...just like you would judge a person's character without resorting to that person's parents' character. There seems to be this unwritten consensus among a large part of the gaming community that the next installment of just about any game should feature improvement, ingenuity and that "something new" thing. And for the most part, sequels do it well or at least they strife for improvement, with the exception of a few. However, the positive change isn't always too apparent, evidently, because to outdo a prior outstanding job isn't an easy task, So what do we do? We get used to the old which was the new from not too long ago.
The same trend is happening with Batman Origins and happened with Uncharted 3.
We all remember the damage done to the opposing building in the BF3 presentation when you are crawling on a rooftop. We all remember the leap Uncharted 2 made from Uncharted 1. We all remember the leap Arkham City made from Arkham Asylum. The subsequent "leaps" therefore just don't impress as much.
The truth of the matter is humans will get used to pretty much anything. If the entire world's life expectancy was reduced to 50 years, then within a few generation people would adjust to that state of normalcy. Anyways, that was my preamble for technological progress, back to BF4.
There are several things this game improves over BF3 that I noticed immediately:
-You can now lean left and right from around the corners;
-Realistically speaking, sniper rifler rangefinder and zeroing makes for a happy camper, but I think DICE will slice the Recon class soon as a result when it becomes apparent how much easier it is to snipe now;
-Squad assist kills now count as kills, along with the corresponding damage points;
-Diving under water;
-Realistically saturated graphics, the only drawback is I got distracted by them so much I often needed help using the PLV for spotting;
-There are now field upgrade paths (including some old ones), such as reduced fall damage, increased bullet/explosion resistance, faster repair, immunity to being spotted, faster sprinting, resistance to being suppressed; some of these perks directly benefit your squad as well;
-Sometimes when you jump off a building before opening your chute your heart will skip a beat.
-Can no longer expand map on the bottom left in order to "cheat", by basically knowing where your enemies are. I couldn't help but exploit this feature in BF3.
I am sure there are many other improvements that we will all notice in the coming days.
The not so good:
-I did experience texture pop-ins in SP and stuttering in MP on several maps. The day one 600MB patch fixed MP3 somewhat but not by a large margin so far;
-Allegedly, there is still no one-shot-one kill sniper rifle but since there is barely any bullet drop there is no excuse for not landing a headshot from half a mile away.
-Still can't turn off the occasional music in SP;
-Can't turn off the crosshair, unless you remove the entire HUD with a console command, or unless you play on Hardcore servers, WTF;
So far, I am loving the Recon class. Being able to carry C4 as well as marking vehicles and spotting enemies through MAV in various environments made me feel somewhat overpowered. However, the tracer bullet would occasionally expose your position if someone looked in your immediate vicinity a second after your shot forcing you to change position. Perhaps that was done for balancing purposes. Also, if you play as a recon do not play on Normal maps where the kill cam will expose you.
Also, I liked SP in BF4 as much as I enjoyed it in BF3. You play it once, you enjoy and then you forget it. It has its moments, it's short and its tone is as serious as it was in BF3.
All in all, the first few weeks is the best time to play BF4 before people begin exploiting hard to reach spots (that's what she said), enjoy.
Lastly, as far as gaming sequels go, you can't, and you should not stop progress (not saying that people are). With progress comes technological progress, and with technological progress maybe we will see BF5 set in near-replicas of world's biggest capitals, among other things. As we inch closer to the cinematic gameplay/virtual reality/deus ex future/matrix/ we contribute to it by purchasing and supporting products that push our hardware further, I would even argue that the iphone users do that by buying a slightly improved product year after year. It is obnoxious, but it is still progress.
P.S. One of the loading screens actually says: "This AIN'T Call of Duty"