The lights are on
As every player who participated in the console versions of the Battlefield 4 beta quickly realized, DICE made some subtle and not-so-subtle changes to the control scheme. As a result, the Battlelog forums were aflame in debate regarding whether or not the game is improved because of them. To understand DICE's thought process behind making these alterations, we spoke with Battlefield
4 executive producer Patrick Bach.
of the things that hasn't been talked about in the Battleblog posts is the changes to the control scheme on
consoles. Why did you make these amendments?
we looked at controls in Battlefield 4 we placed the team play aspect
of our controls as the highest priority. We wanted players to be
familiar with using spotting and the communication rose in multiplayer as well as the engage and tactical visor in single player. To accomplish this we needed a button that allowed players
quick access while also enabling the player to still perform all the
necessary functions of Battlefield, like shooting, aiming, moving,
and melee. We also know that players require consistency, especially
players who will want to move from a PS3 to a PS4 or a Xbox 360 to a
Xbox One. With this in mind, we moved our teamplay functions to a bumper button, which required us to make additional changes, all to
highlight one of Battlefield's key strengths. It also enabled the
use of the communication rose with a controller.
first one I noticed right off the bat is vehicle movement is
drastically different. You no longer use the left trigger to
brake/reverse, left bumper to fire, right trigger for throttle, right
bumper for countermeasure in a tank – instead all movement is tied
to the left analog stick, and the countermeasure has been relocated to the d-pad. What did you see as the benefits to this
wanted to have a more intuitive control scheme as the default for
Battlefield 4. Since you are moving your character with the analog
stick it made sense to have similar controls for vehicles. If you
prefer to use the triggers for acceleration and breaking you can
change to that layout in the options menu.
buried the scoreboard in favor of making Battlelog easily accessible
via the back button, which seems odd considering people are much more
likely to check their score mid-match than they are to see what their
friends are up to. What was the thinking behind this change?
is a key social feature that helps friends play together in
Battlefield. Quick access allows players to have the best, smoothest
social gaming experience on the go, while they are playing. The score
board is still available quickly by holding the Start/Option button.
a vehicle now requires that you hold X down, which tempers how
quickly people can jump out of armored vehicles. Can you explain the
reasoning behind this?
are complicated in Battlefield. Players often mistakenly entered a
vehicle when they actually just wanted to reload their gun and vice
versa. This solves this problem. We also moved the button for picking
up weapons and kits to ease the overload on the Interact button in
attacks have also moved from right bumper to R3 to accommodate for
the inclusion of the Commo Rose on the right bumper, which also is the
new button for spotting. Can you talk about the trade-offs you made
teamplay and social interaction via Battlelog are key to having the
most enjoyable Battlefield experience. Keeping those options at the
player's finger tips cements Battlefield's key differences from
other shooters. Our default layouts are designed to be accessible
and familiar to new players, while keeping teamplay and social
features close at hand.
people who don't like these new controls you are offering a Veteran
scheme that basically returns the controls to the Battlefield 3
standard, with one major difference – the Commo Rose is still
married to the right bumper whether you are on foot or in a vehicle,
which moves countermeasures and melee attacks.
Why did you not offer
the complete BF3 standard as an option? A lot of players who have
built up a muscle memory born out of playing the game for hundreds of
hours would probably appreciate this.
recognize that change is hard, and the veteran control schemes are
our nod to players who wish to have a Battlefield 3 control style. We
continue to see teamplay as a key area for Battlefield, and that
meant that we could not purely duplicate the old setup.
you ever thought about allowing fully customizable control schemes
for consoles, like PC players have? It would open up the
accessibility of the game drastically for disabled gamers, and allow
players who aren't fans of the new or veteran schemes to set the game
up to their liking.
have looked into it and there is quite a lot of complexity involved
in that due to first-party certification issues. There is a reason you
almost never see this on console games. With that said we are looking
into how we could look into this for the future.
Battlefield 4 is coming to PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on October 29. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions follow shortly thereafter.
Email the author Matt Bertz, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.