Gamescom 2013: Hands on with Battlefield 4 on PlayStation 4

5 min read


I’m currently a bit of an oddity in the gaming world as I’m a huge first person shooter fan and yet I simply can’t get into Battlefield 3. I’ve tried it on both consoles and the PC and the PC version is by far the most engaging; yet it’s still not what I’d call fun.

So it was with a fair bit of trepidation that I arrived for my hands on with Battlefield 4 at EA. We were led into a room with 16 or so screens all playing Battlefield on the PlayStation 4. The rep specifically stated that it wasn’t a PS4 controller running through a PC but rather that in the boxes behind were PS4 dev kits. So we’ll take their word for it.

We were given a brief rundown of how Battlefield 4 is running on the Frostbite 3 engine and that levolution is the future of the world…really that word kills me. Because it’s lacist.

Don't drop me sarge


But levolution does actually sound incredible. It’s not only the fact that maps can be destroyed and buildings taken down; no it actually goes a lot further than that.

Imagine running into a building and taking the elevator up to the 10th floor, then when you get there you turn around and blow up the power box taking out all the power to the building. Obviously the lights go out but the elevator is also now out of commission. It won’t work again for the map and the key here is that it is user-driven not triggered. So it won’t happen every time, in fact none of the levolution moments have to happen at all or you could trigger them all.

It’s totally up to you as players to control how the maps react.

Commander Mode

Another new addition, or re-addition, to Battlefield 4 is the return of the highly requested commander mode. In commander mode you get to act as a general in the field with a top down view of the entire battlefield where you can help your soldiers by placing markers, dropping support packages or even calling in air support.

Commander mode is not something you switch to but rather it’s an experience you play the entire game in. What’s even more incredible is that you can actually play the entire commander mode on your iPad while your friend is playing in normal FPS mode.

Soggy Tanks

Battle Pick Ups

The last new addition we were told about is Battle Pick Ups, for the first time (that I’m aware) the game will contain special powerful weapons with limited ammo in certain spots on the map. These special weapons can be picked up by anyone but once the ammo is out you are going to have to discard it as that’s all you get.

This will make for new choke points as teams battle to get the upper hand with superior firepower.

But What About The Gameplay?

So after the brief intro we were given time to dive into Battlefield 4 ourselves and the map we played was a simple infantry map with no boats or vehicles. We played the standard Battlefield mode of holding the flags to deplete your opponents tickets and the difference in gameplay was noticeable the second the game kicked off.

No longer are the graphics being falsely enhanced with an overdose of blur and shudders but rather the game is crisp and clear. Your movements are much smoother and the entire experience is just a great all round improvement.

The standard gameplay is still the same with destruction still being a key element but this time it just feels a lot more natural and improved and now with levolution there are a ton of new ideas that you can play with.

For instance in the map we played there were containers in a certain spot near the middle of the map with both doors open. But now you can close the one set of doors to ensure you don’t get sniped in the back while holding the line at the front. But beware as other players can open the back doors, or even worse they can throw a grenade in the front and then close the front doors making a death box. Oh,..and there’s a killcam now, so you can see who shot you in the face.

It's not Battlefield without vehicles

Much has been said about the PS4 graphics in Battlefield 4 being disappointing but I didn’t have that experience. I found them to be a huge improvement over the PS3 graphics and while everything can always be improved I don’t think gamers are going to be disappointed.

Last but definitely not least the PlayStation 4 controller is a huge leaping improvement over the current PS3 controller. I have made a lot of noise about my hatred for the DualShock 3 and when chatting to fellow journalists at Gamescom it became abundantly clear that I am not in the minority. Thankfully Sony has rectified that and the new controller is now easily as good as the Xbox One controller, if not better.

I’ll need a lot more time on both consoles before I can pick a winner and that says all you need to know really. They are both fantastic.

I can’t wait for the PS4 to release and Battlefield 4 will be one of the first titles I will be grabbing for it. I can’t wait to enter the Battlefield again. With TitanFall and Battlefield 4 in their stable EA Games is set for an incredible start to the next generation.

Oh one more thing… Battlefield 4 will allow for 64 player on next generation consoles – and it will still run at 60 fps.

Last Updated: August 28, 2013

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

  • Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

    After yesterday’s video, I’m really interested in this!

    Nice write up Gav

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Awesome write-up Gav – and my body is ready!

    • John of Vault 11

      I think that sentence could’ve been structured better.

      • I’m like the Spanish Inquisition

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        Gavin knows I’m ready for uh Gavin.. wait what?

  • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    your description of the maps makes me excited … sounds really cool, I love dynamic touches like that

  • Lourens Jordaan

    Finally!!! I’ve waited all week for this. Thanks Gav.

    • I need a PS4… desperately

      • Lourens Jordaan

        I can’t agree more! Thanks for the reply.

      • BeastlyRig

        ” I’ve tried it on both consoles and the PC and the PC version is by far the most engaging”

        I say get a pc or get killzone.

        • Mike vallely

          if you can find me a gaming computer with an HD monitor for 399.99 that runs 1080p 60fps let me know. if not stop commenting about how pc is better.

          • Brian Murphy

            Every monitor that’s been made in the past 10 years at LEAST can run 1080p. That’s a benchmark that was a struggle for TV’s to reach for quite some time, but monitors have been pushing 1920×1200+ for ages.

            Besides, why would you add the price of an HD monitor to the cost of a PC, if you’re leaving out the price of an HD TV for the console? What? You already have a TV? Does it not have an HDMI or DVI connector? You know what does? Virtually every graphics card made in the past 5 years. Ergo, plug your PC into your TV 🙂

            Not trying to be snarky here, but there’s a great deal you can do with $400 in the PC realm. You just have to want to…and you know, do a bit of research. Building a whole new rig is a great learning experience, sure…but not everyone needs to do that. To simply upgrade your PC, is also a very viable and cost effective solution.

        • Lourens Jordaan

          Dude, this is not supposed to be a debate about PC vs anything or PS4 versus anything. A couple of weeks ago there was an article about it not really being worth upgrading from current gen consoles to next gen consoles in regards to the games being released. For instance, why buy a PS4 if BF4 is being released on the PS3 as well and would it really be that much better on the PS4? The question to Gavin was to find out if his opinion has changed to the extent that the previous argument is moot.

          • Brian Murphy

            I’m sure if Gavin and Co. object to the content being discussed in the comments sections, they’ll say so. Until then, not really sure you’re in any position to be attempting to dictate the rules.

            The guy asked a question, the people who had an answer, did. Those who didn’t…moved on. If I stopped to remark on every retarded and stupid comment on this site, I’d never get past 2 or 3 articles (not to say every comment is stupid…but, it is the internet, and stupidity does run rampant).

          • Lourens Jordaan

            Hey Brian, why are you on the offensive? I’m not dictating rules to anyone at all. I was merely explaining the reason for my original post. I’m sorry if it seemed like I was trying to dictate anything. Anyway, you took the time to give helpful feedback and I’m responding in kind. Enjoy your day.

    • BeastlyRig

      ” I’ve tried it on both consoles and the PC and the PC version is by far the most engaging”

      did u mean to say pc?

  • HvR

    BF4 taking cloud gaming to the next level with levelution.

  • RinceThisDaExecutiveProducerEx

    I am actually interested in BF4, never played it, but this blowing buildings up stuff sounds like a lot of fun. I am assuming you can blow up buildings with people STILL inside? I want to see that, I really really do!

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      and that kids, is how you end up on the terrorist watch list.

      • RinceThisDaExecutiveProducerEx

        Boom! Wait, no! 0-O

        • Alien Emperor Trevor


    • OVG

      until the 8 an year old teaches you about your mumas privates via headphones.

    • Stanley Watson

      Of course you can, as was the case with Battlefield 3 and Bad Company 2.

    • Mossel

      I want to turn of the power with someone still in the elevator!

  • ElimiNathan

    Damn Gavin you aren’t helping me with my PS4 urges

  • eXpZA

    “the new controller is now easily as good as the Xbox One controller, if not better.” – this makes me very happy.

  • Stanley Watson

    “Battlefield 4 will allow for 64 player on next generation consoles” . Does this mean the Xbox version doesn’t allow 64 players?

  • Melasco

    I have played and is still playing the snot out of BF3 on PS3… BF4 is the game I’m looking forward to most on PS4. Thanks for the article 🙂

  • Mossel

    What happens when you take out the power with another player still in the elevator? Epic lulz!! Thats what!!

    • Maxiviper117

      What happens is a classic troll………..

      • Mossel

        Note to self: Stay away from elevators. Just imagine this poor dude with no grenades or explosive weapons. He now has to sit there for like 10min waiting for the game to end!

        • Skidaladoo

          Actually there has been an option in battlefield for a while that allows you to commit suicide from the start menu. Thankfully.

          • Scott Zimmerhakl

            With the “opening and shutting of doors” they keep talking about in BF4, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if there were a hatch in the elevator, or something(as in real life) through which you could make your escape.


    Great Article! Gets me excited for my decision to play it on the PS4. Im tired of seeing PC journalists write like these games should break the fourth wall or something on these consoles. As long as its an improvement from last gens then im all for it!

  • Andrew Brannan

    I got to “not a Battlefield 3 fan”, and I lost respect…got to “Hatred for the Dualshock 3” and sent a letter to your boss about how shitty you are. Get a Ps4 and educate yourself idiot.

    • Brian Murphy

      lol, Gavin’s notorious for his lack of love over BF3. Have no idea why. And he is the boss of LG, so I’m not sure it’ll make much of a difference haha.

    • lol I didn’t receive a letter but I would give it due care and attention if I did.

      Sorry to upset you but the DS3 sucks, so much so that I only play the PS3 with third party controllers so I don’t feel like I’m fiddling with a kids toy.

      • Andrew Brannan

        Learned that you were the boss and immediately started a facebook campaign against your website. Acromegaly is most likely what is wrong with your hands. If you were normal you would realize that the Dualshock is more ergonomically correct than either the 360 or the Wii-U. Go to the Doctor…you just might have Down Syndrome as well…

        • Brian Murphy

          I’m sure he gives a total shit, since this site has only become more and more popular as time has progressed.

          Everyone has an opinion about their preference of controller, doesn’t make them right or wrong. Simply, their opinion and preference.

        • Tbone187

          Dualshock more ergonomic than the 360 controller…Ha!!! You smoking your socks buddy…Sony has kept the same crappy controller design since the PSone and even then it was terrible…And what kind of faget threatens people with FB campaigns…What a doos!!

      • Brian Murphy

        Yeah yeah Gavin, and Blu Ray sucks too, which is why Microsoft isn’t using one in the Xbox One in lieu of digital downloads…oh wait.

  • dgarra

    Good to hear about the DS4 being quality, the DS was already pretty dated and the modifications to it for the DS3/Sixaxis were just terrible. My FPS gaming has been 360 exclusive this gen because of it.

  • Thomas Smithee

    Get Battlefield 4: Standard Edition
    (PlayStation 4) at you can
    receive a free $10 gift card. I believe you can still get the gift card here:

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