talking like 5-15 FPS when they’re using a NVIDIA 660 Ti). As for me I haven’t really had many stability issues. I’ve played the game for 7 hours thus far and I’ve crashed a total of 3 times; I get a Windows popup that says the game has stopped working and I have to force close the game. Over Nexus members are having an issue of crashing when they alt+tab out of the game but I haven’t had this issue.

NOTE: I updated my drivers yesterday from 314.22 to the beta version 331.40 and they seem stable for me in BF3 and BF4.
EDIT: One of the Nexus members was able to fix his frame rate issue by reverting his NVIDIA drivers back to version 320.49.

Glitches

Object Glitches

Quite a few times I saw an enemy at long range and fired an entire clip into them without receiving a single hit marker only to find out that they were actually positioned behind an object that wasn’t displaying on my screen.

Respawn Glitch 1

After you’re killed you’re not automatically taken to the respawn screen and the game just shows the sky from the position of the dead body. To get to the normal respawn screen hit the escape key twice.

Respawn Glitch 2

I loaded into the game, clicked on deploy, and my soldier deployed but I was stuck in the respawn screen. What’s weird is that I could see my soldier in first person view in the deploy preview box.

Other Notes

Vaulting is similar to the way it was in Battlefield 3.

Missing Features

I’d like to see an in game matchmaking or at the very least a useable matchmaking system through Battlelog.