So you’ve got a shiny new-gen console, or you’ve busted the bank on a graphics card that has Borg technology inside of of it. Which game are you going to use to show off that fancy hardware? Most likely Battlefield 4, as the Frostbite 3 engine might be one of the most stunning pieces of tech on the market today. And it’s an engine that’ll be taking full advantage of new hardware in the years to come.
Frostbite 3 may not be on everybody’s Christmas list right now thanks to numerous dodgy bugs in the code of Battlefield 4, but when it works it does look beautiful. And according to DICE, that’s all thanks to the fact that they started work on the engine years ago.
“I think we made the right move a couple of years ago when we actually started, a couple of years before Battlefield 3 was even announced, we said what do we want games to be five years from now?” DICE executive producer Patrick Bach said to OXM just before Battlefield 4 was released.
And we can see now that the level of “next gen”, if you want to call it that, on Frostbite is pretty stable. We’re still, I would argue, one of the best looking next gen games – I don’t want to say the best-looking next gen game, but we have an engine that truly takes advantage of the next gen machines.
Of course, based on the timing of that interview, Bach had also briefly mentioned bugs, which DICE is still busy attempting to clean out of Battlefield 4, to the extent that they’ve already had to delay a promotional weekend so that they can sort their mess out.
“If we’d wanted to play it safe, we wouldn’t have created a new version of Frostbite – we would have stayed on the right side of the fence,” Bach said.
We are trying to push things as far as possible. That doesn’t mean you will have loads and loads of bugs, of course.
I’m certain there’s quite a few Battlefield players out there that can tell DICE just how far those numerous bugs pushed them to the breaking edge. Moving on, Bach also explained that game engine development was something that was always happening, with Frostbite continually evolving as time ticked by.
Talking about an engine as a finite thing in space and time is slightly misleading. Engines are constantly in development and they’re constantly changing. And that’s something you particularly see with Frostbite, there’s a lot of under the hood stuff that goes on, so it’s a constantly evolving animal. There are all these things from all those different game studios being rolled back in. It’s never going to ‘run out’, per se.
Going forward, my money will be on Epic once again dominating the graphical engine side of gaming. The latest developments in Unreal tech look…well, unreal. And seeing as how gaming has yet to move past the ‘roided-up super-soldier phase, that engine will be churning out games for many years to come.
Last Updated: January 7, 2014