Electronics Arts' DICE studio has released a 17-minute video giving a sneak peek at Battlefield 4. The Battlefield series boasts more than 65 million players worldwide and is poised to win new multiplayer fans when the latest generation is released this fall.
The video demo begins as the player -- Recker -- opens his eyes to discover that he is trapped in a rapidly sinking with three of his squad mates. Shooting the window is the only way out. Panic and fear are pushed aside as Recker makes a difficult decision -- take the shot and recover the intel but risk that not everyone will survive.
Players will learn how to work together in both the Campaign and Multiplayer modes, issuing squad orders and comparing achievements in both experiences. Adventure and competition will unfold through a series of crafted locations. DICE's Frostbite 3 technology makes it all possible.
Priming the Pump
"Today's demo was just the beginning -- we have so much more in store," said Patrick Soderlund, executive vice president of the EA Games Label. "It is thrilling to witness people's reaction when seeing the game for the first time. It really makes you realize that we are at the beginning of a whole new era for gaming. As artists and craftspeople, we are focused on creating a dynamic, open design that brings people together with amazing, surprising unscripted moments that they'll talk about for days. That's the beauty of Battlefield."
In single-player, DICE promise gamers huge environments, a playground of destruction, access to an arsenal of vehicles and the ability to direct squad mates. Taking a page from the social aspect of multiplayer gaming, the single-player mode will now track players' progress, adding an element of persistence and friendly competition to the campaign.
EA is already pumping pre-sales with special deals. Consumers who pre-order Battlefield 4 will get a Premium expansion pack at no additional cost. DICE also announced Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe, an Origin exclusive special edition that includes the base game and bonus in-game digital items. Players that pre-order Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe on Origin will also receive the Premium expansion pack as well as access to the exclusive Battlefield 4 multiplayer beta.
"Online multiplayer games is a popular sector and that's what EA has done well with it," said Billy Pidgeon, an independent video game analyst. "In the PC space, there's been a lot of entry into the multiplayer online from smaller publishers lately. There's quite a bit of free-to-play as well."
Pidgeon also pointed to a growing market for companies to provide players with gaming servers and special features for hosting games so they can bring together a specific group of players. He said this also business benefits publishers.
"EA has always been a player in PC, however they've been mostly known for console games. A lot of people got out of the PC because of super-distribution or piracy," Pidgeon told us. "With multiplayer games you mitigate piracy. Super-distribution can be your friend because people are playing and have to authenticate the version to play with others."