Officially, Battlefield 4 has been announced. Officially, you’ll get access to its beta version if you buy Medal of Honour: Warfighter.
And that’s all we know. Officially.
Unofficially, however, the rumours are flying.
The main source has been an apparent leak from EA China. We’re all jaded enough to remain fully aware that this could all very easily be off-target projections, simple speculation, or even an out-and-out fake.
But since the Battlefield franchise has given us some of the most exciting and immersive video games of recent years, you can’t help but get excited anyway.
First off, it’s been given an (oddly exact) release date of October 23, 2013. More exciting, though, is the claim that it will be available on the next-gen consoles: the Xbox 720 and PS4, as well as PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
And, apparently, on the 720 and PS4, gameplay will support up to 64 players, meaning huge 32 versus 32 battles. The prospect is bound to have FPS fans short-circuiting their laptops with drool.
Other cool projected features are the ability to deploy female soldiers and the possibility of playing as any one of the world’s three superpowers: Russia, China or the USA.
The Commander system of Battlefield 2 – where military units are led by an officer with various special abilities – is set to return. Which also means the return of mutinies! There’s also the possibility of body and voice control for the commander system.
Elsewhere, the improvements are pretty much what you’d expect: better stats reporting and integration of the battlelog; smoother gameplay; support of video playback and sharing; better graphics; etc. It will also be easier to pick up, to try and pull in fans of the Call of Duty franchise.
One weird claim is that the game will need constant internet access, even when players aren’t playing online.
On the one-hand, it almost sounds like the Battlefield fan’s wish-list of features, and that might make some of us sceptical of any kind of realism. But on the other hand, some of the details are so specific (such an exact release date), and some so mundane (better battlelog integration?), it makes you wonder who’d go out their way to make it all up.
But then, people have weird senses of humour. Ultimately, only time will tell. But still, you so want so many of the features to be true, you almost can’t help but believe it. What’s frustrating is not knowing whether or not the rumours are true, but having to wait to find out!
Luckily, in the meantime, there are plenty of games like Battlefield to keep us occupied until October 2013 rolls around.