Gamescom 2013: Battlefield 4 Details
EA and DICE have released more details today about Battlefield 4 at Gamescom in Cologne Germany, and fans of the Battlefield series have a lot to be excited about. From the EA Press Conference this morning, DICE showed off the power of Levolution as well as some of the capabilities of their new Frostbite 3 engine.
The presentation was given by Karl Magnus Troedsson, Vice President and General Manager at DICE, and was approximately 12 minutes long. At the beginning of the presentation, Troedsson spoke about the reception of Battlefield 4 at E3 and announced the start of the open beta for Battlefield 4 beginning in early October.
The First Big Concept: Levolution
The main selling point of Battlefield 4 the past couple of weeks has been the gameplay element known as Levolution, and the impact it will have on multiplayer matches after the game's release. Levolution is only possible thanks to DICE's new gameplay engine called Frostbite 3 which Troedsson calls, "a technology that will unlock the future of gaming". Frostbite 3 will allow 64-player multiplayer matches with the ability to run the game at 60 frames per second.
Frostbite 3 allows Battlefield 4 to have dynamic environments that react to player input no matter if it is a small action or large. Troedssen talks about players being able to flood the streets of an urban environment and having attack boats drive where footsoldiers had been fighting just minutes before. Thanks to Frostbite 3, players will be able to hear car alarms be triggered by an enemy bumping into the car or blocking vehicles from traveling down streets by raising barricades. One of my personal favorites is being able to trap your enemy in a room that you just tossed a grenade into by blocking the door.
A couple of those examples are small-scale dynamics but many large-scale dynamics can also take place. Don't want to fight the opposing team in a skyscraper that happens to be a critical point? No problem, rig the four pillars that support the building with explosives and watch as the skyscraper comes crashing down. Remember the oceans of Battlefield 3 and how serene they were? Don't expect those to make a return to Battlefield 4 because Frostbite 3 can actively change the weather causing massive waves to appear in seconds.
Go around the building? Why not just bring it down instead?
Frostbite 3 will undoubtedly change the landscape of every multiplayer match that Battlefield 4 has to offer, and it will be interesting to see what the engine does during the beta in October.
Battlefield 4 Premium
DICE is already planning ahead for the future of Battlefield 4 with their announcement of their Premium memberships. Premium is similar to other "season pass" downloadable content plans in that gamers pay a one-time fee to get all five of the Battlefield 4 expansion packs, as well as some other bonuses. All Premium members will get their new content two weeks earlier than other gamers and will receive a priority server cue that should decrease their time spent looking for a match.The priority server cue alone will be enough to at least make me consider buying Premium.
Another added bonus of Premium is that DICE is anticipating new content to be released every week, whether it is a new game mode, new weapons/vehicles or new maps. That is an ambitious goal but is one that Battlefield fans should definitely keep in mind.
The newest game mode type was also announced today and it is called Obliteration. The idea is that each team has a set number of targets to protect while destroying the enemy team's targets at the same time. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong! In a bit of a plot twist, Troedssen explained that only one bomb will spawn at a time and that each team will be fighting to retrieve that bomb. Which makes Obliteration similar to Demolition in Call of Duty or Assault in the Halo franchise.
This in theory should limit the number of people "camping" around their targets because if you cannot obtain the bomb then you are not going to win. The idea is good in theory and will definitely help spice up the multiplayer options that players will be able to choose from.
Paracel Island Multiplayer Trailer
The Paracel Island multiplayer trailer is one of the first glimpses at the capability of the Frostbite 3 engine. The waves shown in the trailer look none to inviting and players will definitely have to spend some time learning how to operate their vehicle in rough seas. Also, the sight of the warship running aground looks great and it will be an awesome sight to see while playing. The trailer also gives insight as to how the game will look in the heat of combat, and also gives an idea of the different guns that will be available for use.
Battlefield 4 is set to release on October 29th for North America and on October 31st in Europe, and will be available on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and the PC on those dates. Battlefield 4 is also set to be released for the next-gen consoles and should be available around the time of their launch.