I’m sure by now you’ve all watched that really rather impressive 17-minute long Battlefield 4 trailer; punctuated as it is by fancy new graphical features, realistic and life-like motion capture, physics and overabundance of particle effects. It’s really quite graphically mind-blowing – but as far as military shooters go, I could take or leave it. The thing that piqued my interest was the new, next-generation Frostbite 3.0 engine, and made me recall earlier comment from EA about Frostbite 2.0 being developed for next gen.
“Yeah, I’ll be honest with you — Frostbite 2 was built for the next generation,” Patrick Soderlund, former EA games label boss said last year. “ That’s how we started it. We had that in mind and we said, ‘We’re going to have to build something that can scale.’”
“It doesn’t mean that what you see in Battlefield 3 is the end state. That’s the beginning; that’s where we start and then we go forward,” he said . “But we have a tech base that makes me feel really confident in how we’re positioned for what’s going to come in the future.”
Apparently though, it’s not next-gen enough to run Battlefield 4, which requires a whole new engine. EA’s been using the Frostbite 2.0 engine for nearly everything now; from Need for Speed to Army of Two and just about everything in between – and if they do the same with Frostbite 3.0, we could be in for a very interesting next-gen indeed. Mirror’s Edge 2 on Frostbite 3.0? Yes please!
Battlefield 4 is coming to PC (yes, it’s already up for pre-order) and other unspecified platforms later this year. I’d think it’s safe to assume it’ll be coming to the PS4 and Microsoft’s next console – but what of the Xbox 360 and PS3? There’s way those consoles can run the game (or possibly, even the engine) having it look remotely like what we’ve seen in the trailer – but at the same time not releasing it on on those platforms, with its millions of installed users seems a bit like commercial suicide.[Update]
There are official EA images floating about showing boxart for Xbox 360 and Ps3 versions of Battlefield 4 – so it could well be coming to those platforms; though what they’ll look like is anybody’s guess.
(Thanks to Uberutang for the tip!)
Here’s the press release we received from EA:
Battlefield 4 to Deliver Human, Dramatic and Believable Action, Powered by Best-in-Class Frostbite 3 Technology
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Only in Battlefield™ can players go through a building instead of around it or eject from a jet and take out the enemy mid-free fall. Those incredible gameplay moments that blur the line between game and glory can only be created by players, and occur only in Battlefield. DICE, a studio of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), today announced Battlefield 4™, a genre-defining action blockbuster launching in Fall 2013. Powered by the advanced technology of DICE’s proprietary Frostbite™ 3 engine, Battlefield 4 offers players a glimpse into the future of interactive entertainment — a future that is more human, dramatic and believable than anything before it. With more than 65 million players worldwide, the Battlefield series has consistently been praised by critics for its world-class multiplayer gameplay, and is recognized as the only game that allows players to own land, sea and air.
Battlefield 4 is a seminal moment for the Battlefield series as more award-winning, multiplayer game design elements are incorporated into the single-player campaign. In single-player, gamers will experience huge environments, a playground of destruction, access to an arsenal of vehicles and the ability to direct squad mates. Taking a page from the social aspect of multiplayer gaming, the single-player mode will now track players’ progress, adding an element of persistence and friendly competition to the campaign.
The game made its world debut today with a staggering 17-minute gameplay demo, available for view at Battlefield.com. The demo begins as the player — Recker — opens his eyes to discover that he is trapped in a rapidly sinking car with three of his squad mates. Shooting the window is the only way out. Panic and fear are pushed aside as Recker makes a difficult decision — take the shot and recover the intel but risk that not everyone will survive. The emotional demo features a cast of characters unrivaled in interactive entertainment. Players will learn how to work together in both the Campaign and Multiplayer, issuing squad orders and comparing achievements in both experiences. Adventure and Competition will unfold through a series of beautifully crafted locations constructed with some of the best art and sound design in modern shooters. All of this is only possible with Frostbite 3 — a new standard for interactive entertainment in 2013.
“We are so humbled and proud to debut Battlefield 4 on a global stage with simultaneous events in San Francisco and Stockholm. To be this early in development, and to already be so polished is a huge achievement for the DICE team and reflection of their passion and commitment to driving the franchise forward. Today’s demo was just the beginning — we have so much more in store,” said Patrick Soderlund, Executive Vice President, EA Games Label. “It is thrilling to witness peoples’ reaction when seeing the game for the first time. It really makes you realize that we are at the beginning of a whole new era for gaming. As artists and craftspeople, we are focused on creating a dynamic, open design that brings people together with amazing, surprising unscripted moments that they’ll talk about for days. That’s the beauty of Battlefield.”
By pre-ordering Battlefield 4 at any participating retail outlet, gamers will receive a Premium expansion pack at no additional cost*. DICE also announced today Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe, an Origin™ exclusive special edition that includes the base game and bonus in-game digital items. Players that pre-order Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe* on Origin will also receive the Premium expansion pack as well as access to the exclusive Battlefield 4 multiplayer beta.
To view the first Battlefield 4 single player gameplay footage, please visit www.battlefield.com. To join the conversation on Battlefield 4, please visit http://www.facebook.com/battlefield, follow us on Twitter® atwww.twitter.com/battlefield and #BF4, or sign up for the official Battlefield newsletter at www.battlefield.com. Press assets for Battlefield 4 are available at http://info.ea.com.