Under the auspices of explaining the technology in the Frostbite 3 engine, EA offers Battlefield fans a look at the series' next entry.
That clip embedded at top-right is a developer-led look at the Frostbite 3 game engine, the same engine that powers the upcoming Battlefield 4. This is a convenient situation for publisher EA as it can kill two birds with one bump-mapped stone: Not only can the company talk up its Frostbite 3 tech, but it can also entice prospective Battlefield 4 players to buy the title by showing off all of its shiny, explosive bits.
Maybe it's an overload of catastrophic destruction, but to me, the most impressive part of the clip is the focus on Frostbite 3's ability to render realistic trees. Pilot a chopper too close to a grove of the oversized chlorophyll fiends and instead of standing stock still or being blown to pieces, the trees will realistically sway in time with the wind gusts created by your rotor. Or, at the very least, Frostbite 3 renders the situation in such a way that it certainly looks like your helicopter is blowing the trees around. It's quite nice to look at.
Of course, this means very little to the gameplay in Battlefield 4. It makes the game look nicer, but no amount of aesthetic frosting will make this cake tasty if the actual gameplay in the title is horrid. We don't yet know enough about the game to comment on that directly, but as long-time Battlefield fans, we'd like to give DICE the benefit of the doubt. They'll get it right, probably. Or, failing that, the developer will release a handful of expansion packs that incrementally fix the problem.
Point being: Battlefield 4 will definitely look pretty, and will probably play great eventually, if not at release. This wasn't very reassuring, was it?