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Delving into Battlefield 4’s marine combat with “Angry Sea” E3 demo

Angry Sea

While EA has recently released an official gameplay trailer for Battlefield 4, DICE was at this year’s E3 expo and showcased a playthrough of “Angry Sea” that gave particular insight into the game’s fast-paced immersing action.

Before we get into the heart of the campaign level Angry Sea and how it represented the game’s particular action-packed flair, DICE went into detail on certain aspects of Battlefield 4 including the title’s story-driven campaign.

The demo itself was singleplayer, and it was most likely featured on Microsoft’s Xbox One console–there were no actual announcements, but the on-screen prompts indicated that it was an Xbox, yet due to the high fidelity it was most likely an Xbox One.

With Battlefield 4’s campaign, DICE is weaving a complex series of inter-personal stories that layer upon one another, heavily focused on emotional drama that makes players care about the characters around them. Each member of your squad has their own personalities and quirks–they aren’t stony-faced killing machines, but men with their own motivations, stories, and beliefs that react accordingly to different instances of in-game drama.

DICE is working on tapping into this basis in order to adequately portray a more intimate military shooter–one that brings players into a dynamic story that’s rife with explosive action and heart-wrenching drama. Now, let’s move on to the actual presentation. Having been familiar with EA’s recently released gameplay footage, the presentation was quite familiar–but it was executed in a different way and in real-time.

The graphics were very impressive, and the game’s signature action went a long way in bringing players into the game–you felt as if you were there instead of just looking at a screen.

The presentation touched upon vehicle combat as well, as the player jumped into a nearby attack boat to launch a volley of gunfire on nearby enemy ships. In the Angry Sea campaign mission, the squad’s mission is to gather intel on the U.S.S. Titan and bring the data back to the U.S.S. Valkyrie, their homeship.

In pure Battlefield style, our squad arrives at the Titan and all hell breaks loose; the team must navigate the damaged carrier while battling heavily armed Chinese soldiers as the ship literally fractures under their feet. After a few skirmishes here and there, the ship itself breaks apart, showing off some particularly impressive graphics and real-time environment action. As we know, Battlefield 4 features destructible environments, allowing gamers to use nearby objects and walls to their advantage.

The destructible environments were showcased very well, as the player explored various alternative routes–then created his very own through a nearby wall with a grenade. The game itself is punctuated by a series of high-octane moments where the very levels break apart–whether you’re in a building or on a ship, expect something crazy to happen.

Battlefield 4 Angry Sea

The squad jumps across the gap, landing on the other side of the now-ruined battle cruiser, and now our squad must make it back to the Valkyrie. After being engaged by a few stragglers, our squad returns fire in a firefight, showing off some of the new features of Battlefield 4’s combat.

Take peek mode, for example: now gamers can peek over nearby walls or cover just to make sure things are safe. Another new function that is extremely helpful both in singleplayer and multiplayer is the “spot” function, which basically maps out enemies so that teammates can engage them. This function is quite similar (in theory) to Far Cry 3’s spotter function when hitting Back when targeting an enemy, which puts an indicator over the heads of enemies and points them out to other players.

Coupled with peek mode and the spotting function, players are given access to a wide range of tactical strategy–most of which has near unlimited potential in multiplayer.

We were also treated with a look at Battlefield 4’s weaponry, and the DICE representatives also conferred that there will be tons of weapon customization, allowing players to mix and match everything from scopes and sights to weapon skins. The squad hops off of the sinking Titan, jumping onto an attack boat to embark in a whole new marine battle.

The attack boat is a great glimpse at Battlefield 4’s new vehicular warfare, and the interface was quite dynamic as well. The boat itself was armed with two fire modes–a basic machine gun fire to pepper enemy craft with bullets and homing missiles to finish them off.

Attack Boat

The marine battle was short-lived, however, as the demo ended shortly after a few Chinese ships were destroyed–a cliffhanger that left viewers wanting to experience even more explosive action. Battlefield 4’s vehicular combat gives players a dazzling variety of maneuverability, offering tactical strikes from land, air and sea.

Overall the presentation left a lasting impression upon viewers, especially the gamers who are looking forward to DICE’s upcoming title. Coupled with the story-drive and character-driven campaign, the frenetic multiplayer compliments the drama-infused singleplayer quite nicely.

The footage was fluid and there were no instances of frame skipping or lag. All of the sequences were displayed in real-time, delivering an experience that brought viewers into the virtual battlefield. The presentation showed off both DICE’s newest chapter in the Battlefield franchise as well as the capabilities of the Xbox One–which performed quite well and delivered more than a few memorable scenes.

The action was intense and prevalent throughout every second of gameplay and almost threatened to overwhelm your senses, which is a staple that has defined the franchise since its inception.

Battlefield 4 is scheduled for a release on Oct. 29 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC–and is also coming to Xbox One and PS4. For more information please visit the game’s official website.

Derek Strickland
Derek is an avid fan of gaming and everything geeky, and is compelled to make his mark in the field of games journalism. When he's not gaming on a console (everything from SNES to X360) you can find him reading about ancient civilizations or enjoying a fantasy epic or two.

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