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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.

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30 Comments

  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

    http://www.vg247.com/2013/03/27/battlefield-4-gameplay-war-never-looked-so-lovely/

    #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

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • ReShade SweetFX supports GTA 5, user-made presets begin popping up

    GTA 5 modders started making presets for ReShade SweetFX as soon as they realised the tool supports it. To the modding community’s delightful surprise, shader-altering tool ReShade SweetFX was discovered to support GTA 5. What this means is that anyone can download the tool, mess around with the post-processing options, and inject them into GTA […]

  • Project Cars goes gold, full track list revealed

    Project Cars has finally gone gold. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has announced that the racer has reached gold master milestone. “We know the wait for the game to be released was worth it, as we’re confident the quality and realism level we have achieved will provide our fans with the game they are all […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes has a stupid subtitle in the West

    The Western release of Dragon Quest Heroes has been given the most absurd subtitle. Square Enix announced a while back that Dragon Quest Heroes will come to North America and Europe this year. Unlike in Japan, it will launch only on PlayStation 4. Earlier today, the Japanese publisher revealed what the game’s logo will look […]

  • Minecraft vulnerability allows users to crash servers remotely [UPDATE]

    A security flaw discovered in Minecraft’s code that could give perpetrators the ability to crash servers remotely has been fixed via a patch by Mojang. Update: Mojang has released an update to Minecraft patch 1.8, listed as version 1.8.4, and it is available now. It fixes reported security issues, in addition to some other minor […]

  • Official Bloodborne merchandise now available, including a limited edition statue

    The PlayStation gear store has added a new section dedicated to Bloodborne merchandise. The first set of items is as good as you’d expect. If you’re a fan of Bloodborne and want to make sure everyone around you knows it, you’ll be happy to know that Sony has added a few pieces of Bloodborne-branded gear […]

  • Destiny Xur update: should you buy The Last Word?

    Xur is selling one of Destiny’s top hand cannons today: The Last Word. Is it worth grinding the coins for? The answer is a resounding YES. The Last Word is one of Destiny’s best Exotics, and one of the best Hand Cannons in the game. Our Destiny expert Alex notes that it’s one of the […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for April 17, 18 – The Last Word edition

    What did our good buddy Xur bring for us this week? Xur: Agent of the Nine, Destiny’s weekend vendor is back with more Exotic offers. Xur is your guy if you’re after Exotic weapons or armour, provided you have the Strange Coins for them. Head over to the lounge in the Tower Hangar, you’ll find […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt discounted for Gold members, pre-load now live

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt files are now live on the Xbox Store. Xbox One owners with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt pre-orders can start downloading the full game to be ready for launch. The file size was confirmed earlier to be just over 25GB. Those who have yet to pre-order can do so at […]

  • GTA 5 files accessed by modders, reveal horses, zombies, more

    Modders have managed to pry GTA 5′s file lock open and expose many of its interesting innards. GTA community modders have gained access to several of GTA 5′s archives on PC. These files were previously believed to be inaccessible. Popular modding tool OpenIV, which was used in editing files in GTA 4 (hence the name), […]

  • Bethesda’s E3 invite features Dishonored, Doom, Wolfenstein… but no Fallout

    Bethesda is going first at E3 this year with a showcase of games on Sunday night. What clues can we see in the press invite? Skyrim publisher Bethesda has sent out confirmation of its E3 showcase, taking place Sunday June 14. The invite includes a number of Bethesda game characters including Wolfenstein’s BJ Blazcowicz, a […]

  • Here’s Crytek’s VR demo, because dinosaurs

    Dinosaurs! This is precisely what virtual reality is for. VR demos are all over the place and CryEngine developer Crytek has produced one of its own, showing off how the engine is flexible enough t- Look, let me level with you: I don’t care. I only care about dinosaurs. Hush now and watch the dinosaurs. […]

  • StreetPass update adds birthday collecting, VIP Miis and more

    StreetPass collecters should take advantage of an optional update. It’s International StreetPass Week, so now’s the time to break out the 3DS and go hunting. Don’t leave your home network without first checking out a new optional update, though. Kotaku reports the update prompt is available from the leftmost icon in your StreetPass Mii Plaza. […]

  • Massive Uplay sale offers cheap games in time for the weekend

    PC gamers can grab a sweet saving or two in Uplay’s Spring Sale. Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Alien: Isolation are all on sale as part of Uplay’s Spring Sale, among many other titles. The sale offers discounts of up to 85% off digital […]

  • Fix for GTA 5 PC Windows install bug releasing today

    Rockstar is set to release a patch today that will fix a bug preventing players from installing the game. The bug is tied to Windows usernames that use certain characters not supported by Rockstar. There’s already a workaround available on the Rockstar Support site, but those waiting for an official update will be able to […]

  • Prey 2 dev’s new mobile horror Lost Within out now on iOS and Fire

    Remember Lost Within, that mobile survival horror erstwhile Prey 2 developer Human Head Studios was making with Amazon Game Studios? It’s now available on iOS and for Amazon’s Fire devices, through the appropriate App Stores. There’s a little bit of extra info on it on the AGS blog, if you’re keen; unfortunately the blog doesn’t […]

  • Let’s take a look at Blood Bowl 2′s Chaos faction

    Blood Bowl 2: The Chaos Theory is only the latest in a much loved series of games based on a game based on two other games. Blood Bowl is a popular Games Workshop tabletop game which blends the fantasy universe of Warhammer with a fantasy sport drawing inspiration from American football and related games. It’s […]

  • “Second-person” shooter Screencheat coming to PS4 and Xbox One

    Goldeneye players should be familiar with the concept of screencheating, which is what this new indie is all about. Screencheat has been on our radars for a while but has now been confirmed for PS4, sparking a new wave of interest with a trailer and PS Blog post. However, it was one of a number […]

  • World of Warcraft Timewalking will make old dungeons fun again

    World of Warcraft will soon introduce a feature called Timewalking, designed to make you feel young again. When WoW players participate in a Timewalking event, they’ll be transported to a randomly selected classic dungeon. Upon entering, their level and gear will be scaled way, way down to the Dungeon’s Heroic level – so they won’t […]

  • Bloodborne and Dark Souls messaging – in real life

    Soapstone is a cool little app that mimics the messaging system found in Bloodborne, Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. Bloodborne and Dark Souls fans will surely agree that the asynchronous multiplayer side of things, with players leaving anonymous tips, encouragement and jokes for each other, is one of the cooler aspects of the From Software […]

  • Mass Effect fans, get a load of this My Talking Elcor plushie

    I have been waiting to write about this all day because oh my god. Mass Effect attracted a devoted fanbase and Bioware has found tons of clever ways to satisfy that fanbase’s desire for clothes, collectibles, books, comics and toys related to the future world of Commander Shepard and company. The company has been so […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection headed to retail

    Homeworld fans can purchase a neat little package of gloriously remastered nostalgia soon. The Homeworld Remastered Collection has been available online since the end of February, but is now on its way to retail thanks to a deal between new rights holder Gearbox and Ubisoft. The PC exclusive will launch in physical form from May […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt download size lower than predicted

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a hefty install footprint, but it’s not as bad as we expected. The Witcher 3 was expected to be a 50GB download after a note to this effect was added to the PlayStation Store. It looks like that might have been a placeholder figure, as DualShockers noted today that […]

  • Bloodborne, beaten with a Guitar Hero controller

    Come on now, you didn’t expect anything less from the Souls community, did you? Bloodborne has been vanquished with a Guitar Hero controller, just a few weeks after its release. Kotaku reports Bearzly took nine hours to finish the game, which is probably less than many players using a Dual Shock. You can watch a […]

  • Vendors? New social space? Your House of Wolves questions will be answered

    Destiny players learned more about House of Wolves in this week’s Bungie update than you might realise at first glance. Resident Destiny expert Arekkz cast his eagle eye over this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, which announced next week’s Reef tour livestream. I personally am most excited to learn about gear upgrade paths, but Arekkz points […]

  • GTA 5 playable with Virtuix Omni VR treadmill

    You’ve seen GTA 5 with Oculus Rift, Now see GTA 5 with the Virtuix Omni. GTA 5 PC has unlocked a number of exciting possibilities. Modders and hackers are still working on making the game’s files accessible to third-party creation tools, but several cool things have been produced even with this barrier still in place. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: play as Rain and other locked characters on PC

    Mortal Kombat X players comfortable with tinkering with the game’s files can unlock unplayable characters. Mortal Kombat X includes a number of familiar fighters available only as opponents, not playable characters. if you’re super keen to try out Rain, Baraka and co, you can – with a bit of fiddling. Redditor XVermillion figured out that […]

  • Madden 16 release date set for August, of course

    Madden NFL 16 has a deeply unsurprising release date. Madden’s release date always falls at the end of US summer, and Madden 16 is no exception. EA Sports has announced that the NFL sim will release on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on August 26. We have absolutely no further information at […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront won’t have Battlelog support

    Star Wars Battlefront is not just Battlefield in a Hallowe’en costume, so don’t expect the same suite of features. Star Wars Battlefront is the subject of intense anticipation and curiosity, so it’s not surprising a bunch of rumours have turned up. One of these rumours suggests that Battlefront will have its own version of Battlelog, […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beats Bloodborne to top March NPD chart

    PS4 had a good month but it was EA’s multi-platform Battlefield Hardline that was the best-selling game. March 2015 NPD at a glance Total spend down 6% YoY. Hardware and software both down. Console hardware blamed for significant hardware dip. Accessories up. Battlefield Hardline tops software chart. PS4 outsells other consoles. Wii U, 3DS and […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves gear upgrade paths will be revealed next week

    Destiny developer Bungie will reveal new equipment upgrade paths during a livestream next week. Destiny: House of Wolves will release on May 19, the developer announced last week, promising a full schedule of reveals over the next few weeks. It also gave a broad outline of some of the things it will be discussing in […]

  • Don’t forget: the Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow

    Just a quick heads up to remind you that The Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow, April 17 at 10am EDT. The free weekend is an incentive to bring back beta players which tried the game, but decided not to pursue a purchase. You can play the MMO until 10am EDT on […]

  • Tale of Tales announces May release for Kickstarter success Sunset

    Those attending Kill Screen’s Two5six Festival next month will be able to play Tale of Tales upcoming title Sunset before it’s released. Along with the news provided to us by BeefJack, Tale of Tales have also released new set of lovely screenshots which we have posted below. Sunset will be released on Linux, Mac and […]

  • Take 50% off select racing titles through the Codemasters online store

    Codemasters has launched an online store and is celebrating by giving you 50% off the titles listed. Here’s what’s on sale: F1 2013 Classic Edition F1 2014 – F1 RACE STARS BUNDLE F1 2013 GRID 2 GRID 2 Reloaded GRID Autosport DIRT 3 Complete Edition DIRT Showdown Toybox Turbos F1 RACE STARS Hit up the […]

  • Spy_Watch coming to Apple Watch from Surgeon Simulator devs

    Surgeon Simulator developers Bossa Studios have announced its working on an Apple Watch game called Spy_Watch. Spy_Watch, according to the developer, has players heading up a spy agency which isn’t faring too well. Players will need to train a spy and then send him out on various missions to “reclaim the agency’s former glory.” Real-time […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power hits Steam Early Access next week

    Frozenbyte has announced Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power will launch on Steam Early Access next week. The early access title will run you $19.99/€19.99/£14.99 and you can purchase it come April 21. If the short video above isn’t enough to tempt you, a video showing nine minutes of gameplay was released last week.

  • Journey, Flower, flOw trilogy to be released this summer on PS4 in 1080p at 60fps

    A remastered version of the Journey Collector’s Edition is coming to PlayStation 4 from ThatGameCompany. According to Gamespot, the trilogy will contain PS3 titles flOw, Flower and Journey on one disc, and it will run in 1080p at 60fps. A standalone version of Journey will arrive close to the trilogy’s release on PS4 through the […]

  • Here’s a few screenshots of PS4-exclusive Alienation from Housemarque

    Screenshots for Alienation, Housemarque’s four-player co-op PlayStation 4 exclusive, have been released and you can have a look at them in the gallery we’ve posted. Announced at gamescom 2014, the game features three main character classes, weapon customization, and various team set-ups. The game has players shooting at things with twin-stick gameplay with a top […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront website notes November 17 release, teaser video and first image hit

    The first Star Wars: Battlefront image has been posted, and apparently it appeared on the official website at some point this morning. The game will also be released on November 17, according to the official website’s source code. The release date is noted in the code located in the image below. Props to Gematsu for […]