It’s June 10, evening, and we’re in a low-lit Stockholm bar. For the purposes of this intro, EA’s E3 conference plays on an overlarge flatscreen TV in the corner, usually reserved for sports. There’s a man wandering between stools, looking for an audience. He’s barely audible above the boom of Battlefield 4’s skyscrapers, thunderous in their hurry to hit the ground. “That’s ME, that is,” he says, again and again, pointing. “Them things falling, that dust rising. That’s all me – Frostbite 3.”
Here’s a video from DICE about everything their expensive new engine does for Battlefield, and what it might do for everything else under EA’s banner. It’s filled with slightly silly words like “authentic” and “realism”, which you’re used to hearing bandied about by straight-faced developers. But what’ll have you stood up at your desk spitting curses is a particularly ugly neologism: “levelution”. Yuck.
But you’ll forgive it, because it stands for some really cool things: buildings collapsing, dams breaking, and other unfathomably large objects wreaking irrevocable, dynamic change to multiplayer maps.
So: them waves. Brilliant, eh? If you didn’t catch it, here’s the crux: all players will see and feel the effects of the same waves, rather than having them rendered on an individual basis. That means they’ll stop being aesthetic niceties, pretty projections cast across flat seas, and start being the swirling, jostling stuff of ever-moving landscapes that can define the swell and flow of battle. We’ve never seen the like – at least, not outside of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Tranformed.
DICE have also infused their engine with real eyes, sourced from I-don’t-want-to-know-where. Because how can you fall in love with an NPC unless their eyes look real?
I didn’t mean that, Alyx. Alyx?