Battlefield 4 is only a little while away, and players on the PC are asking ‘what’s the difference, really?’ between Battlefield 4 and 3. In our video preview we asked the same thing. A discussion arose in that video curious as to why we claimed Battlefield 3 and 4 were console ports to PC, to which we explained how DICE’s GM Karl-Magnus Troedsson said about BF3 that “We said originally that the PC was the lead SKU of the game, but in mid-production we switched to console as lead platform to make sure we could get all the versions done for release.”
In an interview with VG247, Patrick Bach, DICE once again establish the console as the leading platform, saying that “The biggest changes cannot be seen in trailers or screenshots, but when you pick up the controller – especially with the newer generation consoles. Thanks when you see the changes with BF4.”
This indicates that DICE feel the major changes between Battlefield 3 and 4 are designed – and most notable on – the console platform, which comes eerily close to implying the PC product is a side-grade, with all of the innovation being pumped into improving the console experience – even though most of the changes are “under the hood.”
Some of the more innovative changes might, according to a new New York Times piece, come with Battlefield 5, which is “due in just a few years.” According to that article, DICE will be working on more destruction.
Our primary concern is with the gimmicky upgrades that deter away from the skill-based shooter experience, adding unnecessary bloat to the gameplay, but necessary (to get you to fork over cash) iterative upgrades and unlockables which make you feel as though you’re at a disadvantage against those with more time to play than yourself – making you want to pay.
Bach claims however that “There were things we wanted to introduce to the game and to the franchise without disturbing the core of the game – you don’t want people to feel alienated by crazy features and crazy changes,” when asked about the differences between 3 and 4.
There’s hope that the crazy, or gimmicky, features found it 3 might be left out, then. It does however remain clear that DICE are chasing console sales, trying to catch up with Call of Duty, and we remain skeptical of their ability to stay “true to their core principles” at the same time as chasing massive sales on PC and console.