Upon its release last year, gamers quickly found that Battlefield 4 was filled with bugs and had severe connection issues. It was a big step away from the fantastic Battlefield 3, even though it was a completely new game engine. In fact, the only thing that seemed to work with Battlefield 4 was its Frostbite engine. DICE's shooter may have fallen flat, but what if that same game was ported to iOS?
While still not announced as an official game coming to the Apple App Store anytime soon, there's now a Frostbite tech demo running on iOS. Earlier this year at the Apple WWDC event, we were shown another EA game — Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare —running on an iPad Air, but that sort of game doesn't exactly push as many graphical boundaries as something like the aforementioned shooter.
According to Kristoffer Benjaminsson, Product Owner for Mobile at Frostbite, getting portions of Battlefield 4 working on iOS was a challenge, to say the least:
"To handle dynamic features such as destruction or moving light sources, most things in the Frostbite engine happen in realtime. This puts extra demand on performance to be able to deliver large, highly detailed worlds with superb visual quality. We were making great progress feature-wise, but hardware and software limitations forced us to either scale down the number of objects and their complexity to retain visual fidelity, or accept lower visual fidelity to cope with a larger number of objects."
"This all changed when Apple introduced Metal, their new low-level graphics API, which allowed us to make full use of the hardware. Together with the latest range of hardware, Metal has created possibilities previously out of reach and for the first time we can include both high visual fidelity and a large number of objects."
Benjaminsson credits a lot of the game's newfound portable presence (albeit behind-closed-doors) to Apple's Metal – the new low-level graphics API featured in a handful of the company's latest products. Metal apparently created possibilities previously thought to be out of reach, which now allows for developers to include both highly stunning graphics and a large number of objects.
On top of news that Battlefield 4 may eventually be coming to iOS devices, EA also revealed that it's offering Battlefield 4 completely free-to-play on Origin for a full week, although gamers will have a 168 hour limit to enjoy the game. Still, it's an enticing option for gamers that have yet to try out the rather spiffy looking shooter for themselves.
Would you play Battlefield 4 if it were available on iOS? Will you be playing BF4 while it's free-to-play? Let us know in the comments!