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Battlefield 4 criticism shows the hypocrisy of gaming media

The sites that are now criticizing the game were the same ones giving it positive reviews when it was much worse off.

Battlefield 4 criticism

Over the past week, gaming press have come out with sharp criticisms against Battlefield 4 and publisher EA. They criticized EA on the decision to push Battlefield 4 and release a buggy game, and Polygon went as far as saying that EA is unable to launch games anymore.

And a lot of that criticism is spot on — especially since Battlefield 4 producer recently said that he hasn’t played the game since November, which many fans — including us — found insulting.

The critics claim that EA has created an environment where buggy games are the norm, where players should expect a buggy Battlefield 4 at launch. Which makes sense — every single Battlefield game launched with issues that took several patches to fix. But DICE did eventually fix the issues, and they’re working hard to fix Battlefield 4 as well.

The criticism goes beyond just a buggy game. Forbes says that the Battlefield 4 launch failure has tarnished the Battlefield brand forever. And as we know, the launch debacle has attracted three different class action lawsuits against EA.

While BF4 players have always known about the issues with Battlefield 4, and we’ve been pointing them out since day one — we even called it unplayable back when it wasn’t cool to criticize the game — it’s interesting how Polygon, GameInformer, and other outlets are only now feeling the right to speak up — the very same gaming outlets that were giving Battlefield 4 positive reviews when it came out.

For example, Polygon gave Battlefield 4 a 7.5 in its initial review, but now says the game “has wasted the time of many, many players“. GameInformer gave Battlefield 4 an 8.75 score, but now says that EA and DICE “haven’t simply released a broken game. They have cracked the foundation of the brand and driven a wedge between themselves and a loyal fan base”.

If anything, the game is much better off now than it was when it launched. Yet the reviews from these sites were great back then, when EA’s was funneling a lot of marketing dollars into their sites. Now that the launch is over and EA isn’t dangling a bunch of advertising money in front them, they’re gladly speaking speaking up.

Where were these critical articles back when the game was really broken?

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  1. 2Fat4Airborne
    January 5th, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    What do you describe, is the main problem with all media. It is all about money. It rare these days, to find a site or group, that wanne get the right information and share it with the world.

    Nice work on this article…

  2. Max
    January 5th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    True! Just one thing: I’m tired of he fact that NEARLY every map in this game, is in China… It’s always ”insert location” in China… Anyway, it’s still an awesome game, minus the bugs

    • The Iranian
      January 5th, 2014 at 6:21 pm


      95% of all maps in Battlefield 3 were based in Iran, minus the two in Paris, one in Russia (Armored Shield), Strike at Karkand (Kuwait), Sharqi Peninsula (Qatar), and Wake Island 2014 (Wake Island). Other than those maps, ALL were based solely in Iran.

      I don’t get why location even matters if it is all varied in terms of environment, which both Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 contain, due to both Iran and China having very diverse environments.

      • InfamousValdon
        January 15th, 2014 at 3:26 pm

        The reason for the map locations is completely political propaganda. In order to install the user with a pre-conceived ideal as if these countries are in the real world an enemy of the western allies, it’s a brainwashing tactic, plan and simple.

        • Mike
          January 31st, 2014 at 11:16 am

          Or maybe people want a believable conflict in a modern war videogame, so the developers base the game in an area where conflict is prone to arise?

    • Mablehhh
      January 10th, 2014 at 3:30 am

      Paracel Storm is actually set in the disputed area of the Philippines and China in the South China Sea and those islands are technically Filipino property.

    January 5th, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    How is BF4 on The Xbox 360?

    • Camtron
      January 5th, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      It’s great on the 360. I got it a 2 weeks ago and there was an update the first time I put it in. It did crash the first 2 or 3 times I played a level called “Dawnbreaker”, but since then I have had no bugs and the game is great.

    • Krubble
      January 5th, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      The game runs very well on Xbox 360, just minor bugs like no sound at beginning of game, nothing major.

    • BL
      January 5th, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Why bother lol.

    • Lucky_Soul
      January 5th, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      My younger cousin got a copy of it on 360, and it doesn’t even work. It’s just stuck loading with the rain in the background.

      Works well on my ps3… except when it does the occasional reset of my settings and campaign.

    • Torchwood-5
      January 6th, 2014 at 2:04 am

      360 and probably PS3 are technically the least broken of the 5 systems, which is sad for he PC which is the ‘superior’ of the 5.

    • Chance
      January 13th, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      It works fine, besides the no sound bug at the beginning that has already been mentioned. I play it actually quite a lot problem-free.

  4. pew pew
    January 5th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    well its true the game is totally broken! 😀

  5. Marco
    January 5th, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I just got a full refund of the game + premuium. MAYBE buying it back once it is fully playabale.

    • Anonymous
      January 5th, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Cool story.

      January 7th, 2014 at 10:06 am


    • jizza
      January 9th, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      can u pls tell me how i’d like to do the same.

  6. Tiezzynator
    January 5th, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Daniel Matros a.k.a. Zh1nto has been doing a lot of charity since the was launched. So he didn’t have time to play. He was out of the country.

  7. mohammad
    January 5th, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    we wanna see ea & dice commenting back on this huge rage against them .

  8. John Nunez
    January 5th, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I think y’all understand how reviews work. They played the game when there was NO ONE else playing the game. The servers were stable because of this. Now when EVERYONE gets on the server and then it goes to shit. Hence why NOW reviewers are experiencing what we are now experiencing. The game is fun when it works, but Dice and EA has lost a lot of respect and trust from consumers. This will be the last Dice game I buy I unless I hear REALLY good things about it.

    • Fenway
      January 5th, 2014 at 3:39 pm


    • Steve from Accounting
      January 9th, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Then maybe reviewers should release a review after they have played the game long enough to accurately gauge the quality of the product.

      First, what’s the use of reviewing a multiplayer game with less populated servers when that is not the average experience?

      Second, games show their real quality after several hours of gameplay. The best example is Empire: Total War: play it for an hour and it’s great, but play it for 10 hours and you’ll spot all the horrible bugs and bad design choices that break the game.

  9. Fabian Ribeiro De Sousa
    January 5th, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I guess the reviews when the game was released was true. Now that I stopped having issues,the game is amazing . I just hope that EA learned the lesson. You cannot simply release a game half cooked.

  10. Mr_Assault_08
    January 5th, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    I remember reading a note or update on IGN website asking for player input as they “just” heard the issues others were having. Which is a pile of crap to me.

    How the hell were they able to get a review, if they even passed the game or played online, when the single player was buggy as hell. None of the reviews mentioned of game crashes or such. I literally passed the game one level at a time after a patch was released that supposedly fixed the corrupted issue.

    To me I just can’t comprehend how a review site did a review for ps4,X1,PC,and last gen consoles and not come up with any of the common problems everyone has.

    It just shows how EA pays their way in.

  11. BL
    January 5th, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Bad Company 3….

  12. Mrbrown33
    January 5th, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Dice should just drop EA and use the so called lag free Microsoft severs they was banging on about at lunch.

  13. Donny M
    January 5th, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Im not sure of the majority of the gaming population but seeing the fps games that are being released makes me sad, i wouldve rather been born when snes was still popular, the rate that the publishers are shitting out these games that have minor changes to them is sickening, i have long since chosen to stop buying fps games since cod4, until i saw the campaign trailer for bf4, how sadly disapointed i was,again it feels almost the same as cod with a little bit more personal aspect which is nice but pisses you off how limited the story is compared to the run in and shoot everything you see style. Multiplayer is just as satisfying as all the battlefields ofcourse not much improvement there but just enough to call it a new game.

    • ViKrieg
      January 5th, 2014 at 8:51 pm

      Good thing there are plenty of other game types out there to play!
      Plus a boatload of indie titles, which vary greatly from genre to genre.
      If you don’t like FPS games, that’s fine.
      But complaining about them on a blog dedicated to a specific FPS game seems a bit dumb.
      You also make it sound like the whole gaming world is populated with nothing but military FPS’s, which is not the case.
      I advise taking a look at a list of games sometimes, before you go calling all FPS’s stale and uninspiring.

      • kc2keo
        January 8th, 2014 at 3:36 pm

        I pretty much turned in to a rarely play BF4 person from a person who used to be a regular player in all the BF series. BF2 was and still is my favorite title. All many folks want is BF2 with more destruction and maps. Squad system and objectives were working great and when everything worked together you’d have great rounds. BF3 did away with lots of the tools BF2 was known for but still liked to play BF3. BF4 is soso. I personally don’t enjoy the game so much. not because my machine doesn’t run it but I just don’t enjoy it. I’ve found other games to occupy my time…

        This is MY OPINION. Will still continue to play the game but if I’ll be a regular again who knows.

  14. Doc
    January 5th, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I aint plaued bf4 in about 3 days..since the epic lag and crash fest I had..kinda letting things settle themselves now

  15. tunexx
    January 5th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Idk about anyone else. But I can not join a server! (Xbox1) my friend has the same internet and lives in the same city but he can join ( Xbox1) I enjoy the game if I feel like waiting a hour and a half to join a server

    • Richy G
      January 7th, 2014 at 9:27 am

      Your “NAT” on your router is probably closed…. if you dont know what im talking about…. google it

  16. sidikus284
    January 5th, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Never ever trust a gaming website. They’ve been doing this since their creation. Kotaku,ign,forbes all of them will say whatever the dev/pub tells them to. Anyone remember mass effect three? Remember how terrible it was? Remember the glowing review ign gave the game when their website was completely plastered with banner ads and such? Yea. Never believe anything a gaming journalism site says. Player reviews and gameplay videos are what you should look for when deciding to purchase a game.

  17. McSquaby
    January 5th, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    anyone else having severe lag on the xbox one? I have no problems on the 360…. but on the xbox one it takes forever to join a game and I have weird lag, like everyone pauses except me and I can move, sometimes the game will rubber band though, and my screen gets all jittery when I turn. anyone else having these problems?

    • MadMav
      January 8th, 2014 at 9:05 am

      Lots of rubber-banding on all levels especially Conquest. Cannot play it again until it has been addressed. Probably sell the game if not.

  18. kenzz
    January 5th, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    You XBOX 360 people are on drugs saying the game is fine. Game is still Freezing/Crashing, stats resetting when you quit. can’t even play DLC and shit lag servers. On maps I was spawning with no freaking weapon, let’s not forget the garbage net-code. LOL a Million times

  19. Retcrow
    January 5th, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Surely I think the point that you’re missing is that these reviewers would have based their initial review on a pre-release, test version of the game?

    Also, speaking from my own experience of playing bf4 I would say that it is good to know I’m not the only one with server issues but I wouldn’t call the game broken. Bf3 was far more broken.

    Replace ‘hypocrisy’ with ‘hysteria’.

  20. Jeff
    January 6th, 2014 at 3:20 am

    All you describe is the resason why I read BF4 Central to get reviews and news of Battlefield 4. You guys are the only reliable ones telling the truth about the game since its launch in all honesty on both positive and negative points. So keep up the good job !

  21. Doc
    January 6th, 2014 at 6:15 am

    for those who say they cant find a match your not alone..and I treid playing it on the 360..still freezing and lagging

  22. Raul
    January 6th, 2014 at 8:00 am

    not sure if this is the place to ask but I’m on a 360 and I find my field upgrade items don’t work at all, no extra ammo like it says, no extra speed, nothing, wondering if anyone else has this issue ?

  23. nodosaurus
    January 6th, 2014 at 11:34 am

    All this shit with bf4 has made me realize how much i love playing bad company 2

    • Richy G
      January 7th, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Ive gone back to bc2 too! Pure battlefield heavent

      • MadMav
        January 8th, 2014 at 9:06 am

        I will be heading back there too!

  24. Tdub
    January 6th, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Been playing bf4 on pc since launch w/ minimal issues. Had the sound loop crash and loss of audio a few times initially. However since the last few patches it has been running near flawlessly for my friends and I on a wide range of pc hardware/configs.

    Great game. Hope it gets sorted out for all of you w/ issues.

    On a side note I was at my local GameStop (buying my nephew a Steam wallet card for his b-day. Try not to shop there otherwise) and asked the employee if they had a ton of complaints & returns due to bf4’s apparent issues. He said they had more COD Ghosts returns…. Why? “B/c it’s crap and people don’t like it.” He assumed there were less returns w/ bf4 b/c most people know going in it’s a buggy game….

    Really an EA title at launch is buggy? Who woulda guessed…

  25. Legitninja
    January 6th, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Aren’t they a bit late? I mean the game is mostly in a playable state.. they’re 3 months late… damn these people are living in the past.

  26. John
    January 7th, 2014 at 4:54 am

    I have it on xbox1 and it is incredible! Second Assault is amazing, new Gulf of Oman with the sandstorm might be their best ever!

  27. htank09
    January 7th, 2014 at 11:56 am

    i think we shouldn’t blame DICE, the poor SOB are getting it in the neck because of EA. EA released the game too early. This is because of the “Fan Wars” that happen between COD and BF. I cannot comment on the game when it was first released but I am a devoted BF player and we just need to give DICE a break, let them sort this s**t out and play some BF. HOOHA!!

    By the way the game is playable on Xbox 360 but the console may overheat after a long period of play.

  28. Ade Sands
    January 7th, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    ah, proper and unbiased, just the way we like it. biffs

  29. DutchDinosaur
    January 7th, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Although I agree with what you’re saying about the hypocracy of the gaming media (it’s a bit obvious, but that’s ok). I do have to wonder why the hell you think the game got better since the launch, because I’m experiencing the exact opposite on the X360.
    Things were getting mildly better right up to mp updates 3 & 4, then the game only went backwards. The game was near unplayable, but every now and then you got lucky and you could play a great game.
    But now the gameplay is beyond ridiculous… Beyond unplayable.
    I have problems with the game I didn’t have before the updates.

    It has become allmost impossible to kill anybody in the game. I have seen veteran teams completely wiped out by a collection of noobs with scores that were completely opposite of what you’d expect. More then once I’ve been shot by people looking and firing in the exact opposite direction. 2-3 full clips in the back of somebodies head and they still won’t die. Boxes and ledges that become unnegotiable obstacles. Respawn times that have trippled or quadrupled. Respawning without weapons for over 30 seconds (and being shot in the meantime). Respawning at one spawnpoint only (TDM) and so on and so forth.

    Nothing incidental, but all the above is structural. Each game, every game, the whole game…

    I paid €110 for a game that’s only getting worse… I can’t get a refund so I stuck waiting and hoping that someday it will get better… But I’ll guarantee you, this was the last time I bought anything from EA/Dice.

    The went to far this time and lost a loyal customer.

  30. Jim Henson
    January 7th, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Battlefield 3 was never fixed, instead they released Battlefield 4.

    Other than occasionally crashing for no reason at all, Battlefield 4 is more stable to me than 3 was. That being said, I only bought it when it was half off, I am NOT paying $60 for a game that was broken at launch…I only bought it after it had been out long enough for those I know with it to say it was “playable”, and when it went on sale for half price. I will NOT be buying Premium, unless it goes on sale for a stupidly low price, because NO game is worth $110 to me.

    PC only, no console gaming here.

    • Merman
      January 9th, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      I haven’t rashed once on my old GTX 570 ever since last two patches. DICE are doing great with the crash fixes… now we wait for bug and balancing issues.

  31. Rich
    January 7th, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Well Ive been having another night of disconnects. This after days of no issues so tell me again “its my computer”. They really dumped a giant turd on us, honestly I dont see much difference between BF3 and BF4, other then the fact BF3 works.

    AE is going right where I put the COD franchise. In the turd bag. In the future I think I’ll play only niche games. And never will I trust anyone to preorder anything. thats the big lesson with BF4. DO NOT ever pre-order.

    I have over $200 tied up in this game. I bought my son a copy but it sucks so bad he doesnt even want to play it. Add to that a new 780 card….which I needed anyway.

    AE/Dice are just not honorable companies. In the end thats what it comes down to and the game rag community is a bunch of whores as well.

    Nice article OP.

  32. Disappointed
    January 8th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    I played last night. No ribbons, no XP gain for matches. Load outs were default with no other option available (even though I have unlocked many). Battlelog allows me to customize my load out as I should, but this does not translate into the game. Dawnbreaker is still locking up.

    A few days ago when I could change my load out, the Scar-H rear site was just just a huge block that you could not see through to aim down the site, Terrible collision issues, buggy graphics. I got one shotted several times through a wall which is insane. So to all those saying “Just let them get it sorted out” you have been drinking to Kool-Aid far too long. This game was not ready at release and it is not ready for market now. IF they had any moral compass, they would compensate all of us who chose to purchase this game. Alas they will not because the End User is of no concern after they have raped us for the money.

    • Joe
      January 9th, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      ” So to all those saying “Just let them get it sorted out” you have been drinking to Kool-Aid far too long”

      The irony in your statement.

  33. klanky
    January 8th, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    I regret buying BF4, but I count my lucky stars I didn’t fall for buying Premium! BF3 was eventually fixed, dunno what you guys are talking about, and I played hundreds of hours of it, but BF4 just isn’t good. It just is broken, and not good. I can’t begin to name the things I’m unsatisfied with, because I’d never stop. Glitches abound, and bad gameplay decisions everywhere. I only barely bought BF4, and will not buy the next Battlefield, especially not at launch.

    I had such high hopes for this game…

    • Joe
      January 9th, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      You really got to stop dramatizing it. The game works well now. Minus some bugs and balancing issues the game is great. Really cmon already.

  34. Joe
    January 9th, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Just shows how hypocritical and stupid editors and even gamers can be. The circle-jerk, the jumping the anti-BF4 bandwagon has gotten really stupid real lately. These editors are just looking for easy reads… bash the very played game because the ‘circle-jerk” let’s you and earn views while at it… “sure why not?! Says the wannabe editor. Reminds me of elementary school where kids were copying the other kids just because it was a “cool fad” and didn’t care how stupid they look. That[‘s how it been for some of the Battlefield gamers.. most of them are ones that think they are veterans to the game because they started playing Battlefield ever since BF3 or BC2. lol oh man.

    Great article man. Battlefield is still the best shooter out there… even with its bugs… and definitely playable unlike what some whiners are crying about.

    • alex
      January 30th, 2014 at 4:25 am

      what platform? lots of us are having serious problems. and they vary from user to platform to before/after whichever patch. Your ignorant if you think this is all in our heads and simply being blown out of proportion. It’s hard to argue with a lawsuit, endless vids/blogs about people having problems with hard evidence. Have you been on youtube? Have you typed in “battlefield broken netcode?” I don’t doubt your one of the lucky ones not running into issues but calling everyone a whiner who dropped 60-100 dollars on something that is broken is insulting, self-indulgent bullshit.

  35. Bob
    January 13th, 2014 at 6:31 am

    I do not actually see how can that game be called playable. Since last 2 patches (16-20 dec) when they “improved” netcode i cannot play any longer. Netcode, apart of the one hit kill, was far better before that patch. But seems like that is a minor thing in a fps for everyone.
    I just dont get it…

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