I talked yesterday about my time with the Call of Duty: Black Ops III Xbox One beta. Today we’ll look at another pre-release offering, the Community Test Environment for Battlefield 4. It’s been available on the PC for a while now, but just recently was opened up to members of the Xbox One Preview Program. I got my invite and set up the game last week and played a few games on the test map available, Zavod: Graveyard Shift. The Nighttime map is part of a new nighttime expansion for Battlefield 4.
After installing the CTE, which runs completely separate from BF4, I loaded it up and re-familiarized myself the mechanics of BF4 versus Battlefield: Hardline. After remembering a few of the more popular and powerful weapons, I headed out to Zavod. I always wondered why there weren’t more night time maps in the modern Battlefield series. Assuming that Zavod is indicative of the whole nighttime set in BF4, I have an idea as to why. I like the nighttime idea – it adds a degree of stealth and tactics back into the military setting; and makes certain sights much more useful (IR in particular). Unfortunately, in my experience playing last week, I found that night was just too nighty. Even with my brightness cranked way up to the max, I found myself struggling to see anything beyond about 20 feet at Zavod. Even when I was using the IR sights, it was a lot more difficult to see the enemies than I would have expected. Maybe it’s because the builds in the CTE are still technically alpha builds, but I would hope in the actual Night Operations expansion that there is a little more light out there.
I ran into one other issue while I was playing around. I played a few games where the entire ground didn’t load in. There was still a floor that I could stand on, but all that really amounted to was my head popping up above the ground level. The actual land geometry loaded in fine, which let me have some way to stand above ground level – and the buildings worked too. But it really did make playing the game that much more frustrating. That’s where I think the CTE stands apart from most betas that make their way onto consoles. Generally speaking the betas we play are pretty close to final builds, if not final builds just before launch. This was very clearly a pretty early build – and as such, there were noticeable issues with the actual gameplay. Go in to the CTE with that in mind, and I think you will actually have a good time – it is a pretty cool way to mix up the Battlefield flow.