Battlefield 4 was formally revealed in Stockholm last night, but beyond a brief introduction to Tombstone Squad and the announcement of Frostbite 3, we still don't know all that much about it – including whether or not it's coming to next-gen platforms.
Nevertheless, there's still a fair amount of information to be deduced from the gameplay reveal. Here's everything we know about Battlefield 4 so far…
- Battlefield 4 is built on Frostbite 3, a new version of DICE's engine that improves the game's visuals, animations and AI. You can read more about Frostbite 3 here.
- Battlefield 4's opening mission, 'Fishing In Baku', is set in the capital city of Azerbaijan, and introduces players to Tombstone Squad.
- Tombstone consists of four soldiers: Irish, Pac, player character Recker and squad leader Dunn. SPOILER: Players must cut off Dunn's leg with their knife after he's crushed by a destroyed helicopter. He later dies after the vehicle he's riding in plummets into the sea.
- Rather than jumping between different characters throughout the campaign, players will solely play as Recker, with the single-player narrative focussing on the story of Tombstone. There will be additional characters, though, including a female soldier rumoured to be called Hanna.
- DICE is using real world actors to play the roles of its soldiers. Irish is played by The Wire's Michael K Williams. The soldier's facial animations are exquisite.
- Female characters will not be playable in the game's single or multiplayer.
- Little is known about the game's story. However, the game appears to include at least three warring factions, including the United States, Russia, and China. A Chinese character called 'Admiral Chang' is referred to during the prologue’s closing moments.
- The opening mission recaps the moments leading up to Dunn's death, following Tombstone Squad as they engage in a firefight inside an abandoned school and creep through a woodland, before being ambushed by Russian troops outside a construction yard.
- A set-piece later in the level sees Tombstone climbing to the top of a building for helicopter extraction, before coming under fire from a Russian attack chopper. The building is destroyed, but players continue to fight as it crumbles to the ground.
- Art director Gustav Tilleby states that the game's tone is based on an "aggressive world". "In the single-player campaign, the world is on the verge of war, and the story of Battlefield 4 is an underdog story. The squad is fighting against the odds and fighting against the elements." He continues: "The world is on the verge of war and the squad is driving straight into it."
- Players are now able to issue orders to their squad mates, including the ability to designate targets to allies on the ground and in the air. It isn't clear whether players will be able to issue other types of orders.
- By designating targets, players can get squad mates to draw fire away from them, allowing them to flank enemies and make alternative approaches to situations.
- Two drivable ground vehicles have been revealed so far, including a civilian 4x4 and a buggy equipped with a turret.
- Sea vehicles include a dinghy, attack boats and jet skis. Naval warfare was suggested, but not revealed.
- One level, set in an unnamed ocean, sees the player riding alongside a huge aircraft carrier as waves crash against their dinghy.
- Everything in the environment is now affected by wind and forces, with particles, cloth and foliage all affected by the impact of helicopter crashes, grenade explosions and passing cars.
- There appears to be an element of score-chasing in Battlefield 4. The player's score for the level is visible in the top right of the screen at all times, alongside what appears to be an icon for the number of friends online. A trophy icon can also be seen, but it is not yet clear what this represents.
- DICE says that it is aiming to bring "key elements" of Battlefield's multiplayer into the game's single-player, and promises to offer "more open" levels and "more freedom of movement".
- Pre-order customers will receive a "Premium expansion pack" at no additional cost. A Battlefield 4 "Digital Deluxe" version of the game featuring bonus "in-game digital items" and access to Battlefield 4's multiplayer beta will be available exclusively via Origin.
- Battlefield 4 launches on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in autumn 2013. A release on next-gen platforms has yet to be announced. The game will not be available on Wii U.
Source: Battlefield 4 reveal event in Stockholm. Travel and accommodation provided by EA.