At long last, we’ve got a clear visual on the next significant Battlefield title, with developer DICE unleashing a full wave of Battlefield 4 information last week in its whopping 17-minute Fishing in Baku trailer.
Visually, this extended cut of in-game footage succeeds in its mission to dazzle like handful of other games can, and crucially it shows us what outcomes the most recent Frostbite 3 engine can obtain on both high-end PCs and, presumably, next-gen consoles. This isn’t just about first-person shooters, on the other hand: with Bioware also keen to chip in that this technologies forms the basis of follow-ups to its Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, its advances represent substantially additional as we appear to the future.
But what exactly has changed because the second Frostbite engine, unveiled in 2011’s Battlefield 3? Its roots in DirectX 11 are after once again extended to enable for enhanced tessellation tech on characters and geometry, new rain and fog effects, plus a revised destruction engine. The trailer also tends to make a huge point of demonstrating a breadth for the campaign’s level design and style that the third-entry notoriously lacked. Battles now play out across vast expanses of terrain, with an emphasis on carving out your personal route by blasting via walls, riding automobiles or calling in air-strikes. Set-pieces and chases down tight corridors are still fixed in to the game-flow to funnel players through its story, but even so, Battlefield 4 sets out to throw you back into the sandbox wherever possible, bringing it substantially closer towards the multiplayer side of your expertise.
The trailer itself runs at 1080p (even though DICE reckons it is downscaled from a 3K rendering resolution), running at 60FPS, tracking the Tombstone squad’s journey by means of flooded, graffiti-spoiled corridors to swampy jungle pathways, just before emerging to a horizon of establishing skyscrapers. As a technical declaration of intent, it is a bold one particular, and aesthetically comparable to the Operation Swordbreaker mission used to break the ice at Battlefield 3’s reveal – only this time pushing previous the focus on rooftops, stairwells and market-stall alleys.
One from the greatest draws in the demo would be the quality on the facial animation shown in the pretty start off. The motion capture is far beyond what we’ve seen before in the series, with the new tessellation tech enabling for any closer mapping of actor’s faces. Lip-sync looks closely matched consequently, and physique captures are convincing too as your squad interacts using the atmosphere – placing to make use of the identical in-house ANT capture tech wielded by the FIFA series. For all its successes right here, the lack of eye movement offers the game away somewhat through close scrutiny, but animation stands as a massive leap forward that brings Battlefield 4 pretty much as much as par with LA Noire’s heavy-handed MotionScan approach.
In scenes exactly where lighting is in full impact, the amount of texture detail on characters’ faces and clothing goes one particular step further than Battlefield 3: skin shaders react towards the situations of the atmosphere, with sunlight bringing out fleshy, red tones on character cheeks, whilst a reflection map layer is utilised to reflect sweat during the first underwater sequence. It is very convincing in motion – recurring faces inside the final game’s earlier levels, including Montes’, appear less richly textured when compared with what we’re seeing right here.
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