Monday, 25 April 2011

Battlefield: Play4Free review

Platform: PC
Release: Out now
Players: Online only (32 players)
Rating: ESRB- T
           PEGI- 16+

Minimum Hardware Requirements
Operating system: Windows XP or Windows Vista
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 1.7 GHz
RAM: 512 MB (1 GB on Windows Vista)
Video card: 256 MB, Pixel shader 2.0, DirectX 9.0c
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
Hard Drive space: 1 GB
Internet connection: 256 kbit

Battlefield: Play4Free is an online FPS by EA games. The game is free, as the title suggests, and is currently an open beta. As many of you may have guessed, Battlefield: Play4Free’s game play is similar to that of Battlefield’s. I’m not sure how much time EA will actually put into this game because I’m sure that Battlefield 3 would be number 1 on the agenda. I’ve never played a Battlefield game but have seen it being played. The Battlefield series is one of the best war simulation games out and I think Battlefield 3 will rival CoD once it is released.

B:P4F’s game play doesn’t change much compared to the other Battlefield games. You create a soldier and choose what class you want him to be then join a match. The classes are; Assault, Medic, Engineer and Recon. The Assault class carries an assault rifle and has the ability to supply team mates with ammo. The medic carries a LMG and can heal team mates. The Engineer carries a RPG and submachine gun and has the ability to repair vehicles. The Recon class has a sniper rifle and uses a motion sensor to show enemy locations to their team mates. They also have claymore mines to set traps.

On the map there are various vehicles that players can operate. There are tanks, helicopters and speed boats, just to name a few. One of the maps can be a real pain if you are without a vehicle because people jump in a plane or helicopter and bomb you from above. And unless you are an Engineer with a RPG, you can’t do anything about it. I was actually surprised by the amount of vehicles on the maps. Sometimes there were about 5 tanks firing at each other. This game excels other games in war simulation and FPS mainly because of what it looks like when you are driving a vehicle. The first time I jumped in a car I was amazed. The reason I was amazed was because the view you get is the windscreen. You can move your head to look around but while driving you stay in the First Person view.

The HUD shows you which button to press for each weapon/tool you are carrying, which was a big help. There is no kill cam or even a moving camera when you die. All that happens is you get a front view of the person who killed you. It’s a shame that there is only one game type. The creators said this new game type stops campers, but it doesn’t. All you have to do in one of the maps is capture the command post and then station some snipers and a medic on the roofs. There are only 2 maps in the game as well so if you don’t like a particular map then you aren’t in luck because every second game will be on it.

Your soldier gains XP for loads of things in B:P4F. Kills, healing, repairing, assists and tracer assists are just some of the
many ways to earn XP. You even earn XP every time your bullet hits an enemy. When you level up you gain 1 training point. You use training point to upgrade skills and learn new ones, depending on what class you are. There are quite a few skills to develop and it will take you a while to unlock them all. While competing in matches you gain in game currency. You can also purchase Battle Funds with real money. As with most free online shooters, when you buy guns you only get them for a certain amount of time. With Battle Funds you can buy guns to own forever. With normal currency you can only have them for a maximum of 3 days before you have to buy it again.

The default controls for B:P4F can make your hand sore after a while. To crouch you have to hold ctrl. This gets very annoying when you are trying to walk without being seen. It would be good if they added an option that allows you to stay in crouch with just one press of the ctrl button. You use the mouse to aim down the sights and shoot, just like most other FPS. You use the numbers to select weapons and tools. The bad thing about this is that it gets difficult to melee people. When you select the knife button you don’t hold the knife, you use it straight away. This gets tricky in mid combat. This is the same with grenades. Countless times I nearly blew myself up because I forgot that pressing 6 (my grenade button) threw the grenade straight away. But other then that the controls are set out pretty good.

Final Comments:
You don’t need a fast computer to play this game. My computer is can’t play most PC games because it is only has a Celeron 1.66GHz CPU. But this game ran fairly well if I turned down the graphics. The game is fairly balanced but needs more maps and game types if it is to become successful. This is a great game to play if you want a change from CoD and Halo before Battlefield 3 comes out. The teams need to be a little more balanced though. Sometimes a team has no medics and about 7 Recon soldiers.




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