If the majority of DICE's Battlefield 4 team are hurriedly trying to stamp out all of its many launch bugs, surely another squad has been holed deep in an underground bunker, thinking of ways to 'Levolve' the four returning maps of the Second Assault DLC pack. Those maps have now been officially revealed as Operation Metro, Operation Firestorm, Caspian Border and Gulf of Oman. Does this mean Metro will get a crashing train of thematically appropriate death? According to a previous teaser, no. Running over everyone in the map is probably a balance issue or something.
Where to start? That must be the big question facing DICE right now as they try and wrangle Battlefield 4 into a stable state. Players have been reporting disconnection errors, freezes, crashes and a smattering of bugs. DICE have tabled a list of fixes they're working on on the Battlefield 4 forums, which includes a bug that stops server queues from working and various client instability problems.
Clan leader John Strike charges into the Battlefield 4 beta to find out what's new, old, better and broken.
Why was I nervous? It wasn’t like I was at a job interview or even meeting my girlfriend’s favourite dog for the first time. Yet here I was sitting at the computer at 8:55 AM, my bottom chewing on my underpants in apprehension at the beta release of Battlefield 4.
I've poured 900 hours into Battlefield 3. As a clan leader, I couldn't help but fear for my ruthless band of buddies should Battlefield 4 not cut the mustard. Casting my mind back to Battlefield 3’s beta some two years ago I knew what problems to expect: connection problems, performance problems, clipping problems. I feared that the beta might collapse harder and faster than Seige of Shanghai's destructible skyscraper. At first, it did.
Speaking at our PC Gaming World Congress last Friday, DayZ creator Dean Hall responded to an audience question about server-side games and what they mean for modding. Specifically, the question cited SimCity 4's modding community and what's happened with Maxis' always-online SimCity reboot, which can't support significant modding. Will the trend of developer-controlled servers mean an end to all mods?
The Humble Origin Bundle is over. The Electronic Arts-sponsored sale concluded yesterday with a grand total of $10.5 million in sales according to the Humble Bundle Twitter account.
EA getting a Humble Bundle sounds like a thing that should raise eyebrows, but considering how much money is being raised for charity right now - and how many normally-quite-expensive games can be had for pocket money - I'm finding that my cynicism chip is just not activating. The explosion-studded bundle has raised nearly $8.5 million already, with EA's entire share going to charities the Human Rights Campaign, watsi, the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. In addition to the likes of Dead Space 3, Mirror's Edge and Battlefield 3, you can now get C&C: Red Alert 3 - Uprising and Populous if you pay over the average of $4.84.
The Humble Origin Bundle is live, allowing you to pay what you want for Dead Space, Dead Space 3, Burnout Paradise, Crysis 2, Mirror's Edge, and Medal of Honor. Paying more than the average (roughly $5 at the time of this post) unlocks Battlefield 3 and The Sims 3 with some DLC.And all of EA's share goes to charity.
Battlefield 3 and its map packs are littered with hidden (and often dinosaur related) easter eggs. But one secret, hinted at over a year ago by former DICE voice-over producer Tomas Danko, had, until recently, evaded the game's dedicated community.
The clues related to an audio cue that would play only if an extremely specific set of conditions were met. That included playing as the US faction, being between 110 and 350 meters from a spotter, and under 350 meters from an AA gun being spotted. Add to that a random chance element, and it becomes clear why it proved so elusive. At least, until YouTube presenter JackFrags decided to do some detective work.
Before we knew what to name them, we called them “Doom clones.” id Software’s seminal work sparked a phenomenon when it began to circulate as shareware 20 years ago, and since then shooters have propagated through mods, experimentation, LAN parties, co-op, eSports, and big-budget masterpieces. Guns and enemies are their bread and butter, but we don’t think of our favorite shooters as outlets for simulated violence. We celebrate the way they test our minds and mouse reflexes, the personal stories they generate, the captivating worlds they’ve founded, and the social spaces they provide for lighthearted bonding or hardcore competition.
If you've already worked yourself into a state of frothy excitement over the latest Battlefield 4 news, why not let out some of that stress with something almost as good—free content. During E3, DICE and EA are making the Battlefield 3 DLC Close Quarters available as a free download (via PCGamesN).
Battlefield 3 loves a good multiplayer event, but the whopping 96-hour double XP event planed for the beginning of May had to be postponed when the game’s servers were hit by a DDOS attack. Everyone loves a good multiplayer shindig, it seems, except the hackers.
Origin's latest beta update is primarily targeting "power gamers with muscular 64-bit systems". Which is an odd phrase, and not just because no regular person has said "power gamers" without being violently sick soon after. Muscular 64-bit systems? It's 2013: my calculator is basically running a 64-bit system. Although, in fairness, my calculator is just my regular desktop - so is in fact running the same system that Origin is also using. Touche, EA.
How do you prevent a war? Organised protest? Stay in bed for a few days? Stage a fake alien invasion? Well, in the case of Battlefield 3, you can (temporarily) prevent its never-ending online kerfuffle with a brutal DDOS kick square in the servers. PC and console servers for both the game itself and Battlelog suffered outages earlier today, apparently due to an external attack. While the Battlefield 3 site is suggesting everything's gone back to normal, the official twitter account hasn't yet given the all clear. Lunchtime BF3 players: is everything now working as it should?
And the retail leaks continue. After Tesco's unplanned reveal of CoD: Ghosts, details of Battlefield 4 have surfaced through an EB Games pre-order poster - spotted by BF4Central. It teases an enhanced Battlelog, the title of the first DLC expansion, and an October 31st release date. This is actually the second Battlefield promo spotting - Gamespot previously let slip the return of Commander mode and the sequel's three playable factions. Maybe the affected publishers need to have a whip round to raise cash for some less hole-ridden info buckets.
Venice Unleashed, a server emulator for Battlefield 3, is now accepting beta signups. Created by NoFaTe, Venice promises control "over a wide set of features and settings that were initially hidden," including spectator mode and other "half-implemented or disabled game features." According to the signup site, Venice also supports the creation of mods and new gamemodes "without the need of performing complicated and game-breaking file modifications."
Battlefield 4's shiny reveal earlier this week in a gameplay trailer that provided a 17-minute window into the visuals of a fully armed and operational Frostbite 3 engine, but DICE is discouraging players and press from focusing too much on BF4's eye candy. In an interview with Eurogamer, Executive Producer Patrick Bach states a raw display of Frostbite tech isn't enough to attract gamers anymore, with more importance lying with how the studio intends to use the engine to advance the gameplay experience.
A trio of Battlefield 4 screenshots has been fished out of a DICE media directory by hawk-eyed NeoGAF users. All three shots boast environment effects and textures powered through the meaty Frostbite 3 engine, features particularly apparent in the first-person outdoor gaze of a massive cloud of birds flying lazily about in a sunny afternoon.
The day of Battlefield 4's rain-spattered reveal is upon us, and we've got troops deployed at GDC to bring you all the info when it hits. The fourth major Battlefield game continues a franchise of massive multiplayer warzones and vehicle-on-infantry combat, but Battlefield 3 has borne the series banner for the past two years across a highly anticipated launch and five subsequent add-on packs. In a dev diary video, members of DICE look back on the game's design hurdles and post-launch reception, all of which has likely influenced what we'll see in Battlefield 4 today.
Next week we'll catch our first proper glimpse of Battlefield 4, and if the picture on the press invite is anything to go by, DICE's latest in the supersized shooter series will stick with the near-modern-day setting. Also: it will have rain. Though I'm delighted by the presence of these delicately rendered drips, with over 700 Battlefield hours under my belt, and a clan to lead, I have a few more items on my wishlist.