Battlefield 4 debuted at GDC to the sound of shattering glass and crumbling concrete.
Patrick Söderlund, executive vice president of EA, showed off the “Fishing In Baku” mission in San Francisco in front of a crowd consisting of journalists and developers alike.
Battlefield 3’s single player campaign was greeted with lukewarm reception, and it appears that DICE noticed; so much so that the main focus of Battlefield 4 is developing a “human, dramatic, believable” experience, Söderlund said.
“The real games are not about polygons or shaders, [they are] about the connections we feel with the characters.
“We are creating experiences that touch us emotionally.”
A dark screen began the demo, accompanied by Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” a misleading intro to a decidedly darker demonstration.
Using the Frostbite 3 engine, DICE’s sound direction is apparent from the get-go: go all out. Popping guns and destructible walls surround the main character as he fights his way across a war torn ghost town, complete with decaying skyscrapers and dilapidated shacks.
Puddles reflect every nuance of a green forest, standing in stark contrast to the whites and browns of the previous Azerbaijani town. The engine is known for its look, and DICE knows it.
The gameplay video’s conceit is its look and feel, its sound and “emotions,” as Söderlund said.
“It’s about connecting to the characters around you, and how you react and change the world.”