Battlefield 4’s reveal – a fireworks display gone wrong?

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 06:18 GMT By Sam Clay

Battlefield 4 is unwrapped at San Francisco’s Metreon. The world awaits the next generation of DICE’s lauded shooter series. Life-time fan Sam Clay braces for impact and waits to be blown away. His thoughts follow.

I flew across the globe to watch Battlefield 4 in a cinema, go figure – that was one expensive cinema ticket. However, after coming out of the movie with Rihanna ringing in my ears, I’m confused.

Define Battlefield 4? Very, very pretty. It’s Battlefield 3 with make-up on.

Undeniably, it’s the prettiest shooter ever. Call of Duty is now plummeting into the sewers of graphical prowess and hiding like a hermit. Sadly, visuals alone doesn’t make it instantly a great game.

The demo suffered immediately from a similar problem faced Sony in its PS4 reveal conference. Killzone: Shadow Fall looked lovely, right up to the point the gun was taken out of the holster and fired needlessly into a bunch of random foes. Battlefield 4 did the same. We shot a bunch of people in a street and it looked really pretty. Same old, same old.

Sure, watching an apache helicopter’s windshield shatter into a million pieces and come flying past the camera was enough for me to want to change my undies (in fact I actually did let out a yelp of sexual vigour), but the scene continued with some typical shooty nonsense of the type seen many times before, with grown men bleating the word ‘fuck’ loudly. Same old, same old.

And then there was probably the funniest thing ever witnessed in a game demo: a man driving his car turns up to save the day. I have a few questions to ask about this.

Why the hell is he driving around when there has clearly been a massive gun battle involving heavy military vehicles over head? Surely you’d drive away from the burning buildings and gunfire? I think I would.

Did the writers of this scene struggle to think of a way to get them out of it?

This poor man was then now left to die. I doubt he’s got the number for a taxi company that’s willing to pick him up from outside a burning building. Lost for words.

Apparently emotion is now driven by the power of the Frostbite 3 engine – with more power they can deliver a more heartwarming experience (as pointed out by Patrick Bach, the game’s executive producer). One thing I want to say in reply to this statement: have you played The Walking Dead? That was pretty damn emotional. I don’t think the game’s engine was terribly powerful.

In short, then: was I impressed by it? Of course I was. Is it what I expected from a next-gen Battlefield? Probably not. Will I buy it? Well, that’s a stupid question. I’ll see you on the Battlefield.