A week before the Battlefield 4 event in San Francisco last month during the Game Developer’s Conference, leaks, rumors and teasers provided fans a looking developer DICE’s first foray into next-generation gaming.
Battlefield 4 so far, is largely similar to BF3. It runs on an improved version of the same engine (dubbed Frostbite 3), is based in a modern setting with similar weapons and vehicles, and from the marketing thus far, is attempting to focus on its single-player campaign. The good stuff has yet to be shown.
Any by “good stuff,” we of course are referring to the most important element of the Battlefield franchise: the multiplayer. In an odd presentation which touted “a new era of interactive entertainment,” publisher Electronic Arts opted to showcase 17-minutes of single-player gameplay that earned mixed reactions from attendees for failing to offer what the presenters were saying the game offers, outside of the visual and game engine improvements.
The multiplayer showcase is being saved for other events, namely the EA press conference at E3 2013, but potentially the next-gen Xbox unveiling in May should the latest reports prove true. This is where we can safely expect BF4’s multiplayer component to be unveiled, along with the new features shipping with it. One of those new features may just be the return of an older feature fans wanted in Battlefield 3: Commander mode.
YouTube user luger700 shared a pair of seemingly photoshopped Battlefield 4 “posters” from GameStop that highlight four key features shipping with the game, or should we say rumored to be shipping with the game:
- Frostbite 3: Destructible Environments and Buildings!
- 3 playable factions — Russia, China and United States
- All Our War! Vehicle combat and “Commander Mode” returns
- Get access to the first expansion for FREE with reservation. $10 dollar value!
The images and are too sketchy to believe on their own, and are not up to EA marketing standards (look at that font), but all four items are based on previous rumors. The game’s single-player campaign does spend a lot of time in Shanghai, China’s largest city, and from the images and reports thus far we’re rather certain that the three main factions will be as listed above.
As for Commander Mode, that’s an odd marketing point to include on a poster since only fans of Battlefield 2 and 2142 will understand what it means, but it was also previously rumored to be returning but in a different form than it was in BF2. Adding legitimate credence to the leaked details – most of which have been proven accurate so far – is the fact that the German Sony PlayStation Facebook page name-dropped the “return of Commander Mode” as well, stating that it’ll “introduce more tactical depth” (translated) before quickly editing it out hours ago.
Im vierten Teil der beliebten Battlefield-Reihe wird es wieder heiÃŸ hergehen. Weitere Infos zum kommenden Action-Kracher erfahrt ihr auf
Im vierten Teil der beliebten Battlefield-Reihe wird es wieder heiÃŸ hergehen. Die RÃ¼ckkehr des Commander-Modus verspricht dabei noch mehr taktischen Tiefgang.
Thank you Sony PlayStation Germany, Google Cache and Google Translate! Is that a confirmation? Not officially, but with the sheer amount of reports and the fact that it was a widely requested missing feature, it’s a safe bet that it’s returning in some form in BF4.
What won’t be making its way into the game are motion controls, because they’re a “gimmick” according to DICE executive producer Patrick Bach in an interview with Edge.
“We are not interested in things that don’t make the game better. There are a lot of gimmicks — people throwing money at us — ‘can you implement support for this quirky control thing’. No, it doesn’t make the game better.”
“We are extremely open to innovation, but if it’s a gimmick, there’s no point unless it adds value to the player. Touch screens used to be a gimmick, because no-one could get it to work until iPhone came out and used it right. It adds to the experience, and now everyone is doing it. To us it’s the same with motion control and perceptual gaming in general; if it adds, great. If it’s a gimmick, ignore it.”
Good on the DICE team for not forcing in unneeded and largely unwanted PlayStation Move or Kinect support. Saying “reload” isn’t quicker than hitting a button, nor does it make sense to force into the game. Playing a shooter with Kinect isn’t even a possibility and the Move Sharpshooter has still yet to offer an better gameplay experience than using a traditional controller. In Battlefield 4’s single-player narrative however, with the player having some control over his NPC allies, we won’t be surprised if there is some sort of voice control similar to what BioWare included with Mass Effect 3.
Touchscreen controls and voice commands in Commander Mode however, would be pretty neat, not just for team commanders, but for squad leaders as well in issuing orders, drawing waypoints, calling in vehicles or supply drops, etc.
Battlefield 4 may release October 29, 2013 for the PC and current/next-gen PlayStation & Xbox.
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