Battlefield 4: Current-Gen Vs Next-Gen
Battlefield 4 was practically built to satisfy all the primal next-gen urges we all long to give into: eye candy, engaging multiplayer, and realism to rival the “leading” warfare simulator.
But with both PS3 and PS4 releases out in the wild, which one offers the best bang for your machine gun — and which one for your buck?
We took the cutting-edge shooter for a test drive across both consoles to answer those questions.
Battlefield 4: Technical Aspects
When exploring the differences between current-gen and next-gen versions, there’s a clear deficit in one area that shadows all the others: performance.
There’s an immediate hit to frame rate when it comes to the PS3 version, which makes sense, of course – the newer console runs at a smooth 60 frames per second, which does the Frostbite engine several favors.
Should you opt for the PS3 edition, you’re going to be running at half the frame rate of next-gen consoles, which is obviously one huge negative.
When 30 fps can be sustained via PS3 it’s acceptable, but in many areas, mainly campaign, there are large hits, some slowdown, and other related issues, especially when you’re dealing with indoor locales, explosions, and other elements such as the cities themselves, which can trigger skyscrapers to fall and other elements across the map to be destroyed.
On the plus side, there’s little if any screen tearing on either version -and that’s a plus, given the game’s dubious tendencies to drop to 25 FPS here and there on PS3 when exploring congested or highly detailed areas.
Battlefield 4: Visuals
While both consoles are capable of detailing gorgeous environments, competent physics-based action, and impressively fleshed-out textures, the PS4 ends up as the clear-cut winner across the board.
God rays, wave physics, and smaller details like birds, greenery, skyscrapers in the distance, and other natural set pieces are easily discernible even when in the background rather than foreground.
Improved particle effects up the ante considerably as well, imbuing a polish that’s usually seen and expected with PC releases instead.
The PS3 edition held its own in order to uphold an acceptable 30 FPS with dips here and there, but the PS4 Battlefield doesn’t have to sacrifice aesthetic value for performance, making it the ultimate version.
Battlefield 4: Multiplayer
Multiplayer, largely the component most players will be clamoring for, is a completely different affair when jumping from current-gen to next-gen systems.
While 30 FPS was enough to carry the game on PS3, it also required cutbacks in multiplayer flow and player cap in order to keep it possible.
The PS4 allows a larger player cap (great for larger-scale game types such as Conquest), and much less of a solitary affair than the same maps did when running them on PS3.
Team Deathmatches and smaller match types worked beautifully on the older equipment, but the sandbox components, destructible components, and larger areas allowed to operate without a hitch on PS4 are undoubtedly where you’ll want to spend most of your time, especially when there’s the potential for more players (64, to be precise) to populate each nook and cranny.
No longer do you have to feel as though you’re traversing a ghost town when seeking out other players to frag or snipe.
There’s plenty of kills to go around for everyone – hey, isn’t this what we wanted to accomplish back when MAG came out?
Battlefield 4: Loading Times
How quickly can you hop aboard to get to blasting dudes and rolling around in tanks? Surprisingly quickly, in fact.
A required multiplayer update rolls out on both consoles if this is your first time popping the disc in, but compared to the PS3’s 30 seconds, the PS4 shaves off 20 seconds for roughly a 10-second load time straight from the disc.
If you install the software, you’re looking at about an hour’s worth of wait time, but the valuable seconds shaved off booting up the game make for a convincing reason to opt for PS4 over PS3 – we’re leading busy lives, you know – that’s 20 more seconds of multiplayer we could be beasting in.
We’ve little else to report beyond what you may have already surmised: the PS4 edition is better built for large-scale multiplayer gaming, with plenty of space for additional players, environmental set pieces, and more – your purchasing decision will largely depend on how important that is to you, as well as weighted importance of graphics and performance.
The choice is obvious if you’re all about hopping online and getting straight to multiplayer, but if you want to simply eke out a campaign and be done with Battlefield, you could get by with the PS3 edition. Splurge on the PS4 version and trust us – you’ll be much better off.