Of the two major first-person shooter franchises out there, EA's Battlefield has prided itself on being the more "hardcore" of the two. Battlefield 3's multiplayer is slower and more strategic, but it's also harder to get into for the neophyte player. With the upcoming Battlefield 4, EA and developer DICE have taken that issue head-on in an attempt to make the game more accessible.
For Battlefield 4, DICE has changed up how the game hands out multiplayer unlocks. The team has also improved how the game lets players know what each unlock does. Battlefield 4 creative director Lars Gustavsson told VG247 that the team has learned from the mistakes they made in Battlefield 3.
"We shipped Battlefield 3, which we should be slapped for, with probably the worst set ups ever," said Gustavsson. "As a pilot, you had to fly your plane and only kill other planes with your cannons. You didn't have any counter-measures; you didn't have any missiles. And that's basically for the best of the best pilots; that's what they should do to show their skills. [As a beginner], you should have counter-measures, you should have heat-seeking missiles to give you a smooth ride into the game and then from there on you should customize."
"So that's what we've tried to do; the full set-ups are supposed to be quite easy to learn and to master, and from there you can start unlocking things and seeing what your preferred setup is. So, a lot of learning from Battlefield 3 have gone into making the game."
Don't worry hardcore Battlefield players, DICE hasn't forgotten you yet. There will be "more complex" modes for you, though the game will include cinematics to show off those concepts to new players. Most importantly, DICE wants to give all types of Battlefield 4 players a way to choose how they want to play.
"The key thing I'm after here is that even though we have score play and we now have Commander, it doesn't mean that you have to play it that way," Gustavsson said. "We have many modes where we don't even have scores, or the focus on teamplay in that way. It's you and only you, and only your kill-death ratio matters."
"It's totally up to you, but if you want to, even in the more complex mode, you can do your own lone wolf career. But if you want to there is a traditional layer – for those who want it. That's the big thing. It might sound like a marketing pitch: play your ways. It's sincerely what we believe in, that we shouldn't dictate how to play Battlefield."
Battlefield 4 is coming to Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC on October 29, 2013.