Six months down line, a few middling post-release issues and glitches in one of the world’s most successful game franchises are just about acceptable; if a developer gives two million players a free pass to stress test their game and its servers then it’s a sure thing that they’re bound to find incorrect lines of code that slipped under the rug during QA (quality assurance). However, it’s probably far less acceptable when the bug in question not only gives the other team in online multiplayer an unfair advantage but removes a key feature from the gameplay too and according to players, Battlefield 4’s ‘Death Shield’ bug does just that.
The ‘death’ that this bug reportedly sees players shielded from is of the explosive kind, with the downed body of a comrade (this only appears to include revivable bodies and not ousted corpses) serving as a shield to Battlefield’s booming range of grenades and other projectiles which were previously the only sure fire way to kill an opponent outright as thwarting them with even the most heavy peppering of bullets could still see them revived by an opportunistic medic once they’re downed. The death shield bug seems to provide opponents with an invisible wall – or shield – that surrounds them and not only stops the explosives from exploding but it actually sees the projectile bouncing off of the shield and going in another direction making firing them in the first place rather useless.
PC gaming enthusiast jackfrags, who regularly records gameplay videos, caught the Battlefield 4 bug on camera before swiftly uploading it to YouTube for the world to see. While it was jackfrags’ first experience with the issue, a quick survey of tweets in reply to the video suggests that just like the Battlefield 4 rubber banding bug that was previously reported on, the death shield is another longtime lurker in EA and DICE’s troubled title. What’s also key about the footage provided is that it doesn’t just affect foot soldiers either, with explosives fired by tanks also being stopped in their tracks.
Something that is unclear is if the death shield bug has been found for Battlefield 4 players on PlayStation or Xbox versions of the game but this is something that Jaqub Ajmal, the QA Project Lead at DICE and his colleagues will now be able to address. Another Twitter user called DANNYonPC sent over the video to Jaqub which he replied with,
“Thanks for the ping. Looking into it and will bug it.”
The issue responsible for the bug is said to be Battlefield 4’s netcode which according to DICE encompasses lag issues, garden variety glitches and game breaking problems like the ones mentioned above but DICE have previously stated that they are routinely looking into this so this may be some solace for EA and DICE’s concerned investors (who have taken the teams to court over Battlefield 4’s bugs) and Battlefield 4 players alike.