The patch makes five new weapons available for immediate use without needing to earn them through assignments or special requirements. With the exception of the sniper rifle and DMR categories, they cover most of BF4’s weapon types. Here’s a brief overview of each one:
A BF3 favorite, the AN-94 assault rifle sports its renowned two-shot burst-fire mode with laser-like precision. Its stats (again, thanks to Symthic) reveals manageable side-to-side recoil (the numbers beside the three-directional arrows on the right) and a pretty heavy vertical recoil. Of particular note is the huge RPM jump to 1,200 when switching to burst-fire mode—for balance, DICE implemented a limiter to how fast you can click out a burst, so your actual rate will hover closer to around 900 RPM while tapping away. A heavy barrel and red-dot sight is the classic attachment combo for the AN-94, and it’s a good setup for mixing stability with range. If you can master the burst-mode’s rhythm, it’s staggering how fast you’ll rack up kills. Go for headshots!
What the Groza-1 carbine lacks in versatility is made up in raw damage. It’s one of the highest damaging carbines in the game at 30 health taken per shot, but it’s a jumpy gun—the recoil plot shows a bouncy side and vertical recoil pattern, and it’ll be tough to keep control past the third or fourth shot on full auto. A built-in compensator, vertical grip, and a sizable 31-round magazine mitigates this drawback at the expense of losing the ability to swap barrel attachments, so silencers, flash hiders, or other grips aren’t an option. Slap a short-range sight on it, avoid going rock and roll on the trigger, and you’ll be good to go.
Like its big brother, the Groza-4 PDW has squirrely recoil, but when it hits, it hurts. An integrated silencer keeps you stealthy and off the minimap, so it’s a good choice for ranging around major hotspots to get the drop from behind. Its diminutive max-damage range means you’ll need to get in close for quick and silent kills. Keep aware of its small magazine size as well: 700 RPM will chew through all 21 bullets in a matter of seconds, so you’ll be stuck in a reloading animation more often.
The light machine gun for the run-and-gun type, the L86A1 is magazine-fed which results in quicker reloads than its more burly, belt-fed bullet-hose brethren. Its mobility suits it well as a pseudo-assault-rifle for the Support kit, and it’s useful for aggressive players pushing engagement lines alongside Assaults. Put on a stubby grip to help reduce spread rate for your shots, and don’t be afraid to hit full auto when needed. Just remember, you only have 31 shots!
The Mare’s Leg is definitely the most interesting addition of the bunch. For one, it takes up your secondary slot, replacing your pistol with a lever-action repeating rifle. (Trivia: it’s named after the bounty hunter Josh Randall’s weapon of choice in the 1950s Western drama Wanted: Dead or Alive.) Its role as a secondary means any class can use it, and with a scope it serves as a “pocket” sniper rifle. Beyond its novelty, it falters in comparison to the available heavy pistols, and you’ll get far more stopping power loading up a .44 magnum or Desert Eagle. Still, it’s convenient for reaching out and softening (or finishing off) a target before closing the distance, and it’s a silly kind of fun playing in sniper-war servers devolving into 64-player Leg-offs.