There is an edit at the bottom of this post regarding “Frostbite 3″.
Personally, I am very skeptical of Battlefield 4, as it seems to be absolutely pointless. The engine is still Frostbite 2, that lens flare, god beam, blue hued mess we’ve had to put up with for BF3, so why not just add whatever you’re adding in BF4 as DLC? I’d be absolutely fine with that, even with the whole Premium concept I’ve already bought and paid for on BF3. What are they adding, really? A heavily scripted campaign, full of quicktime events, “characters” dying and a silent protagonist. They’re going to be adding vehicles, guns and maps, maybe some new animations or kits. I really don’t see a point in this, I’d be much happier if DICE/EA refocused all their assets away from any SP at all and focused entirely on creating an amazing multiplayer. What Battlefield fan honestly goes to buy a new BF game based on the SP? That’s right, nobody. Anyway, onto the main course here today.
Please do not be easily impressed by what they’ve shown in this trailer. If you look closely, you’ll see heavily reused animations, sound assets, models and effects from BF3, because it’s the same game. It’s all very scripted and I’m highly skeptical that half the features shown in this trailer will make it into multiplayer. The first talking point of this review, if you want to call it that, is that the Frostbite 2 engine looks mostly unchanged in every way. Huge lens flares and god beams are still present at every point where light is near the player’s eyes, which is ridiculous and never happens. You’re a set of eyes, not a camera on legs. The only improvement I can see, and I may be incorrect in this, is that the blue-hue that plagued BF3 seems strangely absent. Maybe this is to do with modders removing it in BF3, then getting banned for “Messing with DICE’s artistic vision” – Which other studio under EA has used that line before…? Oh well, never mind!
They seem to have implemented a rudimentary command system in BF4, where the protagonist aims at an area and presses a key or button, signalling the AI to attack that area. Really nothing special, and seems to be a re purposed spot/commander feature from BF3. Unless this is iterated upon and grows exponentially, this feature is next to useless. Another feature I doubt will make it into MP is the alternate scope they showed during one section of the walk-through Seems like a campaign specific “Oh look it’s so coooool” thing. We’ll see, but I doubt it’ll be there, probably for “Balancing”. Oh, and there’s still no lean. Why is the lean gone!?
A feature hidden within the game-play we glimpsed was some kind of competitive, social system in the top right. The player receives an invitation to a challenge “Dog Tag Hunter” which implies a competitive feature that will likely be hosted on Battlelog, if they continue to use it for BF4. We also see a score being beaten by a friend of the player, which pops up in the early parts of this trailer. This is all just speculation, as no detail in the system has been shown, but it does appear to have trophy and friends online symbols. Maybe achievements, like in Blizzard titles? I’m interested to see what they do with this.
I’d love to be able to write more on this, but to be honest there isn’t a lot that’s changed from Battlefield 3 currently being shown, and the things that have I’ve already talked about. Shame really. I wish I could get excited for this game, but from what they’ve shown me it’s exactly the same as the previous game, but with a few shiny bits added here and there to make you think it isn’t. Just like Call of Duty. Funny how that works, isn’t it? However, if they were trying to sell me this as a huge DLC pack, minus the campaign, for £25? I’d be all over it. As it stands, I’m not ready to throw my hat in the preorder ring already for £44.99 – £54.99, yet. We’ll see how that stands with the more we see of the game.
Edit: Apparently Battlefield 4 uses “Frostbite 3″ – Which has a few tiny improvements over BF3′s Frostbite 2. Improved facial animation and destruction are the ones I’m willing to believe, the so called improved lighting looks exactly the same as FB2.
View the trailer here:
Pre-purchase Battlefield 4 here: Preorder Battlefield 4