So you've seen the Battlefield 3 trailer and you can't stop drooling. It's a serious problem, because it's making it hard for you to look up more information about the beautiful offering from DICE. Frustrated with your current situation, you're now sitting with a keyboard protector on your keyboard -- something you vowed never to do again -- and you're wondering: how is it even possible that this game is going to run on the current generation of consoles?
The answer, according to DICE executive producer Patrick Bach in an interview with Joystiq, is Frostbite 2. Other games are built on engines which are developed to be repackaged and licensed to other third party developers, but Frostbite 2 is built solely for the experience of Battlefield games. No doubt this means that what you get in Battlefield 3, you're not going to be getting somewhere else.
The playable demo at GDC 2011 is running on heavily beefed-up computers, which could mean that this gorgeous game isn't going to be quite as gorgeous on consoles. Bach insists that the console offering will be able to handle the load:
"We're streaming all the data. There's not a single frame where nothing streams. From textures to objects to weapons to sounds and animations ... it scales down pretty well. All of the core systems will use streaming, so it's more of a question of how often you have to stream, and how big are those packages. The engine is built with that taken into account."
Certainly, realism in video games has always been a topic of debate. It's no secret that hardcore gamers on the whole have been highly critical of Nintendo for not focusing as heavily on the aesthetic power of their consoles compared to their competitors. Bach has his own opinion on the matter:
"We see realism as a big part of the entertainment in a modern shooter. People know what guns and gear look like. It needs to sound real. It needs to look real. In general, we start with realism, and then we balance it to make it fun."
With all this recent news about the single player experience in Battlefield 3, some may be concerned that the focus has shifted away from the multiplayer component that made Battlefield the hugely popular series that it is. Bach doesn't want anyone worrying that the Battlefield 3 won't still be a Battlefield game:
"We got better and better at making single player thanks to the Bad Company series, [but] even if you don't like single player, you know what? Multiplayer is bigger than Battlefield 2 anyways. People shouldn't think we're spending energy on single player when we could have spent it on multiplayer, because we have a full-fledged team working on multiplayer."
Building an engine for just one game would no doubt be ridiculous. After all, a lot of money and time goes into such an undertaking. Acknowledging this, Bach mentioned that gamers can expect four or even five games to come out using the Frostbite 2 engine. Lets keep our collective fingers crossed that this means we'll be seeing a gorgeous Mirror's Edge 2 someday, or at the very least the continuation of the Bad Company games.
Battlefield 3 will be storming our homes this fall for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. The next trailer for the game has been announced for March 16th. Hopefully, we'll all stop drooling by then.