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Battlefield 4

18 Things We Know About Battlefield 4

Tonight EA debuted a lengthy section of the Battlefield 4 single-player campaign. You can watch the video here, but if you'd rather read a rundown of what we learned about the game, read on.

  • Most of the single-player campaign is set in China, but the game demo, "Fishing in Baku," takes place in Baku, Azerbaijan, a peninsula city on the Caspian Sea. During this mission a U.S. Special Forces team that goes by the radio ID Tombstone recovers a valuable piece of intel and then tries to get out of the city as Russians give chase. 
  • Tombstone's primary goal in the game is to rescue some VIPs in Shanghai. Tensions are very high between the Russians, Chinese, and Americans, so this won't be easy. Their efforts eventually spark a global conflict.
  • DICE knows not many people warmed up to the characters in Battlefield 3, so one of its primary focuses in Battlefield 4 is character development. Though a huge geopolitical conflict drives the campaign, the story is really about the relationship of these characters caught in this untenable situation.
  • Players assume the role of a soldier named Recker. The other soldiers in his squad are Sgt. Dunn, Irish, Pac, and Ruger. Irish is played by Michael K. Williams, the actor who played the unforgettable Robin Hood gangster Omar Little in The Wire.
  • The end of the demo also showed a female character of Chinese descent. We're not sure if she cooperates with your fireteam or if she's on the other side of the conflict.
  • To make the characters more believable, DICE doubled down on its facial animation, skin shaders, and full body animations.
  • Judging from the demo, it looks like DICE is integrating signature elements of the Battlefield multiplayer experience into the campaign, like leaderboards and stat tracking.
  • Similar to the Autolog challenges in Need For Speed, it looks like social challenges appear during the campaign that you can engage in for bragging rights with your friends. This could include anything from collecting the most dog tags in a mission or completing a sequence faster than your friends. This should help increase the replay value of the campaign.
  • Battlefield 3's campaign was criticized for its painful linearity. For the follow-up, DICE is sticking more to its expertise, introducing open micro-sandboxes that incorporate vehicles and allow players to engage the enemy in whatever manner they choose. You could hop in a jeep to get to the hot zone, or move carefully on foot from cover to cover. You could take out all the tangos yourself, or call in a support strike from a helicopter. You could hang back and take out enemies with a sniper rifle, or equip a shotgun and get up close and personal. These action bubbles will often be book-ended by cinematic set piece moments.
  • You don't have full control over your squadmates, but you can order them to engage enemies or offer suppressing fire, which would allow you to flank the enemy while they are pinned down.
  • Battlefield 3's co-op mode was a mess, so DICE is scrapping it altogether to focus on the campaign and multiplayer.
  • Battlefield 4 is being built on the third iteration of DICE's Frostbite engine, which runs at 60 frames per second (at least on PC). Other new Frostbite 3 features include particle effects, a cinematic Bokeh effect, reflective surfaces, and impressive water technology that allows them to approximate the violent waves of the open seas.
  • Battlefield 4 is coming to PC, PS3, Xbox 360. Given the power of the engine, we also believe this game is a slam dunk to come to the PlayStation 4, and next Xbox as well, though EA wouldn't confirm.
  • The new version of Battlelog is better incorporated into consoles. DICE says it should be equally good on these systems as it is on PC.
  • The Premium subscription service is returning for Battlefield 4. EA says it will offer more details later, but if you pre-order, you will get a premium expansion pack similar to Back to Karkand when the game launches.
  • If the demo is any indication, destruction looks to be coming back in a major way. Micro-destruction found in the Battlefield 3: Close Quarters expansion pack seems to be integrated into Battlefield 4, as well as bigger set piece moments like the collapsing interior of the building. During the demo, Recker uses a shotgun to blow throw a wooden fence, blows through a concrete wall with a grenade launcher to flank enemies, and during a chase sequence an attack chopper rips through concrete and window panes.
  • The sandboxes are also more dynamic and interactive than the static ones in previous Battlefield games. If you walk to close to a parked car, you may set off a car alarm and alert nearby enemies to your presence. If you move too quickly through a forest, a flock of birds make fly away en masse, signaling to enemies that they should go investigate the area.
  • A quick clip at the end of the demo indicates that Battlefield 4 is going to have amphibious assaults with both large ships and smaller PT boats.

DICE is saving the multiplayer information for a later date. Look for more intel as we move closer toward E3.

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Comments
  • I am so excited, Battlefield 3 was my favorite FPS since MW2 and Halo 3. Looking forward to this very much.
  • 19. You will breach a lot of doors. You will drive a tank. You will press X to catch the Lts. hand, saving you from a perilous fall. You will reload. You will hear your heartbeat and it will inadvertently and subconsciously irritate the living *** out of you. You will knife a tango from behind and lay his body down quietly. You will be alerted to enemy forces by a barking dog. You will shoot an RPG at a helicopter. You will continue you play the same game, once again, for the annual fee of $60-***-you-dollars. You will rage quit.
  • 19. You will breach a lot of doors. You will drive a tank. You will press X to catch the Lts. hand, saving you from a perilous fall. You will reload. You will hear your heartbeat and it will inadvertently and subconsciously irritate the living *** out of you. You will knife a tango from behind and lay his body down quietly. You will be alerted to enemy forces by a barking dog. You will shoot an RPG at a helicopter. You will continue you play the same game, once again, for the annual fee of $60-***-you-dollars. You will rage quit.

  • Oh God, this sounds (and looks--Frostbite 3 is the best engine in existence, no question) incredible! Everything I didn't like about Battlefield 3's campaign looks like it's going to be vastly improved in Battlefield 4. Now, about PS4 (preordering immediately when announced) and Battlefield's top-shelf multiplayer...
  • Very happy they've acknowledged the weaknesses with BF3's campaign and are designing it to be more attune with their multiplayer strengths.
  • I am excited to hear about the MP side of this.

  • I am very excited for this. I've logged many hours into the BF series.

  • It's amazing how videogame sites are talking about "plot development", "character depth", "more captivating storyline", etc. Most FPS (if not all), were always extremely week into all these kind of elements due to the simple fact of the limitation it gives to narrative when you put a 1st-person view of things. Not only that, but BF3 character's and plot was nearly non-existent, as well as previous BFs, CoDs, etc. It's just a scenario with random things happening, jumps in time, chaotic storyline, shallow military-like characters, etc. But hey, most of these military shooters were made only to sustain the need of guns and wars that most people have (especially those in US). So why EA and Activision still bother with giving these games a campaign mode? Just stick with the multiplayer. I only hope the co-op is better this time. BF3 was very fun in most multiplayer modes, but the co-op was very flawed and felt incomplete.
  • Here's another thing we know about this game: The single player will be a bunch of scripted events tied together by a story full of cliches and shooting Russians - again. I'm sick of this. Battlefield 3's campaign was pretty bad, it was just setpiece after setpiece + Michael Bay explosions. EA wants the single player to be like CoD because they think that it sells better then. I personally think that Battlefield should not even have a campaign, every minute they waste on the campaign should be put into making new maps and balancing the weapons and vehicles. If they really think that a shooter without campaign can't survive on the market they should just make the singleplayer like the Bad Company series because that was actually fun. The levels were quite open, you didn't feel like shooting cardboard people and you could use more vehicles at your own will - not like in this trailer where you're jumping in a car to get out again within 10 seconds. I'm sorry EA but I hate what you're doing to Battlefield. This looks exactly like the last Medal of Honor or CoD with better grafics and it didn't turn out so well with Warfighter right? As long as the multiplayer isn't a huge improvement over Bf3, I couldn't care less about this game. I'm not going to pay 60$ + 50$ premium on a 6 hour long scripted event and a map pack with slightly better grafics.
  • I don't think the co op was a mess, but I would like for them to add a bot mode to the multiplayer or something similar. Sometimes you just wanna get drunk, shoot and blow up things with a few friends without having a guy camping the helicopter spawn to worry.
  • I think the big thing we know is that it is coming out on current consoles. Which means DICE is hamstrung with a minimum requirements of 256 MB. They can still do an awful lot, I just wish they would have really opened things up and jumped to next gen.
  • Why can't EA fully get on-board with the Wii U. We all know it can handle it.
  • Tombstone recovers a valuable piece of intel and then tries to get out of the city as Russians give chance

    give chance? give chase?

  • 19. Will go on sale 2 weeks after release. 20. Premium edition will release 4 weeks later at the same price of the standard edition. It's unreal how the prices of EA AAA tiles drop weeks after release. I'm going to wait for the premium edition. Game looks amazing but It's not a day one buy for me. *Battlefield: Bad Company 3...day one buy.*
  • I hope the female character ends up in your team.
  • Seems to cover everything I hated about the game campaign-wise. Now, if I could only get better in the multiplayer (Call of Duty this is not :P).
  • Nice coverage on BF4, Bertz!

  • If you preorder this game, don't complain when EA messes up again.

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