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Battlefield 4 has finally been shown off to  the world at press events in San Francisco and Stockholm and some details about DICE’s new shooter have been confirmed. ,  Like as on Facebook  

While the Swedish developer is holding most of its cards to its chest, we now have some idea of what we can expect from EA’s flagship shooter.

Battlefield 4: Frostbite 3

Thanks to an eye-popping 17-minute demo (see below) the first and most immediate detail that has emerged is that Battlefield 4 will be powered by the Frostbite 3 engine.

Frostbite 3 adds a level of realism to DICE's game that pays careful attention to detail; everything from dynamic lighting effects, to micro and macro destruction animations to even particle rendering looks note-perfect. It all combines to make Battlefield 4 look as close to real life as possible.

Battlefield 4: Setting

Battlefield 4’s demo also confirmed that the series is set to remain in the theatre of modern warfare. This backs up what was said by DICE GM Karl Troedsson at GDC last year.

"There's a lot of things inspiring us as to how the franchise will move on,” he said. “Everything from fans' feedback, to market research and, of course, what we want to build ourselves.

“It's not just one single thing. And, yes, I know Battlefield 4 is probably the most creative name we ever could come up with. I can't comment any more on that games because it's all secret. We still want to stay in this genre, the modern day as it is. We feel this is a place we can be and continue with the series. Battlefield 4 can live in this space and be very successful.”

The demo also revealed the opening stages of the game will be set in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. Some cryptic voice work towards the end of the demo also hinted that the geo-political backdrop involves forces from the US, China and Russia.

This had already been hinted at in an article on CVG, who posted a piece of Battlefield 4 teaser art that detailed the Shanghai skyline. CVG says this seems to confirm earlier reports that the lion’s share of the single player campaign will take place in China.

Battlefield 4: Release Date

Battlefield 4’s release date has been confirmed or Autumn this year, or ‘Fall 2013’ as the trailer would have it. Players who pre-order it will receive the Premium DLC expansion pack for free.

Battlefield 4: Beta

According to a piece run by CVG an unnamed EA employee told the Reddit community, that Battlefield 4 would be out ‘after the beta’.

It was expected this would take place in the autumn, but since Battlefield 4’s release date is around that time, we should expect it a little earlier.

It’s already been confirmed that players who pre-ordered the Medal Of Honor: Warfighter Limited Edition will gain access to the Beta. There’s no word on how other players can access it, but rumours abound that pre-ordering Warfighter isn’t the only way into it.

Battlefield 4: Platforms

No next generation platforms have been confirmed as yet – probably because DICE and EA are under console NDAs that are as radioactive as they are bulletproof. We have to say, though, that we'd be bowled over if Battlefield 4 wasn't being prepared for Sony's and Microsoft next gen machines.

However, in an interview with Eurogamer, DICE executive Peter Bach said that the game will run on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Wii U owners, on the other hand, are out of luck; Battlefield 4 will not be making its way to Nintendo’s next gen platform.

“The biggest problem we have right now is we don't want to back down from what we see as our low spec machines. We right now don't have support for the Wii U in the Frostbite engine,” he said.

“The reason for that is it takes development time. What should we focus on to create the best possible Battlefield experience? We are now focused on PC and the current-gen platforms, and then there might be other platforms in the future that we can't talk about...”

Battlefield 4: Features

It’s been reported on that EA is looking at making the Frostbite 2 engine that powers Battlefield 4 work with the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset.

In an interview with Eurogamer, head of the Frostbite creative team at DICE Frank Vitz said, “I am really eager to see how the Oculus Rift works with Frostbite. There are multiple titles in the works that would be awesome with the Rift.”

He added: “It should be awesome. BF3 in S3D works great and our current version of the engine has all of that support still. I have one of the first Rift dev kits coming my way in March. We have an internal community eager to work on it... I know of at least four kits on order.”

Implementation should be “pretty straightforward,” Vitz said.

Battlefield 4: Gameplay

With so little rumours about, it’s difficult to predict just what DICE has in store for the upcoming Battlefield 4. However, that hasn’t stopped die-hard fans from conjuring up some ideas of their own.

Forums across the net are littered with user recommendations, with most pointing at better graphics, physics and gameplay. Here are some of our favourites from N4G users.

tr00p3r: "If this is a next-gen title, I would just like to see more of the same from BF3, but with better graphics, like a lot better than what we see at the moment. The gameplay is fine, so it doesn't need too much work. More tanks, jeeps, jets, equipment, unlocks..gonna be epic if this is next-gen."

Ares84HU: "In next gen I want better graphics and physics obviously. But I would love to see 64 player battles on consoles in the next Battlefield game with true destruction. I feel that BF3 was a step back from BFBC2 in the destruction area which is really bad I think because it was one of the biggest features I really loved in the game."

Battlefield 4: Gameplay

While there’s no word yet about Battlefield 4’s online modes – either co-op or multiplayer - DICE says that the single-player campaign has been rejigged to address the issues players and critics had with the same mode in Battlefield 3.

For starters, the gameplay will incorporate the more open, improvisational nature of the online modes. [ Game Director Stefan Strandberg says that the single-player campaign will address this in Battlefield 4. "This is a game where the gameplay is centred around choice rather the predetermined solutions," he said, "Battlefield is about being able to improvise and form your own solutions to any challenge that lies ahead of you."]

Strandberg pointed to a moment in the demo in which the player hijacked a jeep after having his AI allies lay down suppressing fire and flanking it. "We're taking the best moments from multiplayer and incorporating them into single player," he said.

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