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Spoilers for Battlefield 3 will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
Only in Battlefield.

(Turn around)
Every now and then
I get a little bit lonely
And you're never coming 'round...

The latest 'modern combat' entry in the Battlefield franchise, and the 12th installment overall, Battlefield 4 is a direct sequel to the 2011 game Battlefield 3.

The game takes place in 2020, six years after the events of BF3. The war between the United States and the Russian Federation continues, but it seems the Chinese have an interest in the war as well...

A 17-minute trailer has been released, showcasing segments from the single-player prologue. You can watch it here, while a multiplayer trailer for the Siege of Shanghai map is here.

A closed beta was released on October 1st, 2013, for players who had Premium from BF3. An open beta released on October 4th. The game was released on October 29, 2013.

The first expansion pack, China Rising, had been announced as bundled with the retail game, containing four multiplayer maps, additional weapons and gadgets, and two new gameplay modes: Air Superiority and Defuse. BF4 Premium members got early access since December 2, with December 17 as release date for regular users.

The second DLC, aptly named Second Assault, was released on February 18th for Premium members and March 4th for regular players. It reintroduced several maps from previous game with added features: Gulf of Oman, which now has a large sandstorm cover the field partway through the battle; Operation Metro, which now has chunks of the ceiling that can be dropped on enemies by shooting out the wooden supports; Operation Firestorm, which has added effects for when the oil wells are destroyed; and Caspian Border, which has a wall splitting the map that must be crossed for the two forces to reach one another. Capture the Flag returns as a new playable game mode, brought over from BF3.

The third DLC, Naval Strike, was first released on March 27th and made generally available on April 15th. It features four whole, new island-based maps, new weapons and gadgets, and a new game mode called "Carrier Assault", an homage to the Titan game mode of Battlefield 2142.

The fourth DLC, Dragon's Teeth was initially released on July 15th, and subsequently released for regular players on July 29th. It features new weapons, equipment and four urban-centric battlegrounds, spanning across the South-East Asian regions of Shanghai, Thailand, Hong Kong and North Korea. The DLC also introduces a new, high octane gameplay mode titled: Chain Link.

The fifth and final DLC, Final Stand was released on 18 November, again early for Premium members, and then two weeks later for regular players. It features futuristic technology such as the XD-1 Accipiter - an experimental anti-missile drone, a new target detector attachment for carbines and marksman rifles and equipment like the DS-3 Decoy - a radar jammer of sorts. There are also several Call Backs from BF2142 in the form of early prototypes, like the Rorsch Mk-1, a handheld railgun, and the HT-95 Levkov, a hovertank.

Post-DLC launches, DICE has continued to support the game and release new content, even beyond the release of the next game in the series, Battlefield Hardline. A free DLC pack called the Weapons Crate Pack was released in May 2015, adding five new weapons to every player's inventory. A map pack titled Night Operations was released early September 2015 with a patch and one night-time version of an existing vanilla map, with more to come. In addition, a community-made map as well as a remake of Battlefield 2's Dragon Valley followed in December 2015.

A tie-in novel, known as "Countdown to War", shows Kovic's involvement in the war with China and how he knows Jin Jie and Hannah prior to being found by Tombstone Squad.

Battlefield 4 provides examples of:

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     General Tropes 
  • A.K.A.-47:
    • The Armsel Striker is again called DAO-12, as per series tradition. The Cheytac Intervention is called SRR-61, after one of the weapon's real-world users, Jordan's 61st Special Reconnaissance Regiment. The Heckler & Koch HK416 is called M416 as it has been since the first Battlefield: Bad Company. The Beretta ARX160 becomes AR-160. Averted with the Ares Shrike machine gun - the AWS label is part of the Shrike's full designation.
    • As per Battlefield 3, the Remington ACR and prototype Magpul PDR are known as the ACW-R and PDW-R respectively.
    • The variants of the AK-12 have mostly fictional names (though this is to be expected for some, since most of their real names were unknown due to their status as rare guns) - the carbine (AK-12U), shotgun (AK-12/76) and marksman rifle (SVK-12) are called AKU-12, DBV-12 (presumably standing for 'drobovik', the Russian word for 'shotgun'), and SVD-12 (despite having no commonality with the Dragunov sniper rifle) respectively.
    • The name given to the Chinese CS/LR3 sniper rifle "FY-JS" is actually taken from a Chinese military enthusiast message board named Feiyang Junshi (rough trans: High-Flying Military). Whether this is a misinterpretation of some image watermarks or a deliberate nod to a helpful source is unknown.
    • Also notable is an inversion. Like the Striker, the Arctic Warfare Magnum is usually misnamed in Battlefield games as the L96A1 (the British designation for the Precision Marksman). A later patch in 4 fixed the name, changing it to L115 (the AWM's designation).
    • Interestingly, before release, EA went on-record that the primary reason for this trope's existence (the lack of a license from a weapon's manufacturers to namedrop them) would not be a factor in whether a gun kept its real name in-game or not (indeed, most instances of legalese in or related to the game state that, unless noted otherwise, the guns appearing in the game are not licensed), in response to criticism over their sponsoring of gun makers in Medal of Honor: Warfighter and groups like the NRA blaming video games for gun violence, citing their reasoning as it still being "free publicity" for the gun makers, and the fact that other forms of media like films don't need to jump through hoops to license the firearms they use as props. The most amusing part about this might be that it actually seems to have worked.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality:
    • Addressed. In Real Life, double-action revolvers have a trigger delay as pulling the trigger has to pull back the hammer before dropping it, which was reflected in-game as a small delay between pressing fire and the revolver actually firing the bullet, seen in this video. Unfortunately, this is hard to emulate in a video game where players expect the gun to fire immediately after pressing a button versus actually handling the gun and pulling the trigger to drop a hammer to fire. With the 2.0 update, this was removed entirely, making the game closer to its Battlefield 3 counterpart.
    • The AN-94's hyperburst feature only happens when the rifle is set to burst, while setting it to automatic gives it a steady 600 RPM fire rate. In real-life, the first two shots on automatic are also in burst while the rest of the rounds are discharged at a steady rate, and this was also how the weapon was portrayed in Battlefield 3. It was probably removed to incentivize switching between automatic and burst frequently, rather than just keeping it on automatic and using a disciplined trigger to fire off hyperbursts.
  • Alternate Reality Game: The entire Phantom Assignment culminating with the Phantom Operative Assignment, the requirements for which are spread out through the entire Final Stand DLC, resulting in unlocking a compound bow as an all-class weapon.
  • Creator Provincialism: Despite the Swedish military being a no-show, presumably because DICE is a Swedish company, the CBJ-MS and Ak 5C are usable weapons, and are a part of the "Swedish Steel" assignment.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Played mostly straight with infantry, who, aside from suppression (which is separate from your HP anyway), bloody screen, and reduced colouration can fight as well at 1% HP as they can at 100%, but completely averted with vehicles. First, there's critical hits: if you take at least 30% damage from a single attack, you suffer a Mobility Hit which makes you move slower and more awkwardly for 5-10 seconds, or if you take 40%, you suffer a Mobility Kill which completely immobilizes/stalls your vehicle for 5-10 seconds. Finally, when your vehicle is reduced to 10-15% armour, it becomes disabled, meaning it will be permanently in a state of mobility hit and if not repaired, will catch fire, burning away the last of its remaining HP.
  • Decomposite Character: In terms of weapons, sniper rifles are now broken up into two separate classes: proper sniper rifles, which use heavier calibers that do more damage and reach further, but have smaller magazines, tend to be bolt-action, and are exclusive to Recon; and designated marksman rifles, which can be used by any class, fire faster and have larger magazines, but use smaller calibers that don't reach as far or deal as much damage at range.
  • Easter Egg: As per DICE tradition, plenty:
    • A T-Rex keychain can be seen hanging in Pac's van, during the starting sequence of the 'Shanghai' mission.
    • The much hyped Megalodon can be summoned in the multiplayer map, 'Nansha Strike'.
    • The Battlefield 4 Community Test Environment's version of Paracel Storm brings back the Megalodon, this time leaping over the half-sunken aircraft carrier after triggering certain conditions.
    • A video screen in Shanghai is playing an advertisement that references Faith Connors from Mirror's Edge.
  • Le Parkour: Players can leapfrog over waist-high barriers or climb waist-high platforms with this.
  • Multi-Platform: Released on the PC as well as both the current and next-gen Playstation and Xbox consoles.
  • One Bullet Clips: Normally played straight the same way it has been since Battlefield: Bad Company, though there's an option (toggle-able normally, permanently on in Hardcore mode) where the game goes back to the classic way of dropping all the rounds left in a magazine (except for the one in the chamber) on a reload.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: While toned down in general compared to Battlefield 3, the loading screens still feature the high orange and blue contrast and some of the singleplayer levels feature an absolutely blinding amount of contrast between bluish darkness and orangy lighting.
  • Regenerating Health: As per standard for a Modern Military Shooter. Notably, the HUD has an actual numerical health meter that shows your exact health, instead of simply relying on the standard Bloody Screen So Real (although the game has that too). This is rather unusual for a Modern Military Shooter single-player campaign, but it's been in the multiplayer for both Battlefield and Medal of Honor for a while. As in BF3, the regeneration is also noticeably faster in singleplayer than multi (able to zip from single-digit health to a full 100 in about a second once it starts) and is reduced when you're under the effects of suppression, so as to not obsolete most of the Assault's medical supplies.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The .44 Magnum and the MP412 REX both return from BF3, and DLC also adds on the Mateba Model 6 Unica and Chiappa Rhino 40DS. All of them usually kill enemies in 2 shots, at least depending on range. For comparison, most assault rifles, carbines, and submachine guns require an average of 4-5 shots to kill enemy soldiers. The drawbacks are the low ammo capacity and lack of range.
  • Scenery Porn: The game impresses with the visuals, as seen in the Singleplayer demo.
  • Scenery Gorn: Reintroducing the ability to reduce a large building into a total rubble - with one show piece each map for you to blow up.
  • Urban Warfare: What do you expect when you have cities like Shanghai and Singapore as the settings of your levels?

     Campaign Tropes 
  • Action Girl: Hannah, who is a female Chinese intelligence officer on some sort of close-protection detail. Irish eventually compliments her, noting most close-protection agents don't have her level of skill.note 
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Valkyrie gets boarded by Chang's men twice. Depends on what you do at the end, it potentially get destroyed.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Several jarring examples, especially during mission, Singapore (which, amusingly, is actually based on the multiplayer "Siege of Shanghai" map).
    • Beginning with the fact that no vessel could actually enter Marina Bay - a dam is built where the Bay enters the South China Sea.
    • Tombstone apparently lands near the mouth of the Singapore River near the Central Business District located on the southern end of the island nation, and slowly make their way towards the airport via tank escort followed by crossing a highway bridge before the convenient detour via ship collision on said bridge. The setting and locations are severely off from the actual places:
      • The nearest airports to the CBD are Sembawang and Paya Lebar Air Bases. Even so, the objective airfield is stated to specifically Changi International Airport, even further east of the city, a good 30 minutes travel by car, let alone a tank getting bogged down fighting things every few feet.
      • The airport is shown to be right next to the Central Business District. No airports can be seen from the vicinity of the city.
      • As Tombstone crosses the bridge, an overhead sign is seen with 'Paya Lebar' pointed in the direction of the city. Paya Lebar is a town located east of downtown Singapore - in the opposite direction to where the signboard points.
      • The sequence where Tombstone is swept to the airport's underbelly is downright impossible; there are no rivers from the CBD leading to Changi Airport, and even if they somehow got swept out to sea and landed right there, there must be devil currents, not to mention divine breath-holding skills at work here.
      • The Milad Tower in Iran, a background asset recycled from Battlefield 3, stands-in (albeit badly) for the much shorter Changi Air Traffic Control Tower.
      • All of the above can be chalked up to the developers fictionalizing small details of the small island nation, but then there's the fact that there is somehow a tropical typhoon occurring during the events of the mission. In a region that has not seen a disaster of that scale, ever.
  • Artistic License – Ships: Chang's warship in the final mission is none other than an Independence-class littoral combat ship with a modified, enclosed tower and the forward gun moved rearward closer to the tower, the giveaway being its extremely distinctive dagger-like forward hull shape and superstructure below the tower, plus the SeaRAM surface-to-air missile launcher behind the tower. And yet the game calls the ship a "destroyer."
  • Back for the Dead: Dima and Agent 'Whistler' Kovic both return from the Battlefield 3 campaign, only to die within their first appearances (Kovic making it through one mission only to die in the next, Dima dying at the end of his mission for no particular reason).
  • Big Bad: Admiral Chang, though he's also something of a Greater-Scope Villain; while he's the one leading the aggressive parts of the Chinese military you deal with, you never actually meet him personally until about halfway through the game, and then you don't meet him again after that.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • There is lots of unsubtitled Mandarin dialogue, though certain key bits are story-relevantnote . However, the quality varies quite a bit, from being "very good" to "hilariously broken". The final story-important exchange on the Valkyrie is actually completely and utterly screwed in its grammar, becoming a minor meme on the Chinese community.
    • There's also some Russian dialogue in the 2nd-to-last mission when you fight Russian soldiers in Tashgar.
    • A smaller one in the case of the Hannah Dog Tag: she is indeed surnamed Huang, which lines up with the novel identifying her as Huang Shuyi.
    • The China Rising DLC trailer has one more: while the remaining subtitles actually match the narration, the "Confucius says" part isn't... but the narration begins with "Yuewang Goujian" — as in Goujian, King of Yue, the Chinese Trope Codifier for the subtitled-narration's "enduring their condescension and biding our time."
  • Bittersweet Ending: The best ending for the game sees Jin Jie alive and announcing his presence to his "brothers", and since him even showing his face is enough to instantly convert a couple of hardened PAC commandos to his side, it's a safe bet that Admiral Chang will soon find his powerbase split and massively reduced. So, peace with China seems likely... but Russia is still not backing down from a fight, Chang still has potentially millions of soldiers under his command, and worst of all, you're forced to sacrifice either Hannah or Irish in order to destroy the warship on the verge of blowing the Valkyrie to pieces.
    • Can veer into Downer Ending if you take too long deciding whom to sacrifice: if you do, the warship will finish its firing sequence and you get a front row seat to the destruction of the 'Valkyrie' and the death of Garrison, Jin Jie, Pac and everyone else. Not to mention Admiral Chang has eliminated the last obstacle to total control over China.
    • Averted by the events of Battlefield 2042 however, which despite revealing that Jin Jie's survival is canon, also reveals that just two decades after the events of this game, China still collapsed along with almost every other nation in the world.
  • Crapsack World: It seems Dima and Blackburn's sacrifice in stopping Solomon was in vain with the US still fighting a war against Russia who's trying to overthrow the moderate government in China and replace it with one loyal to them. The Shanghai mission shows that much of China is in chaos, with riots breaking out in the streets and the PLA enforcing martial law. Not to mention the Chinese have taken over most of Asia and the Suez Canal with little difficulty... and for no reason.
  • Easy Logistics: The Tombstone team is somehow able to go from a remote prison in the mountains of Tibet to some temperate Central Asian warzone ("Tashgar") in a mere two days. On the enemy side, Admiral Chang's forces manage to reduce an American aircraft carrier to a barely-adrift flaming wreck (even though this ship was out of range of the EMP that detonated and should have had a fully functioning escort) and near the end, a small army of Chinese soldiers and a destroyer are able to take over the Suez Canal, with apparently no resistance from the Egyptian military.
    • And if the Singapore level and some of the muliplayer levels are to be taken as canon, most of Southeast Asia have been taken with little resistance from their individual militaries.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: For the Shanghai mission, the loading screen prominently displays a shot of the Oriental Pearl Tower. If you don't know what that is, see the page image for Shanghai.
  • EMP: Some kind of EMP bomb detonates in Shanghai, disabling much of the USS Valkyrie's systems.
  • Excuse Plot: Very little is explained about the background of the conflict, what Admiral Chang is after other than "kill Jin Jie", why Russia is backing him or how and why Dima from the previous game got captured by the Chinese.
    • You really have to have completed the campaign of Battlefield 3 to understand what's going on: the Russians are trying to draw the Chinese into attacking the US, forcing their opponents into a two-front war. They back Chang because he's willing to do it, while Chang needs to kill Jin Jie because he represents the peace movement (and is the rightful leader of China) and the PLA respects him far too much to disobey him. It's essentially escalation from the war presented in the previous game. Tombstone gets a better picture than most, but still doesn't see all of it.
  • Fake Defector: Hannah is actually a Jin Jie-aligned spook, but when things go belly-up in Singapore and Chang-aligned troops arrive, she pretends to be a Chang-aligned operative and allows them to take Irish and Recker captive, while telling them in Mandarin that the other is already deadnote ; when Dima, Irish, and Recker make their escape from prison in the next level, she's with two soldiers who take them captive, only for her to shoot them both in the back and join with the escapees.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Unlike Preston Marlowe from Bad Company or Henry Blackburn from 3, the player character here is never shown except in the opening cinematic, nor is any detailed background information given about him other than the name "Daniel Recker". The game takes place entirely from a first-person perspective, and the player never speaks. The whole silent protagonist shtick stops working after you become squad leader but still never say a word. It gets pretty stupid when all the conversations happen through your second in command and even when making your "final decision" not a word is said. Even Pac complains about it after Irish decides on his own to bring in nearly four-hundred Chinese refugees the recently-EMP'd Valkyrie would strain even under the best of conditions to accommodate, stating that unit cohesion gets ruined when subordinates go against what the leader decides like that - not that Recker apparently decides that applies to Tombstone in any way, as he continues refusing to actually speak even after he's divested of command because of the above incident (only getting it back because modern military shooter conventions meant the new leader had to die for no reason).
  • Four Is Death: Every time you have a full four-person squad, something very, very bad happens to one of them. In order: squadron leader Dunn loses a leg and then is KIA; CIA agent Kovic gets hit by an incoming attack helicopter on the Valkyrie's flight deck and bleeds out; Pac is left for dead after the squad is caught in the middle of a friendly airstrike in Singapore; then Dima is killed after the cable car the group escapes the prison in is shot off of its cables.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: One of the enemy variants is a Chinese spec ops soldier wearing a gas mask. They charge into close range using submachine guns or shotguns, and throw flashbangs instead of frag grenades.
  • Glass Cannon: The relatively rare cap-wearing Grenadier soldiers can be mowed down just as easier as regular troops, but carry grenade launchers which can kill you quite quickly.
  • Gun Porn: Including all DLCs, Battlefield 4 has over 100 guns from all over the world.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Dima inserts some Russian slang in his speech during the prison break.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: A downplayed example; LMG troopers wear heavy metal helmets that can deflect headshots, even from marksman rifles. Despite also wearing somewhat more pronounced body armor, though, if you aim for the torso or limbs they go down with about the same amount of lead as everybody else.
  • Heroic Mime: Recker follows in the mould of Miller and Hawkins rather than Blackburn, and save for a quick curse under his breath at the very start of the game (complaining when he checks the ammo on his starting SCAR and sees the magazine is empty), never utters a word. Interestingly, the game seems to actually poke fun at this, where he's put in command of the squad at the end of the first mission despite his refusal to speak, only to promptly lose command of the squad after the second mission because he did nothing to stop one of his subordinates from overstepping his bounds and taking in several hundred refugees their ship wouldn't be equipped to handle even under ideal conditions.
  • Hope Spot: Just when you think the injured SSgt. Dunn is going to make it home safely, you're forced to leave him behind in a sinking car.
  • Hostile Weather: Shortly after being hit by an EMP, the USS Valkyrie tries to limp home but has to take out an enemy airfield. With no electronic systems, the only way to get close enough to do so is to take advantage of a typhoon to approach on the ground. The characters frequently comment on the insanity (and necessity) of the action, and one nail-biting scene has Recker (you) get trapped and almost crushed by a car that's getting pushed around by the hurricane force winds. By the time you get to the airfield, of course, the weather has cleared and the planes are taking off to strike against the Valkyrie.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Not to the extent of a Doom-style shooter, but still the largest so far in a Battlefield series singleplayer campaign. You can manage to carry 2 different rocket launchers, 2 different long-arms, your grenades, and your knife all at the same time.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: The characters are modeled after their voice actors. Most apparent with Hannah (VA: Jessika Van) and Irish (VA: Michael K. Williams).
  • Ironic Echo: "For the wolf to survive, it's gotta chew off its own leg."
  • Jerkass: Kovic, the cliche obstructive CIA agent, hasn't changed one bit since the previous game.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Irish is foul-mouthed, blunt, and is often rude and distrustful towards Hanna. However, he acts the way he does towards Hanna because she's: A) replacing Dunn, whom Irish and Recker had known for years; B) joining Tombstone under rather suspicious circumstances, which no one seems inclined to inform Tombstone themselves about; and C) from a country that is, at this point, basically at war with the US. Once he realizes Hanna's motivations and that he was wrong about her, he does show a genuine desire to make up for his behaviour.
  • Left the Background Music On: One of the soldiers tries to turn off the radio (playing Total Eclipse of the Heart) as your car is sinking at the beginning of the game, saying he doesn't want to die to the tune of this song.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than Battlefield 3's serious campaign.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: You have to cut off the leg of a fellow Marine in order to escape near the end of the first mission. He ends up dying 10 minutes later anyway.
    • Ends up with a callback in one of the campaign achievements later: after blowing up the dam and finally escaping from behind enemy lines to go save Jin Jie, you get the "A Trapped Wolf Will" badge, signifying that Tombstone will do whatever it takes to carry out their mission, no matter how crazy or costly to themselves.
  • Made of Iron: This is the only explanation as to how the Tombstone team was able to survive:
    • A 100-foot fall onto solid concrete.
    • Falling off a bridge into water twice, and swept by rough currents for an undetermined amount of time the second time it happens.
    • A cable car being shot up by an attack helicopter and crashing down a snowy mountain, which conveniently only Dima dies from.
    • Being on an exploding dam, falling hundreds of feet into a raging river while giant chunks of concrete are landing all around them, and waking up without a scratch.
  • Meaningful Name: Your squad of Marines is called Tombstone. Irish's real name is also revealed to be Kimble Graves. This may or may not become significant, depending on whether or not you decide to sacrifice Irish at the end to destroy Chang's flagship.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Your decision to to send Irish instead of Hannah to plant the C4 becomes harder after you learned earlier in the campaign that Irish has a wife and three kids back home waiting for him.
  • Multiple Endings: There are three endings available. The name of the achievement to see all endings is Patience is a virtue.note 
  • Non-Indicative Name: Irish doesn't drink, didn't go to Notre Dame and is pretty clearly not of Irish descent. He seems to be about to divulge the reason for his nickname, but gets fultoned out before he can say it. However based on him stating he hasn't had a drink in three years, his embarassment over the name's origins, and him saying "I have a-" before getting cut off he is probably meant to be a recovering alchoholic.
  • Noodle Incident: Pac would rather not elaborate on how he barely survived the bridge crash in Singapore after everyone thought he was dead. All he'll say for certain is that it apparently involved crawling through actual shit with untreated wounds.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Irish's mindset.
    Irish: We are not leaving you behind! No one gets left behind!
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: There seems to have been a conscious effort to try to avert this, at least to some degree. Although the missions themselves are still very much linear, there are quite a few areas that feature wide-open battlefields which present multiple paths and opportunities to flank, snipe, or do whatever you want instead of being railroaded down a specific path.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Irish is the only member of Tombstone Squad who goes by a call-sign instead of just his name. Hannah wrongly guesses the name comes from him being incredibly lucky, a scotch drinker, or an alumni of Notre Dame. He gets interrupted before he can flat-out say it, but it's strongly hinted that the name comes from him having a fear of heights.
  • Offstage Villainy: You never interact with Admiral Chang, the Big Bad, at any point in the game. He can be seen giving a speech on a giant videoscreen in Shanghai, and is also in the background watching your interrogation when Tombstone gets captured, but he otherwise plays no direct role in the game. Even the cruiser at the end of the game is just one of his ships: he's not necessarily on it.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Somehow, the game manages to do this with an actual reoccurring character in Agent Kovic, who comes back from Sergeant Blackburn's interrogation in Battlefield 3. Problem is he's not recognizable by name because the previous game never thought his name was important enough for the player to ever learn it, he's not recognizable by personality because his personality was/is that of a cookie-cutter Obstructive Bureaucrat who stubbornly refuses to entertain such silly notions as the Cold War having been over for two decades or that a CIA agent known to have committed multiple atrocities, some on-camera, could possibly be rogue, and he's not even recognizable by voice because, despite going to the effort of bringing back the same voice actor from 3, he forgot what voice he used the first time around and ends up sounding more like Sgt. Cole, a completely different character. The best he's got is that they didn't change his appearance on top of it, like with Dima.
  • Save This Person, Save the World: Tombstone's ultimate task is to save the rightful president of China, the peacemaker Jin Jie, to prevent a global war between the U.S. and China.
    • If the multiplayer is anything to go by, it doesn't actually work, at least not immediately, but it's identified as the first step.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Irish bringing 400 Chinese refugees (mostly women and children) on to the USS Valkyrie. He gets chewed out for this later because it wasn't his call to make and the USS Valkyrie does not have the staff or supplies to handle that many refugees.
    • In addition, Recker gets chewed out (off-screen) for not controlling his subordinate, causing him to lose command of Tombstone.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Originally pointed out in the Fishing in Baku trailer, it turns out the entire first mission is this.
    So Staff Sergeant Dunn was killed for something we already knew?
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Averted. On the Titan, Tombstone comes across a pair of sailors trapped underneath a grate in rising water. When told to leave them behind, Irish attacks Kovic in anger and futilely attempts to shoot the grate open, which doesn't work, and then is forced to leave them behind without any further comment.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is the first thing you hear upon starting the game... while you & and your squad are trapped in a sinking car. It's also lampshaded, as the first line of dialogue you hear in the game is Pac complaining that he doesn't want to die to that song.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Dima returns and helps you escape from the Chinese prison, only to apparently die in a cable car crash.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The iconic Battlefield theme kicks in during the skyhook extraction in the second-to-last level, and the final attack on Admiral Chang's Destroyer at the end of the game.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Dunn's revolver, which he gives to Recker in the first mission to use to shoot open the car's window becomes Recker's default secondary weapon for the rest of the game. For some reason, it's the only sidearm available in single player.
  • The Unfought: Unlike The Legionnaire, Colonel Kirilenko, or Solomon from the previous games, you never actually get to confront Admiral Chang face to face, except in a situation where you are at his mercy and unable to do anything until long after he leaves. At the end you do blow up a destroyer that he was supposedly on, though.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Pac, for all intents and purposes, appears to die at the end of the mission in Singapore and is left behind while the rest of the squad gets captured. You spend most of the rest of the campaign getting back to your ship... and once you get there, Pac is just there. He even refuses to particularly elaborate on how that's possible, leaving it at "I was fucked, and I got un-fucked" and only mentioning something about crawling through a sewer with a hole in his stomach.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • In the Kunlun Mountains mission, once you make it outside, there are two helicopters that can crash into the mountainside and explode. This is probably a glitch, since none of the guards notice, and none of the characters comment on it.
    • Another bug can cause Irish in the intro to the Shanghai mission to brake hard to avoid hitting two pedestrians, but completely ignore a third one - who won't mind too much since he can phase through the van. Sometimes as well, the elevator ride in which you accidentally open onto the wrong floor and alert the Chinese to your presence can have the game completely fail to render the actual room, leading you to get shot at by Chinese spec ops who have no problem with floating several hundred feet in the air.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Hannah's relationship to Irish, especially once Hannah pretends to be The Mole, both when Irish and Recker are first captured and then they're recaptured during the prison breakout with Dima. They get over it once they all escape from the prison and Hannah elaborates some more on who she really is, and once they're in the elevator with Recker during the raid against the dam Irish makes a show of accepting both her continued secrecy and her admission of continued allegiance to the PRC — just not Chang.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The fate of Sgt. Blackburn, the protagonist from the previous game, is never brought up or commented upon.
  • Where's the Kaboom?: Predictably, the explosives planted on Chang's destroyer fail at the worst possible time, playing this trope dead straight.
    • Suggested earlier during the raid on the Tashgar dam, although it's actually just delayed... although that may or may not have been responsible for the detonation-inflicted destruction spiraling out of control to the point that Recker, Irish, and Hannah are knocked off of a catwalk into water that they inexplicably survive the impact against.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The escape from the Chinese prison closely follows the Russian prison escape sequence from Call of Duty: Black Ops. The Russian protagonist of the previous game is also a prisoner there; he helps you escape the prison only to apparently die an anticlimactic death off-screen once you've made your escape. One almost expects him to show up as an imaginary friend later in the game.
    • Also some levels have you fight on a carrier - particularly, the last level has you defending the one you've been operating from as enemy forces invade, not unlike the antepenultimate level on the USS Obama from Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
  • You Are in Command Now: Happens twice to your character.
    • Subverted as despite being nominally in command of the squad, Recker never gives orders beyond marking enemies for the team to shoot, and instead is ordered around by everyone, including those who are supposed to be your subordinates; apparently the sole justification for him being the squad leader is to justify the tactical binoculars and ability to mark targets for your teammates, something which you get to do before Recker is actually given command. Somewhat justified as, by the time Recker takes command, he's either working directly for a superior officer by radio, already has a specific mission objective, or is working with the few allies/friends he has left just trying to survive, by winging it. Squad members almost always follow his/your lead, though, and won't take the initiative unless ordered to, or until you do.

     Multiplayer Tropes 
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Whoever that narrates the Naval Strike DLC trailer.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: One of the things you can get from battlepacks is more custom uniforms and weapon camos.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you take out more than 75% of an enemy's health, but someone else deals the finishing hit within a short period of time, your assist will be counted as a kill. This helps your KDR and in unlocking weapons and attachments, which require kills.
  • Ascended Glitch: The M2 SLAM anti-tank mine is made to mount to walls and other objects to lay traps for enemy vehicles, which accidentally made it attachable to enemy vehicles, exploding when said vehicle gets up to speed. Many players like this tactic for sneak-attacking enemy vehicles, so the developers acknowledged they'd leave it in rather than patch it out.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign:
    • The Russian multiplayer lines are pretty good...until they become completely cringe-worthy of Russians saying "LAV" and "Djet", making them Poirot Speak instead of using the proper Russian words. They also have some very ridiculous foreign accents that some had described as being "Central Asian".note 
    • While the multiplayer Chinese voice is generally pretty good, there are still some cringy parts, mostly some eccentricities like using weird terms for "Sniper" and "Medical Bag", more poirot speak with "C-Four" and "Tank" being spoken in English, and the occasional broken grammar.
  • Attack Drone: Several, both deployable by infantry and found as the new Battle Pickups.
  • Bilingual Bonus: You will hear a lot of ambient voice clips from soldiers in Russian and Chinese (and English too!). Including, rather amusingly, Foreign Cuss Words when soldiers are hit or even Bond One-Liners after killing an enemy.
    • The Chinese voice is very accurately donenote . If you known Mandarin, you'd learn that their arsenal of quotes is about 50% Cluster F-Bomb (delivered with ham), which were blasted out when they're hit, suppressed, or shit-talking. The swears are notably very heavily slang-based and regional, so it's incredible that these were researched correctly.
  • Border Patrol: As with the previous installments, you are given 10 seconds to return to the battlefield or your character/vehicle will die/explode. Planes and choppers however are given a larger boundary than infantry so as to give them sufficient airspace to fly. Each respective faction's Mission Control still have colourful reactions to you exiting the map boundaries.
    US Announcer: It's not that way, man, come on!
    CN Announcer: Hey! Where are you going? Get back into the AO!
    RU Announcer: Hey, where the fuck are you going?
  • Call-Forward: The Final Stand DLC features a Hover Tank and prototype version of weapons found in Battlefield 2142. Seemingly showing how the RGF and possibly the PLA form the Pan Asian Coalition.
  • Death from Above:
    • Battlefield's staples like helicopters and jets are still around.
    • Support class's M224 Mortar. Now even better than the BF3 version: you can fire it remotely from anywhere on the map, allowing Support class to fight in the frontline instead of hanging back operating the mortar.
    • Commander mode brings you gunships and cruise missile strikes that can easily wipe out squads cluttered at control points if not warned.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: If you ever manage to destroy a tank with an AA with the primary alone.
    • Final Stand's XD-1 Accipiter is surprisingly this to infantry and light-vehicles, despite its Gatling Good status.
  • Deflector Shields: MP-APS active protection system, a deployable item for Support class. It can destroy incoming missiles, rockets and shells in a frontal arc before they hit their target. Though it has no use against hand grenades and can be overwhelmed. Also, a vehicle-mounted variant is available as a vehicle specialization for all armored vehicles.
  • Earn Your Fun:
    • On the infantry side, there are no items that unlock through rank alone. The first of each class of all-kit weapons require reaching five-figure kit scores on Engineer (carbines), Support (shotguns) and Recon (designated marksman rifles), forcing the player to use the default kit-specific weapons for quite a while. Those who think they can "cheese" their way through the kits by dispensing health and ammo to teammates on the "grinder" maps of Locker and Metro will be in for a rude shock when they realise that Assault and Support do not start with ammo and health boxes, but ammo and health packs that heal/resupply one player at a time. Finally, the weapons are no longer unlocked through kit score, but through weapon score, meaning that healing, repairing, resupplying etc. will not get you closer to that shiny new gun - you have to start getting used to, and getting kills and assists with, the starting guns! The upshot is that those starting guns also start with several attachments that you'd otherwise have to work to unlock for later guns.
    • Some guns have terrible iron sights (e.g. FAMAS), and they're all you start with. Short of lucking out and getting a good sight from a battlepack long before you get the gun in question, you'll need to painfully make your way to 10 kills with them to unlock a serviceable scope to mount on them.
    • Vehicular combat, especially in land vehicles, offers little respite for the new player. In their fresh, barely upgraded tank/IFV, they will be up against fully-upgraded enemy tanks/IFVs that can outright nullify their shots with Active Protection, easily spot them at virtually any range with Thermal Optics and not end up being disabled and a sitting duck after a single, solid frontal hit with their Reactive Armor.
    • The most amount of "earning" required is, of course, in air vehicle combat. First, you need to figure out how to fly your plane/helicopter. Next, you need to figure out combat maneuvers (e.g. for a helicopter, how to go on a strafing run and how to duck behind cover to break lock-ons). Then, you need to put all of that together when you're up against 32 enemy players, some of whom may be air vehicle experts or packing anti-air weaponry. Oh, and did we mention, to unlock the rather popular UCAV (a remote-control flying explosive warhead), you not only have to learn to fly a jet, you need to get 4 jet kills in a round three times... and win a round of Air Superiority, an all-jet mode?
  • Enemy Chatter: Now it reaches Modern Warfare levels.
    • And actually serves a purpose. If you kill a player and hear additional enemy chatter ("Someone just shot one of our guys!"), then you know that there are additional hostiles around.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Chinese Engineers.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Compared to Battlefield 3, which only had this for the starting guns for each class, this game hews closer to Bad Company 2's example, where each class has one gun they start with regardless of side - Assault gets the Russian AK-12, Recon the Chinese CS/LR4, Support the Singaporean Ultimax 100 and Engineer the Italian Mx4 - and leaving other guns to be used regardless of side as well. Attachments still follow a model similar to BF3, where a weapon unlocks attachments from one "side" through making kills (e.g. a Chinese assault rifle unlocks the "Coyote" red dot sight at the same number of kills an American one gets the RX01 or a Russian one the Kobra; where this gets a little odd is that Singaporean and even Israeli guns are counted as "Chinese" - but not all of them, either, so say the Galil ACE variants get Chinese attachments while the X95 gets American ones) and can only get attachments from the other two through the luck of the draw with Battlepacks (including the ability to get a mismatched version of an attachment long before you grind out the matching one).
  • Interface Screw: The flashlight from BF3 is back, and it can blind night vision devices as well as normal vision. Laser sights have a milder blinding effect, flashbangs and road flares will mess with your vision and your characters eyes need to adjust after looking into bright lights or fire (such as that made by white phosphorus grenades).
  • Joke Item: Hand Flare, the final hand grenade unlock. But...
  • Lethal Joke Item:
    • The Hand Flare lights up people around it like Christmas trees and blinds anyone looking directly at it. It also resembles laser pointers while in a smoke-filled room, acting as a perfect decoy. Bonus points that it causes massive Interface Screw to anyone using IR scopes.
    • The U-100 MK5, the starting LMG for the support class. It only has a 30 bullet magazine and a pitiful firing rate for an LMG at 590 RPM - the second lowest of them all, making it unsuited for the suppressive fire role. Then one realises that it has the lowest recoil and spread values of all the LMGs, packs the highest bullet velocity (faster than even sniper rifles!) and is the only one to have a burst-fire mode, as well as all players starting with a red dot sight and a magnifier for it, resulting in it being very good at picking off targets at ranges that even assault rifles may have trouble handling.
    • The MBT LAW, the starting Engineer rocket launcher. It only does 21% damage per hit to tanks and IFVs, even if you fire it at the rear of a tank which for any other launcher deals greater damage. However, the rocket has little drop over range, automatically hits any enemy land or sea vehicle as long as it flies close enough to the target (making it surprisingly dangerous against light vehicles), and most critically, gives so little lock-on warning to the target that they will not be able to activate the vehicle's Active Protection in time.
  • Laser Sight: At least more realistic than most that it help your accuracy while hip-firing - turn it on and you can see your crosshairs shrink. Also available in versions with a green beam, three beams at once, and toggleable between the laser and a flashlight. Like Battlefield 3, it can be seen by other players, though it no longer blinds other players that much when pointed in their face.
  • Medal of Dishonor: If you're not a team player, you may feel bad getting the Kill Assist Ribbon—it means you just can't quite finish the job.
    • Likewise, the Comeback bonus reminds you that you just killed an enemy... after a prolonged period of getting your ass kickednote . To add insult to injury, the bonus is minisculenote .
      • On the other hand, you still get the XP for your weapon and class for those assists, unlike Battlefield 3 weapon unlocks which requires kills. There's even a bonus for dealing most of the damage against an enemy that someone else then finishes off, where the game will helpfully inform you that your assist counts as a kill.
    • The suppression ribbon is awarded after you get 7 suppression kill assists. In other words, you can't actually hit your target, but you make it easier for other people thanks to your inaccuracy. Good job!
  • Mêlée à Trois: Though multiplayer is still purely a two-team affair, notably, it has a setup with three factions (the United States, Russian Federation and People's Republic of China) where any side can end up fighting any of the other two, rather than America getting double-teamed by the other two factions, such as the pre-expansion version of Battlefield 2.
  • Missile Cam: The TV Missile available to Jets, Helicopters, and Attack Boats.
    • It returns from Battlefield 3, again as a vehicle specialization available for unlocking. It has limited range (around 1000m or 7 seconds flight time) before it explodes uselessly in mid air, even producing brief static on your screen, but with enough familiarity, skilled players can hit other moving aircraft for massive damage, and may even bypass the the 'Active Protection' countermeasures on enemy armor.
    • Infantry launched equipment like the SUAV and the UCAV also feature such a camera view.
  • More Dakka: Besides mounted miniguns, a lot of weapons have a fast fire rate in exchange for other attributes. For example, the CZ-3A1 PDW and the FAMAS Assault Rifle are the fastest firing weapons of their respective classes, at 1000RPM each. This puts them right on top for CQB situations while making them nearly useless at longer ranges.
  • Nostalgia Level: The whole Second Assault expansion, adding 3 maps from Battlefield 3 plus another new version of the perennial Gulf of Oman. The later free Legacy Operations update also included a new version of Dragon Valley from Battlefield 2.
  • Overheating: Rotary anti-air cannons as well as most vehicle machine guns will overheat rather than use limited ammunition.
  • Player-Guided Missile: The SRAW, as in Battlefield 2. The missile follows the player's point of aim, but not instantly. With enough skill, players can hit moving helicopters, quad bikes, etc., at long range.
    • The initial Engineer missile is the weakest missile available and has no active lock-on system, but will, if the targeting reticule is kept on the target, always hit, thanks to passive systems that direct the missile to a target.
    • The UCAV and TV-Guided Missiles are also player guided. In addition, SUAVs can be used to get Road Kill points, making them a non-explosive variant of this.
  • Quick Melee: As with Battlefield 3, though now you can also initiate a takedown from the front, which will give your intended victim a chance to counter-knife you.
  • Random Drop: New to Battlefield 4, Battlepacks that you earn every two levels give you a couple of items, rarely including paint jobs for guns and vehicles, plus soldier camos from gold versions. Annoyingly, some of the accessories may not be for weapons you have unlocked yet, unless you get a weapon battlepack (earned from having lots of kills with a specific weapon), which always contains attachments only that weapon can use.
  • Serial Escalation: China Rising's "Middle King" assignment requires 10 hours of gameplay on China Rising maps, a kill with a newly introduced toy, the SUAV, and a kill streak of five in a round, which is a manageable number that you can get with some time and luck. Second Assault's "Perfect Landing" assignment requires, again, 10 hours of gameplay on the appropriate maps, a landing on the highest landmarks on either of two maps, and a kill streak of ten in a round. Getting a kill streak that high requires either an insane amount of luck, a whole lot of skill, or a private server.
  • Shout-Out: Two in the multiplayer assignments:
    • The emblem for the "Hitman" assignment features two M1911 pistols.
    • An assignment involving Russian weapons is named From Russia With Lead.
    • A dead goat in a cage in the out-of-bounds area of Rogue Transmission, as in Jurassic Park. Evidence has shown that Rogue Transmission may have a hidden dinosaur easter egg somewhere in it, furthering the shout out.
    • The C100 knife, added in November 2014, is one to the Battlefield Friends series - specifically, it's the Colonel's knife, complete with bipod.
    • A poster on the remastered Operation Metro shows a map of Strangereal.
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: The attack jet JDAM weapons. Guided bombs in real life are hundreds to thousands of pounds and capable of leveling concrete bunkers in a single hit, let alone tanks. In game it has an explosive radius barely larger than a hand grenade, and wasn't even that visually impressive until a 2015 update.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • All classes now have explosive-based weaponry since the beginning. Assault retains their weapon-mountable grenade launcher, while Engineer gets the RPGs and other recoilless cannons. Support now starts with an airburst grenade launcher and can later acquire C4, the latter of which Recon starts with, while also being able to acquire Claymore mines.
    • Engineer also gets various anti-tank mines, including the more powerful M15 mine and the smaller but more versatile M2 SLAM.
  • The Medic/Combat Medic: Assault class players can pick a First Aid Pack, Defibrillator or Medic Bag and become this for his team. Having them nearby is critical for pushing the front in many game modes. Said Assault class also gets a set of field upgrades aptly titled "Combat Medic".
  • Throw-Away Guns: Besides the various single-use rocket launchers featured in the game, various maps have special weapons on the ground that can be picked up. Your soldier throws these away after use (or after switching back to one of their normal weapons).
  • Waterlogged Warzone: The multiplayer map "Flood Zone" features a Chinese slum that starts slightly flooded due to the constant rain, but triggering the Levolution event by destroying the concrete levee will divert floodwaters to rapidly fill the playable map area with a rising tide, denying conventional ground vehicles and giving way for naval vessels such as boats, jetskis and amphibious IFVs to spawn instead to navigate the now-flooded city, as well as forcing infantry combat to the rooftops of the buildings.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: New to the series is the ability to create your own custom emblems through Battlelog, which is proudly emblazoned on your character's outfit, somewhere on every gun you use and vehicle you pilot, and in the killcam view for anyone you kill. Until you do make one, however, the game defaults to the flag of whichever faction you're currently playing as - to say nothing of the possibility of creating a different flag. The game also includes dogtags with the flags of various nations on them.