Have You Played… Battlefield 4?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Battlefield 4 is not the best Battlefield. But it is my favourite Battlefield for one reason – Obliteration mode.

In Obliteration, both teams squabble with their guns over a bomb that spawns in the centre of the map, attempting to carry it to one of several targets located deep behind enemy lines. The team that destroys all of said targets wins.

It’s basically rugby with tanks and helicopters, and it’s exactly as ridiculous as that sounds. More importantly, it’s also the most fluid and friendly of Battlefield’s modes. The constantly shifting objective means there’s less of the camp-sniping infuriation prevalent
in Conquest and Rush, while teams naturally coalesce around the bomb-carrier, providing air-support as the carrier dashes toward the objective like a weaponised Jonah Lomu, or scooping them up in a tank or a humvee and driving them to a target.

I like Obliteration for the same reason I enjoyed rugby over football at school. I have all the twinkle-toed grace of a baby giraffe on a bouncy castle, but even I can pick a ball up and run with it, even if it is into a wall of testosterone-enraged teenagers with metal bolts screwed into their shoes. Similarly, I can’t compete with all the lightning-fingered randoms who populate Battlefield’s servers any longer, but I can pick up a bomb and run with it.

Everything else about Battlefield 4 is ho-hum. But Obliteration is one of the few team-based multiplayer shooters where you can make a genuine contribution almost immediately, and that makes it a little bit special.

21 Comments

  1. Dr. Dank says:

    Have 4 friends in your helicopter, blast Ride of the Valkyries through mic. Get shot by a bazooka. Most fun online game i’ve played!

    • Alfius says:

      Yeah, I remember doing this in earlier Battlefield iterations, sure nowadays my buddies and I can do this in ARMA 3 and the complexity of that game and lethality of its weaponry arguably makes it a more meaningful experience. Battlefield on the other hand let me jump in and ride like a Valkyrie right from the get go, ARMA is a better game, but I miss that.

      • Flopdong says:

        I like both games. I definitely appreciate the higher level of realism in ARMA, and the expanded scope/complexity can make battlefield feel small and confined. On the flipside, sometimes I just want to charge into combat with a knife and a grenade, rather than lie prone on a hilltop shooting people from hundreds of yards away. In that regard, battlefield is the better choice. (Although getting back into Tribes has replaced BF4 as my go-to for multiplayer mayhem)

  2. Geezer says:

    Never played online multiplayers until I tried Battlefront recently…and became disgusted with the gameplay in that ripoff, yet I could tell there was some kind of fun to be had, perhaps elsewhere. Gave BF4 a try almost 2 months ago and BAM!–I’ve already logged over 200 hours on the thing. Love it. Had no idea. I’ve become somewhat obsessed with the loadouts, and, of course disgusted with the choke points and camping. Overall, though, a gem. Can’t wait for BF5 (Hardline…meh…)

    • Imbecile says:

      Absolutely. I was so disappointed that Battlefront wasnt simply a Star Wars Battlefield. That would have been ace. BF4 is decent, though I’m no major fan of Obliteration. I miss the slightly smaller teams and Rush focus of bad company 2, but for now Battlefield 4 (and Rocket league and Rainbow 6) will do.

      • Flopdong says:

        I miss Bad Company 2 as well. Although I think the tighter map design and damage modeling were what really made it shine. I feel there are way too many times in BF4 where I have to hit somebody 15-20 times with an assault rifle before they die, while in BC2 one solid burst of hits was usually enough to kill someone. Tanks were also much easier to kill. A skilled engineer could easily handle a tank with 2-3 rockets, in BF4 it seems to take 4-6 rockets to kill a tank. Just not as fun IMO

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          At short ranges there is not much difference in shots required, it usually has been 3-4 shots or so in the chest for stuff to go down.

          Maybe in BC2 you mostly played hardcore mode and you almost never did in the next ones, or who knows what else happened. Still, you can easily disprove yourself just by confronting the various stats-digging websites for each game.

          About tanks, greater focus has been put towards where you hit them, also there’s more balancing when it comes to explosive weapons such as something that’s all around great is probably not the beast tank-killing weapon.

          BC2 had many problems of this kind, with the Gustav being pretty much godlike when it comes to killing huge crowds yet it was still perfectly viable for vehicles. Oh, there were better choices there, off course, but it was good enough and the projectile ultrafast, it was a no brainer in most scenarios.

          • GraveSalad says:

            I think the biggest thing is the thermals on tanks getting rid of the cat and mouse engineers used to play with tanks where they weren’t 100% sure where you were and you could drop prone and crawl in the bush to line up another shot. Many times I remember getting a shot in on a tank and them bolting cause they couldn’t find me on point and didn’t want to risk getting a mobility kill and having to bail. Now everyone just sits on a hill and snipes players with their thermals, halting blasting by and suddenly slamming the breaks to spin the turret 180 and blow off an elbow barely poking out behind a wall. It’s ridiculous, tanks were meant to be the king of vehicles but be countered by choppers and skilled engineers. Now the only counter is a sniper painting them from a far to launch SRAWs, which good luck finding a sniper who doesn’t roll C4/Beacon.

    • C0llic says:

      I really like BF:BC 2, but bounced off BF 3 pretty hard. Given the launch issues of BF 4, I wasn’t tempted to try it.

  3. Unclepauly says:

    I’m of the opinion that BF4 is now the best Battlefield. It sure wasn’t at release, but the playerbase let DICE know what they did wrong and consequently the game was slowly fixed piece by piece until it became the fine game it is now. It’s definitely better than BF3 now, slightly better than BF2(my opinion!) but idk about the older ones I never played them.

    • Cinek says:

      DICE actually listened to the player base?! Wow… they must have really changed, cause back in a days of BF3 they tended to do the exact opposite of what player base wanted.

  4. Carra says:

    I am disappointed that googling “Baby giraffe on a bouncing castle” returns no results. What a sad world we live in.

  5. Pulstar says:

    No, too twitchy for my tastes. And lack of mod support = no sale from me.

  6. Epicedion says:

    Isn’t it about time for a return to the classic WW2 setting of BF1942? I know it was vastly overused, but that trend died a decade ago. I took a few minutes recently and loaded up 1942 and tracked down a server, and I was shocked at how good that game was, after getting over the other shock at how dated the graphics were. The styles are barely comparable, with BF3 and 4 being hopped up on speed and explosions.

    I think BF4’s design goal is basically to keep you sprinting and pulling the trigger all the time, without ever thinking about what you’re doing. Even comparing it to BF3.. well, take a look at the mortars. In BF3 you actually had to sit on the mortar launcher. In BF4, god forbid you have to hang back to use your omniscient death tube — make that thing remote control and sprint into combat already!

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Nah, leave that stuff alone, or at least let’s give 50 million dollars to Red Orchestra devs and let them do another, this time with the newer Unreal engine though.

      About the mortar thing though, i sort of understand what they did. It was more lethal in BF3 and even yet another perfect excuse for camping, and that absolutely had to go.

  7. rumtotinggamer says:

    Reinstalled 1942 about 2 months back having not played it in several years, its free, not demanding in specs or size, and theres a simplicity and freedom to it that just isn’t around anymore, a fair number still playing it too.
    As for BF4 no haven’t played it as after the disappointment of BF3 and its epic short shelf life I gave up, maybe come back when am able to beach aircraft carriers and drive a jeep dodging tank shells and planes across an entire map and everyone not looking like a kind of robocop and the HUD not looking like a bag of skittles….

  8. Synesthesia says:

    Yes! I still play it when i don’t know what to play, or don’t want to stress out with dota 2. I still wish people played the objectives though. many modes just devolve into another team deathmatch, with vasili zaitsev wannabe’s fluffing their stats.

  9. tonicer says:

    As an older gamer (33) who played the first Battlefield games i miss a couple of features the first four Battlefield games have and BF4 is missing.

    – Server files (for internet and LAN servers)
    – Bots (to fill a server with cannon fodder)
    – Mods (i just say desert combat for BF2)
    – no unlock system (at least it should be optional)
    – big teamsizes 64 vs 64 (or even bigger thanks to the power new computers have)
    – huge maps to support big teamsizes (and finally use a jet properly)
    – SDK (to make all those amazing mods)

  10. Leucine says:

    Rather, I’d much prefer an update to the wonderful, and sadly much forgotten, BF2142. If nothing else the Titan game-mode was a wonderful, novel addition, hampered by awful, awful netcode (that more often than not forced server admins into disabling the ability to move the titular skyborne vehicles).

    Yes, it was far from perfect and the grenade-spam defence tactic was a particularly egregious example of that but nothing (in a team game) for me has come close to the wonderful, silent sort of cooperation that forms when people somehow seamlessly start working together.

    I still have the disc and key code, the Northern… something (Strike?) expansion on Origin and sure, I can install the latest patch but there’s only a handful of servers still floating about (last I checked a few years back). That said, having briefly played BF3, I’m almost happy to leave it be.