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

Wednesday, 27th 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.



  1. ActionGameKing

    So you’re dissapointed that a shooting game involves…shooting? Your criticism can be aimed towards Bioshock Infinite. Bit petty.

    Also, Battlefield 3 is already next-gen. It was just early to the party.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Sam Clay

    I’m disappointed more that we don’t use new mechanics or at least trying to make the shooting experience more original and enjoyable.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. redwood

    well Sam.. i will be at the killzone ;)

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Christopher Jack

    Why do we have gun switching & reloading animations but no vehicle entering/switching animations? I get that they’re trying to make it a quick pace game but it kinda removes the immersion having you teleporting around.

    Would also like to see a focus on how they deal with cover in future games. Current bf cover mechanics are fine but IMO they should be aiming much higher than fine.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. ActionGameKing

    @2 Fair enough. I wouldn’t look for Battlefield to be the game to re-define FPS mechanics in a single-player campaign, EA isn’t in the position to take a risk like that at the moment. Maybe by Battlefield 5 they’ll be forced to really change it up. As for now Battlefield 3.5 it is :)

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Bomba Luigi

    Well, its shooting and Explosions and stuff. And thats it, its not a Game that want to be more than that, its a military shooter. That is fine, because lot of People just want exactly that, shooting and explosions.

    I never was a Fan of that Genre, but I’m not the only Gamer in the World.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. ActionGameKing

    @6 hahaa so true, but these are state-of-the-art explosions. You said what I was thinking, just more clearly :)

    #7 2 years ago
  8. powerbuoy

    Absolutely agree and I though exactly the same thing watching the Killzone demo. I’d much rather have some real physics and PS3-graphics than all this scripted bullshit and pretty particle effects.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Dave Cook

    We’ll be seeing a lot of this. Remember when I’d often say that visuals alone don’t make a game good? I’m willing to bet this is a fun game but that it feels identical to Battlefield 4 but with better visuals. This is going to happen a lot with next-gen, just wait and see.

    Developers will treat you like morons by jangling shinier keys in front of your face until you buy them. You’ll pay the $60 asking price then realise they’re just the same keys but with a bit of polish on.

    Also, I don’t want emotion in my Battlefield game. I want fun like I had in Bad Company 2, the most fun BF game to date. If BF4 strays too far from what made BC2 so amazing then you can count me out.

    Better visuals do not make a game more fun. Sniper:Ghost Warrior 2 proved that.

    Christ I’m not even out of my bed yet…

    #9 2 years ago
  10. ActionGameKing

    @9 LOLOL I love this site.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. anik_lc

    I guess there’s more than meet the eyes, beside its not the final version. 7 months still remaining.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Dave Cook

    @10 why is that funny? What I’ve said makes actual sense as someone who feels Bad Company 2 was the best game in the series from a gameplay perspective.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. ActionGameKing

    @12 Oh! Was laughing at the “Shiny Key” reference, cuz it’s so true lol. Fifa and Madden will be similar situations.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Dave Cook

    @13 oh :D yeah its a concern right enough.what do you make of it?

    #14 2 years ago
  15. ActionGameKing

    @14 I believe the first year or 2 of next gen we’ll be seeing some extraordinarily pretty games, with very familiar gameplay. Personally, I think it will be the Indie devs that will shine next-gen. They are so brillaint and don’t have to worry about satisying publishers. That’s my 2 cents.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Dave Cook

    @15 I believe you can see into the future :P I think you’re absolutely correct,

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Erthazus

    Dave, and you love Call O’ Doody. End of story about your video criticism.
    What was here is miles better what CoD developers will ever will do. EVER

    Pretty graphics don’t make a great game, but Sniper:GW was a bad example because visuals were crap just on the new engine and no one still beat BF3 on a lot of aspects.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. roadkill

    Dave seriously just go back to CoD! This is a Battlefield story. I never go into your CoD news posts and throw s**t at you for playing an arcadish games with no visuals, no sounds, no gameplay and no story so.. yeah. We have an awesome game made by an awesome company and we love it. Stop being but hurt here! Do it somewhere else!

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Erthazus

    By the way, destroying “export variant of Mi-28″ with a 40 mm grenade launcher is impossible.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Hcw87

    Only good thing about BC2 was the multiplayer, the singleplayer was just too over the top, and they tried too hard with the humor.

    When it comes to authentic shooters, i can’t see how it can get better than this. Call of Duty isn’t even the same genre if you ask me, just like Forza and Burnout are two different sub-genres.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Bomba Luigi

    “authentic” is a strong word. A “authentic” Shooter for sure should be no Fun to Play. And It should not have stuff like regenerating Health.

    Its a good Thing that Games like that are not very Realistic, don’t get me wrong here.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Dave Cook

    @18 I’m a Battlefield fan as well you know? It IS actually possible to like them both because, well, I do.

    I’m not saying it looked shit, but you know me. Shinier visuals don’t make for a better experience in my book. Just my opinion. I respect yours so you know, respect mine please :)

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Hcw87

    Authentic isn’t the same as realistic, @21.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Hellhound30x

    *sigh* I don’t know why, but I just don’t really care about shooters anymore. It looks pretty, but I’m definitely not chomping at the bit to go buy it.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. roadkill

    @22 Yes you’re right of course. Talk s**t about graphics. I mean CoD looks so awesome!

    my point? You don’t have an opinion, you have a view! So they update the visuals and w/o even playing the game you’re talking s**t about it. Well done! A professional journalist and a smart and decent person can only say this about this movie: “Wow, this game looks awesome, it sounds awesome and the action feels pretty intense. I mean the animations are just sick.” That’s an opinion.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. SplatteredHouse

    I’m not reading all your articles on this, guys. Not even going to entertain the notion.

    “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.”

    I completely agree with you, Sam. As soon as they left the deserted school, de-ja-vu slammed into the frame like a steamhammer, shattering the pretty pre-amble which became immediately redefined as a mirage, and I was just left thinking: THIS is as far as EA can think? And it was a real mess.

    @25: “Wow, this game looks awesome, it sounds awesome and the action feels pretty intense.” No it doesn’t, on any of those counts. Maybe the audio wasn’t bad, although the guns sounded muted. It started out good enough, but quickly fell away.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. RocknRolla

    I don´t understand what people like you expect from video games anymore, what did you want him to do? fly up in the sky and burn enemies with fire from the mouth instead of shooting them with a gun? It is a video game and believe me the story is going to be a LOT better than most movies that come out nowadays, and the visual? don´t get me going there AMAZING! troll on some other game this is Game of the year easy!

    If you think that the developers will treat us like shit does not mean we think they do, well not always anyway, I think this game looks beyond beautiful! I was amazed by the demo, really over my expectations :) I have played BF3 for over 600 hours and still am playing and I love it, but this? this blew me away, campaign looks sweet as well, very emotional.

    Can´t waaait! :) BF4 PS4 <3

    #27 2 years ago
  28. RocknRolla

    Guys don´t waste your time on this page check the review of the trailer made by this person instead, it is still here on VG24/7

    #28 2 years ago
  29. roadkill

    @27 Exactly my point. :D

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Cort

    This will help me in the my campaign to get as many FPS-playing friends and family as possible to switch from CoD to BF. Two brothers and four friends down and dusted; one brother and about half a dozen friends to go. ;o)

    #30 2 years ago

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