What we loved about the 'Naval Strike' expansion is that it extended the geography of gameplay for those loyal to the series. For those of us who haven't bit and jumped over to 'Duty' or 'Titanfall', we felt like we deserved something a little bit more interesting.
- EA DICE
- Electronic Arts
- Xbox One Store
- April 25, 2014
- 2-66 (Xbox Live)
Required Disk Space:
- 4.11GB Minimum
Supported Video Output:
- Frostbite 3
- Digital Download
Average Playing Time:
- 45 Hours
- Supported (Xbox Live)
'Battlefield 4: Naval Strike' has been released on the Xbox One, the game is an expansion pack from the popular 'Battlefield' series developed by EA DICE and published by Electronic Arts.
Back when 'Battlefield 1942' released the developers at EA Digital Illusion, or DICE, didn't really think that they would have a potential mega blockbuster franchise on their hand. Yet here we are, more than a couple of games later staring at 'Battlefield 4: Naval Strike' for the Xbox One. DICE has been going toe to toe with the juggernaut 'Call of Duty' series and they've been holding their own, for the most part. With fans of their franchise clamoring for more content they had no choice but to unleash some wicked DLC to up the ante of the gameplay. We got our hands on 'Naval Strike' and started the game up, interested to see how the Naval portion of the game fared. Grab your floaties, cause we're hitting the water.
Expanding the combat, upping the stakes...
It seems preposterous to call any game a 'classic FPS shooter' when it was made within the last ten years or so, yet that is how we are starting to feel about the 'Battlefield' franchise. While other shooters are pushing the limits with both their speed and tactical elements, 'Battlefield' seems mostly comfortable with just putting out a traditional shooter every Holiday season. With games like 'Titanfall' and 'Destiny' utilizing MMO aspects and gigantic mechanical robots, fans weren't going to be fine for long with the oldschool approach of 'Battlefield 4'. So with that in mind, EA decided to give their fans a bit of something new with 'Naval Strike'.
As far as DLC content goes we were happy to see just how much 'Naval Strike' expanded the in game mechanics. With the download you were able to get a slew of new assignments, a four pack of new maps, a new vehicle (the ACV), and a proverbial armory of new weapons. While most of these listed items seem traditional in the DLC world, the ACV, or hovercraft, provides the biggest change to the way that the game handles. This expansion pack actually puts you on, or above, the actual water. This is mostly uncharted territory for the series so we were thrilled to dive into the game.
The first thing we realized after downloading the pack was that there was no recycled content here. The guys at DICE get a lot of guff for reworking old maps and recycling old weapons into their DLC packs. This just isn't the case. The four new maps you get are all gigantic and all completely original to the game. With this as our intro into the DLC we felt certain that we were in for one of the best experiences in 'Battlefield' DLC history.
The first map that we got a chance to fight in was Operation Mortar. This map consists of a burnt out, destroyed Chinese holiday getaway. There is an old fort rising above it that smart players will seek to establish a foothold in. Below that awning fort there is a virtual maze of hallways and hidden paths that go through the mountain underneath it. This map works great due to the verticality of the fort and the sheer insanity that consists of trying to navigate those mazes in a big team battle.
We got out first taste of the salty ocean spray with Nansha Strike. This map has the largest body of water in any Battlefield map ever and it makes great use of the ACV. You can zip across the water to catch up to opponents or to get the drop on guys on the sly. This is a great map for non standard gameplay as it is large and diverse enough to accommodate the different objective types. We loved working in and around the water to establish ourselves.
Another trip to the beach for 'Naval Strike' consists of a smattering of fishing villages, ocean, and small reefs. You have two standard vehicles in this map: the ACV hovercraft and the quad bike. This is a wide open map that will create chaos pretty much everywhere. There won't be much in terms of sneaking around and most of the combat will take place in and around the small villages. There is also a convenient downed airplane in the middle of the map that opens up some space for close quarter combat as well as a cave behind a waterfall for the agile sniper to set up shop in.
The final map we got a chance to look through was Wave Breaker. This is an island map that features a heavily island underwater submarine complex. It looks like something out of a Bond film and it gave us the same vibe as some older, classic 'Call of Duty' maps. The close quarters combat in this map comes down to twitch reflexes and it can quickly get frustrating if you always come out slower on the other end of the fight.
For the most part all of these maps work in a pretty diverse fashion. They can be utilized for the standard all out death match combat as well as for objective based gameplay. The maps were designed with care by DICE and their attempt to appease their audience was pretty palpable going into the experience. The new achievements and guns gave us a little something extra and, on the whole, we found ourselves enjoying the DLC.
What we loved about the 'Naval Strike' expansion is that it extended the geography of gameplay for those loyal to the series. For those of us who haven't bit and jumped over to 'Duty' or 'Titanfall', we felt like we deserved something a little bit more interesting. The change of pace that the ocean based levels bring to us makes for a revitalized gaming experience. We couldn't help but grin like an idiot as our hovership raced across the ocean while our buddies gunned down opponents via the turret at the back of the ship. While 'Naval Strike' still doesn't bring 'Battlefield 4' to the hectic levels of new shooters, it does bring it into the same conversation.