Daily Reaction: We Talk Battlefield 4 – Setting, Changes and Microtransactions

March 15, 2013Written by Dan Oravasaari

With the recent confirmation that Battlefield 4 will be shown at the EA press event at GDC 2013, the Daily Reaction crew of Seb and Dan talk about the franchise as a whole and what EA can do to improve the series as they move forward.

Q: When and where would you like Battlefield 4 to be set?

Danzig: Given the countless FPS games out there that have already oversaturated the market on almost every time period and location possible, it would be difficult for me to pick a setting that I would like to see Battlefield 4 take on.

The modern era has been pretty much overrun as of late between the Call of Duty series and the Battlefield games, and the same can be said for the WW2 era/future settings. So, realistically, I think besides them placing the game in something unexpected like a post-apocalyptic setting similar to the Fallout series, I couldn’t care less for the most part as to the backdrop for the next war.

Given the leaked images showing a similar setting to what we have seen in Battlefield 3, I doubt we will see much of a deviation from that format in its sequel. But, if they took the format we have grown accustomed to, I would at the least like to see bigger environments. Much like the PC version of BF3 which had larger maps and bigger matches, I would really like to revisit that feeling on consoles by having the world feel less confined than it has as of late.

Seben Deadly Sins: Yeah, I don’t envy the people that have to come up with a new setting for FPS games, too much has been done, and too often. The supposed leaked image, viewable below, does look like they are sticking with the current setting, perhaps with a near-future take if they want to be able to have a bit more creative freedom with weapons.

And near-future is probably what I’d be most interested in – the problem is that a lot of people will say DICE are just copying Call of Duty: Black Ops II. However, COD’s near-future was near-sighted, just a few gadgets and some old people. It didn’t really feel like the future – ‘current’ games already have tech that’s better than real life to make the games more enjoyable/plot easier, so titles set in the near-future should take it one step further.

I want nearish-future.

Q: What would you like to see changed, or kept the same?

Peter Dan: Well given that I have already said that the maps need to be significantly bigger for the game to feel like a true Battlefield title, I won’t go down that route again. But, along with the increased map size,there needs to be a level of destruction that I think we were all hoping for in BF3, given what we kept seeing out of the trailers. The expansion of interactivity in the world would require more physics based destruction where buildings would need to be able to support their own weight, and, when those support braces were taken out, the building could collapse on its own. This ability to have tactical destruction as an option in BF4 would allow a greater level of strategy, as players would be able to close off streets by dropping a whole building.

Besides improved environments, the one thing that was a real issue for me in BF3 was the time investment needed to unlock all of the attachments and options for the vehicles. Having tried to show a number of friends the game when it came out, I was repeatedly having to state that the reason why my Jets could not shoot missiles was because I haven’t unlocked them yet, only to be met with a confused look. This dragged out need to have people invest an obscene amount of time into every asset in the game was far beyond the investment I was willing to put into a game before I could start playing how I wanted. This is something I hope they address with BF4, as I am looking forward to the game again, but will probably have to pass if I have to spend 10 hours flying planes before I am able to actually use it fully.

Sebaceous Cyst: Agreed. Having to unlock tons of stuff before a game actually becomes fun is pointless, and means that, by the time the game’s actually at the level where you can enjoy it, you’re tired of it.

Most of all, what I got so annoyed with was the death sequence – where you fall to the side and your arm splays out. Mix that up a bit! Have way more death animations, new ones for all the different ways you die and all the intricacies that are involved in the end of a human’s life. I got bored of death, and that’s probably not a good thing.

Singleplayer was also a letdown in BF3, just like most shooters – a disappointing story, repetitive sequences and a generally unmemorable campaign. It didn’t even have characters as memorable as the personalities in Call of Duty – such as everyone’s favorite moustachioed killer Captain Price. Which is odd, because BF: Bad Company really pushed their characters to the fore, so you’d think that they’d be better at making a plot and people you actually care about in the core Battlefield series.

BF3’s visuals were top class (obviously better on PC), so I hope that they keep that attention to detail, even though they are now transitioning to a faster dev cycle of every two years. It’ll also almost definitely be on PS4, so I really want to be blown away by how it looks – which won’t be easy, considering the beautiful Killzone Shadow Fall is also coming out.

I also want them to keep up with the awesome amount of DLC support, although next time, I don’t want them lock people out of content with BF Premium and non-premium (sadly they will).

Q: Would you like Microtransactions to be included in Battlefield 4?

He-Dan: Nope.

Sebuce me: Hell nope.

Do you plan on picking up Battlefield 4 when it comes out? What changes do you think they should include? What should they keep? Let us know in the comments section below, or by shooting us an email at [email protected], and maybe once you have sent enough comments you will unlock the ability to tweet us at Seb and Dan.