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What do I have to say about the Battlefield 4 beta? It is outstanding, amazing, and thrilling. Why you ask? Well here it is:

Battlefield 4 is one of the most highly-anticipated games of 2013 for it’s action-packed multiplayer experience. Which includes, but is not limited to, phenomenal gunplay, superb vehicle warfare, and the new ‘levolution’ experience.

Battlefield has always been one of my go-to war games. I was always in awe of it’s sense of realism. It made me feel like I was in a war zone with bullets whizzing past my head and constant explosions everywhere the eye could see. But, this Battlefield 4 beta has caused my expectations for the full release of this game to be set at high-standards and I am sure it will not disappoint.

The movements in Battlefield 4 have been greatly improved from Battlefield 3. Now when running I don’t seem to get caught on random shrapnel laying around. Vaulting over obstacles feels like one fluid motion as opposed to BF3’s jerky jumping animation. Swimming feels more realistic, speaking of swimming, I enjoy the fact that you are able to climb out of water if a ledge is low enough. Maybe in the full release we will get the ability to climb walls that are head height while on land.

The parachute pulling animation is divine, the jerky movement as it deploys is very realistic. Weapon switching has also become more enjoyable to look at. And, probably my favorite “accidental” animation, something I like to call the “Shoot You Slingshot!” This animation appears quite often right after you ‘kill somebody to hard.’ Basically it is just the dead body of your opponent flinging itself in some random direction about 50-100ft away from its death position. This was not meant to be in the game on purpose it seems however, I do ask EA and DICE very nicely if “you could kindly leave this in the full game, for entertainment purposes.”

Gunplay in this beta was phenomenal, I wish in every game you could use seven bullets to the chest to kill anyone. However, I have experimented with the ballistics in this game and I have good news and bad news. Good news is it only take two bullets to the head with a rifle to kill a person! Bad news is the sniper ballistics are far from perfect. Don’t get me wrong, I love the zeroing on sniper rifles as much as the next guy, but, for some reason my bullets are terrible at hitting their mark when I am aiming in the same spot and shooting off five rounds. The bullet drops on the rifles are inconsistent, sometimes the bullet will drop slightly and at others, it will be going straight off into the distance and dropping like a rock (literally) before your enemies feet. I have no complaints about the pistols or other rifles, they sound and feel amazing.

Battlefield 4 Commander Mode ScreensNow, let’s get into the nitty-gritty and talk about the graphics. I have heard many people complain about the graphics on the Xbox 360’s version of the beta, again it is the beta. Guys, this is exactly what it was, a beta. Do not expect to have grade A graphics in a game that has not had a full release yet. DICE and EA have not whipped out their full-fledged Frostbite 3 engine yet. What you see in the Xbox 360’s beta was a modified version of Frostbite 2, for heaven’s sake the animation for the skyscraper collapsing was the crumbled building falling through the world only to leave a preset rubble texture loaded. Do you really think that is the magical Frostbite 3 engine at work? I for one think the graphics in this beta were unprecedented by any other beta on consoles to date. Now, sure, there were a lot of texture glitches in the beta and yes, sometimes it was ugly to look at. But, you cannot place your judgement of Battlefield 4 on the bugs of the beta, it just simply isn’t the full game and you can only speculate what the full game will look and feel like. And that spawn menu! It looks amazing and it is the best spawn menu I’ve came across so far. I love how you can see your teammates camera before you spawn in on them and that top-down view of the menu gives you a tactical advantage and is the definition of sexy.

Also, you cannot deny that the new levolution aspect of Battlefield 4 is jaw-dropping. It is amazing that in a multiplayer environment you can make buildings fall, affecting other players, and being able to see the same wave or wind patterns as another player while not being right next to them IRL. The destruction of the environment is top-notch as compared to Battlefield’s previous franchise releases,  making you feel good when you blow a hole in a wall just because you can. The bottom-line, the graphics are simply incredible and will get even better with the full release of the game or a least I certainly hope so.

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The audio tracks that have been created and or reused for this game are awesome. The sound of a pistol is more high-pitched like it should be and most of the rifles have different sounds. The vehicles sound a lot more realistic and the explosions, oh my lord. The explosions audio is fan-freaking-tastic, there are multiple audio files for explosions depending upon what surface is hit and they sound so vibrant and almost life-like. Sometimes I would freak out when there was an explosion close to me because the sound makes you feel like you are going to die.

Overall, this beta was great and I enjoyed my time with it very much! From the gunplay to the vast library of sounds that DICE and EA have created, I truly believe this game will hold its head up high in the triple-A title releases of 2013 and early 2014.