Today’s post in DICE’s “The Road to Battlefield” blog shows off the appearance of the soldiers associated with each of the game’s multiplayer kits, and details several changes to some of the series’ mechanics and systems.
To start, you can “choose your path” when unlocking perks and equipment. So instead of being locked to a single line of upgrades, you can choose one of four “upgrade paths”. Two will be specific to each respective kit, where the other two will be available for all kits and will focus on straight-up offense and defense. When I first read about this “upgrade path” system, I thought it was similar to the more recent Call of Duty’s “unlock what you want” policy, but upon seeing otherwise, I was sort of relieved. While it is, admittedly, nice to unlock whatever you want, whenever you want. There is something satisfying about working your way to the level cap and ultimately unlocking an incredible piece of equipment or perk. It should also be said that there was no mention of how weapons will be unlocked.
Some smaller tweaks were also announced. Light Machine guns will provide more suppression than in Battlefield 3, while other weapons will provide significantly less. For those who don’t know, in Battlefield 3 your vision turns colorless when you’re under fire, your hearing is muffled, and your weapon sways more when you’re trying to aim. That said, this change sounds perfectly reasonable, as it was easy to abuse the suppression system. This should make it so only weapons that were made for suppression will, well, suppress.
Among some small changes to each kit, the blog update talked about the team’s devotion to making adjustments to make the game’s squad system work better. With this goal of better squads in mind, they’ve made a change to help ensure that no squad-member is left behind. In past Battlefield games — the third in particular — it was very easy to be left behind while playing an engineer who needed to lock-onto targets, or while using a type of equipment that you have to control directly. In Battlefield 4, it appears that there will be a greater variety of weapons/equipment that can be used while on the move.
For fans of the series, it seems that all of these changes will only improve the experience. Battlefield 4 is set to release on the October 29th for PC, Xbox 360 and PS4. Release dates for the next-gen console versions have yet to be announced.