Second-Assault-Hero-Promo_0-e1381162561861 PC

Battlefield 4 Second Assault Review

This past week a new expansion was made available to Premium subscribers of Battlefield 4 on PC. I must say I was a big fan of Battlefield 3. That came from an appreciation of Battlefield Bad Copmpany 2 which was delivered with a flourish, some great gameplay and some humour too.

Battlefield 4 though has been plagued by issues since launch. Both single player and multiplayer have had a host of issues but inevitably it’s the latter that draws the most attention given the loyal fanbase. I think most players are agreed that the source of these issues are related to rushed timelines to meet yearly delivery schedules. The state of the games industry today will be the subject of another post, but suffice to say the big companies (yes, you EA) push and push hard because this is now big business with big budgets. As always, the consumer is rarely the winner.

Back to Second Assault though. This expansion delivers four new maps to BF4; Caspian Border 2014, Firestorm 2014, Gulf of Oman 2014 and Operation Metro 2014. I say new, but by definition these maps are reworkings of maps in BF3 given an overhaul in the Frostbite engine. The expansion also delivers four new weapons; F2000, AS Val, M60E4, DAO-12 and the GOL Magnum. For guides on how to unlock these, see here. You’ll want to unlock the F2000, M60 and GOL for sure and given the ease with which you can do this, no excuses go ahead and do it!

The maps, if you’ve played BF3 should be instantly familiar. The Frostbite engine is quite a powerful piece of kit and so seeing parts of maps, Operation Metro in particular for me, become destructable adds a great dimension to the game. That and you should know your routing for kill paths and you’re good. One thing Operation Metro does suffer from is the choke points which seems to be jammed with players just determined to reload and unload clips and frags at a silly rate. Gulf of Oman suffers badly from vehicles if you’re infantry focused. One word of advice here is to choose how you play and what game types and servers you choose. I’ve found that choosing games with an upper limit of 32 players gives a much better gameplay experience in most maps, particularly those that have chokepoints like Metro and Locker. Also, choosing servers with no vehicles gives a much better (i.e. less frantic, less frustrating) experience helps too.

Lastly, graphics settings will still make a huge difference to how you enjoy the game and is one thing that PC users have great control over, but can also suffer adversely from due to different rig configurations. There’s a good video to be found here that will help with getting a better framerate. One thing that still irks me is the bugs that pop up related to poor programming. I’m still getting errors now using a review EVGA 770GTX ACX card I have – not acceptable but good that the drivers are identifying the application as responsible for poor exception handling. Sort it out Dice please 🙂

Some hints courtesy of Reddit:

  • If you hold E near a dead body and you have a defib on you, you’ll automatically switch to the defib and revive your fallen comrade!
  • Speaking of reviving, why not give them a little health kit when they get up. People now only get revived with 20% of their health! This is extra important in classic servers like MordorHQ where there is no health regen!
  • Pressing F5 or F6 in a big boat will switch to the 1st or 2nd jetski on the back, making for a quick escape!
  • The single-player has three endings, each unlocking either the P90 for the engineer, some random Chinese AR for Assault and the god-like m249 for support!
  • The SP also has some dogtags you can use in MP. Oh and the Rex revolver after you beat the first mission!
  • Got premium? You got some battlepacks. Also if you have the digital deluxe or are a Battlefield veteran. Visit the menu in-game by pressing ESC and hit Battlepacks. Otherwise check them on Battlelog

If you’ve got Premium, you get this update free. If not, you’re paying about £12 for the pleasure of some old maps. On the flip side, that’s about £3 per map with some guns thrown in and that doesn’t seem like bad value to me. What annoys me is the fact we’ve got more DLC on the way and then the BF5 yearly release later this year before we’ve really gotten bored of BF4. It does feel a little like milking the cash cow. Feel free to leave your own review or comments below and see you in game 🙂

Graphics 75%
Sound 78%
Gameplay 82%
Final Thoughts

More of the same, literally, but adds enough variation to be worth shelling out the few quid to progress your soldier and gameplay options

Overall Score 78% Good value
Readers Rating
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