DICE, the developer behind the thunderous Battlefield series, has revealed a little more about the changes it has made to the game for this year's Battlefield 4.
One of the big differences is a new emphasis on naval combat, with the new dynamic weather system making travelling on water a much more interesting and challenging option. To take advantage of this, there's a new emphasis on using attack boats as troop transports.
"We wanted the attack boats to hold value and have the same gameplay depth as a tank or a helicopter," says a new post on the Battlefield blog. "One challenge with developing Battlefield 4's naval combat was the difficulty to get other players in the vehicle with you. Unlike a tank or jeep, where you are likely close to friendly infantry, players don't tend to hang out in the open water."
The solution was to turn boats into team spawn points, and treat them as aquatic versions of the popular transport helicopters. The boats will also have the most customisation options of any vehicle, allowing them to attack air and land targets. "Because the attack boat has more limited options when it comes to what types of enemies to engage, in a large part because of its necessity to be in water, we decided to give it a more varied set of customization options than other vehicles, so that you really can be versatile and engage many different types of targets depending on your choices when building your loadout."
There are even more changes too. Jets now include stealth fighters, to make them more distinct from attack planes, and there's a new damage model that temporarily disables a vehicle rather than stopping it dead until an engineer can fix it. This allows for glancing blows to cause realistic damage, and also means you won't be forced to abandon a vehicle after one good hit.
It's all sounding pretty great, and we'll find out how these enhancements alter the gameplay on October 29th when the game launches for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions will follow in November. There's also an open multiplayer beta starting on October 1st - stay tuned for more details.