Battlefield anti-cheat administrator Sabina af Jochnick has detailed the ways DICE is combating the scourge of exploit hungry players. While it's known that Battlefield 4 uses the FairFight anti-cheat software to monitor and flag unusual activities by players (also used by Titanfall), the software is not responsible for enforcing the rules. Jochnick says the studio needs to take a more hands-on approach when it comes to punishments, and that the community can play a role in swatting cheaters.
As part of Battlefield 4's Battlefest event, DICE ran a stunt video competition—inviting players to record their most daring feats of murder and carnage. They've now revealed the winner, and, despite having seen a ridiculous number of Battlefield-based stunts over the years, I have to say I'm impressed. Think of it as an homage to West Side Story, only, instead of groovin' gangs, it's a battle between an actual jet and shark.
DICE continues its efforts to salvage Battlefield 4 with a new series of fixes, due to go live in September. The substantial update is borne of feedback received from the game's Community Test Environment, which launched in May exclusively for Battlefield Premium members. Its focus was meant to be the game's netcode, but a lot more has been addressed according to the notes.
Can Battlefield Hardline's sudden delay to 2015 engooden a game whose beta wasn't terribly well received? Ignore the fact that I just murdered the English language there with the word 'engooden' and focus on these details about the game's story mode, which until now has been shrouded in mystery. Admittedly a mystery no one really cared too much about, like the premise of The Leftovers or what happened to Walt in Lost, but a mystery all the same. Hardline's single-player tells the story of two framed cops who bust out of prison to clear their names (by shooting lots of people, as is the custom). Actors from The Shield, Sons of Anarchy and, er, Nash Bridges are on-board to do the voices. Cheech Marin isn't one of them, disappointingly.
Back in June, the Battlefield Hardline debut trailer revealed that the game would launch on October 21. Today, however, DICE VP Karl Magnus Troedsson announced that the game has been pushed into 2015, so the studio will have enough time to properly implement the ideas and improvements that emerged from the June beta.
I've been falling down an Arma hole recently, and so my initial reaction to this video was one of alarm. Driving tanks into the path of an oncoming train? Absconding with a flag while riding a jet-ski? Running willy-nilly into the incoming fire of your enemies? Riding a digger?! That's not how you do a war. Of course, that's also not the point. The point: to be a loud and explosive playground filled with destructive possibility. If this trailer's two minutes of action are anything to go by, the Dragon's Teeth DLC could be a success in that regard.
We can't always be mowing one another down with military grade weaponry. Sometimes, it's important to take some time out. To celebrate the now finished FIFA World Cup, DICE has embedded a thematic Easter Egg in the Battlefield 4 Community Test Environment. More specifically, the studio has built a fenced off area on the Caspian Border map. Inside you'll find an oversized ball and two goals. Push the ball into the goals, and in keeping with the whole war scenario, it will explode. The video above by DannyonPC will give you an idea of how it works.
This trailer for Battlefield 4's forthcoming Dragon's Teeth DLC might only be 30 seconds long, but only around 10 of those seconds have been wasted showing logos or release dates—the rest is riddled with gunfire and explosions and a bit where a train carriage is knocked clean off a track. (Yes, there is a small explosion resulting from that.) Also pictured: the ballistic shields that will be added in the content pack, along with liberal use of speedboats and quad bikes.
DICE are launching Battlefest, an event they describe as a "festival built for gamers". Picture crowds gathered in massive tents, raising their lighters in appreciation of an on-stage presentation on the merits of mid-range firefights with an AR160. And now forget that image, because this "festival" takes place entirely in-game. It begins this Saturday with a double-XP weekend.
For the British, July 4th is a time for looking sheepishly at your feet as you're reminded of the, er, impoliteness of your ancestors. Then again, nearly every day is a time for that. For the US, it's an apparently much more festive occasion. And so, in honour of the day, Battlefield 4's CTE broke out the red, blue and white fireworks, and an appropriately raucous version of The Star-Spangled Banner. You can see all the Premium-only test client's celebrations, courtesy of YouTube user 'Jackfrags'.
What are you up to on July 15th? It's a Tuesday, so you're probably going to be either at work or at school for some of it, but EA are rather hoping you'll dedicate part to installing and playing Battlefield 4's new Dragon's Teeth DLC. That's according to a tweet (quickly deleted) by EA's Origin account, which revealed (then quickly unrevealed) that Dragon's Teeth will be out for Premium subscribers on that particular date. If true, then we only need to apply EA and DICE's usual two-week delay for non-Premium members to surmise that Dragon's Teeth will launch for everyone on July 29th. That tweet/untweet is after the break, along with a reminder of what the map pack actually involves.
Last month, DICE launched the Community Test Environment—a beta branch of the game that let Premium players test and give feedback on a variety of (much needed) updates. Soon, it'll be time for those improvements to invade the game proper. DICE recently rounded up some of the changes we can expect, including Rush mode tweaks, balance changes to Dragon's Teeth's Ballistics Shield, and, once again, "improvements to the 'Netcode'".
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was selected as the 2010 Shooter of the Year by PC Gamer UK. So why, four years later and despite insistence that it's "still out there," is there still no Bad Company 3? DICE chief Karl-Magnus Troedsson says he knows people want a sequel, the problem is that the studio can't quite figure out exactly what people loved about the series.
If you've played Mirror's Edge, the idea of a sequel that focuses more heavily on its combat probably sounds like the nightmare by-product of a dark, alternate timeline. In fact, according to DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson, it's the real future of our existing timeline. It's not all bad, though, as the studio are looking to refine and improve upon the first game's awkward fisticuffs.
Battlefield 4 had a lot of things. It had a falling skyscraper, a crashing ship, a singleplayer campaign that wasn't as rubbish as it probably should have been. But all of these things were overshadowed by a series of bugs and performance problems that plagued the game long after its launch. Now, EA CEO Andrew Wilson has stated what many of the game's owners already know: "the situation we had was unacceptable".
It seems like only a week ago that the Battlefield Hardline beta was a closed affair, accessible to only the most fortunate and well-connected of the world's virtual warriors. And you know what? It was only a week ago, roughly, but that doesn't matter anymore, because those doors have now swung wide open. Want in? All you have to do is sign up.
Many assumed that with the announcement of Battlefield: Hardline, Electronic Arts had moved the series to an annual release schedule. This is incorrect, according to EA Studios executive VP Patrick Söderlund, who insists that the quick turnaround for Hardline is more a result of the publisher allowing its studios to work on the games they want to make. In actual fact, the cops and robbers concept has been kicking around for more than a decade.
The Battlefield games aren't averse to beta testing. Hardline's closed beta began this week, and previous games have given fans a chance to play a limited pre-release segment. The problem, traditionally, is that these betas are more akin to a demo, and that—as Battlefield 4's long-standing issues prove—rarely help the developers catch and squash bugs.
DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson has now said that, for future Battlefield games, the developer would consider a move to an early access model.
Battlefield Hardline is an odd patchwork of action crime flicks and large-scale Battlefield 4 warfare. I've been playing the closed beta, and though speeding down a freeway in a cop car is a new experience, it feels a lot like BF4—except that seeing a uniformed police officer wielding an RPG is uncanny. A few days before the E3 reveal, I asked Visceral Games VP and GM Steve Papoutsis to explain why, for instance, the cops and criminals have military-grade weapons.
Were you worried that EA was planning to turn Mirror's Edge 2 into something a bit more gun and a bit less run? You should have had faith, my parkour-loving friend. EA has just shown off new prototype footage from the follow up to DICE's critically-acclaimed but commercially-ignored game of futuristic rooftop shenanigans. You can see it for yourself in this new video from E3…