For a game whose multiplayer expertly invoked the open-warfare sandbox-shooter atmosphere that’s long been a hallmark of the Battlefield franchise — dense but expansive set-piece maps served as 24-man (64 on PC) stages for a vast array of vehicles, weapons, game modes, and customizable classes (each of which flourished under a year’s worth of content expansions) — Battlefield 3′s single-player campaign was largely… well, plain.
Bombastic, sure — a modern-day first-person-shooter equivalent to Auto-Tune, it belted out an industry standard verse of cinematic/pulse-pounding/roller-coaster World War 3 narrative notes in smooth, rapid succession. But it was also perfectly linear. Navigational and class freedoms were nowhere to be found. And although the campaign was clearly an attempt to compete with Call of Duty’s soaring story lines, the result was an overly bereft contrast from the elaborately designed, squad-based, wildly dynamic carnage of DICE‘s multiplayer component.
Enter Battlefield 4. Publisher Electronic Arts detailed at E3 2013 how its next-generation, Frostbite 3-engine-built shooter would be expanding multiplayer with 64-person matches on consoles (running at 60fps!). Speaking to Official PlayStation Magazine, DICE general manager Karl-Magnus Troedsson revealed how the developer was expanding the mode even further — that is, into single-player:
“There are signature multiplayer elements that we want to bring into single-player. We want to give the player a choice. Do they want to go for the sneaky approach with a sniper rifle and a silenced pistol, or do they want to take a jeep and have the entire squad shoot at everything they see?”
Troedsson explained how the new strategy serves to leverage the capabilities of Frostbite 3. We’ve already witnessed a demo of the game’s campaign running on the new tech, and with single-player adding the ability to command squadmates and commandeer vehicles in heat of battle, the real multiplayer “element” DICE appears intent on capturing with its latest solo saga is what the former mode is all about: humans.
“It’s about the human element. You can get very up close and personal with your characters – that’s what we want to dig deeper into with Battlefield 4. This is one of the biggest places where Frostbite 3 comes into play.”
Having received Game Critics Awards nominations for E3 2013′s Best Action Game and Best Online Multiplayer, Battlefield 4‘s buzz is high coming out of last week’s in-depth showcasing. That the online-breaded and buttered series hasn’t given up on single-player — especially with 6-GCA-nomination-earning Titanfall forgoing it altogether — is a promising sign for the mode in and of itself. We’ll see if DICE’s new enhancements make it a more highly valued part of the game when it releases this October.
What do you think of Troedsson’s proposed new format for Battlefield 4′s single-player campaign? Be sure to check out 17-minutes of the game running on Frostbite 3 right here.
Battlefield 4 releases on October 29, 2013 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PC.
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Source: Official PlayStation Magazine