Some of the Battlefield series’ greatest traditional pleasures have been denied to players of its newest iteration. Ask a friend to “ride shotgun" in your whirlybird, for instance, and what you’re really suggesting is a midair wrestle with a machine gun with the shakes. Similarly, hop on the back of a dirt bike in one of the new China Rising maps and you’ll find your aim as broken as your morale.
Until yesterday, that was, when DICE saw off those issues and several more - including a quirk that saw players shot behind cover when changing stance.
It’s telling that the first word to reach us on Battlefield 4’s China Rising map pack wasn’t in praise of its new sandpits waiting to be painted a fresh red, but a warning direct from EA about dropped connections. Battlefield may claim to know war, but it doesn’t take a Sun Tzu to see the game might be better off attending to its own affairs before expanding its borders.
But China Rising was promised as a pre-order bonus, and so DICE must plough on, squinting through the bugs. Let’s see what each of its four new maps brings, shall we?
Battlefield 4 has had a shaky start, and its first chunk of DLC, China Rising, seems to be sticking with tradition. "While exploring new battlegrounds in the Battlefield 4 expansion, China Rising, you may run into an occasional hiccup, issue, glitch, or problem that could interrupt or prohibit your gameplay," says EA, before going on to tackle some specific problems in a recently posted troubleshooting guide.
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Battlefield 4's getting a patch tomorrow just in time for the China Rising DLC. Expect the update to be implemented at 1AM PST, possibly causing a wee bit of downtime. But don't worry, it's all in the name of fixing bugs like single bullets having their damage applied multiple times and dreaded connectivity issues. Get all your dry patch details below.
When I'm shooting people online, and the map is dappled with sunlight and surrounded by clear blue skies, I feel ill at ease. Living in Scotland, I've not seen "nice weather" since the mid '90s, so I simply don't know how to react. But what if I could change the in-game weather to match the miserable, wet reality outside my window?
DICE CEO Patrick Soderlund, speaking with The Guardian, has been wondering the same thing. "[W]hat if we had servers where it pulls in just things as simple as weather and day time from the local area." Finally, a way to fight my fellow Scots in a climate we understand.
If you’ve seen Gravity you’ll know that it’s not only about Sandra Bullock gasping but also debris speeding up in orbit, so that every time it comes past it’s travelling at a speed that makes bullets look increasingly silly.
It seems a similar kind of maths has been going on in Battlefield 4 - every now and again, damage from a single bullet will be erroneously multiplied. And then multiplied again, for bad measure, so that it thoroughly kills targets who might otherwise have continued to run about for at least a minute longer.
That’s to be fixed next week, thankfully, along with a few other similarly melodramatic bugs.
Hello good people of PCGamesN,
I have made a short art film with a help of footage from BF4 singleplayer campaign and several passages from Nietzsche. It's called Faces Of Wor ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTMSR0MctgU).
The film provides indirect commentary on character interaction...
It’s important for squaddies to meet up before ascending to the Battlefield, for that’s the time when each Steve is determined. Who is the disenchanted but dutiful Steve McQueen? Which of us on this team is the impervious meathead, Steve Austin? And who’ll take on the role of the doomed and highly-strung Steve Buscemi?
Battlefield 3 on the consoles had a provision for this: players were able to create private lobbies and invite friends, before joining matches as an already-assembled outfit. But the feature was missing from Battlefield 4 at launch last month - and it’s likely to stay that way.
DICE are to give Battlefield 4 players a week of double XP and other goodies as compensation for the various outages since launch. From November 28th until December 5th, anyone who completes a multiplayer match will be rewarded with twice the bounty of XP. Additionally, players will also receive an exclusive M1911 pistol scope, which was previously a DICE developer-only attachment.
“It is a discussion about niche and mass market, I think," said DICE man Patrick Bach at a BAFTA event last month, for whom such matters are all relative.
Bad Company wasn’t exactly Indie McArtGame, but it did something Battlefield 3 and 4 didn’t - it dared to have a personality. A sense of humour that introduced the possibility of - shock horror - not being entirely inoffensive. And that’s something DICE are nervous about doing again.
Though Battlefield 4 seemed to follow fairly quickly on the heels of its predecessor, gaps remain in the factory line. For every Battlefield, two Call of Dutys drift by. And if EA’s chief money man is to be believed, that’s how things will remain.
Ah, you missed it. There was a second-long assault happening right here, but now it’s done. Looked spectacular, I can tell you - there was a bang, and then all the buildings started to fall over - sorry, levolve - and then it was over. It was impossible to tell who was winning, and the futility of modern warfare briefly washed over me like dishwater from the washing-up bowl of eternity.
But as you’re here, why not watch some of the various videos shot by YouTube names at a recent EA event in Guildford? Between them, you’ll get a good idea of how four of Battlefield 3’s best-remembered maps have been rekitted for inclusion in Battlefield 4’s Second Assault DLC.
If I were multi-national games corporation DICE, I’d be feeling a bit nervous about adding new stuff to a game in which the current stuff keeps doing backflips and killing players, and that’s just the walls. But woops, here comes that Second Assault DLC they promised fans months ago. On the horizon we can just about make out its four fan-favourite maps. And it looks like each has been treated with levelution, like an explosive baste.
The fun never stops for Battlefield 4 players. Along with a bugged launch and list of issues as long as Rapunzel’s hair, they now find that servers are crashing and their unlock progression is being reset. DICE are blaming a DDOS attack targeted at their servers. They’re currently working on a fix.
So you’ve become accustomed to heckling your teammates from up high via Battlefield’s now-returned Commander Mode, and developed an unmistakable, inimitable war cry to be uttered at volume whenever you deploy war assets. But three problems have occurred to you: I cannot command from the bath. I cannot command from bed. And I cannot command from the bus.
No longer. The Commander app is implicit permission from DICE to puppeteer your friends through every second of their time with Battlefield 4.
EA have 15 Frostbite engine games in development right now, and you’re bound to play some of them - one is Mirror’s Edge 2, for Pete's sake. Sensibly, AMD have made a point to support them all through Mantle - a new API built to skip DirectX and whisper straight into the corrugated ear of your graphics card. And the first to benefit will be Battlefield 4, via an update planned for this December.
Battlefield 4’s launch was a high profile cock up - one that our Tim detailed at length. But as players sift through the wreckage, labelling errant bits of wing and still-spinning engines, it’s getting better. A series of hotfixes over the last week or so has culminated in this, the game’s ninth update - a major patch DICE believe will bring an end to frequent crashing and, er, being shot through walls.
The Battlefield series’ grey and orange palette is now so well established that doctors are using it to test the cognitive abilities of their patients But an apparent rendering bug at launch briefly saw Battlefield 4 and its players awakened to a whole spectrum of colours. Mostly hot pinks, lime greens and retina-burning yellows.
In Battlefield 4 they call helicopters ‘helos’. Not ‘helo’ like you might say “oh hello, here comes a helicopter", but like ‘heelo’, as if it were short for ‘heelocopter’. The more I think about it, the more that word makes sense, because if soldiers said “hello" every time a helicopter appeared, other soldiers might think they were just being friendly and start waving and running towards one another. That's bad battle tactics. And if they said “heli", any soldiers named Helen or Ellie might respond with “hello", and then things would get very confusing indeed. So in fact it makes tremendous sense to call a helicopter a ‘heelo’. I'm not sure why I even brought it up now.
This is just one of the things Battlefield 4 has taught me about war. Here are some other things.