Posts Tagged ‘Battlefield’

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Electronic Arts-owned developer DICE used GDC 2013 to offer a glimpse into what next generation gaming will mean for gamers this fall. The Swedish developer showed off a live demo of Battlefield 4, which has been announced for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It’s likely this sequel will also be coming to PlayStation 4 and the new Xbox, but EA has yet to confirm other platforms.

Inside a packed AMC Metreon movie theater, hundreds of journalists, some analysts and Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch watched as DICE played through an intense action sequence from the beginning of Battlefield 4’s single player campaign. Watching this nearly 20 minute sequence on a giant movie theater screen was appropriate. In fact, if people happened to wander into the packed theater, they’d likely not have realized they weren’t watching a Hollywood blockbuster film. The line’s being blurred between games and movies in new ways.

Like Quantic Dream’s upcoming Beyond: Two Souls, Naughty Dog’s upcoming The Last of Us and Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II; Battlefield 4 employed full performance capture to put the actors (face, voice and action together) into these virtual roles. Patrick Soderlund, executive vice president of the EA Games Label, told me the studio is taking the technology that James Cameron utilized for Avatar and pushing it even further for this new game. Coupled with the brand new Frostbite 3 game engine, the characters portrayed in the demo came across as real.

“We’re not holding anything back with this game,” said Soderlund. “Next gen is not about polygons and shaders, it’s about the emotional connection players will have with these characters. Battlefield 4 is about gripping experiences that are human and dramatic and believable. In this demo, you feel the stress of the moment, you feel like you’re in imminent danger, you feel for these characters.”

The demo’s frenetic pace actually begins with the player plunging to his death, trapped inside a fast-sinking SUV with his squad mates. Then the game goes back in time and lets the player live through the action sequences that resulted in this harrowing dilemma. Things literally go from bad to worse for the squad as they contend with hundreds of enemy soldiers, armed vehicles and formidable attack choppers. The gameplay varies from huge open battlefield expanses to tighter combat inside a building on the brink of collapse to a driving sequence in an SUV under attack from a chopper.

Sitting in the theater without a controller, I was as entertained as if I’d been watching Olympus Has Fallen. In fact, being forced to watch, rather than play, this game showcased just how close gaming has come to Hollywood. Watching as the player is forced to amputate the leg of a comrade after a building collapse is intense. And you can feel the claustrophobia inside that locked SUV as the windshield slowly cracks from the pressure of the freezing ocean. Soderlund told me that the team has focused on improving the single-player campaign for this sequel. Creating a cinematic experience was one of its goals.

“Our design approach through both single and multiplayer has been about connecting the player to the characters around them,” said Patrick Bach, executive producer on the game at DICE. “It’s not about the geopolitical drama, it’s about the actions of the player and the drama of that personal experience. It’s the dramatic motivations that propel the story. Like in the movies we want a believable story with real characters, real weapons and real vehicles.”

In this demo, the whole mission was to prove something you already knew, which adds another level of emotion to the experience. Lives are lost for nothing, essentially. It looks like Battlefield 4 will be a shooter that’s about far more than just shooting. This first look at the game is very promising. DICE has raised the bar, and it looks like it’s going to be an interesting battle this fall with Activision’s next Call of Duty game.

Lock and load! Electronic Arts and DICE reveal 17 minutes of high-definition gameplay footage — and a few other details.

Battlefield 4

What do you think about Battlefield 4? Sound off in the comments.

This fall, many gamers will return to the battlefield — Battlefield 4, that is. We’ve got all the details, including preorder information and console availability.

During an event yesterday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, game maker DICE delivered a heart-pumping trailer featuring 17 minutes of Battlefield 4’s single-player action. As Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” played in the background, the montage opened with the protagonist, Recker, waking up to find himself and his outfit trapped in a Jeep that was sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

To avoid ruining the outcome, the trailer switched to a different scene where the squad experienced several instances of explosive urban combat. As the unit advanced through a jungle and into a large construction area (including the place seen in the picture above), you really got a feel for BF4’s linear storyline, combat, and user interface. I won’t ruin the trailer, but stick around and at least check out some of the harrowing moments involving hostile helicopters.

Overall, the stunning video really shows off the power of the upcoming Frostbite 3 graphics engine. If you don’t have 17 minutes to spare, check out the minute-long BF4 TV trailer.

In related news, Polygon confirmed which video game consoles get BF4; the list includes PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox 360. In a conversation with BF4’s creative director, Videogamer found out that the Wii U will not get BF4, which undoubtedly will irritate some owners of the console.

To capitalize on the massive reveal, Electronic Arts today opened the doors for BF4 pre-orders($59.99), even though the game doesn’t come out until fall. Gamers get a free premium expansion pack if they pre-order the title from various retail outlets or Origin. A special digital deluxe version offers bonus in-game items and access to the BF4 multiplayer beta.

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