Battlefield 3 players who’ve had the chance to play the game on consoles and the PC can testify to just how lacking the console versions are. As DICE learned during the GDC unveiling of single-player Battlefield4 gameplay, the franchise really is all about multiplayer and with the next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft coming this fall, console gamers are finally going to experience the game the way it’s meant to be played.
That means 64-player mayhem on large dynamic maps with vehicles everywhere, boosted by DICE’s new feature set and design goals of including a new comprehensive spectator mode, bringing back Commander Mode, and having it all work in 60fps.
In chatting with Eurogamer, Battlefield executive producer Patrick Bach spoke on the importance of boosting the framerate and making sure that – like Call of Duty – they have Battlefield 4 running at 60fps, even with the large scale of the multiplayer action.
“We have a very complicated game with a lot of moving parts. We had to decide, yes, we will do this in 60fps. Everything else is secondary. We know the game is great when you have 64 players and destruction, and if we could get what we had on PC for a long time in your living room with a pad, wouldn’t that be amazing? That’s what we’re aiming for.”
“They [next-gen console players] will experience another level of chaos they haven’t seen before. 12 versus 12, you can keep track of quite a few people, but only so many. When you get to 32 versus 32, that’s when it becomes hard to keep track of the other team, when it feels like there are more things going on than just around me and what I can control. That’s the experience we always wanted to get to with the consoles without sacrificing the other core pillars of the franchise.”
Producer Daniel Matros, while sitting in front of the live 64-player LAN at EA’s E3 2013 booth (we were there – read our hands-on Battlefield 4 preview!) showcased the new spectator mode, detailing all of its features. The video is up up and the informational highlights from the demonstration are below.
- Full first-person and third-person views (can rotate camera) of player being spectated, including all HUD indicators.
- Can see stats like K/D, along with attachments/accessories.
- Press “Q” & “E” to select between players – goes by order on the scoreboard, or you can click their name on the scoreboard.
- There are five different pre-cams on each map for a wide view of the battlefield.
- Spectator can also move the camera around freely.
- There’s a “tabletop view” (map view) which can be used in conjunction with player perspective (essentially picture in picture mode).
- Spectator can click players or vehicles from the map/tabletop view to get their first-person perspective.
- Not included but DICE is working: Zooming further out from third-person mode.
The spectator mode is a big deal for the community, not only for major e-sports events, livestreaming and gameplay highlight reels, but for players even wanting to make cool in-game movies (like this epic one). On that, spectators can toggle off ALL the HUD potions and have a completely screen screen. It’s very encouraging to see DICE’s work in this area because community videos represent one of the best, free types of viral marketing. It’s gameplay videos from the community that made Minecraft the success it is and with the next-gen consoles both sporting sharing features and streaming, it’s going to be an even more critical part of the future of video games.
Matros also makes a point of addressing most, if not all, of the core issues raised through community feedback from Battlefield 3, including ones we’ve raised over the years here on Game Rant. Battlefield 4, from what we’ve seen so far, adds back the missing features from BF3 like Commander Mode, and adds in new features like spectating and 64-player on consoles that were very much missing in the last iteration. All we need now are dinosaurs.
For the PC soldiers, read about the alpha build PC specs here.
Battlefield 4 is slated for release on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on October 29, with PS4 and Xbox One release dates still to be determined.
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