Lock and load your weapons and cue up some static-filled fanfare; Battlefield 4 has finally broken cover and all the evidence points to it being one of 2013's biggest games. DICE unveiled EA's flagship military shooter to the world press in Stockholm and San Francisco last night, and while the emphasis was on showing off parts of the single-player campaign, the developer did reveal a couple of tidbits that fans may want to know about.
1. The single-player campaign will have more open-ended progression
Many players complained that the campaign in Battlefield 3 was too linear and this jarred with the free-running open-ended nature of the game's incredibly popular multiplayer. Game Director Stefan Strandberg says that the single-player campaign will address this in Battlefield 4. "This is a game where the gameplay is centred around choice rather the predetermined solutions," he said, "Battlefield is about being able to improvise and form your own solutions to any challenge that lies ahead of you."
Strandberg pointed to a moment in the demo in which the player hijacked a jeep after having his AI allies lay down suppressing fire and flanking it. "We're taking the best moments from multiplayer and incorporating them into single player," he said.
2. The single-player campaign will have a more human focus
Another tweak to the campaign is that it will DICE says it will work harder to make players care about the characters in the single-player, which is refreshing, since we can barely remember the names of the protagonists in Battlefield 3. Gustavsson said, "we work really hard with our tech and we are extremely tech savvy, but in the end, tech can't take control of your product. You still need to have the motivation around it for the player. [the tech has to] make the animations flowing and make the characters come alive."
3. Battlefield 4 will be running on the Frostbite 3 engine
The latest evolution in DICE's in-house Frostbite 3 engine will be powering Battlefield 4 and we can confirm it looks utterly stunning. The most adopted technology platform in EA studios, Frostbite 3 adds a level of realism to DICE's game that pays careful attention to detail; everything from dynamic lighting effects, to micro and macro destruction animations to even particle rendering looks note-perfect. It all combines to make Battlefield 4 look as close to real life as possible.
4. Battlefield 4 will feature Hollywood talent
This was revealed early on the 17-minute first-look demo played to a packed theatre in Stockholm. In the opening moments of the demo, we noted one of the characters looked suspiciously like Omar from The Wire. This was later confirmed by DICE staff: Michael K Williams is a part of Battlefield 4's cast.
5. Battlefield 4's release date is 'Fall 2013'
An article published on Trusted Reviews claims that a Chinese website has leaked Battlefield 4's release date 'Fall 2013'. This was confirmed with the release of the 17 minute demo of the gameplay footage, shown off to tech and gaming media. It would also denote that the game's planned beta would wrap up around that time. Right now, only those players who ordered a copy of Medal Of Honor: Warfighter Limited Edition will gain early access to the beta. DICE says, however, they will reveal how more players will gain access in the coming months.