Battlefield 4 has the finest single player campaign in the series to date, writes John Walshe.

Probably more than any other first person shooter, EA’s Battlefield series was created with the online gamer in mind. Previous instalments have featured frantic and fun online play, while the single player campaign has sometimes felt like it was bolted on at the end. Not this time: the single player campaign in Battlefield 4 is tremendous fun to play and stands up as a decent quality shooter in its own right.

That’s not to say that the online elements have suffered. Battlefield 4’s online play is as varied and exciting as you could wish for, with Conquest and Obliteration particularly fun, while the standard Team Deathmatch remains a stalwart of online shootouts. If you’re not into online gaming, there might not be enough in Battlefield 4’s offline play to warrant shelling out your hard-earned cash for. But for those who enjoy online action as well as the more solitary campaign mode, there’s plenty to admire.

The campaign centres around a, thankfully, fictional conflict between the US and China, following a civil war in the latter. You take control of Tombstone, an elite Marine squadron who seem to be tasked with all the dirtiest jobs of what is a pretty vicious campaign. Escorting VIPs out from a heavily militarised Shanghai? Getting your mitts on the electronic log from a sinking aircraft carrier? Escaping from the most notorious prison in Asia? All in a day’s work for Sergeant Recker and Tombstone squad.

The joy of Battlefield 4, in both online and campaign modes, is the variety of the play, from piloting ribs across the South China Sea to engaging in serious tank battles across desolated cities, taking out enemy aircraft with RPGs or escaping a nasty situation on board a stolen helicopter. The graphics look great throughout and the sound quality is similarly impressive but it’s the frenetic action, both online and off, that makes Battlefield 4 a resounding success.

John Walshe

Platform: PS3, X360, PC

Publisher: EA

Age Rating: 18

Score: 4/5