Guess what, DICE fans? It's time for a SPORTS analogy. When playing against a good team, coaches often talk about "identity" -- that is, ignoring what the other team's gameplan is in order to impose your own on the contest. In other words: play to your own strengths.
It can be argued, and we did, that DICE took the fight to Call of Duty with Battlefield 3 by stealing Activision's crib notes a little, especially when it came to the latter's mediocre singleplayer campaign.
But at least DICE have owned up to it, and are swearing to stay true to themselves for Battlefield 4.
"One can advocate that even though Battlefield 3 was a gigantic success for us, I would say we may have looked a little bit too much at our competitor," EA's Patrick Soderlund told GamesIndustry. "And we've been criticized for that, especially on the single-player side. But when we started doing Battlefield 4, we said we were going to make the game we think is the right game for us and the consumers. Again, you can't be arrogant about it. You have to be a little paranoid about what others are doing, but staying true to what you're doing is the key."
Soderlund also went on to talk up gameplay innovation being the key to aking the most of next-gen rather than graphical grunt, noting that although the jump to HD worked well for the current consoles, more will be required of the games that adorn the Xbox One and PS4.
"Consumers and press have been telling us they want something different," Soderlund said. "Last time around, we didn't really have that problem. If you think about PS2 to PS3 era, it was all about high-def gaming. You can now enjoy this in high-def. They were fine with the same game they could play on the PS2 because it looked so much better. You can't do that any more. The games on PS3 and 360 still look OK. It's about what we do outside of graphics that will make a difference, I think.
"If you just look at what we're doing today versus what we did five years ago, look at how much is in them. You need a deep, engaging single-player campaign. You need multiplayer with 7-10 game modes. You need to have a huge variety of locations. You need some kind of service to support the game post-launch that is not ripping consumers off but actually adds value. People choose one or maybe two games and they stick with those, and they want to be in that experience for a long time. So we as game creators need to make sure we fulfill their needs, to keep ahead of the curve. It's an interesting shift in that sense."